We all dream of flying our own planes across the country. The ability to get in and cross landscapes, even countries, is a level of freedom only enjoyed by the rich and famous. Or is it? It’s not impossible to own our own mini plane.
We’ve outlined some of the best and most affordable planes that would be a great addition to any back yard. For only a few thousand dollars, we can all be like John Travolta. Let’s dive in…
This remarkable Aeronca 11AC was built in 1946. It was only in its second year of production, but still works and flies today. They were built until 1950 and are still regarded as a smooth flying airplane that has good mechanisms.
The 11AC is a single prop engine two-seater light aircraft plane that has a conventional two-wheel landing set up. It’s an upgrade from the 7AC Champion model, originally designed for flight training purposes. And it can be all yours for around $17,000.
This vintage aircraft comes from Britain. It was a four-seater, twin-engine, touring small airplane created by the Miles Aircraft Company. Each Gemini was produced at the company’s Aerodrome. It was named by the Miles Aircraft Company as the “safest light airplane in the world” at the time.
The only difference between the original Gemini and later models were the modified engines chosen for following years. Pilots can buy one for $40,000 and fly home (or away from it!).
Havilland Airco DH-9
This Havilland Airco DH-9 is a fairly little airplane first produced in 1920 by Havilland. It is a single engine biplane and actually also a bomber. Today, most of the Aircos belong to collectors and plane enthusiasts familiar with the history of these aircraft.
If you want to buy one yourself, they will set you back a pretty penny. This would be a fun one to have around for the grandkids. If you can’t buy one, feel free to check out an air show: they are often featured because of their originality.
1934 Ryan ST-A N14986 SN 118
Here’s one for the plane lovers! This excellently restored classic small airplane is quite a rare sight. Its full name is the 1934 Ryan ST-A N14986 S/N 118. It was renovated by a guy called Troy Simpson from Fort Worth, Texas. Later, he would end up sending it to the UK – but how?
A man saw it and had a Rolls-Royce that he swapped so he could acquire the plane from Simpson. That’s a pretty even swap. This model will cost you a pretty penny for sure, but it’s great to look at from a distance with admiration.
Cessna has a pretty impressive history. They first joined the aircraft business in 1910, and have been making high-class aircraft ever since. The 1721 model is seen in this picture. Featuring the famous an over-the-cab-wing, this plane is an absolute classic.
It can easily hold two people and is thought to be one of the more stable planes on the market. Few flaws and failures are reported since all of the controls and instruments are very basic. Shoppers can buy one for $35,000.
This is pretty cool, with its double/single wing pattern over the back. It made its first appearance in 2003 and was praised as revolutionary due to the combined cockpit design chosen to outfit the plane.
The plane underwent an upgrade with its Flight Max Brook Integra system that was used to substitute the previous one. The new 10.4-inch Sunburst design displays made things much easier to read for pilot and co-pilot. Would you fly it?
1943 Stinson Gullwing
The next year, Gullwing introduced us to this 1943 Stinson. Like other planes, you can see the smooth lines and curves of the Art Deco design here. This point will easily get you from A to B due to its amazing engine and comfortable seats.
This Gullwing can go for around $170,000, which isn’t bad for this brand of plane. In fact, unlike other planes, the older Gullwings are cheaper than the new ones, so it’s worth the investment!
The Stearman 75 plane has paved its way into aviation history as a reliable classic engine. This single prop biplane has delicate steering and traditional landing gear, with thick tires for landing anywhere you need to.
The Stearman 75 was initially used to train the military. Between the 1930s and 1940s, around 10,000 of them were built and distributed. Today, a Stearman 75 will only cost you $11,000 – not a bad price for your own plane!
Boeing Model 40C
In the 1920s, a change was happening across the United States. We started to see the introduction of airmail. It made transporting the mail more effective and let more mail be delivered. Companies decided that the Boeing Model 40C was the perfect plane to help out.
It started servicing airmail in the 1920s and went on through to the 1930s. You can buy a used one for around $25,000 if you know the right places. That cost is worth it just for the collectors’ value itself.
