How much did cost to restore 686?
Way too much!
As of November, 2000:
The glider cost $2250, including the resident gray field mouse (we named him Schweizer) that rode in the wheel housing from all the way from Waterbury. One revelation that was slow to appear was that every part was still here - nothing was missing. Of course lots needed to be replaced, so I started a spreadsheet with an estimate and will insert it below when I update it. So far, I have purchased $3,100 in parts, covering supplies, instruments, radio, flight control cable, tire, nuts, bolts and chemicals. I estimate another $3,063 remaining to be purchased, including $1500 for a trailer. Add that to the glider and I have an E model that costs $8,386, some assembly required.
Add the cost of labor to this project and this airplane would not be economically feasible. I'm an A&P so for me, it's possible, but I'm not going to get rich doing this! Like everything else about the 1-26, I do this because it's fun.
Here's the latest (as of 10 January, 2001):
With the exception of a canopy cover, trailer and some instrument tubing, I have now purchased and received everything I need (I think!) to finish this glider. The total cost to date is $9,099.48, including the glider, but not including the canopy cover, trailer and instrument tubing. It does include $138 for a new tow hook release arm from Schweizer.
So, as you can see, my estimate for restoring this aircraft was optimistic. I am not normally an optimistic person and last November I thought $8,386 was a pretty conservative figure. I'm looking at about $10,500 to $11,000 in actual costs before it's completed, including trailer. Let's just wait and see what I have to say about this in March.
It's hard to believe how much it costs to completely restore an airplane and I haven't found a web page yet that details the exact cost, so I wanted to do it here. I track every expenditure in Quicken and copy it to an Excel spreadsheet where I reconcile the cost against the budgeted line item. Of course, things like shipping, tax, masking tape, scotch-brite and other consumables really add up. Hazmat shipping alone is close to $100. The good news is that this airplane does not have an engine!
Someday when I upgrade to plastic gliders I know I will be tempted to buy an inexpensive club class airplane that just needs a little gel-coat work... then I will document the cost of doing that and I can imagine that I will wish I hadn't!
Here's the latest:
I stated above I would update this in March and I have been avoiding clicking on the memorized report button in Quicken, because I know what it's going to say. No matter - I'm not doing this to make a living (otherwise, I'd best be thinking about doing something else!) so what the heck, there's no way around it - I have to spend the money and do it right. I guess I could have scrounged hardware, cleaned up screws and bolts, re-used fiberlock nuts, rod-ends, etc. but everyone who knows me will tell you that I'm just not that kind of guy. Because just about everything is new, the glider will certainly operate for a long time before it needs any kind of maintenance, probably recovering in 10 years, but if it is maintained properly and lubricated regularly, it should last quite a while.
So, how much?
OK, Here it is:
That just about sums it up, nothing left to buy really, so it's not too bad. Much worse than I originally thought, but it will give you some idea of the cost of a restoration.
Note the cost above does not include the cost of an annual, typically $100, and the cost of a new Airworthiness Certificate, typically $300. I'm lucky that I work with an IA and a Designated Airworthiness Representative. Thanks to Nick Mirales (DAR) for the Airworthiness Certificate, and Jeff McLain (IA) for the annual on 525 and 686 that will probably cost me a few beers and whatever else he will wrangle out of me.