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My Rans S21 Outbuound Build


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Exactly 1 year from the day I was at the Rans factory for the open days where I got to fly twice the only S21 that was flying. I placed a order there and then. They have been overrun with orders for this aircraft at Rans and the wait times now are twice as long. I organised 2 other guys that had ordered kits around the same time to be able to ship in a 40ft container so we could offset the freight costs which are enormous. The kits are mine a Rotax S21 tail dragger and Gregs which is a Titan 180hp nose dragger and Rodger who ordered a S20 Raven with the metal 141 wing rotax powered tail dragger with round tail. The container travelled from Hays in Kansas to Chicago by road then by rail across the USA to Longbeach in CA where it was loaded onto a ship that went to Taiwan then picked up there by another ship that went to Sydney first then up here to Brisbane thats a total of 25,000 km of land and sea travel to get here. It arrived at the port last saturday the 5/10. Finally cleared Customs and AQIS and was delivered this morning out to Gregs place up the road from Archer Fall near Woodford. Rans did a awesome job packing the container. WE struggled unloading the almost 6 mtr long box of Rodgers and Gregs and mine were reasonably easier. On the top was a S21 finishing kit for Patrick up in Emerald he has 3/4 finished his S21 so has been waiting on it. Borrowed the work ute and the boss's car trailer and did 2 trips to get them back here to home base. Its been a big day since I got the call from the truck driver at 6.15am

 

Next job is inventory which I have to get done reasonably quickly as per Rans requests then I cant work on getting it together until I have Mabel the savannah S rebuild I am doing pretty much finished and out of my garage

 

I will be posting info and pictures of the build here

 

Mark

 

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Mate it was freezing. It was around 9 or 10 deg during the day..on the sunday we left we were just beating the snow on the way back to Kansas City to fly to Washington DC

 

His name is Sheldyne...just a really nice young man and a really good pilot too..he is one of the floor workers there

 

 

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I would have been happy to deliver your container for you, I could have helped unpack it and taken the empty away. I would have only charged you a joy flight in the finished product. ?

 

 

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Hi Geoff   It was all done in the one price for transport from Kansas to here..got to say though the delivery out to Just up the road from Archer Falls was expensive..but when split 4 ways not so bad ?

 

 

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Yes Mark...lots of stress watching it for 45 plus days travelling here. Its going to be great actually..this is built in a way quite different to savannahs. At least the manuals are far better and actually written in english...also Rans have had Eddie there do some construction videos they are really good. The only stress is getting Mabel finished and flying first

 

 

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Awesome Mark and bloody happy for you.

 

I just love everything about the S21 and look forward in following your build down the track after Mabel is finish and would love to fly up when your into the build for a look and chat.

 

I said I'd never build another plane as I got so far behind in work and stuff but "DAMM" I get excited looking at the S21 mmm ??

 

 

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Hi Guy

 

yes its a exciting aircraft especially if you have had a fly of one. Couldnt resist had to open the boxes for a look...well thats my story ?  You have to do inventory so need the packing list so I opened both boxes only the top but couldnt find it. Rang Greg and he said it was at the front on the bottom of the cabin frame box so dove in and managed to find it so I can cover the boxes up easily until I make some room. Its well packed..heaps of packing and everything is wrapped in brown paper and the stickers are on the package so will leave all the parts in the brown paper when I unpack. Got to say the cabin cage looks awesome...the work in it is unreal

 

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Quick tip:

 

If any of the kits have the molded plastic fuel tanks, check for plastic debris inside - from where fuel outlets might have been drilled out.

 

Friend of mine found a fair bit in his S7S tanks - after he'd been flying a while. (Blocked line) Lucky for him he told me about it just before he was going stick a vacuum cleaner hose in the tank after draining the fuel . NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Another friend did that to a Pontiac Parisienne tank years ago. Blew the vacuum cleaner clear across the garage and smashed into a million bits. And he was a newly qualified electrician. Guess he missed the "Petrol fumes and electricity DO mix well" class. He waddled a bit too, after his mother "tore him a new one" for destroying her vacuum cleaner.

 

So check for debris in new tanks before use. You can be happy if find none, and delighted if you find some. Either way, you will know it will be AOK in the end.

 

 

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I just did a motorbike tank with sealant, a three stage process. Stage three required drying with a “ heat gun or blow dryer” which had similar potential for disaster, depending on the heat setting and where you pointed it.

 

 

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I ended up with a fuel blockage and it was exactly that in my Savannah. A small piece of plastic came off from inside the tank and lodged sideways in the metal pipe to the engine on a bend restricting the flow which was slowly emptying the float bowls at full power. Found it eventually. Wont get caught like that again

 

 

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Hi Guy

 

yes its a exciting aircraft especially if you have had a fly of one. Couldnt resist had to open the boxes for a look...well thats my story ?  You have to do inventory so need the packing list so I opened both boxes only the top but couldnt find it. Rang Greg and he said it was at the front on the bottom of the cabin frame box so dove in and managed to find it so I can cover the boxes up easily until I make some room. Its well packed..heaps of packing and everything is wrapped in brown paper and the stickers are on the package so will leave all the parts in the brown paper when I unpack. Got to say the cabin cage looks awesome...the work in it is unreal

 

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Hi Mark,

 

This is all pretty exciting for you. Enjoy the build. No doubt you will keep us posted!

