View Full Version : Bill Prokes Kitfox of the Month June 2010 "Little Red".

05-31-2010, 07:20 PM
Kitfox N419BM
Model 4 with Rotec Radial Engine.

Some 5 or so years ago Phil "Papa" Laker ( DesertFox1) introduced me to the Kitfox at the Desert Fox Fly-in . At the time I was involved flying sailplanes and contest flying (racing). I own a Discus and a few others having a few thousand hours in gliders and motor gliders.
Papa got me in a Kitfox for a flight around Thunder Ridge and 20 minutes later I was hooked- had to have one.

While doing research regarding what I wanted to build, I stumbled on information about the Rotec Radial Engine – had to have one.

Papa hooked me up with a fuselage and construction began in earnest after arrival of the engine from Australia. Weight and balance was the big stumbling block at first, with a few calculations it became apparent the battery had to go in the tail and the wings needed forward sweep. The other obvious requirement was to make the rest of the airplane light since the engine is a bit heavier than a Rotax. Carbon Fiber cowl, doors, etc. reduced some weight. Papa continued to mentor me through the entire process and would regularly show up with a much needed part and advice. I could not have done this without Papa. Papa……. THANK YOU!

A lot of great people have “skin” in this little airplane and I owe John and Debra McBean so many THANK YOU’s I could not count them all. John and Debra …… THANK YOU!

Delays seem to happen in most building projects and this was no exception. Our business grew, needed a new home, we bought, moved, battled city inspectors, etc., etc. etc.. Time marched on and building was slow. Matt Lejcar came to the rescue and helped with all aspects of this project. Matt is a great craftsman, a great friend, a wealth of knowledge, and a great pilot. Matt now flies “Little Red” regularly. Matt ……. THANK YOU!

My lovely wife Teri understands my need to fly and build …and fly and build. She is a great Co-Pilot and loves flying “Little Red”. I think she prefers this flying over picking me up in the middle of the night from some field where I landed out in a sailplane…. in the middle of Texas…. in a rain storm… deep in mud. Teri... THANK YOU!

Building “Little Red” has been a great and rewarding experience. Building airplanes and friendships – can’t get better than this.

Flying “Little Red” is a bit different. Visibility over the nose is a bit limited with the tail down since the gear legs are longer than standard due to the 76” prop. “S” turns are a must during taxi operations. Directional control on the ground is very good. The tail comes up pretty quick on take off and climb is good. Cruise around 108mph at 3250 RPM ( geared engine) and 6.2 GPH. The airplane is very easy to fly – no bad habits.
This is a Great airplane…. but as far as I can tell, ALL Kitfox are great airplanes!

Thanks again to all. Hope to see everyone at the Factory fly-in this year.

Bill Prokes
Video shut down at the fuel pumps.
Youtube video " Little Red" Wickenburg,AZ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paucA3qcdno)

View a short video of takeoff in "Little Red". Don't you just love the sound?
Youtube video "Little Red" take off Thunder Ridge Airpark

05-31-2010, 07:35 PM
Bill , congrats. on KOTM. Truly deserved. An aviation work of art. Craftsmanship above and beyond and much carbon fiber firsts including the wide body mod.doors and cowling.
Thanks for the flight in April Bill. What a blast. It was a joy to fly.:) Looking forward to many more flights with you in the future.




06-01-2010, 07:12 AM
Congratulations on building one of the coolest planes I have seen...it certainly deserves KOTM. It was fun to watch it come together as I was in an out of your shop a few times. For those who get a chance to see it, take a close look at the doors as they are carbon fiber and almost lighter than air :). This one will take several awards I'm sure. Nice job Bill.

t j
06-03-2010, 08:20 AM
That kitfox is amazing. Mine looks like a tinker toy in comparison.

06-05-2010, 02:18 PM
I just realized I did not recognize the guys at ROTEC!. These guys have been absolutly fantastic to work with.Factory support is immediate, concise, friendly---- and more. To all at ROTEC Thank you for everything.
I will absolutly use this engine again!