What should I put in my container?

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What should I put in my container?

Postby jdfinlayson » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:58 pm

I recently ordered a quick build SuperSTOL kit from Billy Payne. Billy has been great and I'm excited about receiving the kit. I'll be a first time builder and I hope to spend 20-25 hours a week on the project. I'm based in New Zealand and the kit will be shipped to me in a container. The reason I'm writing is that shipping will be expensive. I'd like to ask the forum members what accessories, tools, consumables etc I should buy now so I can include them in the container and save on my total shipping costs?

Some off-forum recommendations I've received so far are to order Steve Dentz's windscreen kit, Jim Pekola's tail wheel kit, Strobe Lite Kit with Nav/position lights (Aveo Flash), 29" tundra tires, oil access door kit, and cabin heater kit (thanks levyland). I also need to consider avionics and an engine but I thought I might hold back on these until I'm further into the build. Is this likely to hold me up within a few months? Any help or advice that you can provide would be most appreciated.

John
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby SuperFly » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:39 pm

Hello John,

Welcome to the club!
There are many tools that are very helpful, though not completely necessary in building the airplane. I would imagine that the bulk of them are available in New Zealand anyway. Might be worth looking into a set of straight flute reamers. 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", and 3/8" cover most all the holes. I ordered 2 of each of the smaller reamers, and am glad I did, because I modified one of them. I detailed it on my website, so I won't rehash it here. But I was really glad I had two of them. Perhaps a check to see how readily available SAE drills and reamers are in NZ would be worth while. I assume most stuff is metric, as the US is the only country stuck in SAE. If not readily available, might be worth a couple sets of SAE drills too. Im sure you could order them and have them sent to the factory, to be included in the container.
Thats the only thing that comes to mind right now, I am sure there are other things, hopefully others will chime in here to advise...
Best,
Ben Schneider
Highlander #263 converted to SuperSTOL
N45FT Now Flying!
http://www.stolairplane.com
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby SheepdogRD » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:45 pm

First, get Lynn to send you a DVD copy of the build manual. There's a list of tools in there, and it's good to read through the whole manual while you wait for your container.

In addition to the list of tools in the manual, you're going to want a set of rotisseries to mount your fuselage and wings on. Build them yourself, or get a set in the container.

There have been earlier threads on this forum that discussed the "nice-to-have" equipment. Here are a couple:
http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=218&t=21574
http://wingsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=218&t=22793

Search "tools" on the Just Aircraft forum here, and you'll get a lot of information. Search the same way on the whole Wings Forum, and you'll get even more ideas, though some may not be applicable to building your SS.
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby danerazz » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:13 pm

Molded windshield.

I don't have rotisseries and while it would be a little easier, don't miss them. Wings on saw horses, built a dolly for the fuselage out of scrap wood and casters so I could push it around.



Oh, and a 12-foot break. You don't need it for the kit, but it is fun to have!
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby jdfinlayson » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:17 pm

Thanks for your responses and tips on tools and searching. There are some great threads on the forum and I’m trying to read as much as I can! I’ve got a copy of the builder’s manual and I’ve read it cover to cover. I’ll probably read it a few more times before I start. As you’ve mentioned it includes a list of tools. I’ll probably try to buy everything listed (except the 12’ break :? ) so I can include them in the container.

Many of the tools in NZ are in metric and SAE and some will be aircraft grade but they are likely to be expensive and choice is limited. This is likely to apply to consumables as well. If I can buy these in the US and put them in a container they’re likely to cost me less than if I buy them later.

I apologize for the newbie question but are engine and avionics normally bought early in the building process? How much of the build process can I complete before I need to buy them? Is it 20% or is it more like 80-90%? I ask as it probably will be cheaper overall if I buy and ship them now but cash flow is an issue for me and if I won’t need them for a year or more I might hold off on these.
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby SheepdogRD » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:31 pm

The panel and firewall forward can be the last major parts of your build.

You said you'll be building at 20-25 hours a week, so that's 1000-1300 hours in a year. While the airplane is quoted as X hours of build time, that number includes only build time when an experienced builder is actually building. Novice builders take longer, because X hours doesn't include the time we spend reading, re-reading and trying to interpret the manual, and it doesn't include head-scratching and looking-for-a-solution-on-the-forum time. It also doesn't include any of the extra time it takes for any changes we choose to make.

The time it actually takes you depends somewhat on your comfort with the processes and tools, and with the amount of detail and precision you want to put into the build.

Life gets in the way, too. Stuff comes up, and the airplane gets shuffled back in priority for a while.

Given those factors, we were advised not to buy the engine and the expensive panel bits until we were ready for them, and that's turned out to be excellent advice. Had we ignored it, the warranties would have expired before we ever installed them.

Another consideration: panel systems are evolving pretty rapidly. There may be a whole new thing available when it's time to install yours; for instance, touchscreens have recently been added to the Dynon line, and Garmin just announced a new line. Engines are evolving, too, and the engine you've chosen may get upgraded between kit arrival and firewall forward work.