This is another retro Stearman mini airplane. The trick here is that this plane has clearly been redesigned and customized to the owners liking. We must say, we quite like the orange and black design that was chosen to surround the engine. In fact, the Germans are known for their famous World War II open-engine design.
Sadly, if you want to own this one you’re fresh out of luck. The owner has no plans to part with it anytime soon. However, you can own a similar model for around $40,000.
Piper Cherokee 140
The Cherokee first started its production run in January 1960 and continues to be made today. It highlights an unpressurized single cabin, fit for four passengers. Overall, the plane is driven by a single prop engine.
It was initially designed for flight training and recreational use, but today it still continues to serve the very same purpose. However, there are many more flight trainers and recreational users! It can be all yours for just $25,000 – cheaper than most cars.
1950 Avro Anson
This plane is a little more expensive than the others on this list. For $200,000, this 1950 Avro Anson plane can be all yours. This twin-engine trainer was developed in 1934 by Roy Chadwick. He was also in charge of designing the amazing Lancaster.
This is a bit more intense than your average plane. The Avro Anson is designed to hold machine guns and bombs for wartime. After the war, England auctioned some of these for more than $6 million.
Originally, it was designed to bridge the single-engine trainer planes and twin-engine combat jets. An archetype was developed in 1941 and entered full production started the following year, in 1942. For its entire lifespan, the Curtiss AT-9 proved to be very difficult to take off and land – even for experienced pilots.
Eventually, production would finish the following year Today, you can find one for about $25,000 or so. This is mainly because they are more challenging to fly than standard sport aircraft.
Cessna 150 G
This little aircraft is an affordable option for plane enthusiasts and pilots. This 1967 Cessna stans out with its orange and white color scheme designed by the owner. It is one of the best short-field aircraft in its class, which you won’t regret owning.
The best part of buying vintage planes is how each one was originally designed by its first owner. This makes them each unique and individual to one another. Even better: this can be yours for $40,000.
WACO RPT Monoplane
Usually, WACO planes are designed to be big and grand. Well, things are a little different for the RPT Monoplane. It was originally created to be a competition aircraft for USAF aerobatic training.
When it came to thrills and tricks, these small planes could outperform most others. Today, this plane can be yours for $65,000. For that, you’ll get a Kinner 5 cylinder engine that produces 1850 RPMs with a solid 160 hp. Would you get it?
Meyers 1943 OTW Biplane
These vintage open-engine designs always look amazing, which is exactly what makes the Meyers OTW plane such a classic. It transpires that the airplane was built to compete against Stearmans as trainer models used in the Army Air Corps market.
The biggest argument that buyers made when purchasing this over a Sterman were how it flew the same way, even Meyers were much cheaper. For $90,000, this can be yours. Not the cheapest planes, but one of the most attractive!
1946 Beech G17S Staggerwing Biplane
Look at the design of this for a second and you can immediately tell it was made during the Art Deco period. These Beech planes were produced in 1946, just after the war.
Can you see the way the propeller and nosecone are produced with the Art Deco style? The pillars between the wings here also have smooth lines consistent with the period. The price of these is unknown, but expect to pay a pretty penny!
1942 Stinson G-77 Gullwing
Gullwing is famous for making some of the best planes out there. We don’t need to look for examples far beyond the 1942 Stinson G-77. The Stinson was used by a few of the military’s top pilots in the 1950s.
Unfortunately, these planes are true pieces of British and American history and aren’t so cheap. The one in the photo sold for around $270,000, which is the price of a small house. Regardless, it’s a good price for a historic engine.
AT-6 Harvard Texan
These aircraft are more than just classics planes. They are actually part of a Harvard formation team called ‘Yellow Thunder’. What planes do they use? Well, these are, in fact, AT-6 Harvard Texan aircraft designed in 1934.
Their cost is a bit higher than other aircraft on this list, but still within the range of what you would expect to pay for a vintage. You can pick up a 1943 model for just under $150,000. Would you buy one of these if you could?
This Beechcraft Bonanza was brought into the world in 1947. It came from the Beechcraft Aircraft Corporation based in Wichita, Kansas. In total, almost 17,000 planes have been built by them.
