The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) says it wants to open new doors to aviation by exploring the concept that aircraft ownership can be made more accessible and affordable through the development of “Reimagined Aircraft.”
AOPA officials said they believe that older airplanes that have been updated from tip to tail may be one way to bring down the cost of flying. When owned and operated in a community – like a flying club, partnership or flight school — Reimagined Aircraft have the potential to allow many more people to fly and become engaged in general aviation in ways that are not possible through singular aircraft ownership, officials noted.
Familiar to tens of thousands of current and aspiring pilots, the Cessna 150 and 152 were AOPA’s choice to test this concept because they are dependable, simple to maintain, inexpensive to operate, widely available, and, above all, fun to fly, AOPA officials said.
AOPA has partnered with Aviat Aircraft to create these Reimagined Aircraft, and together will spend the remainder of the year testing the concept that an older Cessna 150 or Cessna 152 can be beautifully refurbished, placed into a flying club, partnership or flight schoo, and owned and operated for around $65 per hour, including fuel.
“Aviators know how much fun it is to fly, and we want more people to have that experience,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “In testing this concept, we hope to show that’s it’s possible to have access to fun, easy-to-fly airplanes with updated technology and components at a price many more people can afford. Finding a way to make flying, and even co-owning, an airplane more accessible is a perfect fit with our other efforts.”
AOPA and Aviat will test this concept with around a dozen Cessna 150s and 152s. After they have been carefully refurbished, overhauled, and given new interiors and paint, these aircraft will be available at a base price of $89,900 and $99,900 respectively.
“Factors that may affect the viability of this concept include the price and availability of hulls, and the demand for Reimagined Aircraft, that’s why it’s important that we thoroughly test the idea over the remainder of this year,” Baker said.
AOPA has been working with banks and insurance underwriters to confirm that the Reimagined Aircraft can be financed and insured.
The first “152Reimagined” is on display in AOPA’s exhibit at AirVenture.
“It’s encouraging that other groups are looking for ways to make flying and owning an airplane both fun and practical,” said Baker. “Reimagined Aircraft are one of the ways that AOPA can lead a wide range of aviators to their aviation fix.”
For more information on how to get a 150Reimagined or 152Reimagined for a flying club, flight school or ownership group, contact Aviat at 307-885-3151. AOPA will not sell or profit from the refurbishment of Reimagined Aircraft, but will ensure that these aircraft can be acquired with competitive financing and insurance options through the AOPA Aviation Finance program and AOPA Insurance Services, officials said.