Listing Offers Twenty Complete Combat Aircraft For Sale, With Parts! For “only” 200K USD.
Ever wanted to command your own private air force? Here’s your chance, and the price seems reasonable.
Raptor Aviation of Port St. Lucie, Florida in the U.S has listed the sale of 20 jet trainer/light strike aircraft, an entire squadron, with spare parts and sundries. The aircraft are IAI Tzukits, the Israeli version of the Fouga CM.170 Magister.
The price? Only 200,000 USD takes the lot according to their advert.
“They’ll need about 20,000-25,000 USD in repairs before they can fly again,” Albert from Raptor Aviation told us in a phone interview, “They need some restoration.”
The detailed listing on Raptor Aviation’s website and Facebook page shows the aircraft have relatively high hours on them, with the remaining hours listed. All the avionics and other components are specified in the .pdf file on the listing. When we phoned Raptor Aviation to ask about the aircraft, they picked up on the third ring and were ready to answer any questions about the planes.
The Tzukit is a twin-engine, tandem two-seater with a mostly straight wing and unique “V” tail like a Beechcraft Bonanza. The aircraft are listed by independent sources as originally costing $75,000 USD as new in 1955 dollars.
While developed largely as a primary jet trainer, the Israelis used the somewhat lumbering Tzukit in the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War as a strike aircraft. It’s also been flown by the Belgian “Red Devils” and Irish “Silver Swallows” aerobatic teams- and 20 of your own aircraft would make an impressive private jet demo team!
Adding to the colorful history of this type, the Tzukit/Magister was flown by mercenaries in Congo-Léopoldville, Central Africa during the siege of Jadotville in early 1961. The hired-gun pilots reportedly destroyed two large, four-engine DC-4s and a smaller twin-engine DC-3 during a ground attack using its 7.62 guns and somewhat cobbled up locally made aerial bombs.
If you want to start your own air force in the United States, however, the FAA, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) will need to have a chat with you.
Albert of Raptor Aviation told us “fleet” sales like this aren’t unusual, “I could list you a dozen fleets for sale right now, everything from these to other types of retired trainers. It’s just like anything else; air forces have to update their equipment. This is one place the old planes go.”
“One of two things will happen with the planes,” Albert told us in a phone interview, “Someone will buy them and sell them off as individual aircraft, we see that all the time, or, they’ll be sold as scrap.”
Considering a single aircraft ejector seat can fetch well over $20,000 USD as a cool-looking souvenir for a well-heeled aircraft enthusiast (see below…), this could be a good money-making venture.
Before you ring up Albert though, he reminded us that, “Whoever buys them has to get them back [to the United States] here though.” When I asked Albert where they are, he told me, “Israel”.
Image credit: Raptor Aviation