Buying / Sales of ex-military aircraft

Military aircraft are available in a wide range of prices, from a piston engined Yak 3M for $500k to a jet turbine powered MiG-29 for $10M to a B-2 bomber for only $2B --- to the right customer that is. If you have the military budget of a first world nation to spend, the military aircraft manufacturers of the world will gladly send salespeople to your door. For the rest of us, there is a thriving market in used military aircraft(parts).

You will be surprised about what you can actually buy. Planes for sale not only include commercial aircraft, but also ex-military piston powered aircraft like the North American P-51 Mustang. Even jet powered military aircraft like the Aero L-39C Albatros Trainer / light attack, and even MiG-21 Fishbeds are for sale out there.

Checklist before buying a high performance aircraft

  • Restoration
  • Maintenance
  • Modifications
  • Parts (engines)
  • Flying training

Restoration

Depending on the state of the aircraft you want to purchase it's possible it will need some kind of restoration work done. There are many companies offering restoration, make sure they are certified for restoring your type of plane.

Maintenance

After the plane is restored to operational state it will need regular interval maintenance. Again there are many companies out there providing these services. Like restoring, make sure they are certified to perform maintenance on your type of plane.

Modifications

After you purchased a plane it's likely want some modifications to the plane like auxiliary fuel system (for better range) and upgraded avionics. This will cost you extra money on top of the purchase price.

Parts

Sooner or later parts of the plane will (have a chance of) malfunction and need to be replaced. For this reason alone it's advisable to consider 'popular' planes only, as parts (and knowledge how to install/replace them) are widely available.

Flying training

The day will come you want to fly in your own plane. The amount of experience / training you need before flying your high performance plane greatly depends on your backgrounds and experience levels. There are at least two basic types of trainees:
A. Former "Warbird" owners/operators; previous military pilots; and pilots with previous experience with aerobatics and/or high-performance aircraft.
B. Pilots whose experience level, personal preference, and/or our assessment dictates that a lower initial level of training would be appropriate.

Both tracks should cover the basics of flying the aircraft safely: ground operations; manoeuvring flight; flight characteristics exercises; basic G-awareness exercises; unusual attitude recoveries; steep turns, stalls, slow flight, traffic patterns; simulated flame-out landings; rejected takeoffs and landings; and emergency/abnormal procedures.


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1996-2007 Fighter Planes and Military Aircraft