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About zadwit

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  1. zadwit added a post in a topic Looking for some advice on a plane purchase   

    I found  the kitfox narrow standard gear makes the plane squirrely and the model 1, 2 have too small tail surfaces... plenty on this site about that..
    Look for a model 4, put grove landing gear on it. Then spend a little time to get the wheels aligned flat and parallel tothe ground, no toe in or toe out, no can use a laser level to shoot a spot on the tail or again a wall and snap a line down the center line of the plane on teh floor. once you  get the wheel aligned, get a 8" pneumatic tail wheel. You dont need hard tail spring for steering so use softer ones... 
    Now start out on grass or gravel adn after a few hours start by doing takeoffs on asphalt or hard surface.. even tually you can land on hard surface, the plane will handle jsut fine, it is just you need to be able to land at a steady speed like 40-45, and with teh plane pointed down the runway.. ie you dont want to land cocked sideways even a little.... These planes are short coupled for sure... but if you do the above and it is a model 4 with the biggier tail and dont put any bigger than 800x6 tires on it to start with, later you can put 26" tires, those are over kill anyway because I flew all over the place and landed off airport with my 800s.
    I have heard of dozens of people who buy a kitfox and ground loop it on first flight... if you look at teh Just super stol, it has a longer fuselage and wider gear both of which make for easier ground handling....
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  2. zadwit added a post in a topic Tire comparison 8.00-8.50's   

    YOu could get a 24" long laser level and do this.
    1) snap a straight chalk line on the hangar floor from directly below the prop spinner thru the tail wheel and aft.
    2) now park the plane as closely as possible over this line with the line centerd under the plane
    3)Now measure from right tire centerline to that line, do the same for the left tire center line, the idea is to get the plane centered over the line.
    4) now, put the laser level horizontal to the outside of the tire and shoot a beam on the wall behind the  plane. YOu can shoot a beam on the horizontal stablizer leading edge as well. Then look at where the beam hits the horizontal tail on the left and right side... this will give you an instant picture of if the tiers are toed in or out...
    5) If found it best if the tires are parallel and flat to the ground. YOu use have grove gear you can add shims. if not, I have not done this but have heard of people putting a pipe on the axle and bending the gear leg to get it back in alignment.... to each his own i guess.... but if aligned properly, makes for a better handling plane on pavement.
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  3. zadwit added a post in a topic Polyfiber shopping list   

    I have used all kinds of spray equipment for fabric recover jobs and without a doubt the best set up is an airless spray gun. Im talking spraying entire 2 wings at one time or a whole fuslage..  The trick is to get a full wet coat on in a short period of time or else hyou will end up with flat spots.
    For smaller jobs, I have alway used HF 1 qt. spray guns, the old siphon type. THey used to make one that pressured the 1 qt. paint can and so you could spray heavier materil, perfect for
    spraying dope..
    MEK is getting real hard to find however I mainly used it for gun clean up, or for wiping off tops coats of other dopes(randolph) before spraying polytone over it...
    For repairs you can easilhy get by with a small touch up gun..
    Read the stits manual... Ray Stits came up with a good product.. I was recently welding on a fuselage that had Randolph products, rand o proof primer coat, the butyrate dope on top, the randoproof is nitrate base and so the damn thing caught fire and burned all the fabric off the fuselage in less than a minute....stits will not do that so stits is worth the extra price just for that reason... 
    Good luck. Wear a respirator
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  4. zadwit added a post in a topic kitfox 4 with VGs and 582   

    The Garmin Area 660 has one wire that provide heading info the Garmin G-5 when the G=5 is in HSI mode. I point to that HSI , the heading bug show the heading to fly to get back to the waypoint, in this case, the airport..
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  5. zadwit added a post in a topic kitfox 4 with VGs and 582   

    I made the AOA system with Freds help from France! works great.. I hated to sell the plane but he docs said Id be blind in 6 months.. Turns out they were wrong... 
    After a couple of eye operations and a few weeks recovery, I could see pretty good again... still need reading glasses.
    Note: The overlay data is from dashware.. cant remember how I even did  it but it gets its info from the GPS in my go pro which was clipped onto my baseball cap.
    The winds were light that day...
    The Kitfox 4 has many improvments over the model 1, 2 and 3... specifically the wing, the flap system and the larger stablizer and rudder and elevators.
    Kevin Palmer, Trents brother bought the plane and took it to Reno, but it is now back in Spokane someplace..
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  6. zadwit added a topic in KitFox General Forum   

    kitfox 4 with VGs and 582
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  7. zadwit added a post in a topic Done getting bit in the ASS by toe brakes   

    I had fits with the brakes on my KF 2 and KF4. I finally fixed the KF4 by doing this...
    1) Installed Grove landing gear
    2) INstall matco wheels and brakes
    3) Install no bigger than 800x6 tires
    4) installed 2 slave cylinders on each wheel
    5)redrilled the hole where the top of the master cylinder attachs to the rudder pedal top and moved the top of the master cylinder in as close to the pedal as I could...I had to change master cylinder to the skiny narrow one, not the big fat ones with built in reservoir.. THe narrow master cylinders have a hydraulic reservoir on the firewall for fluid.
    6)l I used a  laser and bought shims for the main gear leg to axle interface and shimmed the axles for they were parallel and flat to the ground, no toe in , no camber.
    7) installed an 8" pneumatic tail wheel and using regular springs, made sure there was no slack in the springs, however no tension on them either...
    WIth this setup I could easily land on pavement in 15 20mph cross winds all day long. IT was a pussy cat....
    There is one problem. The runner pedals need to be taller for more leverage on the master cylinder, however structure is in the way on model 4 so you are stuck with short toe brake pedals. The most pressure I could get at the brake slave cylinder was 220psi and Matco says you need 400psi.. That is why I added an extra slave cylinder.....I sold the plane but it is still flying in the SPokane area and they guy loves it, easy to fly not bad habits....
    I believe the fuselage needs to be 2 feet longer but it was made short originally because of weight plus the original Avid had a nosewheel....
    ANyway if you have a stock setup, it is like jumping on a bronc bareback ,good luck.... sooner or later it will eat you....
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  8. zadwit added a post in a topic Bill of sale   

