Arrival & Unpacking Of Your Kit

A Clipped Wing Special, Challenger II kit has arrived in nine (9) boxes to our builder's garage. Somewhere in these nine boxes you will find the following.

    1. Main Fuselage
    2. Two Main Wings, less ribs
    3. Main Strut Polls & Fairings (if ordered)
    4. Wing Ribs
    5. Tail Feather Assembly
    6. Stits Covering Material
    7. Tail Support & other hardware
    8. Assembly Parts
    9. More Assembly Parts

As It Arrives From The Factory

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The large box exhibits the unmistakable shape of the cockpit and main fuselage section of the Challenger. Note the main landing gear weldment protruding from the bottom center of the box. Yes, it sticks out a bit, but it's protected by a heavy cardboard tube taped around it. It's not the easiest thing to do, to wrap up an airplane!

Boxes of many shapes and sizes enclose the parts of the kit. The really large one leaning against the shelves on the right contains the wing tube assembly. The large, white tube that appears to lie on the floor in the center is especially interesting. In fact, it is a part of the big box that contains the main fuselage. It covers and protects the rearmost section of the longerons. As we said, it's not easy to wrap up an airplane.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Here we're looking past the box containing the wing assembly toward the aft end of the box containing the main fuselage. In this view you can see that the white tube covering the rear end of the longerons is indeed part of the fuselage.

Main Fusalage

This is the main fuselage section as it comes out of the box. After unpacking your new Challenger parts and framework, your inventory should look something like this. You will note the seats are not placed in the fuselage at the factory, but placed in the fuselage by the builder after it has arrived. A small sheet of plywood protects the lower front during shipping. The square tube at the very top is the root tube. It is to this that the wings attach, and the engine is mounted at the rear of it. Near the bottom, the two main longeron tubes run the entire length of the plane.

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Click to Enlarge

With the seats temporarily placed in position, it's beginning to look inviting, and it's hard to resist "getting in" just to see how it feels! The control sticks are pulled back and secured with the seat belts. Near the front, the black assembly sticking straight up is the structure that holds the nose gear. It is rotated upward for shipping.

In this side view of the fuselage, the upward angle of the root tube is easy to see. This angle is important because it's this angle that sets the angle of incidence of the wings relative to the rest of the fuselage. Also you can see the triangulation of the down tubes underneath the rear of the root tube. This helps to keep the lower fuselage and root tube from moving fore and aft relative to each other and gives strong support for the rear of the root tube where the engine is to be mounted.

If you look very carefully, you can see the third structural member that gives the aft fuselage its rigidity. It's a tube that runs parallel to the center line of the fuselage and, in conjunction with the two longerons, completes the triangular structure. This tube prevents the aft fuselage from flexing up and down relative to the front. (This tube is the top tube visible in the aft section.)

Hanging on the shelves above the fuselage you can see the frames for the elevators, rudder, and the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. Higher up are the tubes that will become the lift struts, and right in the middle you can see the fuel tank and the frame for the dorsal fin.

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Click to Enlarge

This view from the rear shows the area at the rear of the root tube where the engine will be mounted. You can see the metal sheet that forms the firewall attached to the rear-most down tubes. The small-diameter tube running basically parallel to the longerons and inside the rear fuselage cavity is the "elevator control tube." It is linked to the bottom of the control sticks in the front and to the elevator control assembly in the rear. The left main gear weldment is also clearly visible in this view.

In the photos below, you will see what the parts assembly will look like after you have unpacked your boxes. You can also see the Fuel Tank on the shelf behind the Tail Support in photo #2.

    Photo #1. Wing Frames with aileron frames, lift strut tubes, and fairings at the top.
    Photo #2.
             TOP: Lift struts and two other tubes.
             LOWER LEFT: Wing ribs and frame for dorsal fin.
             LOWER RIGHT: Frames for tail feathers.
    Photo #3. Smaller Kit Assembly Parts
    Photo #4. OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES: Fiberglass Wing Tips and Wheel Pants

Assembly Parts

Here, hanging in front of the shelves, are the wing tube assemblies. There are two, one hanging just slightly in front of the other. Up at the top, we can see the framework for the ailerons. Above these frames, lying on top of some of the tubes for the lift struts, there are two sections of fairing material that will be installed over the struts. The fairings are a highly recommended option provided by QCU.

1. Click to Enlarge

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This is a closer-in view of the many tubes and frames the kit includes. To the right are the frames for the tail assembly, the "empenage." Just above the fuel tank are the wing ribs with the frame for the dorsal fin hanging underneath. At the top are the lift struts, and on top of them are the high siderail tubes for the Clipped Wing Special.

This is simply a pile of stuff. Aside from the big items, there are additional small items numbering in the tens or even hundreds that complete the kit. The fork for the nose wheel is readily identifiable, and we recognize parts of the aileron control linkage. The other tubes, parts, and pieces are too numerous to mention. There are gussets and brackets, braces and bows. How will it all ever get together?

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4. Click to Enlarge

And the final photo on this page shows the fiberglass wing tips (an option from QCU) and the wheel pants for the main gear. Wonder if those wheel pants have to be sanded and painted? They look pretty nice right now!

Inventory Check:

Always unpack and check your inventory to make sure all the parts were added and arrived intact without any damage as soon as possible. In this Challenger II package, our builder/owner found the following missing or incomplete.

  1. The QCU fabrication team forgot to drill the leading edge wing spar attachment hole on the left wing. Dave G. had the fixture to aid in drilling this hole sent out immediately and has already been received. Thanks Dave!
  2. Two rivets were not seated correctly and the fuel fitting in the tank was inserted in the tank opening a little crooked by about 4 threads. Both minor problems which will be corrected and the remedy shown during the build when we get to that section.
  3. Kit was missing the last aileron rib on one aileron and Jury Struts. Called QCU and they promptly sent them out.
  4. Kit did not arrive with GPL starter. The packing slip included with the kit listed it as "back ordered" and arrived on February 12, 2004.
  5. The CWII Door Kit Parts List show parts L1 - L6 and R1 - R6 for a total of 12 door frame parts in addition to WL1 and WR2. This is a total of 14 parts, but there were only 12 door frame parts in this kit? Dave G. said L4 and R4 are not used with the Clipped Wing Special, so the total number of parts should be 12, 14 for the long wing.

NOTE: The 503 engine, reduction drive, propeller does not ship with the frame kit. Quad City recommends that the propulsion system should be requested for shipping about two weeks before it would be needed to avoid prematurely starting the warranty.

However, several builders would recommend getting the engine and prop as soon as possible in order to use it for rigging the fuel lines, cables, electical connections, etc. You may find it more important to have the engine on hand for construction reasons and not worry about starting the warranty clock on the engine as many builders feel the engine will be just fine and normally is.