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Bear Paw
10-16-2010, 07:42 PM
Greetings one and all.... I'm looking at a Backcountry Cub kit and would really input from anyone might have dealing with any of the incarnations of these kits, ie Smith, Turbine or Backcountry. Good things, bad things, maybe things you would do different? I like the staff I've talked with to date.

Reading through the post I am putting a list of questions together that have come to mind. Thanks for everyone sharing their photos and experiences.

Bill Rusk
10-16-2010, 09:17 PM
Chuck

Welcome to the site. There is a lot of info here on these kits. If you search Smith you will probably find an evenings reading. Wayne and Company at Backcountry have always treated me well. Here is my thread on this kit.

Bill

http://www.supercub.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=4309

cub12
10-16-2010, 09:30 PM
Are you building a 12 or an 18? I have built a pa-12 by TCOW. It was a very nice kit every thing went well and any complaints i had they took care of.they only thing i found lacking was the hardware kit.
Marc

Bear Paw
10-16-2010, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the replies and had a number of my questions already answered. Right now I plan on building a 18, but I would like o find out a bit more about the 12.

pittsdriver
10-17-2010, 10:39 AM
I am in final assembly of my TCOW/Backcountry L-21. I have built or helped build several airplanes in the last 30 years. The kit parts and fit are first class and I would build another one. The downside is the instructions suck big time. I have told Wayne over and over that they need a set of drawings for all the things that need to be fabricated. They have some good videos but you have to watch them over a few times to get all the critical measurements etc. If you had a nice blueprint with all the info on it it would take minutes to figure out instead of hours watching a video. Ordering parts can also take awhile so give yourself some lead time. Don

Bear Paw
10-17-2010, 12:45 PM
Thanks Don...any photos of your project....I'm still sorting through how to find things here....

willirw
10-17-2010, 01:43 PM
I'm building a wide body 18 and am just starting the fabric right now (Stewarts System). I have rebuilt several 12's and 18's in the past and this one is easy ( wasn't a basket case when I started) For the most part everything in the kit has fit fairly well. If I find myself in the market again I would build another one. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

I understand that BackCountry is currently going thru the process fof having their kit approved by the FAA, does anyone have info on this?

Randy

Bear Paw
10-17-2010, 02:28 PM
I talked with Brian last week and he said they had been in discussions with them. Their 51% program is good.

ohansen
10-18-2010, 09:25 AM
Hi Bear Paw
I purchased a Smith kit (probably the last one produced) just as they were winding down and Turbine was taking over. I could probably have been left to twist in the wind but they stepped up and sent me the numerous parts that had been left out. I had to lay all the parts out on the floor, take a picture and email it to Wayne. They were excellent about it all and looked after it promptly. There was no BS.
There were no drawings, instructions or online videos with the Smith kit. At tad intimidating for a first time builder who had never even had a ride in a cub. Nearest one is about 60 miles away. I've found the builders manual to be good, and they are excellent at filling in blanks with a phone call. In short, given that they were going through the initial development stage of their company it has so far been a good experience.
The covering is just now finished and hope to fly it next summer. I'll probably leave it alone come December in favour of sunnier climates.
If I can help in any way just email. We're located in central BC
Good luck with your decision.
Ole

pittsdriver
10-18-2010, 10:58 AM
Ole, I hope you did the wing and stab incedence. The wing is a change to the front spar attach and the stab is a relocation of the rear mount. VERY important! We have a Smith Cub, Transition Turbine cub and both needed the mods. Don

cub12
10-18-2010, 12:12 PM
things seem to keep getting better over there, i think you will be very happy with your kit.Like i said i have done 2 you are looking at about 1700hrs to get to the flight line but if you enjoy building and the satisfaction of flying something you put togrther your self it's all worth it.
p.s fee free to call or pm
Marc

skywagon8a
10-19-2010, 08:52 AM
I talked with Brian last week and he said they had been in discussions with them. Their 51% program is good.

