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What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:19 pm
by av8rps
Hey Gang,

I was thinking of selling my completed and flying Highlander, but am having second thoughts on that so I took it off the market.

So now I'm kicking around selling my Highlander "project". (As much as having 2 Highlanders would be cool, that's a bit overkill, even for me :wink: )

But before I list it I thought I'd ask some opinions of what realistically I should expect to get for it? I was offered the price of a new kit already for it, but have too much money in it to do that. This Highlander was built with a lot of hired help of a previous Highlander builder (that builds super nice planes), so the original builder had approximately 50k in it to get it to the state it is in now. I know that probably sounds pricey to many, but typically a build assist is usually way more money than what he paid. I bought it for less than the 50k he had in it, but not sure where to even start with this, so I'm asking you guys what you think, or any suggestions you have about how to pitch the sale?

I think it could be a really good deal for the right person. From my perspective, it is a perfect way to purchase a Highlander, as it is built and covered in polyfiber, painted in silver. Think of it as the ultimate quick build kit. The hard work is done. So you get to do all the fun stuff like putting in an engine, building a panel, fitting an interior, and painting it. And the best part, you can finish this Highlander JUST LIKE YOU WANT IT. Your color scheme, and your panel and interior. That's what attracted me to purchase it in the 1st place (and I already had a Highlander).

It has the cowl and motor mount for the 912, but no prop, instruments, or interior. I hate it when people say "80% finished", but knowing the effort involved in building a Highlander, buying a Highlander in this state will save the average person YEARS of their time.

So let me know your thoughts guys. One of my Highlanders is going to go.

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:20 am
by av8rps
Ok, since no one wants to say anything, the number I'm thinking of putting it up on Barnstormers for 40k. We'll see where that goes.

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:43 pm
by cray13071
Quick question. Hypothetically, if I were to purchase the unfinished kit, will I still meet the 51% rule as being the builder and be eligible for the repairman's certificate for the completed aircraft?

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:35 pm
by danerazz
The 51% rule for meeting airworthiness requirements never changes, as long as something shows it did at some point. The highlander kits have been evaluated by the FAA and come with a letter of compliance so as long as you get that there is no problem, though any documentation showing "amateur" construction is a good idea. As far as the repairman cert, one person can get a repairman certificate per specific airframe, they do not necessarily have to build 51% of the plane. As long as you are one of the builders, and no one else applied for a certificate, you can.

Remember, no "one person" has to build an E-AB airplane, and there is no percentage requirement for the repairman certificate. The only requirements are an amateur or group of amateurs (not kit manufacturer) has to build/assemble at least 51% to in order to get an airworthiness certificate, and anybody who worked on it can get a repairman certificate.

Lastly, the "builder" that will forever show up on the paperwork is just the guy who filed the papers with the FAA.

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:28 pm
by AV8R Paul
Any photos, that would help someone make a decision. I have been cogitating building either a Highlander or SuperSTOL.

Relative to the 51% rule for meeting airworthiness, have you applied for the letter of compliance, and can it still be applied for?

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:30 am
by av8rps
I have not applied for anything other than for an N number. I would see no reason whatsoever that anyone would have any issues getting an airworthiness certificate or a repairmans certificate. That's the beauty of buying one this way, you just have to do the finishing work but get all the benefits of having it in your name so you can do your own annuals, etc.

Oh, for any of you interested, this kit does not include landing gear. Original builder planned to have it on amphib floats only, so a gear was never ordered. I forgot to say that earlier.

I will try to get some pictures in the next day or two.

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:12 pm
by av8rps
So I found a few pics. They aren't the best, but they show the general state of completion.

Fwiw - Aircraft was all assembled at one point, and then disassembled to be moved.

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:53 pm
by moving2time
Interesting, as you explain it, you are marking up the project because it has labor that was purchased from a skilled builder. You may have an issue with the 51% rule when you try to justify the work that was paid for from this skilled builder. How is the work that this skilled builder completed on the project documented? It is true that the work can all be applied to the completed aircraft but you can only include the work that was done by armatures and not paid for through a builders assist. The rule for many kits has been calculated to include some builders assist such as quick build wings but a quick build kit is right at the limits of paid assistance. Joe B

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:34 pm
by av8rps
There are literally thousands of aircraft built with the assistance of experts. 2-weeks-to-build programs typically offered by manufacturers (which has a cost one way or another) is just one of many examples. In addition, many building airplanes have work hired out (radios, wiring, interiors, painting, instrument panels, etc, etc.) to help complete the aircraft. This project is far from unusual in that regard.

In reference to how I established my price, I'm basing my price on what I had to pay to purchase it. The fact that skilled labor was applied to get this kit to this point convinced me to pay more for it than the price of just a raw kit. And it isn't like there are nice Highlander projects laying around all over the place. I know there are times homebuilders literally give their incomplete projects away for the cost of the kit or less. But that is typically when you have a distressed seller, or multiple projects like it to pick from, or both. In this case it is neither of those, so my price is based on what I feel the value is. And in reality, at 40k I think it's a steal.

But hey, for those that feel otherwise, or are concerned about getting tangled up in paperwork and rules, it's best then to just order a raw kit from the factory and spend the next few years of your life hoping to be able to produce an example of a Highlander as nice as this one.

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:19 am
by av8rps
To support what I was trying to explain, here is a 2013 price quote for a "Quick Build" Highlander. Notice the base price for the quick build option was $26.500, and that was nearly 3 years ago.

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:10 am
by Av8r3400
Fine. I'll haul away that pile of scrap for $347.00. I need something to work on.

I'll bring my trailer over tomorrow.

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:32 am
by cray13071
danerazz wrote:The 51% rule for meeting airworthiness requirements never changes, as long as something shows it did at some point. The highlander kits have been evaluated by the FAA and come with a letter of compliance so as long as you get that there is no problem, though any documentation showing "amateur" construction is a good idea. As far as the repairman cert, one person can get a repairman certificate per specific airframe, they do not necessarily have to build 51% of the plane. As long as you are one of the builders, and no one else applied for a certificate, you can.

Remember, no "one person" has to build an E-AB airplane, and there is no percentage requirement for the repairman certificate. The only requirements are an amateur or group of amateurs (not kit manufacturer) has to build/assemble at least 51% to in order to get an airworthiness certificate, and anybody who worked on it can get a repairman certificate.

Lastly, the "builder" that will forever show up on the paperwork is just the guy who filed the papers with the FAA.


Thanks for the info. I wasn't completely clear on the repairman certificate etc..

I think your price is reasonable considering this could be described as a quicker quick build kit :)

Wish I had the funds, but it'll have to wait for now.

Re: What's an unfinished Highlander worth?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:08 pm
by av8rps
Av8r3400 wrote:Fine. I'll haul away that pile of scrap for $347.00. I need something to work on.

I'll bring my trailer over tomorrow.


You're a funny guy Larry :lol: