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Thread: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

  1. #11
    tommg13780's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    Steve,

    I also have a model 1 (N222KF) that is esentially in it's original configuration. It was acquired recently and sofar all I have done is replaced the original 503DCSI with a more recent 503 DCDI e-start and added cabin heat.

    I'm interested in the rudder/elevator mods that you have done. I would appreciate advice particularly an estimate of cost and time involved to accomplish the fix.

    best wishes,

    Tom (tommg13780)

  2. #12
    Senior Member SkySteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    Tom,
    I guess to escape potential liability I should state the same thing all others have stated, that being: "I'm not a builder, don't try this at home, the factory doesn't condone my activites, etc, etc, etc".

    With all that being said, I personally think extending the vertical stabilizer and changing the rudder to a model IV rudder was the second best thing I have done to my airplane. The first being changing to Grove main gear with the tri gear modification. Adding the extra height of the vertical stabilizer and the model IV rudder got rid of adverse yaw in my plane. I can fly "hands free, feet free" and when I make turns they are clean and smooth (of course I still use the rudder, too).

    You can purchase the model IV uncovered rudder from John McBean at Kitfox Aircraft. I think it was around $235 or so. I did not do my own work. I hired an A&P to do the work and I had him do so many things I couldn't tell you what he charged to do any one thing. To extend the vertical stabilizer he removed the fabric from the vertical, cut and removed the top of the existing vertical and welded additional aircraft tubing in place. The tubing can be purchased from Aircraft Spruce. I used a large piece of cardboard and traced around a model IV vertical from another Kitfox for the template. Seemed pretty simple and proved to be a great mod.

    I did not make any changes to the elevators. I do plan to add gap seals.

    And. . . I just added one more mod: A Lowrance 2000c GPS! Another great addition. See you at the 25th Anniversary Factory Fly-In!
    Last edited by SkySteve; 01-01-2009 at 12:33 PM.
    Steve Wilson
    Huntsville, UT
    Kitfox 85DD
    912A / 3 Blade Taper Tip Warp Drive
    Convertible Nosewheel & Tailwheel
    SkySteve's SPOT Page
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  3. #13
    tommg13780's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    Steve,
    Thanks for the information.

    Tom

  4. #14
    FoxDB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    Steve,
    I purchased my mod 1 already flying. The builder had also extended the vertical stab and rudder. While flying and operating the rudder I noticed a large deflection of the vert stab. This caused me some concern. After inquiring I was told the mod 4 has a larger stab leading and trailing tube. I added 1/16" flying wires from rudder hinge to top of the bolts for horz stab braces and that removed the identifiable deflection.
    Dave

  5. #15
    Senior Member SkySteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    Dave,
    Wow. Did you "see" or "feel" the deflection, or notice it in some other manner? Looks like you are in Malad. I would love to fly up there and compair mods and see what you have done.
    Steve Wilson
    Huntsville, UT
    Kitfox 85DD
    912A / 3 Blade Taper Tip Warp Drive
    Convertible Nosewheel & Tailwheel
    SkySteve's SPOT Page
    SkySteve's You Tube Videos

  6. #16
    FoxDB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    Steve
    I could see the deflection by looking out the turtle deck it looked to be ~3" at cruise speed.
    I live on the road that parallels the runway. Would like to see your plane and especially the bubble doors. Give me a call before you come
    Ph- 208-766-5556.
    Dave

  7. #17

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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    looks awesome, did you do any modifications to increase the usefull load? I've read that the biggest weakness in a kitfox 1 is the lift strut where it connects to the fuselage.

  8. #18
    Senior Member SkySteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    Durham66,
    I have done a ton of mods on my plane. But the one you are asking about, raising the gross weight, was done by Dan Denny. Dan changed the wings & struts to model III wings & struts. I spoke with Dan about raising the gross weight to 1050. He said I could easily do that with the wings and struts he installed as long as I went back to phase one testing and did all the proper tests, which I did. My plane now has a tested and notated gross weight of 1050. It has been flown many times at a higher gross than that. Now I am changing the cross tube brace in the cabin ceiling to the same as the model IV, along with other mods.
    Steve Wilson
    Huntsville, UT
    Kitfox 85DD
    912A / 3 Blade Taper Tip Warp Drive
    Convertible Nosewheel & Tailwheel
    SkySteve's SPOT Page
    SkySteve's You Tube Videos

  9. #19
    Senior Member SkySteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    2016/2017 Mods: I try to update my plane at least once per year. Last year (2016) we freshened 85DD with a new paint job. No big changes, but updated the paint style just a little. This year it's time to update the cabin bracing from the old style crossbar to the new style. This will both strengthen the cabin and eliminate the old crossbar that was always a problem for the passenger (crossbar went directly over the passenger's head). A new Lexan windscreen and cabin top are being made & installed at the same time. The result:


    Also replaced the old heavy VSI and Altimeter with a neat little Belite Digital Altimeter, VSI, OAT and Density Altitude instrument. The new instrument is made on a 3D printer with a total weight of 2 ounces. I've found it is very accurate.

    And, speaking of Skunk Works (we we're weren't we?), 85DD is currently in the local secret, highly classified mod shop getting another "new and improved" backcountry mod. To be revealed soon .....
    Steve Wilson
    Huntsville, UT
    Kitfox 85DD
    912A / 3 Blade Taper Tip Warp Drive
    Convertible Nosewheel & Tailwheel
    SkySteve's SPOT Page
    SkySteve's You Tube Videos

  10. #20
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Sept '08 KOTM - Steve Wilson

    Quote Originally Posted by SkySteve View Post
    2016/2017 Mods: 85DD is currently in the local secret, highly classified mod shop getting another "new and improved" backcountry mod. To be revealed soon .....
    So your converting it back to a Tail Dragger?
    Paul Zimmermann
    LSRM-A
    Kitfox N703KA (Sold)
    Texas

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