Even paint might wait. We were planning to use Stewart Systems paint, and I bought it right away, thinking we'd use it within a year. The paint has a one-year shelf life, and hundreds of dollars of paint quietly expired while I built slower than I expected. Oops.
Last edited by SheepdogRD on Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby danerazz » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:04 am

I will agree, don't buy engine and DEFINITELY don't buy avionics until you are ready for them. Engines don't like to sit, and I have changed my mind about avionics and completely redesigned my panel about 5 tIke's as new stuff comes out, and I will probably do it again before I start putting the panel together in a couple months.
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby jdfinlayson » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:57 pm

Thanks for your responses - I will hold off on these items as it probably will be awhile before I need them. I said I want to put 20-25 hours a week into the build. I'd like to do this but I suspect I won't be setting any records completing the build. If I can finish the kit in 12-18 months I'd be very happy with that.

John
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby danerazz » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:42 am

I got my standard highlander kit in September 2011, if I am lucky I will fly it to Oshkosh next year. Life tends to slow things down: a new job, a new child, a year in Afghanistan, catching up on 2 years of neglected house projects, getting back to work and generally recovering from the year in Afghanistan really put a damper on build progress. I know some can get one flying in WELL less than a year, but I certainly can't commit that kind of time to it.

That being said, my build progresses very quickly when I do work on it, it just goes in spurts because I will work on it steadily for a couple weeks then other stuff comes up and I won't work on it for a month or two. When I look at how much I have completed and really think of the time I have actually spent working on it, it is a surprisingly small amount of time for what I have done.

I guess for me it is a marathon, not a sprint.
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby jdfinlayson » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:35 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I'm excited about the build and I want to enjoy it. So long as I can do a good job and make progress I think it will be fun. Finances permitting I might even see you at OshKosh next year.

John
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby User GDS » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:37 pm

My Highlander was my first fabric covering job, I had to buy an extra gallon of adhesive. Whichever system you use it's probably worth it to get some extra. Same goes for the Hysol structural adhesive, the kit comes with plenty but it will shut you down if a can goes bad (it gets grainy).


A homebuilders hardware kit like this: http://www.aircraftspruce.com/pages/ha/ ... rdware.php

I recommend buying at least 50 extra:
- Cable thimbles
- nicropress sleeves
- 50 feet extra of stainless 3/32 control cable (because "I cut that cable three times and it's still too short!")

1 dozen each extra adel cushioned clamps from DG4 to DG12

1/2 dozen each plain clamps, 1/4 and 5/16 http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/a ... ckkey=4904

panel systems are evolving pretty rapidly. There may be a whole new thing available when it's time to install yours; for instance, touchscreens have recently been added to the Dynon line, and Garmin just announced a new line. Engines are evolving, too, and the engine you've chosen may get upgraded between kit arrival and firewall forward work.

I concur on the avionics, plus they come in small, easy to ship packages.

If you are going with a new Rotax 912, it comes in a crate approximately 3 feet cubed and weighs around 200lbs. I would be tempted to buy it and include it in the container to save $$$ on shipping costs. The risk, as others have pointed out, is that you will miss out on an upgrade, but upgrades are not too frequent.

I've seen the plexiglas windscreen on a couple of Highlanders, it is very nice and stays nice longer. I may buy one eventually, but I have replaced my Lexan windscreen once and it's very easy. Using the old windscreen as a template, it takes less than 4 hours. For now, my plan is to replace the Lexan every couple of years.

Depending on where you fly out of, I recommend buying a second set of wheels and mounting some durable pavement tires (especially for training). It's nice to have some pavement touch-and-go tires and save the Airstreaks for off-airport ops. Also include a couple of cans of Herculiner truck bed liner to put a sacrificial coating on your Airstreaks.

Last, go to Oshkosh next summer, it's especially fun when you're building a plane and in the market for tools and parts, buy your avionics there and carry them home.

Thanks for letting me spend some of your money, I'm tired of spending mine all the time.
GDS
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby danerazz » Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:19 pm

As to the hysol going grainy, this is common in epoxies and if you search around you can find instructions on how to reverse this. Basically you put it (the part that is grainy, not both parts) in the oven set at the lowest possible temperature, like around 130-150*. Leave it in there just long enough to make sure the whole thing got up to temperature, it doesn't need to get that hot, I think it only needs to get 115-125*. Take it out, mix it to normalize the temperature, and let it cool to room temperature. It should not compromise the strength. I did this quite some time ago and no problems since. I did a bunch of research before I did this and can't remember the exact temperatures or cause of this phenomenon, but I seem to recall it being semi-random and possibly having to do with just a bit of moisture in the resin.
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Re: What should I put in my container?

Postby jdfinlayson » Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:39 pm

Thanks for the great comments! I'll definitely get extra glue! The other bits and pieces will go on my list as well. I was interested in your comments about tires and lexan versus plexiglass. I understand there is a tradeoff between lexan (cheaper and lighter) and plexiglass (heavier but longer lasting). You mentioned replacing lexan every 2 years presumably to maintain the windscreen to a high standard. Does anyone know what the equivalent replacement schedule would be for plexiglass?

John
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