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It took me 3 days of full on solid work to clean up my big shed to make enough room to be able to unload the boxes. Cant believe how much crap I have accumulated in the 15 years I have been at this place and I need to do a lot more. Dont forget I am doing the S rebuild in this same shed so room is a big issue. Anyway got the large main box unloaded on sunday arvo late and the taller box with the cabin cage and cowls,tyres etc done last night. Started doing inventory of all the parts. OMG this kit is 2 whole levels above a savannah kit. Just the packing list for inventory is a mission. I have put all the large bits alu etc and this is all wrapped in brown paper and stickers on the outside of each with the priority number and the actual part name on it so you know what it is. I have divided my shelf areas into sections for fuselage and wing and tail and finishing kit areas etc the smaller parts (and literally a thousand of them all in bags marked) are all going into plastic boxes in those categories as well. Doing this has made ticking everything off to make sure it has been supplied is making it much easier because I remember when I pulled the lid off the sav kit box I thought that was daunting well this is way beyond that. I will get some better pictures and post them later. I did make a vertical rack to store the wing skins and the longer material on the back of it as well this has also made it a bit easier and saved a lot of room. Once I get all this loaded away I can get back onto finishing Mabel

 

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Well mission one is completed.

 

All parts are now stored safely. All the parts are sorted into big plastic tubs...the ones small enough to fit of course and there is a lot of them. All larger bits left wrapped in the brown paper they came in and all the large sheets stored flat and covered with the brown paper to stop dust which starts corrosion.

 

While sorting all this I ticked every single packet the parts came in off the packing list. That is a big mission too. There is 39 pages of parts in the list. They are done in sections to make it easier and they have a part number system I havent seen used before but surprisingly its easy and works well and is fast. All I have to do is get one of my mates over to give me a hand to get the cabin cage up to the top shelf out of the way up near the cowls. It should fit by the look of it.

 

Now its time to finish cleaning up and putting the rest of the crap I have laying around since the big cleanup either found a new spot or in the trailer off to the dump.

 

I can now get back onto Mabel and get her done to a stage where I can start to get the S21 under way

 

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Nothing going on with the S21 yet as still working on the Sav rebuild but its getting closer. Lots of work being done on the engine though. My out of time 2015 engine has been stripped and measured to see what bearings will be needed for the mains luckily the engine is excellent and no fretting of the cases also the bore for the crank is perfectly round. The gearbox has been overhauled the crank has been welded and the crank and flywheel have also been balanced. Looks like none of the Rotax engines are balanced which is a bit of a shock especially for what they cost. So with the main assembly done I expect a big difference. The camshaft has been reground and nitrided. Most of the parts are here, new valves and gaskets and seal kits, new oil pump gears. Danny has perfected a great sequence of sand blasting the cases but not with sand its pretty tricky stuff but boy does it do a fantastic job. So just waiting on bearings and through bolts etc and the engine can go back together. 

 

Picture of my engines cases after Danny has worked his magic on them

 

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My big bore will be 114hp as std and hope for a bit more with a better exhaust. Danny is working on a new prop design that should be a lot better as well. This video is of a just completed S21 with a Rotax 915 IS in it. There is no wind on this day it was filmed

 

 

The landing  

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

The engine is now here at home..all rebuilt.....its a beautiful thing :) Some pics of its assembly. Getting the last wing together on the Sav now and just waiting for the new dash so I can get ready to start painting..then I can get Mabel down to the hangar for final assembly and I can start on the mistress

 

The video shows the lifters rotating as they are supposed to when the cam has been ground correctly. There are marks on the lifters at the 12 o'clock position and they turn counter clockwise as the engine rotates

 

In all of this we found that the Rotax engines are NOT balanced at all..I was quite frankly shocked by this. We tested 4 cranks and flywheels to prove this. My engine has had the crank welded to make it stronger due to the larger hp and also it is balanced also the flywheel is also balanced so the whole rotating assembly is balanced. My engine guy is super impressed with the big bore kit I have. Everything is well made and done the right way. Even the pistons are perfect they are all exactly 504 grams each

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Slowly sneaking up on starting The Mistress.

 

Finally got around to spraying the matt clear high temperature paint over the engine to stop that ugly corrosion that gets on the front and top of the engine over time. Got another engine stand and fitted the spare ring mount I have here to the engine so I could easily mount it on the engine stand. Now I can start fitting all the new rubber hoses and other parts to the engine. The Rans uses a bed mount for the engine so it hopefully should be easy to then fit the engine when I get that far. Once I have fitted all the bits to complete the engine then I will "season" it as it will be at least 12 months I would think until its ready to go onto the fuselage. Not too far off getting ready to paint Mabel then it will go to the hangar for assembly and final fit out. If The Girlfriend hasnt sold by then and I doubt it will due to this virus nightmare I will fly her up to the farm and leave it there to free up the hangar. Then I can work on the S-21 at home at night and Mabel during the daytimes at the hangar as there are no lights in the hangar.

 

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