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Owning former fighter jets

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by prohydro, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. prohydro

    prohydro Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2001
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    Redmond, WA
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    Christian
    What are the rules for buying/owning a former military jet? I think the rule is that you cannot own a US aircraft that was once armed (after a certain year). So you can buy an T-38 easily, but not an F-5E. However, I know there are some exceptions to that. I've seen some F-5's for sale, and I think there is a private F-4 flying also.

    It seems that it gets fuzzier with foreign jets. Can you own pretty much anything foreign that flies? I know there are guys with older Migs (I think maybe even one on this board?), but if you found a deal on a newer gen Mig, could you buy it? And, since the US has a habit of selling it's fighters to countries that sometimes cannot afford to keep them around, or decide to upgrade, can you buy one of those jets (just as an example, Iran bought F-14's from America).
     
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  3. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
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    Sep 25, 2002
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    I always wanted a Mig 21. They are a bear to maintain though. Intial cost is not as high as maintaince cost.

    From what I hear, special checks and premission is required to own certain military hardware, and not just anyone can get it.
     
  4. JeffB

    JeffB Formula 3

    Jan 16, 2004
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    Jeff B
    I once heard that Larry Ellison tried to buy a Russian Mig, but US Customs wouldn't let it in the country. Don't know if that's a true story or not, but it sounded believable.
     
  5. KKSBA

    KKSBA F1 World Champ
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    My understanding is a 30 year rule applies. F4's are out there to be bought. Foreign jets like Dauphin are easily bought for around a half million, but they're single engine jet trainers.

    The 30 year rule, unless it is already been changed, should be allowing for A models of the F-14, F-15, F-16... Just because it is "technically" allowed doesn't mean any are actually for sale.
     
  6. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

    Feb 26, 2002
    2,108
    Georgia
    Bob Lutz has one. I've seen it at the Ann Arbor Airport.
     
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  8. ralfabco

    ralfabco Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 1, 2002
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    Israel Beiteinu
    Don't be fooled by the cheap price of admission here. Oh sure that Mig-21
    might seem cheap for you to jump in and light the afterburner. The parts
    and maintainance are out of this world. In time you will have to get some parts fabricated.


    I believe the FAA requries 1000 hours in jets to be rated ? I am not sure.

    The insurance company has its own requirments.

    You already know about how much gas they burn.

    The FAA paperwork requirements for certification are enormous.

    Just show up with 1000 hours of jet time, and buckets of money.

    Of course you could base your jet in The Bahamas or Mexico.






    Good Luck


    I think they are the ultimate toy !
     
  9. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    its probably MUCH more difficult now. Ive heard that you can only fly it to & from air shows & to go Mach 1 + you need to be in special corridors out over the Ocean.

    Theres a beautiful black Mig 21 at an airport in CT that I have seen.

    I heard a story about a guy flying his Mig at Mach 1+ in a corridor between NY & Boston. So he's buzzing along, decides to go inverted & sees 2 F16s tailing him, Yikes
     
  10. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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  11. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    There are reasonably priced jets. The L-39 is a czech made plane, its relatively cheap to buy and maintenance isnt as bad as others. Ive seen 2 of them fly at airshows. they arent supersonic, but whats the point of going supersonic other than to burn a ton of jet-a. Since there are t-38's for sale, maybe there are t-37's for sale too. T-38's need an air compressor hooked up to be started, which might be a pain in the ass if you dont have a ground crew...
     
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  13. 4re308

    4re308 F1 Rookie

    Jun 13, 2001
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    Hey William, cool story about the Mig. I bet he almost freaked out when he saw the f16s tailing him!! WHOA! He almost had a really bad day with his new toy.
     
  14. ralfabco

    ralfabco Two Time F1 World Champ
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    If you cannot afford a ground crew, you cannot afford the Jet. LOL

    Ground crew should cost at least $30.00 an hour. Of course you
    could hire "part-time" an airman from the Air Guard for less. He will
    hook up the APU for you.
     
  15. KKSBA

    KKSBA F1 World Champ
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    One not so funny problem with the Dauphin (L-39) is that it is a single engine jet trainer that has hydraulic flight controls. So, if you lose your engine (which isn't unheard of) your flight controls are toast so you can forget about dead-sticking into anything. Your only option is to eject.

    Now, assuming you actually do eject, your plane is going to land somewhere, and if it is on someone's head you better have one hell of an insurance policy.

    PS - The FAA has a rule that you can not fly these things over congested areas. But alot of rural areas (that the FAA doesn't consider congested) have tons of homes and commericals buildings.
     
  16. matkat

    matkat Formula 3

    Mar 18, 2003
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    Dave McGuire
    Gentlemen if any of you are serious about this then please contact me my company handles all the aspects of such a purchase,certification and can provide maintenance,and maintain technical records for these and any type of aircraft either going onto the American "N" register or any other aviation authority worldwide.
    Best regards
    Dave McGuire
     
  17. Fastviper

    Fastviper F1 Rookie

    Nov 20, 2003
    4,410
    Texas
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    Dash
    i dont know about an old plane but I have been thinking of maybe building one of these. it only costs 500k and I think it is all I need.

    http://viperjet.com/

    john
     
  18. LA Swede

    LA Swede Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2003
    369
    SoCal
    A friend of mine who received his pilot training at the same time I did almost 10 years ago did a piece for CNN about privately owned jet fighters in So-Cal. I remember the point of the story was that pretty much anyone could get them if you had the money, very little training required etc. There were some MiG's, maybe a Sukhoi and some other jets stationed at VNY. If I recall correctly, which I may not, there is generally a 250 knot speed limit in most airspace below FL 18,000, Class A. You can likely get clearance to go a little faster if you are nice. I also remember seeing a couple of F-14's parked at the Mojave graveyard many years ago, likely available for purchase.
     
