Fear of flying


2019 Cessna 172

Or more accurately a fear of the high cost of flying. I saw an interesting comment after another flying video about a twin-engine aircraft. “$10,000 each for a couple of 912’s (the engines), you telling me $450,000 for the airframe and avionics? I don’t think so.” It’s nice when an awakening happens, slow as it is. Some people are starting to see something is wrong in Wichita (where most domestic certified small aircraft are made).

The plane pictured above goes new for $300,000 dollars. In 1956 it went for $9,000. That’s a 33 fold increase. A loaf of bread then went for .18 cents. It now goes for $1.80, an increase of 10 times. Median home price in 1956  the internet tells me was $18,356. Today: $226,000, a 12 fold increase. A car, $1,800 vs $10,500, an increase of 6 times. The value of $100 in 1956 is now worth $937.44 (a 9 times increase).

Its not every product that can sell for than the customer can pay. Most products can only move with the rate of inflation like the examples with the staples above. Detroit can continue its planned obsolescence by continuing its use of steel. Cessna has to continue with the eternal properties of aluminum and fiberglass for aeronautical reasons. Let’s hope the awakening continues. When the law of supply and demand no longer applies, something is screwed up.

Jim Roach


1956 Cessna 172

You’d think some people might start to notice that aluminum and fiberglass lasts forever, and why couldn’t their cars? The limited lifespan of the auto results in an environmental disaster considering the energy and materials it takes to build a new car every dozen years or so.) If cars were made out of aluminum, fiberglass, stainless steel, ‘N’ type polymers (gun plastic), they’d last forever. Just get them repainted every 10 years or so. Like planes. The exterior of the one above is 63 years old and has only required new paint every dozen years or so.

In 1969 a Boeing 747 went for $24,000,000, a Cessna 172 for $12,500. In 2019 a Max 10 (maybe the equivalent of the 747) went for $134,000,000. A Cessna 172 for $300,000. A 172 started out as .05% the cost of a 747. 50 years later in 2019 it is .22% the cost of a Max 10. Its price relative to the jetliner increased over 4 times as a percentage. During that 50 years the price of a 172 multiplied 24 times. The jetliner’s price multiplied 5.6 times. 24 times versus 5.6. The private plane buyer is being taken for a ride.

About Iowa Life

Experiencing life in Iowa.
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