we have raised the weight limit for aircraft in the Sportsman, Advanced and MAsters class to 5.5kg for the past year.
It did not stop the "need" for a 4kg Carbon/kevlar 2x2 CPLR or Herbert ship costing $8000-00...in Novice, through to F3A. Now if in sportsman you're flying a .60size Edge and you're sompeting against a 2x2, you may as well go home and watch golf because you're a spectator anyway.
No one builds to a maximum weight limit
, they build to beat it and by a large margin and thats where the cost escalates.
If there is a minimum weight limit then no matter how expensive the materials you throw at the plane, it will still weigh close to what much cheaper aircraft are hitting the scale at weigh in. That closes the performance gap considerably.
If all planes should need to meet the weight limit in an ready to fly state i.e. with fuel or batteries on board then If you fly electric then you carry the weight throughout your flight routine whereas a liquid fuel powered plane burns weight off.
Thats not a bad thing if the schedule is designed to cater for the fact that the flight performance advantage will shift through the schedule.
At our clubs recent Annual Airshow, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4nbBjU012A
) I had a few enquiries from dad'w wanting to get their son's into aerobatics. What struck me is that no matter their backgrond or affluency level the question about cost always comes into and everyone wants to knwo what the best equipments costs and why. Theres no getting away from it that a large scale aerobat is going to cost a fraction of the amount a Pattern plane costs. So they make up their minds that Large scale is more exciting and since its cheaper they can have more planes. Simple.
Imagine Pattern moved to 25-27% scale aerobats... Would it push the price of Large scale up?
I doubt it as the large scale planes manufacturers know that their market is willing to pay X and not X x 10.
Pattern plane manufacturers lack competition. The only way to improve competition is to increase interest from both pilots and manufacturers.