  19. KKSBA

    KKSBA F1 World Champ
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    The 250 kts limit is below 10,000 feet. Above that you can go anywhere up to Mach 1.00. I don't know the rules for Mach 1+ but I'm sure you probably have to be somewhere where they can't watch you on radar or in International airspace.
     
  20. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    I have a customer who recently purchased an L-39 (fully refurbished.....glass cockpit.....etc).

    He had no prior pilots license or special clearances that I am aware of nor that he was aware of. He is in the process of getting an FAA license and paying a multi-jet certified ex-Marine fighter pilot to be his instructor pilot on the thing. Apparently the marketing of the L-39 is starting to become somewhat sophisticated in the US......with fractional shares as well turn key instruction as part of the package. The entire plane cost him $450K USD.

    I think money is the big issue here.........when it's really all said and done. I have seen a few F-86 Sabre Jet's in private hands......an F-104........F-4.........Mig 21's...MiG 17's and 15's as well.
     
  21. JonBrent

    JonBrent Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2003
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    JB
    Lol, anyone else notice the similarities to the Ferrari stereotype? Cheap price of admission - expensive to maintain, if you can't afford the maintenance - you cannot afford the car...

    There are L-39s flying in their own class at Reno now - pretty cool racing, although the first year (when they demo'd it) they had Migs and F-86s out there too. The variety was great, and watching the Mig scream around on afterburner was neat - I wonder if there was enough fuel to do that the whole race without flaming out...

    Cheers,
    Jon
     
  22. KKSBA

    KKSBA F1 World Champ
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    You don't know how right you are!

    It has definitely occured to me that Ferrari's are like aircraft.

    All aircraft must undergo an annual maintenance procedure once a year (Big jets have more rigorous procedures) where everything is checked over. Parts are replaced based on time in service, the idea here is to replace things BEFORE they break for obvious reasons.

    Reminds me alot about belts etc... on Ferrari's.

    You can buy 727's for a million dollars but they'll eat you alive in maintenance and 3 pilots salaries, engine noise upgrades, etc $6K-8K per flying hour.. Or, you could buy a bizjet for 50 million and pay around $2K-3K per hour.
     
  23. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Looks like the old Bede 5 jet. I think Bede got himself killed in 1 of these when it disintegrated at speed, Suxx. I think Tom Cruise was going to buy 1.

    I have a friend who was in the Navy who says an Eastern Euro trainer is a coffin in the sky waiting to happen :(

    Remind me of crocth rockets, Fun but dangerous. I'll stick to low level flight in my 512TR since thats what I'm best at :)
     
  24. JonBrent

    JonBrent Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2003
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    JB
    Actually, I believe Bede sold the design and it was the next owner (or his test pilot) who was killed. The pivot location on the stabilators wasn't correct, and as the envelope was being opened up in flight test it fluttered and was all over pretty much instantly. No doubt this problem has been fixed.

    The EAA magazines covered it pretty well.

    HTH,
    Jon
     
  25. RocketBoy

    RocketBoy Formula 3

    Feb 13, 2004
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    Professor Hajji
    This was on the History Channel not too long ago. Since the governments changed the Nixon and Shah arms plan quickly fell to the shredder. Amazingly Grumman techs were still getting the aircraft equipped during this chaotic time. They purposely sabotaged each and every aircraft to make them barely air worthy. This is also noted in a few Janes publications I can't remember off hand. Here is a decent site about it...

    http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/q0077.shtml

    Not too long ago, ( Im guessing last year, )one of the few remaining Tomcats Iran had crashed taking both crew. This prompting arms publications to site that Iran's F-14 fleet may not have one operational plane.

    RocketBoy
     
  26. RussianM3_dude

    RussianM3_dude F1 Rookie
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    Mar 15, 2004
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    A good option would be a mig15/17. There are TONS of spares around and these planes were conceived in a way that even a retarded recruit with Tourettes syndrome a lazy eye and a wooden mallet can fix one.

    If I am not mistaken you have to have your full private license (instrument, multi engine, jet etc) and around 1500 flying hours. Green (rebuild, western avionics, GPS) examples start at 150K USD. Plus you may want to install the newest Russian ejection seat they are on sale and cost around 30K but well worth it, they are simply the best in the world right now (those who watch airshows will understand.)
     
  27. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
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    Sep 25, 2002
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    Do you know how much a green 21 or 23 go for? I really love Mig 23s.
     
  28. GoFerrari28

    GoFerrari28 Formula 3

    Jun 16, 2004
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    Jeff Spicoli
    Shortly before the Ayatollah came to power, the Grumman tech reps desrtoyed the avionics in most of the 79 F-14s, so there were very few airworthy aircraft when they left Iran. In 1992, estimates were that they had less than 20 that were airworthy, since several had been lost during the Iran/Iraq war, from operational mishaps and from cannibalization for parts, but the Iranians had embarked on a refurbishment programme to fabricate their own spare parts. The 80th F-14 was never delivered and was empressed into naval service and subsequently updated as an A+.

    IIRC, the entire reason for the shootdown of the Iranian airliner over the Gulf in '93 was that they mistakenly believed the airliner was an Iranian F-14 which, at that time, was believed to be capable of firing anti-ship missiles, and the Vincennes radar operator was misreading the IFF code from one of our F-14's, so they fired on the airliner after repeated radio calls to the plane for it to change its course.
     

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