View Full Version : Mark and Renee Smith July Kitfox of the Month

06-29-2009, 05:09 PM

Name & TeamKitfox.com username: Mark and Renee Smith, ‘Mark'
City/state: Boise, ID
Kitfox model/series: 7A
Engine & prop: Rotax 912S and IVO Medium in-flight adjustable prop.
Date started, date completed: June 6, 2005 - August 30, 2007
Story of your Kitfox:

In the winter of 2004, I made the announcement to my wife that I was going to purchase a motorcycle next summer. I knew that she wouldn't want me to have anything to do with motorcycles and I knew that Skystar was one of her customer accounts. The seed was planted. I just sat back and waited for those sweet words to come out of her mouth: "honey, why don't you go over to Caldwell and look at those Kitfoxs". I had not so secretly been eyeing Kitfoxs since I read an article about them in the 80's. In 2003, while working at a temporary control tower at a fly-in in McCall, Idaho, this guy taxis up to the tower and asks if anyone wants to go for a ride in his Kitfox. (Here's a hint - if you don't want to buy a Kitfox, don't go for a ride in one...) I was hooked. It turns out that ‘this guy' was John McBean. I was sold on Kitfox that day...

I picked up my kit in the summer of 2005 and spent the next 2 plus some years in my garage. Leave the garage doors open and you'll meet 30 new neighbors you didn't know you had. I did get caught up in the Skystar debacle but thankfully John and Debra owned Sportplane and they came to my rescue through completion. About 1100 hours later, on August 30, 2007, I made the first flight, just in time to fly to the first annual Kitfox fly-in in Homedale. It was a grueling 20 min flight from Nampa, Idaho. The plane flew near perfect from the moment the power was applied. The performance matched the advertised numbers. If I could only fly as good as my Kitfox

I decided to do a glass cockpit and am really happy with the outcome. My panel includes the following:
·Grand Rapids EFIS Sport and EIS
·XCOM radio
·Microair transponder
·Airspeed and Turn and Bank steam gauges for back up.
I used flat rocker switches to make the panel as flush as possible. The panel was powder coated and the lettering is lazered into the powder coat.

In the Spring of 2008, I tested the waters (pun intended) with installing floats, but that's a story for another time. When I first met my wife, I told her I would take her flying to breakfast sometime for a date. She didn't know I had to build the plane first...

06-29-2009, 05:15 PM
Mark, Thanks for the submission. This is a very very nice Kitfox . Excellent workmanship throughout. Nice work Mark. Congrats on KOTM. Very well deserved. :)

One more photo of Mark and Renee's Kitfox that wouldn't fit on the KOTM feature page.:)

06-30-2009, 11:33 AM
Mark and Renee,
Congratulations...you have a great looking plane! It looks very nice on those floats and I'd bet it's a kick to fly on and off the water. Good to hear about the first flight being a good one with all going well & as expected. These planes are awesome and I'm looking forward to getting mine in the air.

PS...You will need to keep an eye on Kellander at any fly-ins...I know he is chomping at the bit to fly a Kitfox floatplane. ;)

06-30-2009, 01:20 PM
What a great looking plane. Good job! She looks especially nice on floats. Wonder why you needed a dual axle trailer to haul it?

Really, it is a wonderful looking plane, let's see more of it.


07-02-2009, 07:52 AM
Thanks, guys. I've been very happy with it, too. It just needs more air time. If I wasn't so busy working on everybody else's Kitfoxs, and John wasn't always using it as a test bed for whims and new trial parts, I might get to fly it more.

Ibushrod - about the trailer - when you have to beg, borrow, or steal, you use what you get...

07-03-2009, 05:09 AM
What a beautiful plane, very inspiring. I really like the idea of the separate plate for the throttle, how did you handle the "choke" ring (I can't tell from the photos)?

07-03-2009, 07:33 AM
Thanks, Dorsal
I found the throttle plate on line somewhere and it was expensive,
but I wanted to have a clean panel. I'd just make one next time.

Originally, I had tried to use a push/pull cable in the throttle panel but it didn't work out. I installed the ring cable behind the throttle panel and it works out because it hides the ring and I use the panel for a bit of leverage when using the choke.

07-04-2009, 04:02 AM
Thanks, just about to start cutting my panel, having some analysis paralysis.

07-13-2009, 09:05 AM
Here's a couple of updates to our aircraft. I recently replaced my XCOM radio with an ICOM A210 - what an improvement. Also got my wheel pants installed, much faster now. The best news is that we won the EAA 2009 Workmanship Award for Custom Built Kit Airplanes!

07-13-2009, 10:02 AM
that's funny. I put in the Xcom, but I kept the Icom A210 also. I found that having one radio made me feel uneasy. Nice to have two. I joined the two into parrellel on the headset (through the pm3000) with a 250ohm resister off each radio. Than I used a double throw switch to switch which radio I wanted to transmit on. Works great. One thing I did find, the Xcom brings in the ATIS much sooner. Oh and each radio has its own intenna and seperate power route. The icom has its own switch off a fuse. I'll flick that on or off as I need it. My primary radio is the Icom. I love it also.

07-13-2009, 01:07 PM
Looks purdy Mark...congrats on the award!

07-13-2009, 03:24 PM
The best news is that we won the EAA 2009 Workmanship Award for Custom Built Kit Airplanes!

Wonderful Mark and Renee. Very much deserved. It looks great with the pants. Anyone who has seen this aircraft up close will agree with those judges. Congrats again.

Joe Meyeres
08-02-2009, 05:03 AM
Very pretty airplane! I really like it on floats! :)