Affordable Aircraft: Find Your New Dream Plane in 2024 | Aviation

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The truth is you have so many choices when shopping for aircraft that this column offers perhaps its most useful function: helping you sift through the many aircraft you could fly. If you find a number of aircraft you like, how can you narrow your choices to find the one that best fits your needs?

Find Your Dream Plane

Maybe you haven’t explored these tools, but you might find them fun and worthwhile.

  • PlaneFinder 2.0 — Answer a few this-or-that questions and the system reduces a long list to matching aircraft.
  • SLSA List — Every light sport aircraft that has won FAA acceptance, with links to more info.
  • Part 103 List — For those who want fun flying machines that won’t exceed their budget.
  • Advanced Search — Search through brands, models, or providers on an extensive database.
  • LSA Market Info — Search the most comprehensive record of all LSA and SP kits in the U.S.; sort many ways.

All these resources are free to use (although your email is requested to use PlaneFinder 2.0). I hope you’ll go explore the Affordable Aviation (byDanJohnson) website thoroughly.

Still, nothing beats an airshow, where you can actually examine, touch, and sit in an airplane that catches your fancy. For a half century, airshows have dictated my annual calendar. These events bring together the best of aviation and form a target-rich environment for anyone shopping for, or selling, an airplane.

Airshows 2024

This list is not exhaustive. These are the events I’ve attended for many years.

Sun ‘n Fun / April 9-14 — Happy Birthday! Sun ‘n Fun will celebrate 50 years this year. Starting out as an EAA regional fly-in, Sun ‘n Fun has grown to the second largest airshow in the U.S., and the one that kicks off the recreational flying season year after year. While Sun ‘n Fun has branched out into education, a museum, and many other activities (not unlike EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh), it is the spring airshow at the perfect time of year that draws attendees by…

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