base698

Bravo Ownership Questions

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base698    8

I'm looking for something under $150K, and if it's on the $150K end it should be relatively turn key.  If it's $100K I accept it may need the ADSB upgrade or a better GPS.

Given the budget choice between a J and a Bravo what are the pros and cons?  Anyone else have the same dilemma? 

M20J
$2K - $3K in average annual costs.  
Overhaul around $30K.  
10 - 11 GPH
$150/hour estimated costs?
 

M20M
$? Annual costs.  
$50K for overhaul?
15 - 17 GPH
$189/hour estimated costs?

Anyone have anything else to add?  Risk of travelling back in time in the flight levels in a Bravo?  Larger insurance premium?
 

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smccray    99

For the J your fuel burn is about right for block times- maybe a little high.  I assume 150 ktas @ 9 GPH in cruise. Annual inspection is $2k plus maintenance- probably another $3-5k all in for the year including oil changes and other incidental maintenance.  Engine overhaul is probably in the ballpark from what I've seen but I haven't done one. 

i don't have first hand experience but from what I've read your Bravo numbers are light. I've toyed with the idea of that upgrade- fuel burn @ 18-20 GPH.  Others have posted $75k total for a Bravo reman after taking care of all the hoses and accessories.  Insurance will be higher due to higher hull value. Maintenance- not sure but I would assume it would run at least double the maintenance of the J with annual inspection a little higher- 25% more?  That's a guess.

$150k will buy one of the nicer J models around.  A lot of Bravo owners are asking ~$200k for their birds which I don't see.  There's a lot of value in the capability, but I worry about the market for M20Ms in 5+ years paying $180+ for any steam gauge M20M with more than 750 hrs on the engine, but that's a different thread. 

Either way you go there are great examples of both the J and the M here. 

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larryb    194

When I was looking into bravos I guesstimated the bravo would cost me an additional $10,000 per year over the J that I had. A bit more in maintenance and a lot more fuel.

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Bravoman    283

If you want to turn a large fortune into a small fortune absolutely buy a Bravo. Seriously, though, they are very much on sale now and as you can see from looking at controller a very nice one of the late 90s vintage and some 2000 models can be had for well under 200k. I'm probably biased but it is an insane amount of plane for the money. The market is for whatever reason softer on Bravos now than four years ago when I bought mine, and I can't imagine it getting much softer, but then again I might have said the same thing four years ago.

Edited by Bravoman

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carusoam    4,005

+1 Insane amount of plane.

+1 Get real OH costs from Lycoming.  The Turbo and exhaust system add to the costs over what a NA engine typically has...

Go Long Body!

-a-

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donkaye    752
1 hour ago, Bravoman said:

If you want to turn a large fortune into a small fortune absolutely buy a Bravo. Seriously, though, they are very much on sale now and as you can see from looking at controller a very nice one of the late 90s vintage and some 2000 models can be had for well under 200k. I'm probably biased but it is an insane amount of plane for the money. The market is for whatever reason softer on Bravos now than four years ago when I bought mine, and I can't imagine it getting much softer, but then again I might have said the same thing four years ago.

Yes, it does cost more to own a Bravo.  The simple solution to that is just don't own one if that is uncomfortable for you.  My simple rule of thumb that has served me well over my lifetime is to not have more than 10% of your net worth in things you don't need.  Then the value of those things don't make much of a difference in your life or lifestyle.  The other thing you can do is find a way to mitigate the cost of something you want badly.  In my case while the value of the things I don't need are much less than 10% of my net worth, I've helped myself even more by offsetting the cost of the airplane with my flight instruction, an endeavor I really enjoy.  

With the above philosophy, I don't care what the value of the airplane is.  It could be zero and I wouldn't care.  One thing I can tell you is that with this philosophy I am going to have everything I want when it comes to the airplane and that includes the GFC 600 when it becomes available for the Bravo. For the other 90% of my net worth, that allows me to not care about the last 10%, I do care about how money is spent, and, therefore, a great deal of attention has to be given to that area, too.

