View Full Version : January 2017 KOTM. Mangy Fox

01-11-2017, 12:06 AM
It's fitting to start off our 2017 KOTM section with a spectacular Kitfox restored with great care and talent by our very own TeamKitfox moderator, AV8r3400. Larry spends many hours a week helping our members on line. His dedication to the Kitfox design is apparent in his willingness to share his expertise with others. Thanks for sharing this story of the resurrection of a once ignored and lonely little model 4 that found a forever home in Wisconsin.
You did good. Your mom would be proud.:)
Enjoy every flight.

January 2017 KOTM:

"This Kitfox was actually my first. I bought this Kitfox as a promise to my Mom who passed away in April of 2009. She wanted me to get back into flying and made me promise that I would, sooner than later. I had already been looking at planes and had settled on the Kitfox. In particular the model IV. Thanks to the guidance of Av8rPS and JimS and the solid push from my mom.

This Classic IV-1200 came from upstate New York. It was in a sorry state when I found it on Barnstormers. It had a 912 and all of the features I was looking for. I found out, when we went to look at it, that it spent it's entire life outside, out in the northern New York weather. Nevertheless like the homely puppy at the shelter I took her home anyway. My dear wife and I spent 26 hours in a 26' U-Haul bringing it home over Memorial Day weekend, 2009.


I brought it home with the intent to tune it up a little, fly it for a while then do a full rebuild. Well, I got her home and started playing with it as time allowed. Then in July of 2009 another Kitfox IV made itself available to me at a super price and all of a sudden I had two Kitfoxes. Well the other plane was a flyer and a beautiful one at that. It was a Kitfox of the month back in 2010. The Mangy Fox (as it came to be known) went into the barn and was mothballed for the time being.

In November 2010, I started taking apart the Mangy in preparation for a full restoration. The project languished until late in 2012. My friend Dave said to me, "Bring that d@mn plane over to my shop and lets get it done!" So I did. With Dave's help we finished up the full restoration and modification process of this plane in December of 2015. The plane was stripped down past what would have been the normal start point of a Kit.
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The airframe was totally sandblasted and re-powdercoated incorporating some changes I wanted to do from flying the Yellow IV-1050 I had. I designed and built a very large baggage area to accommodate bulky and large (but light) camping supplies.

The wings were rebuilt, repairing some water damage to the rib tails and adding the newest design flapperon hangers and newest design fuel tanks.

She was recovered and painted incorporating her new name and Mascot!



Her 200 hour 912 UL was totally stripped down, inspected and reassembled with a Zipper high torque big-bore kit, upping the power to an estimated 105 hp. I added the Prince prop as an experiment because of the success that they were showing with other similar planes with this engine.






As of a couple weeks ago, I added my skis to the plane. I'v had her out a couple times on the skis and she is showing much promise as a ski plane.

Link to first flight video: https://youtu.be/zmo4y-8EXzM

Her performance as of today:

Cruise - 100 mph at 5000 rpm.
Max speed - 120 mph at WOT
Stall speed - 35 mph with full flap
Takeoff - 250'
Landing - 300' (so far, getting shorter as my skills improve)
Max sustained climb - about 2000 fpm (this motor and prop climb like crazy!!)
Fuel burn - 4.5 GPH at cruise power"

01-11-2017, 12:37 AM
Congratulations on the honor, and for sticking it out and creating such a truly beautiful airplane Larry! It was a great story! That's the sexiest "mangy" fox I've ever seen!

01-11-2017, 08:40 AM
Congratulations, Larry. That's quite an honor. I love the name, Mangy Fox. Your dedication to saving her and turning her into something special is exceptional. Well done.

01-11-2017, 10:09 AM
Larry, beautiful airplane. loved seeing it at OSH. Hope to see it again this next OSH. :)

01-11-2017, 10:51 AM
Thank you all for the kind words. I had a lot of help along the way, including many of you on this forum! I'm having lots of fun with the plane and it is performing as well or better than I was expecting.

Yes Sly, God willing and the creek don't rise, she will be back at Airventure 2017. :D

Paul Z
01-11-2017, 11:25 AM
Well deserved award of Kitfox of the Month, Larry built a very nice Bird! Like the Kitfox on the Tail the Plane isn't anything close to a Mangy Fox. I enjoyed seeing it at Oshkosh. I also enjoyed your company at the flyin.

01-21-2017, 07:39 AM
Congratulations Larry

Got to see Mangy Fox at Osh last year and it is a stunningly gorgeous airplane
Perhaps the best restoration ever


01-21-2017, 07:47 AM
Congrats Larry. Beautiful workmanship. Glad you bought it. It was tough to see it erode into the ground like it was doing.