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Where to start??

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  • Where to start??

    Hello everyone. As you might have read in the NEWBY section, I just bought a kit that is basicly at the QB stage. It also came with a low time O-470M and a new Mccauly prop. Ive got the parts in the garage and have spent numerous hours wandering around and looking at it and I have no idea where to start. Im scared to do something wrong also. Any pointers?

  • #2
    Most quick builders start with the wings. But before you start building a plane, you will greatly benefit from a well planned layout in your garage. If yours is like mine, there's a ton of stuff in there and space to work and move around is scarce. It's awfully hard to gain momentum when you are always stepping over/around/under things. Read through the quick builders manual to get an idea of the work sequence and the parts you will need. Then get your garage organized while finding the parts you need (get everything out of there you can) and carefully plan how you will make a workspace to get around the wings.

    At the end of the day, don't be discouraged...I've been working on my project for 8 years and you are already ahead of me!



    • #3
      Thx Nich, I am blessed to have just built a 1220 sqft shop to build the bird so space is plenty.


      • #4
        Did you buy a second hand Quick Build kit or a scratch build project that is about as complete as a QB kit? Mark


        • #5
          Congratulations on buying a kit. It is a good way to build.

          Have someone that knows what they are doing take and do preservation measures on the engine for storage as you want the engine to be in good shape. We bought our Continental IO-360 engine used & pickled or oiled to be preserved for storage. We built a sturdy plywood & 2x4 box on casters and lined it with 6 mil poly so that it lays over the sides. The engine was set on blocks and secured taking care not to cut the plastic. We got a gallon sized container of silica gel and poured it into some ladies stockings to make 4 socks of silica gel. We laid a couple socks on the engine & a couple beside the engine. We laid a layer of poly over the engine so it hangs over the sides. We screwed the lid on and put the engine away for years. It stayed that way for 6 years and we checked it every couple years. The silica gel stayed its original color for the 6 years. The engine looked exactly the same as the day that that it was put away. Our logic was to seal it in so it was safe from temperature cycles affecting moisture and it was sealed in 6 mill vapor barrier to keep any possibility of moisture from penetrating through to the engine. Consider overhauling the parts in your fuel system prior to returning to service. Rubber that was in the presence of fuel for a while will dry out and become brittle. We know that from first hand experience with our lightly used engine. Our mechanic said the compression values were as good as a new engine so that was good.

          Store the prop as recommended by the manufacturer so no harm is done while it is in storage.


          • #6
            I should clarify that the engine was set on blocks under the 4 engine mounts taking care not to have the block touch other parts of the engine. As far as starting. start somewhere and have all the Beartracks, Newton and Erb manuals. Could see if there is another builder nearby that you could visit or have visit to set you on a path.
            Good luck


            • #7
              Thanks Glenn, The motor is already in the state of preservation including dry plugs etc. I actually just spoke with another local builder and he will be coming over soon to help me on a pathway.


              • #8
                What you feel is normal. I felt that same way. I was overwhelmed when the Kit was delivered and my hardware order arrived. Organizing everything was the remedy to felling that way. I suspect this is common amongst builders.

                Organizing tips: See thru clear boxes are nice. Purchased a variety of box sizes that fit the variety of parts. My Manards has a very good organization/storage section. I used Plano storage boxes (like a fishing tackle boxes) for small stuff. Nuts, Bolts, hardware, etc.

                Next size up is a shoe box size storage container. Stuff too large for a shoe box goes in a big storage bin, or on a shelf. I dont like random storage containers like buckets, cardboard boxes, etc. They dont help at all.

                Some stuff is long and I made a rack for that stuff. I store other big stuff on shelves...all that I can see like the windshield, and sheet metal. I did not use cabinets. Nothing is stored on the floor except the wings and fuselage because I cherish floor space in the shop. The wings are in a Ton Bengelis wing rack. Link Flaps, ailerons, horizontal and vertical stabs are stored on the wall using big carpet loops. That might work for wings too.

                Once you know what every part is and know where its stored, then I think you will start feeling a sense of accomplishment, and get excited. Your next step is to make a flow chart. Make it big and hang it on the wall. It does not have to be perfect. But when errors or omissions are found, fix them. When one step gets completed, put a big red X thru it.

                We like the ITOYA 18 x 24 Art Portfolio to view store and protect your plans. link is
                Brooks Cone
                Southeast Michigan
                Patrol #303, Kit build


                • #9
                  I know the feeling and have found Eric Newtons manuals to be a great asset when determining what to do next. Just remember he is showing how he did things and there are other ways to do it.
                  Last edited by whee; 02-12-2018, 12:29 AM.
                  I'm a Tapatalk user so I can't see your "comment"


                  • #10
                    Maybe start practicing flush riveting ? (if you havnt done a lot of it ) There must be quite a bit of that on the upper skins left....


                    • #11
                      I think I would take the plans, and try to figure out where you are on the wings and fuselage. Is the fuselage primed and painted? Does it still need some stuff welded to it? The wings should be easier to figure out. The fuselage has lots of detail stuff welded on. I would get it to a known starting point (QB stage) and then build a QB kit. It might look about like a QB kit, but it might be missing a lot of details, or even just 1 or 2. I think you will have to take the plans page by page and inventory what has been done.

                      Dimpling, aircraft riveting, and gas welding are the only things I haven't done quite a bit of. I don't have to learn gas welding as I got a QB kit. I will start on the fuselage, and every day spend 30-60 minutes practicing my sheet metal skills (youtube University is an awesome resource) By the time I have everything mounted in the fuselage, hopefully I will be confident enough to start on the wings.

             is a great resource for homebuilders, actually by far the best for generic info. This forum is obviously the place for BH specific stuff, and everyone is very helpful. I start my kit in about 6 or 7 weeks.

                      Good luck with your new project.