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Few Easy Questions...


bwooAV

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Well,

 

I think I have finally reached the level of insanity required to build my own airplane. I work professionally in the Avionics industry, specialized in experiemental aircraft. So I have some exposure to glass work, and obviously avionics should be a breeze if I indeed make it that far. My questions:

 

Will I buy the plans ($500) prior to any chapters?

 

Once I purchase my chapters, is it strongly suggested to buy all Foam at once, all Glass at once etc to save on shipping?

 

I live in Florida, should I just pick up....

 

The biggest concern for me is making the jigs, and forming the foam. Actualy glass work I love to do, and look forward to. Is there anyone that makes Jigs, or have any leftover?

 

I'm sure I'll think of more...

 

Bryan

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Well,

 

I think I have finally reached the level of insanity required to build my own airplane. I work professionally in the Avionics industry, specialized in experiemental aircraft. So I have some exposure to glass work, and obviously avionics should be a breeze if I indeed make it that far. My questions:

 

Will I buy the plans ($500) prior to any chapters?

 

Once I purchase my chapters, is it strongly suggested to buy all Foam at once, all Glass at once etc to save on shipping?

 

I live in Florida, should I just pick up....

 

The biggest concern for me is making the jigs, and forming the foam. Actualy glass work I love to do, and look forward to. Is there anyone that makes Jigs, or have any leftover?

 

I'm sure I'll think of more...

 

Bryan

I bought the plans, then a while later, after really making sure I wanted to do this, materials... the plans are your penny ante, make sure you're sure before getting into it for thousands.

 

I buy glass by the roll, but that's just because where I get it from charges an obscene cut rate but full rolls are cheaper than shipping cut rate from the states (although the exchange rate now has changed that). I'd suggest you get into it with just one or two chapters (say 4&5) at first. Opinions vary as to the necessity of the training chapter (chapter three), I didn't do it, and I don't feel worse off for it. Nice thing about chapter 4 is you don't need your big table and everything for it, a smaller workspace will do.

 

Once you're into it by a chapter or so, then you can make the call as to how fast you're going to get work done, and if you're doing the right thing and can finish, without being over your head in materials. Then, my advice is buy full rolls and etc for those things you need big batches of if you can store it properly (mostly this applies to glass, and if you're shipping, foam).

 

Epoxy is *much* cheaper to pick up than ship, for some brands, including MGS 285/7 which I swear by. I pick mine up in Toronto, a five hour drive away from me. If you're picking up epoxy, may as well pick up as much foam as you have cargo space for (and, early on, need) as it's also one of the more expensive things to ship. Some people like Thayercraft for glass, and while I haven't used him before, the wider BID he sells seems like it would be good and it's price competative, and he seems to know enough to mention coating types etc when discussing the glass he sells.

 

Just my two cents...

 

My biggest piece of advice... Just buy the plans... treat them gently until you really start building (i.e. keep them pristine while you consider) and if you decide not to build you're likely to be able to get reasonable resale value from them (not so for materials/chapters built, which seem to barely recover cost of materials).

 

Oh, and consider why you want to build, if you want to build because you like building AND flying, great, but if your interest is predominantly one and not the other, you're unlikely to finish in a timely manner (which is fine but perhaps lacking closure if you just like building, and which isn't a good way to get a plane if you just want to fly).

 

Context: chapter 7 builder, about one year in.

Craig K.

Cozy IV #1457

building chapter seven!

http://www.maddyhome.com/canardpages/pages/chasingmars/index.html

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The first three chapters contain an overview of the project, bill of materials and a chapter dedicated to teaching the techniques, tools and terminology you will need for the project.

T Mann - Loooong-EZ/20B Infinity R/G Chpts 18

Velocity/RG N951TM

Mann's Airplane Factory

We add rocket's to everything!

4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 9, 10, 14, 19, 20 Done

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Will I buy the plans ($500) prior to any chapters?

Yes, the plans are the typically the first purchase.

 

Once I purchase my chapters, is it strongly suggested to buy all Foam at once, all Glass at once etc to save on shipping?

No, it is not strongly suggested. If you have the extra money on hand, and you're sure you're going to finish, then its not a bad idea. Shipping seems to run around $100 per chapter order (less if chapters combined)... and around $25 for each epoxy order. For some of us, purchasing a chapter or two at a time makes the most sense, but in the end it'll cost a little more for shipping. For others, a trip to Aircraft Spruce or Wicks with a U-Haul is best (and pick up all the materials).

 

I live in Florida, should I just pick up....

With the cost of fuel these days, just do whatever is cheaper (unless you just need a road trip).

 

The biggest concern for me is making the jigs, and forming the foam. Actualy glass work I love to do, and look forward to. Is there anyone that makes Jigs, or have any leftover?

There really aren't that many jigs to make. This plane is formed by shaping materials by hand, not jigs. There are some triangle jigs in Ch5, then some templates for hotwiring. Jigs are not a large part of this project at all. People do share the templates for hotwiring the canard and the wings.

 

Do the plans contain specifics on "Hotwire" cutting foam?

Yes, and there is also lots of online "instruction".

 

Peel-Ply techniques?

Yes, this is easy and described in the plans on online.

 

Or are these things aquired as one goes along..

They are all explained and taught in the plans. The builder improves on these techniques as one goes along. You start out making flat simple parts, then move onto curved parts, then finish up with an airplane!

Andrew Anunson

I work underground and I play in the sky... no problem

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There is nobody that has been born that knows how to build a plane right off the bat. It is an acquired knowledge and skill that comes with experience and willing to put in the time and energy to learn. I built my first composite plane without a pilots license. Of course I could not afford it either but did it anyway. You will never get over the thrill of looking at it when you are done and telling yourself "I built this beautiful plane that actually fly's" Building a plane is like eating an elephant. You cannot do it all at once but if you keep taking bite after bite it is eventually gone. I.e. Plane is built. So go buy your plans and dont get stuck at chap. 7 like lots of previous builder do and keep eating your elephant until you have a plane. My .02 STeve

Steve Harmon

Lovin Life in Idaho

Cozy IV Plans #1466 N232CZ

http://websites.expercraft.com/bigsteve/

Working on Chapter 19,21

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dont get stuck at chap. 7 like lots of previous builder do

What is it about this stage of the build that stops so many builds? Do you think its problems with the "squareness" of the tub, or cash? I wonder..:confused:

Andrew Anunson

I work underground and I play in the sky... no problem

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I remember when I was at that stage. I needed to buy a bunch more stuff and start again. You make a big push to get the tub to the point it can be sat in. After that it is a let down. You sit in it and realize you have only eaten a leg or two off the whole elephant and get discouraged. STeve

Steve Harmon

Lovin Life in Idaho

Cozy IV Plans #1466 N232CZ

http://websites.expercraft.com/bigsteve/

Working on Chapter 19,21

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