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Thread: Rain and Bad Weather

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Boa Vista, RR
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    Default Rain and Bad Weather

    Sorry if this feels dumb, but, as I saw, kitfox uses a kind of fabric to be covered.
    How does that handles water?

    We are planning to acquire one. Whel, Iīwill acquire one anyway, but I need to know about how it can perform in bad weather.
    I live in the Amazon basin area in Brazil, and the weather here changes really fast. Light rains are commom, and sometimes we have short but really intense rain in a matter of minutes, so I wish to know how much rain the fabric can take, if it can take rain at all!

    Sorry if this is dumb, but I have just been born in this kitfox world!

  2. #2
    Senior Member efwd's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
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    Yorba Linda, CA
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    Default Re: Rain and Bad Weather

    The fabric is protected from UV rays before paint. After paint, rain is not a problem provided the paint is intact. Once Cracks develop in the paint the fabric will become susceptible to UV breakdown of the fabric where the sun gets through the cracks. Good paint will have the water beading up as it does on a car or metal airplane.
    Eddie Forward
    Building
    SS7, 912iS, Garmin G3X

  3. #3
    Senior Member jiott's Avatar
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    Portland, OR
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    Default Re: Rain and Bad Weather

    As Eddie says, fabric and paint that is intact will have no trouble with rain. In my opinion the main problem with heavy rain is that there are quite a few leak points in the Kitfox design that are difficult to seal up completely, so you will have varying amounts of water running inside your cockpit and airframe while flying thru heavy rain. It is not intended to be a foul weather IFR aircraft.
    Jim Ott
    Portland, OR
    Kitfox SS7 flying
    Rotax 912ULS

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dave S's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    St Paul, MN
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    1,487

    Default Re: Rain and Bad Weather

    Peter,

    That's a fair question, particularly in the climate you have - as Eddie said, the fabric itself is not a problem with water. We have come a long way from the old days of "rotten cotton".

    There is some difference between the earlier Kitfoxes and the 5 through 7s as far as the construction around the doors and cowl - later ones are tighter.

    Kitfox sells a cabin cover which covers the seams where the wings fold to the cabin, over the turtle deck and over the cowl/windshield - photos attached. We use it all the time when camping out and it does keep the cabin dry - light, compact for stowing and easily/quickly put on and off - also a person can get in the door by releasing a strap while the rest of the cover stays in place.

    If the tube structure is painted well and reasonable corrosion prevention measures are taken that should extend the life of the airframe. Many of the Kitfox people use epoxy primer on the spars and inside the spar tubes. The steel tube structure is mostly powder coated from the factory; although, some of us chose to blast and epoxy the frame - if either is done well - there should be minimal rust development. - But, you know that is much better than the old piper cubs, etc which had far less protection of the metal parts.

    I haven't flown all that much in rain showers, but I haven't noticed much in the way of cabin leaks doing that. I did run a strip of matching vinyl tape over the seam between the cowl and windshield and that seems to work.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dave S
    Kitfox 7 Trigear (Flying since 2009)
    912ULS Warp Drive

    St Paul, MN

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Boa Vista, RR
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    Default Re: Rain and Bad Weather

    Thanks for the input. Saving this post for later reference. I wish to avoid Bad weather as much as possible, but I wish to get all the bases covered in case I get a surprise from the weather forecast or in case we have a blackout of internet (happens all the time here) and we get unable to update.

    I am reading as much as I can. The plan is to place the order by december 2020 as have it ready within a year.
    First of all: flight school

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    St. George, UT
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    67

    Default Re: Rain and Bad Weather

    Thunderstorms in Brazil are no joke, the worst Iíve ever experienced. They were to be avoided at all cost when transitioning the area with them and I was in 747. A Kitfox would be very unsuitable anywhere near or in those storms. Storm of this magnitude could destroy a Kitfox on the ground, let alone one in the air. Be very cautious, they are very unforgiving...
    Last edited by littlecricket; 09-16-2019 at 12:39 PM.

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