The Pros and Cons of Homebuilt vs. Certified Aircraft

By Wildcatter Aviation, LLC.

Sooner or later, every passionate aviator contemplates whether a building an aircraft is better than a purchasing a certified one.  With that being said, building one yourself can be extremely time-consuming and takes a lot of dedication to complete. However, it is significantly cheaper than buying a certified aircraft. Both have pros and cons, and one must know them in order to make an informed decision.

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What it takes to build an Aircraft

 

One thing is certain; building an aircraft is not something anyone can pull off.  It requires a blend of knowledge, consistency, motivation, and diligent work to build an aircraft.  For every homebuilt airplane out there that has been finished and is being flown, there are several unfinished ones that are nothing more than incomplete skeletons left in hangers. If you want to build your own aircraft, you have to be ready to constantly learn new things and improve your abilities in regards to mechanics and engineering, thus simply being an experienced pilot is not enough.  With these factors taken into consideration, building your aircraft is extremely time-consuming, and you have to be ready to invest hundreds or even thousands of hours in the process.  An experienced builder can finish a plane in as little as 2 or 3 years, but if you are new, it may take 10 years or even more.  In other words, if you monetarily capitalize off of time, building an aircraft may be a less favorable option for you.

 

Pros and Cons

 

All that being said, it is important to note that building your own airplane is significantly cheaper than buying a certified aircraft. In addition, you can maintain it yourself, thus saves saving lot of money - repairing and maintaining a homebuilt plane can be up to four times less expensive, and this means thousands of dollars. Another important advantage of homebuilt aircrafts that is quite tempting for many pilots is the fact that they almost always exceed certified planes in terms of performance, and at the end of the day, few things are more rewarding than finishing your very own aircraft, built with your own hands. Building a plane is an art, and it is a truly special moment to see your aircraft completed.

 

However, every certified aircraft is built and designed by experienced and knowledgeable engineers and mechanics. These plains have quality control and safety systems integrated, and they meet an array of regulations. They are more predictable and able to cover long distances, something few homebuilt airplanes are adept at.

 

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