Refurb and new build costs

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Thorlifter, May 21, 2009.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    IT Nerd
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx Jubail, Saudi Arabia
    After reading through the Me-110 thread, I came up with a lot of questions.

    I know it would depend on the plane (P-40 vs B-17 for example) but what do you think the ball park costs would be to refurbish these planes?

    Is there a way to recover this cost or is it done out of love for aviation?

    What do you think the cost would be to build, say a Me-110 or a A-20 from scratch? The reason I ask this is if I were going to spend, say $2 million to refurb a plane, but I could build a rare or non-existent plane for static display for the same cost, I would build the rare plane from scratch. For static display, it wouldn't even have to be "perfect". Just curious why some people aren't building rare planes for display.
     
  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    The cost to refurbish the B-17G (at Chino) Picadilly Lilly from 12 O'clock High TV series is estimated at $1,000,000 +

    To build from scratch (no tooling available) would be far more expensive.

    If it was for Static display - less than a rebuild designed to restore original a/c to flying condition.

    Simple things like functional props on a P-51 or B-17 range from $70K to $40K) and unless largely available in current aviation inventory the price to 'build one from scratch' will skyrocket. Back when the 12 O'Clock High/War Lover B-17s were being restored, C-47 props were suitable for the B-17s

    I imagine fiberglass molds for the airframe from drawings would not cost too much (100K+ for B-17??) .. vacuform for turrets, fiberglass molds for weapons, props and even tires would be 'extra'. Think of it as a Full Scale R/C project?

    The engineering to design the connections of wing (like designing a spar to attach to a fuselage structure for than purpose) would be fairly affordable compared to the fiberglass mold design, then the labor to fabricate, assemble, and paint would be the remaining expense until shipping and re-assembly..

    Next issue - maintenance on an annual basis for paint is expensive.

    IIRC we had an estimate of $40,000 just to paint the B-52 at DM AFB and re-do every three years.
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    IT Nerd
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx Jubail, Saudi Arabia
    Yeah, that summed up exactly what my bumbling vocabulary tried to say!!!! A full scale R/C project.

    Great info drgondog! Thanks.
     
  4. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Likes Received:
    205
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    Because those with the money to build/rebuild planes, generally want to fly their toys. That, and a flying aircraft will give you some small return in appearance fees, etc, so it can be a tax write-off (depending on the country you live in).

    We had one situation down here where a gate guardian was taken down and restored to flying condition. One of the conditions was that the company who restored the old fighter provided a fibreglass replica to replace the guardian. This works out better, as fibreglass will last outside in the elements a lot better than the original plane.

    drgondog, $1M to refurb a B-17 seems pretty cheap, is it already flying? The guys who do restorations down here are pretty coy about the costs, but I would imagine you wouldn't get much change out of $1M to rebuild a P-40, depending on the condition.
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    It was flown in several years ago. The 1million figure was the last total I heard in 2005. That may not include monies already set aside and/or expended already. It was/is not a complete rebuild.

    IIRC, the major airframe tasks did NOT include new spars or bulkheads but I could see obvious wear and tear all over the sirframe, superchargers that had cracked housing - surely all the engines needed complete overhaul as well as hydraulic and electrical systems, plexiglass replacement for top and ball turrets, nose and the tires needed replacing. IIRC one of the tires may have been a B-29 tire??

    I really like the idea of 'swap' of gate guardian for 'replica'. We are trying to find a P-47 and P-51 (cheap) for relocation to DM AFB 355th FW Heritage Park. Anyone want a B-52D in Trade??
     
  6. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    There is an A20 being put back into the air in Geneseo as well a B23 Dragon
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Great thread folks. Also consider this....

    A single engine warbird (fighter) while glamorous, will need a money tree for support and the one who really benefits is the one who flies it. Now with aircraft that carries one or more passengers? You have a money source, providing the Feds lets you do rides. Many times in the jet community the Feds will limit passengers who are essential for the flight or for training. In the L-29s and L-39s I mess with, many of the owner operators have CFIs and can give "introductory jet instruction." They could ask for a nice fee and there will be income to support the bird. Many times however you need a ppl before you could jump in the jet

    I know we have the CAF and the Collings Foundation that charge for rides, and this is perfectly legal. Obviously those $300-$400 a ride flights are supporting the aircraft. Although the larger aircraft cost more to operate, it has better revenue generating ability than the cool single engine or single place warbird.
     
Loading...

Share This Page