In June 2002, as my fuselage work was drawing to a close (yeah, right), I figured it was time to order some more kit components. Rather than mess around with ordering just one or two subkits, I decided to bite the bullet and order everything. A large amount of cash to layout all at once, but I didn’t want to take a chance on KLS Composites going out of business before I had everything I needed. So I ordered the wing kit (rib & spar wing, not the foam core version), canard kit, cowling kit, and strake kit. In late July 2002 I got the call that my parts were ready and on their way westward.
Stan Montgomery gave me the crate dimensions, approximate weight, and the tracking information for the trucking company. I was to pay a crating fee and the shipping cost. This time they used Estes Express/G.I. Trucking as the carrier. G.I. wasn’t quite as flexible with regard to delivery options (i.e. “we’ll be there between 8AM and 5PM), so rather than try to coordinate an uncrating party like last time, I opted to have them hold the crate at their depot in Auburn, WA. Then, when it was convenient for me, I rented a truck and drove down to get it. One thing Stan failed to mention when he gave me the crate dimensions: It had a “chimney” to fit the winglets. The chimney turned out to be about 2 inches taller than the truck box. Hmmm, now what? The crate was long enough that we decided to shove it in as far as it would go, and tie a rope around the back end. Needless to say, it was a rather nerve-racking drive home (about 50 miles) with $20,000 of airplane parts dangling out the back of the truck. But I made it home with no problems–just a few weird stares.
The crate also turned out to be way heavier than Stan had estimated. It weighed nearly 1200 pounds if I recall correctly. Moving all that weight from Tennessee to Seattle translated into a whopping C.O.D. shipping fee of $1787. When I told Stan about that, he promptly waived the $200 crating fee, which was nice, but ouch.
Since it worked so well last time, and because the crate was so heavy, my buddy Chris and I dismantled the crate inside the truck and just removed the pieces one-by-one. Suddenly my garage was full again.