This six-seater, single-engined plane is still being made by Beechcraft today! It has been in constant production longer than any other airplane. Would you buy one of these? They won’t dent your wallet too much so you can be on your way to buying your very own aircraft.
This type of plane is the Cessna 170. They were manufactured by the Cessna Aircraft Company between 1948 and 1956. The ‘170’ was certificated as a Normal Category airplane in June 1948, with a total weight of around 2,200 pounds.
A month later, Cessna earned a Utility category certification for their 170 model plane, this time with a gross weight of approximately 1,900 pounds. In total, Cessna built 714 models until they introduced the 170A in 1956.
Grumman G-21 Goose
This Grumman G-21 Goose is the first amphibious aircraft on our list. It is a single-seater aircraft used during WWII. It was first introduced in 1937 and was used for the following few years.
In total, the Goose was a sign of many ‘firsts’ for Grumman. These include being the company’s first monoplane to fly, its first twin-engined plane, and the first to enter business airline service.
This plane is pretty special. Built in Sulfur Springs Texas, American Legend Aircraft Company produces these light sport planes. They are referred to as Legend Cubs and have two primary designs. There is the original NJ–3 and the following design, The PA–11.
The American Legend Aircraft Company restores weary fabric and retro tube planes like the Cub you see listed above. On average. You can expect to pay around $25,000 for your own aircraft. Would you buy one?
This Nanchang CJ-6 was an Aircraft used by the Chinese in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. It was brought into use in 1960 and has eight variants overall. These include, the CJ-6, CJ-6A, CJ-6B, PT-6A, BT-6, Haiyan A, Haiyan B and Haiyan C. Catch that? Ok, good!
The CJ-6 is a maiden production plane integrated with a Zhuzhou Huosai HS-6 radial piston engine. This has been rated at 260hp. You might run into a little trouble trying to get one of these to buy, but you can always visit your local dealership and see what they have.
The Fokker C.I. was a German-made plane intended to be used by the Germans in WWI. However, due to production problems at the time, it never saw air during the actual war.
This C-series was used by the Fokker factory for some of their smaller planes. Additional tasks included using them as light bombers and fighter/bombers planes. The C-I has two seats as standard – one for the pilot and one for the air shooter.
North American T-6 Texan
The Texan played an essential role in WWII until it was retired from use in 1995. This particular photo shows us a 1944 North American AT-6D Texan which can be located in Charlotte, Michigan.
North American Aviation designed the T-6 and it’s known by a number of designations depending on the operating air force and model. Air forces belonging to multiple nations utilized the T-6. Since it was retired in the 1990s, you’ll be able to buy one – but only to touch it! These don’t fly anymore.
Beechcraft King Air
The Beechcraft King Air was first manufactured in 1964. It was used by the US Army, Navy, the Philippine Navy, and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. The King Air line is built up of a few twin-turboprop models that have been divided into categories.
These are ‘King Airs’ and ‘Super King Airs’, depending on their capabilities. The name “Super” was dropped by Beechcraft in 1996 and they no longer have that as their preface. It is unclear if you can still buy these.
It’s pretty rare that a plane makes it on a US postage stamp. As you can imagine, the Curtiss Jenny would have to be pretty special. Something like the plane seen in the picture below. This beauty is the famous one featured on old $0.24 US stamps.
The plane is reversed on the stamp, highlighting its aerobatic capabilities. The Jenny is legendary in both aviation and American history. Coming in at more than 100 years old, it still looks good for its age. You can buy one for $150,000.
Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
This Beech T-34 Mentor used to be a military trainer aircraft, introduced back in 1953. At its peak, the aircraft had a home in the US Navy, Air Force, the Philippine Air Force, and the Japan Air Self Defense Force. You can read more about those militaries here.
Back to the Beechcraft! The T-34 has seven different models overall. These include: the YT-34, T-34A, T-34B, YT-34C, T-34C Turbo-Mentor, T-34C-1, and Turbo-Mentor 34C. A little known fact is that the YT-34 is actually only a prototype model. For a small price, one of these could be yours.
Once upon a time, the Luscombe 8 was a plane produced by Luscombe Aircraft way back in 1937. Its creator, Don Luscombe, worked for many years during his adult life to design and sell an all-metal airplane. What’s even more impressive is how he fought a financial crisis at the time.
Eventually, he left Mono Aircraft, the producer of the speedy Mono Coupes. It was then when he established his own company in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1933. These planes now belong firmly in the history books!
If you can’t decide whether to get a plane or a yacht, then the Lake Buccaneer is for you! These planes are still being made ever since they first entered production in 1950. Over the years, more than 1000 were produced by the Lake Aircraft.
This particular photo shows the sweet Lake Buccaneer which was found ‘parked’ in a lake. The all-American plane has four seats and is a light amphibious aircraft originally created as the Colonial C-2 Skimmer.
In 1961, the world first met the Cessna Skymaster and its twin-engine aircraft. They were produced all the way to 1982. The Cessna’s unique look and quality can be attributed to its center-line thrust.
This center-line thrust is where the fuselage is designed like a nacelle. In the front is an engine with a counter-rotating propeller. If you look closely, the rear has a second engine with a pusher propeller – a layout that Cessna calls “push-pull.”
Piper PA32R Saratoga
Here we can see the Piper PA32R, which entered production between 1975 and 2009. The aircraft is a metal fixed-wing plane that was created by the Piper Aircraft in Vero Beach, Florida, USA.
The design started its life as the Piper Lance, which was a retractable-gear model of the Piper Cherokee Six. Subsequent models became world-famous by the designation Piper Saratoga. You’ll probably recognize this from some of your favorite action movies of the 1970s – James Bond, anyone?
Already, you can tell that the Cessna 195 was designed and produced in the 1940s. These little aircraft can actually fit six people in its metal casing, which will make for some cozy flying! Riders of the Cessna 195 often claim they feel every little twist and turn due to its delicate model.
Eventually, the 195 was redesigned to make it a little more comfortable for passengers who were sensitive to the heightened turbulence. If you have a spare $35,000, one of these can be all yours.
This unique-looking plane was first introduced to pilots and passengers in 1952. Its original use was intended as a utility and business aircraft for those to get around. They were built and distributed between 1951 and 1986.
With A low-slung fuselage and raised tail at the end, the Twin Commander 690 turboprops are definitely special among the traditional Piper, Beechcraft, and Cessna competition out there. Even though they stopped being made in 1985, the 690 series are popular airplanes and possible to buy from the right dealer.
In 1949, Moulton Taylor designed the Taylor Aerocar, a roadable plane, in Longview, Washington. Only six models of the Aerocar were built and constructed, but it never officially went into production.
It will be pretty tricky to track one of the six original planes down. These weird hybrid aero-cars should probably stay on the ground – we don’t know how successful they are! Perhaps one day these will be reimagined and distributed to the public. Would you buy one?
Here, we can see a plane called the BE-103 Bekas. It was constructed by KnAAPO but designed by Beriev. It’s a fairly new plane on our list: its first flight was on July 15, 1997. This means that they’ve only been in the air for around 22 years.
The English ‘nickname’ for the aircraft is The Snipe. The name references an amphibious seaplane designed for autonomous operation in the secluded areas of Siberia. Would you ride on one of these?
Burt Rutan designed the Rutan Voyager. It was the first plane to fly around the world without needing a stop or having refueling services along the way. In total, its worldwide flight went for more than 40,000 km at an average height of 11,000 feet above sea level.
Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan completed the first non-refueled, nonstop, flight around the world on December 23, 1986. It was this aircraft that they used, placing them in the history books.
ERCO Erupe Small Airplane
For $7,500, this is one of the most affordable planes on the list. The ERCO Ercoupe was produced in the mid-1940s but saw a peak in popularity during the 1960s once the war ended.
Today, it is flown by many recreational pilots as a relaxing sport aircraft. It features a tricycle landing gear, a forward engine, and two rear spoilers on the rear wing. Did you know you could buy this for such a small amount? Let’s get going!