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SuperSTOL has Landed! The Wait is Over!

I am bursting with excitement as I look into the 20 foot container and see what I have been waiting for all these months. The Just Aircraft SuperSTOL is neatly and securely stored in it's packing crate and awaits the next adventure.


Next question is how do I get it to the workshop? The access is tight and won't accommodate a large truck, so the only option is to trailer it in.


The Final Approach:


So carefully and methodically we load it onto a car transporter and after quadruple checks on the transport straps we start the slow journey back to Wild Atlantic Aircraft.


The entire kit including the packing crate weighs 1,600 lbs (727 Kgs approx) and this is our next problem, "How do unload it from the trailer?". Good news is that the trailer has a hydraulic system to lower the back to allow cars to drive up and down. This is very helpful in the offload process.

Our plan is to position 4 heavy duty dollies close to each corner and to ease the crate from the trailer once the trailer is tipped sufficiently. Slow and steady is the name of the game here as it is vital not to damage anything, as there could be a lengthy wait for spare components.

The plan worked perfectly and once on the dollies it was easy to push into the workshop. Castoring wheels are a must here. Then I find myself asking "So what now?".


Like a child at Christmas, I unwrap the SuperSTOL with excitement. Every item is strapped and screwed down to prevent movement during shipping and nothing has shifted. It is actually a job of work to remove the strapping but that it a good complaint in my opinion.


Every item is wrapped in protective foam where appropriate and the fuselage is protected using the ever versatile foam Pool Noodle. Keep the protective packing to use when each item is shelved after unpacking.


Stock Take:


The first and critically important task once the SuperSTOL kit arrives is to do a complete check of each and every item listed in the BOM. Just Aircraft do an incredible job in terms of not only the build quality of the kit and components, but also the detail behind the kit Bill of Materials (BOM).


Each and every item is checked, double checked and for international shipments, triple checked to ensure nothing is left out. The Excel version of the BOM includes a list of absolutely everything from the Fuselage, Wings, Slats, Fin, Rudder and Landing Gear right on down to every single solitary bolt, nut, washer, rivet, bushing and cotter pin. The attention to detail is incredible.




The Stock Take is important so I take several days to complete and log each item of inventory. There are almost 1,000 items to catalog but I found a relatively simple method to keep track of each item. First number each box sequentially from 1 to 12, then using Excel and Ctrl+F to search for the extensive part number, and once found, counted and verified I placed it back in it's box. Then update the part row in Excel to show what box it is in for future reference.


My plan is to hang each item on a peg board divided into areas matching the relevant box number. This should make it easy to find each part required during the build process.


Tools:


The tools required to build the SuperSTOL are pretty basic. Drills, Clamps, Levels, Straight Edge, Aviation Pliers (Aluminium), various Drill Bits (1/8, 3/16, 1/4 - and 12" versions also), Debur tools, Cleco pliers and Clecos, a Dremel, Square, Auto Drill Punch, Spanners, Socket Set, various Files, plastic mallet, measuring tape / rulers and Rivet tool.


These are just some of the tools I have ready to go:


As the build progresses other tools may be required, but none are off the planet crazy expensive and all are fairly easy to use. I will keep you updated as others come to light.



Let the Building Begin:


Of course now I am eager as a Beaver to get on with the build, but first I sit and do some research as follows:


  • Read the Build Manual from front to back.

  • Read the Build Manual again.

  • Buy the tools that I am missing.

  • Research any tools, techniques that may be new to you to prepare.

  • Contact ILAS and let the guys know that the kit is here and that you need a build manual to track progress. (Take lots of photos as you go to ensure log every step.)

  • Then it is on to the laptop and open the build manual.


Chapter One:


Install the floor panels. These have to be fitted, drilled and trimmed to fit. Photo below shows the front floor/foot panel along the rudder pedals.


I will keep you guys updated as I go, so keep an eye out for future blog posts.


If you have any questions or queries please feel free to reach out.


Wild Atlantic Aircraft.




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