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Thread: January 2010 Kitfox of the Month Dave S.

  1. #1
    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
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    Aug 2008

    Default January 2010 Kitfox of the Month Dave S.

    Name & username: Dave S & Diane S

    City/State: St Paul, MN

    Kitfox model/Series: Series 7 Trigear

    Engine & prop: Rotax 912ULS, Warp Drive Tapered tip, Nickel edge

    Date started, date completed: January 2005 - July 2008 3.5 Years & 1200 Hours


    N128DD was certified as an experimental homebuilt on July 7, 2008 with the
    initial flight test conducted on July 18, 2008. Each of us decides if we are
    going to do the first flight or not - while this is a decision not to be
    taken lightly, In my case, I felt that I had prepared well enough to be a
    test pilot for this aircraft. NOT doing the first flight somehow seemed
    like contracting out the honeymoon! NO way! The first flight was restricted
    to a perfect day with only the ground crew of two - all business, no party. A
    hospitality day at the hangar was held on August 10, 2008 for family,
    friends, fellow pilots and builders - all party, no business.


    No two Kitfoxes are identical and N128DD is no exception. The kit was ordered
    without the quick build wings; and, without powdercoating; instead,
    sandblasted, epoxy-primered and Aerothaned. I have to say the Kitfox gives a
    person to chance to work with just about all possible aircraft materials -
    steel, aluminum, fiberglass, plastic and fabric.

    N128DD is set up for Day-Night VFR with traditional "steam gauges". Avionics
    include a Garmin GTX 320 transponder W/King encoder, Icom IC-200 Com Radio
    W/Commant antenna, Softcom Intercom, Artex ME409 ELT and Lowrance RAM mount

    Fuel system uses the dual 13 gallon wing mount tanks, Kitfox fuel placards,
    aluminum header tank and Facet electric boost pump.

    The electrical system utilizes a dual buss, dual alternator dual battery setup
    with the Rotax primary system feeding the avionics and with the larger
    alternator powering the lights and other high draw equipment. A cross feed
    permits backing up either system with the other; and, the ability to start
    with either or both batteries. Each system has a separate voltmeter. I have
    always found that a voltmeter provides more useful information than a
    ammeter, although both would be best. Aeroflash wingtip three light system
    with wingtip power supplies for the strobes is used and a pair of automotive
    halogens are used for taxi and landing lights. A red LED strip is used to
    illuminate the panel from the glare shield rim.

    Tips, tricks, discoveries and challenges

    1) Some of the the fuselage bracket tabs for the rudder pedal adjustment
    levers were found to be poorly welded and one separated during sandblasting -
    I needed to practice my gas welding skills anyway. I want everyone to know
    that this was BEFORE John McBean got the company.
    2) The fuselage was somewhat magnetized. My original second hand compass
    simply would not adjust no matter where it was placed. A S.I.R.S NV2A 2400
    compass with a better compensation system worked fine provided it was located
    to the extreme left or right side of the glare shield - it ended up on the
    Pilot's side and compensates perfectly.
    3) The liquid cabin heater provides adequate cabin heat for any weather I care
    to fly in (down to 10 below zero) and a pair of fabricated cowl vents provide
    adequate ventilation when needed in warm weather. Have to fess up - the first
    flight was done on an 80 degree day with NO cowl vents and NO shutoff for the
    heater - that got corrected rather quickly!
    4) I fabricated some seals to close up the hole around the flaperon horns -
    this is really necessary in the winter.
    5) The Initial test flight uncovered a slight tendency to roll left which was
    solved with fine tuning the wing washout. The initial book dimension for the
    horizontal stabilizer and trim adjustment were right on; although the manual
    elevator requires some back pressure on final with flaps extended and trim
    full nose up - a modification with the trim assist which John McBean sells
    helps this a lot.
    6) The seat pan which came with the kit was modified with the under seat pans
    that John McBean sells - these provide a storage place and double as a
    safety to prevent the seat from ever coming down on the aileron rod - a few
    cases of which are memorialized in the NTSB files.
    7) The seat pan is mounted with plain aluminum clamps and machine screws -
    rather than the securing with zip ties. Also - a strip of hockey stick tape
    is wrapped around the tubes so the bare aluminum clamps do not contact the
    8) All of the hardware which was supplied with the aircraft for the controls
    was upgraded from nyloc nuts to drilled bolts with castle nuts and cotter
    pins. Also used a lot more cushion clamps and fewer zip ties than the manual
    called for.
    9) Fuel hoses - just throw out the milspec hoses and get fuel injection hoses,
    particularly if a person is using auto gas as Rotax recommends. Don't get the
    standard auto fuel hoses - get the fuel injection (lined) ones, otherwise the
    cockpit will stink like gas. You know exactly how I know this.....
    10) Performance with the 912 ULS and Warp drive set to a cruise pitch is so
    close to the published averages in the book "How to fly a Kitfox" for the
    series 7 that I don't really need to speak to this subject - just read the
    11) I almost never use full deflection on the flaps - half flaps works fine
    and full flaps produces almost no noticeable further reduction in stall
    although full flaps seem to be pretty good yaw generators.
    12) The engine has the induction airbox, which, in addition to securing the
    carburetors firmly, provides optimum performance from the engine.

