Learn More About MakerPlane

What is the issue?  What are we trying to solve?

In a KITPLANES magazine survey in 1998, the following statistics were gathered from their subscribers:

  • Average completion rate of aircraft from kits: 66%
  • Average kit price: $20,580 (minus engine and avionics)
  • Average completion rate of plans:  estimated less than 10%
  • Average plans price: $150
  • Planning to build or building: 58%.  Of those:
    • Plan to build single place: 19%
    • Plan to build two-seat: 62%
    • Plan to build four-seat: 18%
    • Undecided: 6%

Although the figures are dated, the numbers are probably still in the ballpark today.  An average build time quoted by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is an average of between 1000 to 3000 hours to build an aircraft.  This can be spread over a few months to decades.  It appears that most of the problems associated with completion of an aircraft project stem from overly complex building techniques, poor instructions and lack of support.  The issue is that when you combine the figures for kits and plans, only about a third of people that start building an aircraft, complete them.    If we can create an environment where the overall cost of ownership of an aircraft is as low as possible AND the instructions are simple, then this completion rate should start rising.

 

The general specifications for the first MakerPlane aircraft (v1.0) can be found on the MP 1.0 project page located in The Hangar Workshop.  A direct link to the documents section is here:  MP Documents.

 

MakerPlane Aim

 

“The mission of MakerPlane is to create innovative and game-changing aircraft, avionics and related systems and the transformational manufacturing processes to build them.  As a result of this aim, aircraft can be built with consistent, repeatable and highly accurate processes which create safer flying at lower cost. ”

 

Objectives

The objectives of the Open Source Aircraft project are:

  1. Foster a new wave of innovation and creativity in aviation which will lower the overall cost of ownership;
  2. Provide new ways of building aircraft that the average unskilled builder can comfortably achieve success with;
  3. Create innovative, popular, safe and modern aircraft designs;
  4. Provide free and open source based files and plans for low-cost airframes; and
  5. Create accessible and affordable open source avionics systems.

New Business Opportunities

There are many revenue generation opportunities available to small, medium and large businesses that would participate in this initiative.  It will also potentially allow new channels to open up for existing businesses.

An obvious opportunity for existing plan and kit manufacturers is that there will potentially be a number of builders with their own CNC machines.  Rather than manufacture just open source aircraft designs, plans could be re-designed to allow for use of these CNC machines and electronic CAM files can be sold along with the paper plans.

New businesses can prosper with a world-wide open source aircraft effort many areas including;

  • Outsource of CNC machine time to create the parts for a builder
  • Provide CNC machine kits for builders
  • Builder assistance programs
  • Provide certified, complete aircraft
  • Multi-media builder assistance products
  • Supply of ancillary part kits such as metal control horns, cables etc
  • Supply of canopy/windscreen lexan and other clear parts
  • Supply of wiring harnesses
  • Supply of OS avionics equipment
  • Supply of hanger plans and electronic files
  • Supply of non-OS plans and parts that improve the comfort and styling of the aircraft