Kitfox Aircraft Stick and Rudder Stein Air Grove Aircraft TCW Technologies Dynon Avionics AeroLED MGL Avionics Leading Edge Airfoils Desser CPS Parts EarthX Batteries Kitplane Parts
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30

Thread: Just bought a Kitfox IV

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Morris, IL
    Posts
    195

    Default Just bought a Kitfox IV

    So yesterday I bought this Kitfox IV


    20190804_183631.jpg

    Unfortunately I discovered that transporting a Kitfox on a 14,000 pound capacity utility trailer isn't a good idea.

    20190804_212430.jpg

    So today instead of flying my new to me Kitfox, I started in on repairing by opening up that bay and making a tube straightener.

    20190805_121802.jpg

    I was able to get the tubes coerced back into alignment. Surprisingly they came out very straight and are not kinked. A spot on each longeron was a bit oval instead of round so had to make a die to squeeze the oval out of it. All in all it came out very good and I don't think it will cause any issues. I will have wait a few days for the Poly-Fiber kit to come so I can recover it.

    20190805_185309.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Morris, IL
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Just bought a Kitfox IV

    So moving on, the airplane isn't the cleanest example out there, but it seems a good solid airplane. There is some hangar rash and other not so pretty stuff that I'll have to take care of. The finish is polytone, which I'm not a great fan of because it is impossible to keep clean. It needs some TLC and also some upholstery.

    On the upholstery end, it has absolutely none. The previous owners were using some cheap cushions. I intend to get some cordura fabric to make cushions, a turtle deck cover, and a baggage bag. Can anyone who has the stock Kitfox cushions in their IVlet me know how thick the bottom cushion and back cushions are?

  3. #3
    Senior Member rv9ralph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Greenleaf, ID
    Posts
    445

    Default Re: Just bought a Kitfox IV

    As far as cushion thickness, that depends on you. The proper thickness is what gets you to the most comfortable position to reach the controls and see over the dash. I added foam under my upholstered seat to get me to the right spot for me.

    Ralph

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Chisholm Mn
    Posts
    1,117

    Default Re: Just bought a Kitfox IV

    Ouch, that had to wipe the smile off your face when you saw that. Seems like you are taking it in good stride though, press onward and get it back in the air. When it comes to adding things to an airplane, I'm reminded of the old adage, "if you want to put a part on an airplane that isn't absolutely needed, hold the part up in the air and then drop it. If it hits the ground, don't put it on" The moral of the story is everything adds weight, and weight kills performance in an airplane. Of course it ends up being a compromise, sometimes in the one direction, and sometimes on the other end of the scale. Hope you have fun with the new plane, JImChuk

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Morris, IL
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Just bought a Kitfox IV

    Yeah, I was sick to my stomach when I saw it and still had over 3 hours to drive to get it home. When I got home it was 1:00 am, so just went to bed. After looking at it in the morning and taking my pocket knife to it I decided that it wasn't too bad. All together it is going to cost only about $100 to repair and that is all for covering materials. All of my poly fiber stuff is too old so I bought a $60 "practice kit" which will have enough to get it through silver.

    As for the cushions, I realize I will need to customize, but I wanted to get an idea of what the stock cushions were, so if anyone has the thickness I'd still like to know.

    I won't be adding anything unnecessary to this airplane. I actually want to make this one as light as possible. According to the logs, it is currently 560 pounds, but I plan to weigh it to find out what it is really at. I'll only be adding the essentials, and the upholstery is an essential to me but will only have what is absolutely needed to cushion my butt and hold an overnight bag.

    Other things are going to get changed around slowly. I just plan to fly and have fun right now. The covering is solid, but it doesn't look too good. I love the polytone finish for repairs, flexability and durability, but am not a fan of the semi-gloss finish that seems to attract and suck in dirt. I eventually would like to recover this airplane with either Stewart Systems, or Oratex 600. I'm not a huge fan of the semi-transparent look of the oratex, but it may be worth it to save a few pounds. That's off in the distance though so I've got time to think about it.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Just bought a Kitfox IV

    So what exactly caused the tube damage on that flatbed trailer?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Morris, IL
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Just bought a Kitfox IV

    Quote Originally Posted by chipjumper View Post
    So what exactly caused the tube damage on that flatbed trailer?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    So as I understand it now, the issue is that when hauling on a heavy duty trailer like I used, there is so little weight that the trailer suspension has very little give. Then you strap the airplane down and its suspension now has no give either. On top of that, with the wings folded they introduce a bending moment into the aft fuselage over what the fuselage by itself would have. Throw all of this together in a pot and add a bumpy road and you have a bent fuselage because the bumps are transmitted basically directly from the road to the fuselage with no suspension to absorb in between.

    After it happened I did a bunch of reading and those that trailer successfully have trailers with soft suspensions and many support the tail a bit forward of the tailwheel at the cross tube in the fuse, both of which would help the loads overwhelming the fuselage.

    I'll probably make an extended tongue for my 1200 pound capacity utility trailer and use it in the future.

  8. #8
    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3,183

    Default Re: Just bought a Kitfox IV

    Quote Originally Posted by chipjumper View Post
    So what exactly caused the tube damage on that flatbed trailer?
    1. Too heavy of a trailer by a factor of at least 10. Every road bump shock was transferred through the entire aircraft.
    2. Tying any part of the fuselage to the trailer deck, such as shown in the photo, with the tie down straps. Only the landing gear should be strapped to the trailer thus allowing the landing gear to absorb stresses induced from rough roads.
    3. Transporting with the tail on the trailer deck and not elevating the tail and using the tail mounting tubing located ahead of the tail that goes from side to side utilizing a tail elevating transport bracket. A few Kitfox aircraft have broken their vertical tail posts transporting with the tail tied down to the deck even on light duty trailers. This damage cannot readily be found without very close inspection.
    In effect by tying the fuselage up front and the tail you turn your aircraft frame into a torsion bar which tries to prevent that heavy trailer from flexing during transport. The airframe always looses as evidenced here.

    Id be doing a thorough inspection of this entire aircraft before next flight and if the original poster is not an A&P, have one inspect the repair for compliance with best repair practices and look over the rest of the aircraft for further issues.


    DesertFox4
    Admin.
    7 Super Sport
    912 ULS Tri-gear
    Ivo Prop

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Morris, IL
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Just bought a Kitfox IV

    I appreciate the concern. The airplane will be fully inspected by both me and the A&P that is going to do the condition inspection and he was consulted on the repairs before I started them. I will say however, that being the original builder, an A&P, or anyone else doesn't mean that someone is or isn't qualified. I know a couple A&P's that I wouldn't let hold my coffee, and I know even more non-A&P homebuilders that I would trust with anything.

  10. #10
    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3,183

    Default Re: Just bought a Kitfox IV

    Happy to hear you are doing a thorough inspection before flight. 👍
    Congrats on your purchase. The model 4 is a lot of fun. Sorry your aircraft was injured on the trip home.☹️


    DesertFox4
    Admin.
    7 Super Sport
    912 ULS Tri-gear
    Ivo Prop

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •