Mark Kenesten is CubCrafters’ Sales Manager in the Great Lakes/Northeast Territory
In June, 2018 I considered the possibility of building a Carbon Cub EX-3 kit. I’ve been selling these things for a few years, and though I feel like I know the airplane pretty well from a pilot’s perspective, I would like to be better able to discuss the nuts & bolts… the details of construction, with more authority and I think that building the kit would be an invaluable education, and a fun project too! As the Northeast winter approaches, I’ll have some more down time. This might be be a great opportunity to keep busy and get my hands into a kit. I am no stranger to mechanical work. I was working on small outboard motors with my dad in marinas starting at 8 years old, and other projects such as snowmobiles and cars too. After I made a proposal, the senior leadership at CubCrafters agreed this will be a worthy project.
I tell prospective kit builders, “You can do it!” It’s time to prove the axiom to myself.
Both of the Carbon Cub EX kits are assembly projects, NOT fabrication projects. Even with modest skills, you (and I) too can build an airplane and in the process, save some pesos, bucks, dinero, geetus, Benjamins, frogskins, greenbacks, bread, clams… CASH BABY! Will it take some time? Yes. I anticipate 800-1000 man hours, but I must wrap my head around this and form a plan. Will I work 3 hours a day? 6 hours? More? Whatever it is, stick to the plan. My intent is to have this machine done and ready for my big reveal next summer.
Keep in mind, this is a big commitment for me, and I’m a bit nervous about it. I’ve already ordered the kit, rented space in a local hangar, and started collecting some specialized tools and supplies for the build. I’ll refer to other builders’ logs on the CubCrafters EX Forum, like those from ceslaw and Daveembry. There is also continuing discussion on the Forum from current and past builders. Of course I’ll rely heavily on CubCrafters’ technical support guru, Mitch Travis, as well.
I believe I am ready to start. Stay tuned and look for many updates here on this BLOG, the EX Forum, Facebook, and more. The CubCrafters team will field your questions and keep you updated. I’m excited to bring to you the play-by-play of my construction of YankeeOne!
12/5/2018 PROGRESS UPDATE
Hi again from the balmy northeast. With an early snow season, the YankeeOne kit arrived by Yellow Freight the day before thanksgiving. I had some experts with a four-wheel drive loader outfitted with forks in place of the bucket to move this jumbo-size box off the truck. It was picked up from one end and hauled out of the truck to the lift gate. Once the opposite end was on the lift gate, a choreographed dance was performed with precision to lower the big box to the ground.
CubCrafters’ Northeast/Great Lakes HQ secured a space 45’x25’ in the back of our hanger at North American Flight Services, Saratoga County Airport. This will be our home for the next 6-8 months during the building process of our EX3, aptly named “YankeeOne”. At this point we have not chosen paint/color scheme. However, we know the scheme itself will be in concert with our schemes offered at the factory. I do not expect any Yankee pin stripes on this hot rod.
Once the crate was open I quickly got to unloading it. Our parts team and shipping department are consummate experts when it comes to packaging, crating, and loading. The boxes are all marked per our three basic kits (Fuselage, Wings, Finish), so when you receive your kit you can organize the wing kit parts in one area, fuselage and finish kit parts in separate areas. I suggest a large table and a chair. Get comfortable, you are going to have a few hours invested in doing your inventory of the parts. During this process I learned that you will be circling back to the boxes/parts once the inventory is finished, so I do NOT suggest mixing any parts from the kits even though you may have a process in mind for organization. The parts you need to build the wings are in the wing kit, so keep it separate.
I had a little interruption during the inventory process with a ferry flight of an XCub from MN-AZ, so I lost a few days, but I think the inventory process can be done in two days by one person without interruption. It took me a tad longer. So now with the entire inventory done, I have my horses set up, the fuselage is out of the box and on the ground, and I have the right wing spars on the horses ready to assemble. Now to remember which box those brackets are in? I got it!
Stay tuned and look for these blog updates as well as our posts on the forums and live updates on Facebook. We also have a time lapse video coming your way periodically so you can see the steps and follow along. As always, you are invited to the hanger to check out the build in process. If you are flying in, the airport ID is 5B2. We have fuel, courtesy car, and local hotels. If you arrive commercially, you will be arriving in Albany, NY (ALB). We encourage groups and hope you will bring the young people in too. Stay tuned we’re just getting started. Mark-