Having said all the above, for those in the 10% situation described, Bravos are an absolute steal right now.  What an airplane!  In coming to Oshkosh it was 2:45 from San Jose to Ogden, then 3:49 to Sioux Falls with a stop in Gurnsey, then 1:46 to Madison where the plane is hangared for the week.  It's a true Magic Carpet.

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moxfox    7
10 minutes ago, donkaye said:

Yes, it does cost more to own a Bravo.  The simple solution to that is just don't own one if that is uncomfortable for you.  My simple rule of thumb that has served me well over my lifetime is to not have more than 10% of your net worth in things you don't need.  Then the value of those things don't make much of a difference in your life or lifestyle.  The other thing you can do is find a way to mitigate the cost of something you want badly.  In my case while the value of the things I don't need are much less than 10% of my net worth, I've helped myself even more by offsetting the cost of the airplane with my flight instruction, an endeavor I really enjoy.  

With the above philosophy, I don't care what the value of the airplane is.  It could be zero and I wouldn't care.  One thing I can tell you is that with this philosophy I am going to have everything I want when it come to the airplane and that includes the GFC 600 when it becomes available for the Bravo. For the other 90% of my net worth, that allows me to not care about the last 10%, I do care about how money is spent, and, therefore, a great deal of attention has to be given to that area, too.

Well said Don!

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donkaye    752
5 minutes ago, moxfox said:

Well said Don!

Thanks, I added a little more to the posting.

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base698    8

My question isn't about net worth and cost of buying the plane, more about expenses after I acquire the plane and the relative cost between a J and a Bravo such that I can make an educated decision above "OMG 200 KTS".  There are now Bravos in my price range and given the obvious pros of having one wanted to know the cons.

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gsxrpilot    3,099
25 minutes ago, base698 said:

My question isn't about net worth and cost of buying the plane, more about expenses after I acquire the plane and the relative cost between a J and a Bravo such that I can make an educated decision above "OMG 200 KTS".  There are now Bravos in my price range and given the obvious pros of having one wanted to know the cons.

This then comes to the question of CapEx vs. OpEx. I recently made this same decision. The prices (CapEx) of Bravos have fallen into my budget range, but the OpEx is still uncomfortable for me. Therefore I fly a 252. I think @donkaye once said $30K per year to fly his Bravo. I like to fly as much as he does, and didn't want to be limited in the number of hours I fly each year. I think the OpEx of my 252 will be somewhere between 50% and 70% of that number. 

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PMcClure    376

I can't help you with real world experience but I did consider a Bravo before buying the Ovation. Higher fuel cost and higher overahaul and maintenance made me favor the Ovation. 175-180 TAS and 13-15 mph with not not more maintenance cost than a J or F (other than the 2 cylinders). It's hard, but you can find a O or Eagle below $150k. 

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LANCECASPER    929

The purchase price and the price of ownership are two completely different things.

No matter what you pay for it, even if someone gives it to you, keep in mind you are still maintaining a $700,000+ airplane - since that's would it would sell for new today. The parts and labor prices reflect what a new airplane costs not what you paid for a 20 year old airplane. And of course since all of those systems on the airplane are 20+ years old, in some cases close to 30 years old, there will need some work in the first few years of ownership.

What is for sale on the M20M market are a lot of airplanes with nearly TBO engines so buyers are hesitant about buying at say $150,000 - $200,000 and then thinking about $50,000 - $75,000 in an overhaul, rebuilt or reman.

The M20M costs at least twice as much as the M20J when it comes to engine overhaul and fuel per mile will be 40-50% more (the J doesn't go nearly as fast so don't just compare fuel flow). You have two more cylinders so when it comes time to do a top end overhaul, usually half way through the engine life it will be 50% more. Some people don't hve to do a top on on the J, but most do on the M, since turbo charged airplanes run hotter and are operated in more harsh environments. The exhaust will be more expensive to keep up on the M20M - and make sure you do. Other than the turbo charger, which in the total cost really doesn't mean that much, the rest of the systems are all about the same on the two airplanes.

(Since the M is faster, one hour in the M and you are covering say 190 nm, one hour in the J and you are covering 150 nm. So even though the M engine costs a lot more, over 2000 hours it's covering 380,000 miles, while the J is covering 300,000 miles). Also if your time is worth something to you, there's a benefit in getting there faster that only you can quantify.