    Each of us has a story about how things got this way. In our case, following
    some economic reality that affected our local non-equity club, a return to
    rental aircraft use made it eminently clear around AD 2004 the traditional
    rental scene had changed drastically with respect to affordable, available
    and reliable rental aircraft - experience indicated a person could only have
    two out of three of these preferences.....oh well.....4 consecutive
    mechanicals with rental aircraft pretty well drove the point
    home.....Ownership appeared to be the way out; either doing a rebuild of an
    affordable certified aircraft or going the homebuilder route. The homebuilder
    route appeared to be more logical where a person could end up with a new
    aircraft of their choice; and, for extra points, be the repairman also. Won't
    say all of the options we considered because it would take too long; however,
    the Kitfox was among the potential choices with a ride in a model IV priming
    our interest and a demo ride in a series 7 making it a gotta have.


    Officers and members of EAA chapter 1164 - My home EAA chapter, deserves
    credit for favors and help too numerous to mention here; but, special thanks
    to President Jerry W for guidance and use of his W/B scales, Tech Counselor
    Mike H who performed two very complete in progress inspections, Mike from
    Stein Air who introduced me to a really nice LED interior lighting system,
    Jeff G who has more experience with aluminum than most of will ever see; and,
    Rich C who not only got me some Challenger stick time in his airplane but who
    became half of my ground crew for the first flight.

    EAA Technical Counselors - In addition to Mike H of Chapter 1164, Richard M
    of Chapter 54 did a pre-certification inspection.

    Special thanks to John and Debra McBean who supplied most of the parts that
    were missing from our kit as a result of the Skystar bankruptcy. John and
    Debra are great people. They are honest and deserve our support.

    Lake Elmo People - Eric B of Lake Elmo was kind to get me sufficient stick
    time in his Kitfox V to satisfy my insurance company. Jim Z & Paul L helped
    on a nasty December day getting the airplane moved to and hangared at Lake
    Elmo 12 hours before the first snow of the season.

    In flight.jpg

    A good day in the blue sky....

    Successfully building and testing an airplane, then giving your granddaughter
    a ride in it how good is that!
    brooke in plane.jpg

    7 Super Sport
    912 ULS Tri-gear

  2. #2
    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: January 2010 Kitfox of the Month Dave S.

    Congrats Dave on KOTM for the Jan. 2010. Nice way to start out KOTM for a new year.
    Great looking Kitfox and very nice workmanship.
    Lucky man. A new Kitfox to fly and a beautiful granddaughter to share it with.
    Enjoy every flight Dave. Thanks for sharing.

    7 Super Sport
    912 ULS Tri-gear

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    St. Maries, Idaho

    Default Re: January 2010 Kitfox of the Month Dave S.

    Super nice,they dont look any sharper than that. Randy

  4. #4
    Senior Member DanB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Mesa, AZ

    Default Re: January 2010 Kitfox of the Month Dave S.

    Dave, Congratulations on your build! She's a bute.
    Dan B
    Mesa, AZ

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Av8r3400's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Merrill, WI

    Default Re: January 2010 Kitfox of the Month Dave S.

    She's a real beauty, Dave. I'd love to see it up close sometime.

    We should really think about a regional fly-in of all the Kitfoxers and potential Kitfoxers in this area...
    Kitfox Model IV
    The Mangy Fox
    912UL 105hp Zipper
    YouTube Videos

  6. #6
    Senior Member SkyPirate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Edgar Springs MO

    Default Re: January 2010 Kitfox of the Month Dave S.

    looks awesome Dave , did a great job on her,.
    something that you can use concerning centering your compass,.. is a product called magshield,.it's relatively inexpensive ,..there are a few places that carry it,..some computer repair places can wrap your down tubes or any tubes that might interfer with your compass,..with this material is very light,.. it will block any magnetic signals,..
    I use it on my magnetic motor I designed, on the beginning of a rotational cycle when the magnet's are apposing each other,.to block the magnetic will allow you to take 2 magnets ..with like poles facing each other ..normally repelling each other this mag shield between them ,,and it bends the magnetic field so both magnets get attracted towards the magshield,..once passed the edge of the magshield they repel again creating rotation.. this will ,..I'm sure also block a any metallic object with in the compass's magnetic field,.. therefore making it's presence null

    one place to get it is

    there are also places with in the states to get it,..
    just a thought


  7. #7
    Senior Member Dave S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    St Paul, MN

    Default Re: January 2010 Kitfox of the Month Dave S.


    Thanks for the info on the magshield product - something that I did not
    know existed.

    I would mostly prefer the compass in the middle - just fine where it is flying the left seat but more than a little awkward flying from the right seat, I have discovered (OK - awkward only if a person wants to SEE the compass from the right seat<>).

    Thanks for the tip.


    Dave S
    KF7 Trigear
    St Paul, MN

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