Reimagining how we fly

July 25, 2014 by Mark Baker

If there’s one thing AOPA members would like to change about general aviation, it’s the cost of flying. That’s why AOPA is conducting an experiment over the coming months—one that I believe will demonstrate that it’s possible to lower the cost of flying to a point that many more people can afford.14_Reimagined 152_0435

We call our experiment Reimagined Aircraft—airplanes that can be owned and operated by a group like a flying club, flight school, or partnership for as little as $65 per hour, including fuel and maintenance.

We started with Cessna 150s and 152s and, partnering with Aviat Aircraft, updated them from tip to tail. With carefully overhauled engines and new paint, panels, and interiors, these Reimagined Aircraft are reliable, fun to fly, and easy to own.

Over the next few months we’ll work with Aviat to create about a dozen of these aircraft, and we’ll spend the rest of the year substantiating the concept that existing aircraft can be brought up to date and owned and operated affordably. These first 150Reimagined and 152Reimagined airplanes will be available from Aviat for a base price of $89,900 and $99,900 respectively.

Of course, part of the challenge of aircraft ownership is getting the right financing and insurance, and we’ve already spoken to banks and insurance companies to make sure favorable terms are available.

The idea for Reimagined Aircraft grew out of our desire to take a comprehensive approach to lowering the barriers that keep people from starting or continuing to fly, and this experiment is one more way we’re working to grow and support the pilot population. It doesn’t mean AOPA is getting into the business of refurbishing and selling aircraft. We aren’t. In fact, we won’t make any money on the sale of Reimagined Aircraft. What it does mean is that we are exploring every avenue to find ways to make it fun, easy, and more affordable to fly.

You can learn more about Reimagined Aircraft on our website, and you can see the very first 152Reimagined at the AOPA tent right on the flight line at Oshkosh.

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