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Marauder    5,672
My question isn't about net worth and cost of buying the plane, more about expenses after I acquire the plane and the relative cost between a J and a Bravo such that I can make an educated decision above "OMG 200 KTS".  There are now Bravos in my price range and given the obvious pros of having one wanted to know the cons.


You're going find a number of owners who don't know or don't care what it costs to own and operate an aircraft. It is a smart question you aware asking because if you don't have the funds to operate the plane, it will end up being a burden on your finances.

Don sounds like he is doing the math and the $30k sounds about right. I can tell you owning an F model is costing me between $20k and $28k depending on the hours flown. My numbers include reserves for engine and avionics upgrades.

As Paul mentioned, you can buy more airplane than you can afford to operate. The fixed costs between the models will have some variation (like for insurance) but some will be fixed (hangar, database updates, etc.). The other variables will be what you will want to get better recon on. Fuel burn in a Bravo will be more, but time in flight will be less. Calculating out the $ per hour based on all the variables will help you understand how much it will cost you to fly X number of hours.

I have a spreadsheet I can email you that show the stuff I track. PM your email if you are interested.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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gsxrpilot    3,099
21 minutes ago, Marauder said:

I have a spreadsheet I can email you that show the stuff I track. PM your email if you are interested.

 

Yeah DON'T send that to me. I need plausible deniability, and worse yet, it might fall into the hands of my wife.

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larryb    194

You can't pin down an accurate delta in ownership costs because so much is left to luck. Your nice reliable bulletproof J model could start making metal on the way home from the purchase. Your expensive Bravo could give you 1000 trouble-free hours. Or it could be the other way around.

About the only thing you can do is average the engine cost over the engine life and add a turbo, exhaust, and a couple cylinders at the halfway point.

You do have a few more systems like dual alternators and dual batteries, and those 24v batteries cost twice the amount of the 12v battery in the J. Figure 4 years on a battery. But really, those costs are in the noise.

The fuel is easy to calculate. The Bravo gets around 10 to 12 nmpg. The J gets around 15 to 17 nmpg. 

We have only discussed cost so far. But the Bravo is much more capable than the J. There are trips that (due to weather) the Bravo can do that the J simply cannot do. You can get FIKI in a Bravo, but not in a J. That will make your dispatch rate even better. If you really want to get from here to there, the Bravo will do it more often than the J will. 

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base698    8
1 hour ago, gsxrpilot said:

Yeah DON'T send that to me. I need plausible deniability, and worse yet, it might fall into the hands of my wife.

This doesn't work for me because both of us fly.  Whenever I suggest dropping another $100K she's like, "THAT'S A GREAT IDEA, MAYBE WE NEED A PITTS TOO".

 

 

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donkaye    752

Form me:

Hangar:  6,600

Insurance:  2,600

Taxes: 1,500

Annual: 6,000 average

Fuel at 120 hours/year and 4.50/gallon and 18 gal/hr: 9,720

Oil Changes: 5 at 200: 1,000

That's 26,820.  Then add 10,000 for unexpected maintenance expenses: $36,820.  This is realistic including the 10K miscellaneous. Miscellaneous might include Batteries at 500 a pop, spark plugs, exhaust maintenance, turbo and waste gate overhaul, possibly some cylinder work as time goes on, O2 cylinder checks, prop o ring overhaul, reserve for engine overhaul (expect at least 70,000 for that) and on and on.

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mike_elliott    1,790
46 minutes ago, donkaye said:

Form me:

Hangar:  6,600

Insurance:  2,600

Taxes: 1,500

Annual: 6,000 average

Fuel at 120 hours/year and 4.50/gallon and 18 gal/hr: 9,720

Oil Changes: 5 at 200: 1,000

That's 26,820.  Than add 10,000 for unexpected maintenance expenses: $36,820.  This is realistic including the 10K miscellaneous. Miscellaneous might include Batteries at 500 a pop, spark plugs, exhaust maintenance, turbo and waste gate overhaul, possibly some cylinder work as time goes on, O2 cylinder checks, prop o ring overhaul, reserve for engine overhaul (expect at least 70,000 for that) and on and on.

