Don Pablo Edronkin

How it is possible that aircraft may cost less than cars?

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Something that should make us think a little is the fact that we spend our lives buying new cars to replace old ones, spending tens of thousands of Pesos, Euros or Dollars.

Average land vehicles last for less than a decade, but no matter that car factories can indeed produce something better and more durable, we still buy the same expensive and especially-designed-for-true-consumers products all the time.

We don't mind either that these cars, minivans and all-terrain contraptions are in many cases as costly as small aircraft, be it in what regards to their purchase price or posterior maintenance; if you don't believe this consider that there is plenty of evidence that supports my point of view, and you can check it out.

Some days ago I began looking for an aircraft similar to the Cub Special PA-11 in which I am taking flying lessons.

Of course, in the market there are aeroplanes for all kinds of pockets, but for an Aero Boero 115, a Luscombe 8 or a PA-11 - all in the same category - putting over the counter between 11.000 and 25.000 dollars will let you go back home flying.

If not in your country, you may as well travel somewhere else and find them; don't be fooled: prices higher than these with such aircraft means that insurance companies are having their year-long Christmas time thanks to you, which is another side of the problem of consumer society, by the way.

If you have not noticed the fact, let me remind you that these are average-car prices, and indeed, the skills and responsibility required to build a mass-produced car and a hand-made, individually constructed aircraft cannot be compared.

Moreover: in countries like Germany it is assumed that most cars will not last more than five years, while the PA-11 that I currently fly was built in 1947 and still goes like clockwork.

How is this possible? How come that we pay for something that lasts for decades the same that we put for a thing that will enjoy at most for five years?

My theory is that in the case of aircraft, we tend to get what we pay for, but we don't in the case of cars.

Of course, we also have to consider the environmental impact of producing really inefficient cars in massive quantities.

I also think that we should start asking ourselves if excessive consumerism isn't turning us into fools used by corporations, because clearly - as cosnumers - we always tend to end being losers.

LV-YMI, a Piper PA-11 belonging to the Malvinas Argentinas Air Club
If you don't believe me, just check it out: this PA-11 costs less than your
average all-terrain vehicle. It belongs to the Malvinas Argentinas Flying Club,
and I will definitely buy a plane instead of a car.

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