This is the same thing that I was told when I ordered my Cub 3 years ago. As far as I know nothing more has happened. Still not an approved kit. The manual stinks. It would be better if it was printed. It would be easier to understand rather than to wait for a video to run. It is an excellent kit though, very good workmanship.

pittsdriver
10-19-2010, 09:50 AM
I talked to Wayne a few weeks ago and the appointment with the FAA is middle of November. If they get the 51% approval it sure will make inspection easier. Don

Bear Paw
10-19-2010, 03:29 PM
Just got off the phone with Brian, long conversation on his day off. I think most of my questions have been answered now, maybe get a little more input here about some things and options and then take the plunge just need to figure out a delivery date when that is done.
Still very impressed with their focus on the customer and how they can help. I can think of a few companies that could take a few lessons from them.
Thanks to everyone here too for your help and suggestions. I tend to keep my mouth shut and listen, sometimes you learn more, but I'm sure there will be questions too.

iamcamper
10-20-2010, 02:44 AM
I asked around about Smith/TCOW before I ordered my kit from them and heard much the same thing. "Nice kit and everything fits great."

Well I must be the exception that proves the rule. Canít say I'm impressed with anything they have sent me. Many parts/components didnít fit so well, crappy powder coat and such; and as already mentioned their builders manual blows. Good bunch of guys and they try hard but from my experience with their kit I got from them has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Maybe they have improved. It has been nearly six years sense I ordered my kit, but I would have to look over their stuff real close before I'd order anything more from them.

My advise is to do just that before you send them any cash. Besides which there may be some features in their kit you may not care for.

Bear Paw
10-20-2010, 04:17 AM
Will I think I will take a trip east to take a look, Brian suggested that. I know there have been several changes in ownership in recent years and I understand that a new manual was produced this past year.
Like you said though, check everything out carefully and make sure you have a clear plan on what you want the finished project to be. I appreciate the input.

pittsdriver
10-20-2010, 08:29 AM
I asked around about Smith/TCOW before I ordered my kit from them and heard much the same thing. "Nice kit and everything fits great."

Well I must be the exception that proves the rule. Canít say I'm impressed with anything they have sent me. Many parts/components didnít fit so well, crappy powder coat and such; and as already mentioned their builders manual blows. Good bunch of guys and they try hard but from my experience with their kit I got from them has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Maybe they have improved. It has been nearly six years sense I ordered my kit, but I would have to look over their stuff real close before I'd order anything more from them.

My advise is to do just that before you send them any cash. Besides which there may be some features in their kit you may not care for.

You have a Smith Cub and there is no comparison to the TCOW/Backcountry. We have 5 cubs going together here and have a Smith, a very early TCOW and three 2008 TCOWs. The 2008s are very nice, great parts fit and powder coating and really nice welding. The transition TCOW is OK but needed the stab mount relocation and the wing attach mod. It had OK welding and powder coating. It was done before the jigs were reworked. The Smith is another story. The fuse is kinda sorta straight but a lot of stuff looks eyeballed in not jigged. Welds are not pretty but functional. Not even close to the quality of the new kits. Don

pfjay52
10-20-2010, 07:40 PM
you might want to throw one more option into the equation. Jay DeRosier of Javron Inc has built a number of airframes for TCOW/BackCountry. i am guessing that the 2008 models mentioned were built by him. i understand that Wayne Axelson was building the wings and Jay the airframes. Jay is now tooling up to build the wings for his own kit production. i have read only good reports of his workmanship on this site. i have bought one of Jay's kits and along with another guy will be importing the two kits into Australia later this year.
a buddy of mine has nearly finished a TCOW/BackCountry kit he bought late last year. i am very impressed with the finish of the kit, tho' i think it's one of the last airframes that Jay built for TCOW,and may not be representative of what is coming from BackCountry these days.
cheers,
Phil