Don, would you say the only difference if you owned a J valued at 150K would be slightly less insurance, (maybe 2K) slightly less annual, (maybe 4500), and half the fuel?

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Marauder    5,672
Don, would you say the only difference if you owned a J valued at 150K would be slightly less insurance, (maybe 2K) slightly less annual, (maybe 4500), and half the fuel?


At 120 hours flown, my F would be in the $22k to $24k depending how much stuff needs to be fixed during the year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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mike_elliott    1,790
20 minutes ago, Marauder said:

 


At 120 hours flown, my F would be in the $22k to $24k depending how much stuff needs to be fixed during the year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

 

Chris, that is what I have found after 15 years of owning an F and about 4 with the Bravo. The only real difference is the hull value of insurance, and the fuel burn plus a bit more  maintenance for the toys like O cylinder, King stuff, (alt. preselect, swiss watch, KRAP 150 AP's )and exhaust systems. Then you get to the fuel burn. Plan for 20 GPH in a Bravo and 10 GPH in a J, F, or E. Your going to spend 2 x the fuel to go 200 kts vs 155 kts, and in the big scheme of things, it isn't much more, as your hours are less for the same distance.

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AndyFromCB    527
2 hours ago, Marauder said:

 


At 120 hours flown, my F would be in the $22k to $24k depending how much stuff needs to be fixed during the year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

 

Yeap, have about 2K to 3K a month to waste outside of capital costs to run a single engine piston aircraft. It's a pricy hobby. And yes, I called it a hobby. Reliable, on time  travel starts at a Piper Meridian level if you have any sort of risk management profile in mind. And even a Meridian/TBM/Pilatus leave a lot of be desired if you're low IFR either at the beginning or end of your trip. Older I've gotten, the more risk adverse red I've become. If it ain't VFR, I'm not flying a piston single.

Edited by AndyFromCB
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Godfather    235

Personally I would start a spreadsheet looking at the differences between...

201 vs ovation

231 vs Bravo

201 vs 231

ovation vs bravo

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carusoam    4,005

I did the M20C vs O calculations...

hangar...same

Annuals...same (close enough)

worn stuff...M20C had a lot of that

Insurance... incredibly close

Sooner or later the engine is going to be swapped out...

Roughly 20amu for one, 40 amu for the other...

The C operations would cost me over 10AMU each year...(it lived outdoors)

 

For comparison...

Day care for two kids was about 20amu per year.

 

you really need to be able to do your own math.  If you can't, you are stuck making conservative choices...  if you take on a Long Body plane and you can't make the math work, the financial pain can be intense....

Selling a plane is neither quick, or cost free...

For some, the cost of a plane is easily financed, or the money was saved years ago...  pick one that fits your needs

Having one that is too difficult to fly or costs too much, really takes the fun out of ownership...

 

Best regards,

-a-

 

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thinwing    566

I'm surprised that besides the additional cost of fuel,maintance,overhaul reserve ,etc between the Bravo and the J...that no one has mentioned the obvious difference between the two...the altitude and hot and heavy takeoff capebilty that the Bravo has over the J...of course fuel burn will be higher...it is producing 70 more horsepower and is capeble of that out put well into the flight levels.It simply takes more money to do that!Any potential Bravo /J buyer needs to look at their field elevation and likely terrain they will operate over...

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Just another perspective, I have been running my 155 knot 1963  e about 100-200 hours per year for 18 years now, costs under $10k/year all in (this year hangar $2148, insurance $800, oil changes every 25 hours total $350, fuel $5700 (170 hours), annual $650 inspection & logbook review only (my free labor), unsched maint 0), .  Never AOG and no unscheduled maintenance (2700 smoh) in at least 10 years to the amazement of all those around me, especially my IA. This year he found zero sqwaks on the annual--nothing, not even a broken zip tie in 25k miles!.  Al Mooney did a remarkable job.  I recently spoke on the phone to a famous and esteemed former mooneyspace M driver who upgraded to an aerostar and he indicated that the aerostar has been less maintenance than his Bravo...... I'm passing on the m and am in escrow on a twin mooney, but will be keeping my e since its like flying for free and at $25k mkt value its capex is approaching zero.

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