January 4, 2007

Picked up my Empennage Kit from Vans!

Today was a HUGE day... one I have been dreaming about forever, it seems. After thinking about building an airplane, planning on building an airplane, preparing my shop to build an airplane, getting my tools together to build an airplane, and working my business so I could afford to start building an airplane, this day has finally come! I can hardly believe it. I faxed in my order to Vans on the last business day of 2006 in order to get in ahead of their annual price increase. I figured they would have a flood of orders and it would take a while. So you can imagine how surprised I was to hear from them so soon, to tell me my kit was ready to pick up! So I scheduled an appointment for today for Will Call. It was a beautiful January day. As I mentioned previously, I live 22 miles from Vans via the scenic back country roads, and it takes about 25 minutes to drive down here. I parked and walked into the office where a nice lady met me. I think she could see how excited I was. I mumbled something about how long I had been waiting for this day while she prepared the paperwork. After writing a check for the balance on the empennage kit, she directed me to drive around back to the WIll Call door.

Here's a peek inside the big door around back. Inside, there are quickbuild fuselages and wings all over the place, big boxes with engines, and all kinds of other things stacked up to the ceiling on these big racks. If you've never been to Vans, it's a MUST! The factory tour is amazing, to see all the machinery running, stamping out airplane parts. And, best of all, they'll take you up for a ride in one of the companys' demonstrator RV's! I was fortunate enough to have that experience a while back when I was in the planning/dreaming stage of this project. My son Daniel came with me, and they gave him a ride, too! (I don't think they do that anymore. Lucky Daniel.)

I backed up to the door and opened the hatch on my SUV. They wheeled this cart out to my car. My first thought was "is that all there is?". But there's a lot of stuff on that cart, under those skins and in lots of little bags. I started loading it all into my Expedition.

It all fit nicely inside. The big blue recycling box is something I brought to put all the little stuff in, so it wouldn't be flying around in the back on the way home. The drive home was uneventful, and I spent the next few hours doing inventory and loading it into my shop. Van's gives you 30 days to do inventory. If anything is missing, you let them know and they get the missing stuff out to you right away. Everything was here! I'm excited to get started, in the next day or two. I still have some last minute organizing and cleaning up in my shop to do first.

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal. Trying to avoid spam here)