As you may or may not be aware, the Falco was sold as a series of smaller kits rather that one large kit. That gave you the ability to make parts yourself and to spread the cost over many kits rather than one large outlay. I elected to build my own wooden parts and buy a lot of the metal parts. That made it more affordable for me as the dollar exchange rate down here in New Zealand was far from fantastic !! As it turned out I made a fair few of the metal parts too.
For the wood part I purchased a “wood to size” kit from Western Aircraft Supplies in Canada. The quality of the spruce I received was great and having all the wood cut to the required sizes saved me a lot of time machining wood. I believe this is a very cost effective way of buying the wood if electing to build the wood parts yourself.
Western Aircraft Wood to size kit ( excluding spar material )
If you were to buy the wood parts the kits required would be:
#201 Wing Spars Kit
#205 Wing Ribs
#302 Fuselage Frames
#402 Tail Group Spars
#405 Tail group Ribs
#102 Partial Spruce Kit
The partial spuce kit is the “wood to size” kit minus the spruce for the parts in the above kits. You can see that buying the wood kits can save a LOT of time but the cost in $$$ is significant.
For me, I purchased only a few metal part kits:
The Nosegear Kit
I have found the kits to be of average quality. It certainly isn’t the cheapest aircraft to build but spreading the payments makes it easier and since you don’t have to buy all the kits it gives you flexibility.
For tools you really only need tools commonly found in a wood workers workshop. You will need a LOT of clamps. At the peak I had 86 clamps and still managed to run out occasionally. I just bought any cheap clamp I could find, often in cheap ‘junk’ piles.
My ‘right arm’ throughout the whole construction process was a Triton Workcenter. I don’t know if they are available in the USA but if you can get your hands on one you won’t regret it.
I consider these the most useful wood working tool ever invented. I had the earlier model Mark 3 with saw and router tables. The router table with a laminate trimmer bit was absolutely invaluable for making all the wood parts.
Black and Decker Powerfile
Really !! Check out the Triton gear.. it is well priced and you will use it well beyond the Falco project. The newer systems are even better with full dust extraction options and jigsaw tables etc etc etc. I am definitly going to upgrade!
Other useful tools are the Black and Decker Power File – looks like junk but one of the most useful hand tools I have ever used. In fact I’m on to my second one!
For fiberglass I got a tip from the Cozy builders and bought a Fein Multimaster.
The heads are interchangable to various fittings. The cutter cuts very fine cuts through fiberglass like a hot knife through butter. The head just vibrates. Its weird but you can safely put your finger on the blade and it just tickles. Very cool and very handy. Not the easiest tool in the world to find but worth the hunt.