Comparative Analysis: Choosing The Kit Aircraft That's Right for You

Worksheet 2: Aircraft Design

Here we'll examine the actual design of the aircraft. Obviously, this is important because an aircraft is only as good as its underlying design.

If you have not flown or physically seen the aircraft, it's first highly recommended that you do so first. For the purposes of this worksheet, assume you're familiar with each aircraft (or if you really don't know the answer, contact the kit manufacturer or designer for the information).

Click here for instructions and example.

Kit Aircraft Comparative Analysis
Worksheet 2: Aircraft Design
Kit A: Kit B:
Weight AIRCRAFT DESIGN Rating Score Rating Score
Design History and Reputation 3
2
1
3
2
1
Quality of Manuals
Can you make sense of the instructions?
Are they written for your skill level?
Are they complete?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Availability of Complete Blueprints (as opposed to just instructions) 3
2
1
3
2
1
Sport Pilot / LSA
Does the design meet the new Sport Pilot rule?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Design Approvals / Awards 3
2
1
3
2
1
Aircraft Aesthetics
Does it look nice?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Construction Type (metal, composite, etc.)
Is it the preferred type?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Construction Durability (UV light, fatigue, etc.)
Will the aircraft last?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Proven Materials and Construction Type
Does it work?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Use and Exposure to Toxins in Construction 3
2
1
3
2
1
Ability to Build Aircraft from Plans-Only 3
2
1
3
2
1
Suitable for Building at Home or in Garage 3
2
1
3
2
1
Landing Gear
Is it the configuration I want?
Will it survive hard landings?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Fuel System
Are extended range tanks available?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Engine Options / Choices
Can I use the engine I prefer?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Panel Size
Can I install the avionics I want?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Ease of Inspection / Maintenance
Will I be able to easily maintain it?
3
2
1
3
2
1
Simplicity of Systems (building, installation, maintenance) 3
2
1
3
2
1
Other 3
2
1
3
2
1
Worksheet 2: Aircraft Design
TOTAL SCORE
TOTAL
KIT A:
TOTAL
KIT B:

Now that we've evaluated and compared the designs, let's move on to Worksheet 3: Company / Designer

CHOOSING YOUR KIT HOME Worksheet 1
FLYING
Worksheet 3
COMPANY
Worksheet 4
THE KIT
Worksheet 5
COSTS
Zenith Aircraft HOME ZODIAC CH 601 STOL CH 701

Zenith Aircraft Company (1994 - 2003)