To Buy Or Not To Buy

General discussion of the plane, flying, or anything else.
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CirrusDriver
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To Buy Or Not To Buy

Post by CirrusDriver »

That is the question.

XL2 Pilots and Owners,

I recently sold my Cirrus SR22 and very much want to buy an XL2. I completed my first flight (transition training) in an XL2 today and LOVED the plane. What an absolute hoot to fly!!!

However, with Liberty out of business, and Discovery MIA, I am SERIOUSLY concerned about the supportability and long-term viability of the XL2 fleet. I have been told by several people now that Continental has zero interest in supporting the engine/FADEC. Further, given the Where's Waldo situation with Discovery, how do we source the various other parts and components that make up these aircraft?

Is everyone else as concerned about this as I am, or are the majority of you confident Discovery will pop back up and the XL2 will live to see another day?

Please advise, I'm ready to pull the trigger on a purchase but, in all good conscience, I can't move forward if I can't keep the plane in the air where it belongs.

Thanks,
Jim
aka CirrusDriver

Glideslope
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Re: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Post by Glideslope »

Jim,

Yes it is true Discovery is in transition and no one is sure what will happen. However, the information about Continental and FADEC is just not true. I recently overhauled my engine and was ultimately able to get what I needed. As with aviation, nothing about Continental is easy so there are pains in trying to get some things...but that has more to do with how Continental is operated than their desire to throw our IOF-240 under the bus.

There was a recent post by one of the senior members here (recently sold his XL2) who had direct conversations with them and they are actually expanding their FADEC coverage due to other projects, so we should maintain the ability to get those parts. the VM1000 and engine management stuff is also covered as JPI took them over and I know for sure they will still do everything we need on those. I am friendly with one of the managers there as their office is right outside our airport gate. Nice guys and reasonable prices.

I think the most concerning part for us (XL2 owners) are the cosmetic and structural aspects. If someone busts up a wing, needs ailerons or damages the fuselage, that becomes a more complicated problem at this moment. Rumor is that they will get things back on track and won't leave us out in the cold, but it's hard to say. There are also others who know that spare parts do exist, it's just getting them right now is difficult. We will have to wait and see how Discovery comes out on the other side. I believe the theory is that Discovery will have some answers for us by year end.

Can't guarantee it's not a bit of a gamble, but in my opinion I think we will continue to find a way to keep our aircraft flying for years to come. Just my 2 cents..

CirrusDriver
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Re: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Post by CirrusDriver »

Thanks GlideSlope. I’ve read most of the posts in both this and the mechanics forum, and have followed GimpyPilot’s updates. In fact, the reason for my post was to follow up on GimpyPilot’s status re:Discovery to see if anyone had any recent info. I really enjoyed my two hour XL2 flight yesterday and am ready to buy, but you point out my reason for holding back...what if Discovery never recovers.

Glideslope
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Re: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Post by Glideslope »

Yep, I get it. I wouldn't blame you for hanging back and waiting to see what happens. There were issues and rumors a couple years ago when I bought mine, but ultimately I took the risk. I have no regrets in getting my XL2. I have put a lot of money into it with an overhaul, interior and avionics upgrades and general maintenance, but it's all relative. Even with all my upgrades and work done, I am still considerably under where I could even buy a high-time analog DA-20. I have flown the DA-20 and there is no comparison in my opinion. XL2 wins in about every category except maybe glide ratio..hah.

Best of luck in your search.

-Jason

GimpyPilot
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Re: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Post by GimpyPilot »

Hi,

I have noticed that most of the XL-2s that had been on the market for any time at all have suddenly been snapped up recently. I never advertised mine outside of these forums, and mine set out for a new home a couple of week ago. I see that N591XL has appeared on the market, but has been listed as a Discovery aircraft rather than a Liberty. (https://www.barnstormers.com/category-1 ... overy.html) The owner is active here, and is one of the "old guard". I understand this to be a well equipped airplane. I know the owner to be a no-corners-cut individual, and I expect that his airplane is among the best in the fleet.

I'm happy to see that the fleet is being refreshed with new and enthusiastic owners who will remain motivated to ensure the continued airworthiness of their aircraft. As others have pointed out, these aircraft are very easy to maintain. Short of events which result in serious compromise to the airframes, I see no reason that these XL-2s cannot remain safe and airworthy for years to come because virtually everything else is sourced from vendors. The only notable exceptions made by Liberty/Discovery are the 500 hour tail lug and nose lock pins, but those can be very easily machined, and it is perfectly acceptable to do so under Part 91 regulations as long as they are made to the proper specification, and they are not offered for sale. I had three of each in my spares collection and they went with the airplane.

Continental can and will produce any of the FADEC components, though there may be wait times, and expense. If the current fleet ownership bands together and pools spares, wait times can be mitigated. In my seven years of ownership, i never had a FADEC issue, though I did have a couple of fuel injector problems which were easily solved. (I know of several spares, and a vendor who will service faulty injectors. Don't dispose of old ones. They can usually be repaired fairly inexpensively.)

My understanding as of a couple of weeks ago is that there is a substantial cache of new-old-stock airframe components, (enough to build several airplanes), in storage in Florida, but they are inaccessible at the moment.Those parts have substantial value, and they aren't going to simply disappear.

</two-cents>

-Michael
Last edited by GimpyPilot on Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

frfly172
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Re: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Post by frfly172 »

If your still interested I have a listing posted on Barnstormers and wing swap.

GimpyPilot
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Re: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Post by GimpyPilot »

CirrusDriver wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:12 am

I recently sold my Cirrus SR22 and very much want to buy an XL2. I completed my first flight (transition training) in an XL2 today and LOVED the plane. What an absolute hoot to fly!!!
Jim,

The fellow who bought my very well equipped XL-2 a few weeks ago is also a former Cirrus owner. He bought my substantial spares collection with the airplane. That said, he loves the flight characteristics of the XL-2. (He had never flown one, or even seen one in person by the time he arrived to pick up N605XL.) I have never flown any Cirrus from the left seat, and have only limited right seat time, so I can't compare the two directly, but FlyGuyBry on these forums may be able to give you some notes.

Best,
-Michael

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Re: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Post by N645XL »

I flew s/n0115 from Melbourne FL to Dayton OH Labor Day Monday 11 years ago. Though I used factory support extensively when it was under warranty, once I started using local maintenance resources my dependence on the factory decreased considerably. That said, like GimpyPilot, I bought my spares to carry 0115 through 2000 hours. Barring an accident where the insurance company would likely decide the aircraft’s fate, I don’t lose sleep worrying about support.

WRT the XL2 certificate, I was told there are plenty of investors that have inquired about buying the manufacturing rights. Apparently the current owners aren’t ready to throw in the towel in hopes the international situation will improve and they can resume production of the XL2 and start production of their twin engine utility aircraft. I say the preceding based on 11 years of following the product and piecing together multiple conversations with folks I trust to have fairly reliable information. I can’t swear the XL2’s future is all peaches and cream but I’m not planning to unload my plane anytime soon.

frfly172
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Re: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Post by frfly172 »

I have taken my airplane off the market. After a careful evaluation of my needs ,the airplane still meets my mission.

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