    It was part of the original  FAA rule when allowing companies to build a large part of an aircraft kit for he buyer....IT still needs to meet the 51% rule but the FAA evaluated each company  to determine they did not build more than 51% and  which ones were authorized to sign a bill of sale form to go along with the kit to the buyer.... If a company builds the entire aircraft, they need a production certificate like Cessna or Piper and a Type Design that has been tested. The idea was to have companies build hard to make or fabricate parts for the home builder, yet not go over the 51% rule..
    You could 1) contact the local FSDO and ask the question, what do I do now that company is out of business.... OR 2) ask a DAR, maybe they get told how to handle this in training at OKC or 3) worse case scenario, license it as "exhibition airshow".   If you built the ENTIRE plane, you just fill out all the paperwork as listed in AC 20-27 and mail it in and you will get a registration... however there is an affidavit in that paperwork where you swear you built all of it.and  not from a kit........ so it it is a sticky wicket...each company who built the kit would not likely reissue another bill of sale for several reason, liability being just one of them.. I ran into this with a sky raider and since they guy had lost most of the paperwork INCLUDING the aircraft bill of sale form signed by Stace Schrader, I passed on it because it is basically just parts....
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  9. zadwit added a post in a topic Conundra of the ancient aviator   

    I was told by an Eskimo pilot in Alaska that the only time you have too much fuel is when you are on fire!
    Also I learned to use Alligator zip loc bags for pilot relief and then "airmail them"!
    Murle Williams makes a nice aluminum 1.9 gallon header tank with a low fuel float switch that turns a red light on the dash when it starts to go below 1.9 gallons in the header tank for what ever reason....
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  10. zadwit added a post in a topic Gross weight increase Kitfox IV 1050-1200   

    these are the kinds of burning questions that come up from time to time within the FSDO offices. They are referred to the TEchnical Standards Branch (so called experts within the FAA), usually at Regional branch level,  but more often than not, they dont know either so then it goes to Aircraft Certification or maybe Legal and it takes weeks or months to get an answer....
    YOu might call EAA and ask if they have a technical adviser who can connect the dots on how to determine Gross weight and how to change it after the EAB airplane is flying.. Id try that and the FAA last.....
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  11. zadwit added a post in a topic Gross weight increase Kitfox IV 1050-1200   

    Leni, the FSDO office that originally issued the operation limitations and SPECIAL airworthiness certificate should maintain a file, on your particular aircraft, in the actual FSDO office... NOt all the documents are required to be sent to OKC however I used to send in as much as I could because that stuff has a habit of getting lost. FAA Order 8900.10 FAA Inspectors handbook will have a section on certification of amatuer built aircraft... .. SO if you can determine which office originally certified your aircraft as EAB,(look at your Pink Airworthiness Certificate and  you might be able to contact them and ask for copies of whatever records they have in their office file.... I always thought it was a poor way to maintain records for EAB because often the aircraft moves from one region to another sometimes several thousand miles away during its lifetime. The FAA in DC wants the Government ASIs out of the business of certificating EAB aircraft for lots of reason so they push it off on DARs, however dont think there are too many in AK.
    At the FAA academy the instructors would tell us if we ever had to license an amatuer built aircraft, to tell the owner/pilot to wait until we were out of sight before they flew it!! True story....
    I never questioned the Gross weight but was required to see a weight and balance sheet and some kind of proof that the all up flying weight CG was within the area determined by the designer. Other wise we normally went with 10-25% MAC for CG location at the test flying weight with pilot, fuel.
    Look at
    AC 20-27 is an advisory circular that sorta provides guidance however it is the actual FAA Order that dictates the rule.
    So look at FAA Order 8130.2 as revised and it has a section on licensing Experimental amatuer built aircraft...
    FAA Order 8900.10 is hard to navigate thru but it has some info on licensing amatuer built aircraft as well.
    From memory, a 3 view drawing, a duplicate airworthiness certificate, a copy of the operating limitations, , application for an airworthiness certificate are some of the items requires to be recorded in OKC. They are copied onto one of 3 digantic HD in the basement of the FAA AIrcraft registry office.
    Ive been away from it all for 7 yrs and my head still hurts trying to sort it all out...sorta makes me want to go slam my head in a file drawer.... God Im glad to be outta there......!!
    Also worth noting, amatuer built aircraft do not have a standard airworthiness certificate. As such, when you sign the condition inspection you should state'
    blah blah blah, /......and was determined to be in condition for SAFE flight". Do not use the word airworthy. IT is not built to any type design or TC.
    ALso note that "special flight permits" or ferry permits have the same verbiage......"determined to be in a condition for SAFE flight"
    I hope you are totally confused now!!!! IF so, I have done my job.. good night!
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  12. zadwit added a post in a topic First kitfox coming home to Oregon. suggested mods?   

    I thought this would be a hot button topic.... bungees will break. Ive seen two sets fail, both due to hard landings....however the fuselage on both planes was NOT damaged at all.
    WIth the wide gear and coil springs under compression for shock absorption, if you hit hard, or go thru a ditch hard and bottom the coils on the springs, odds are you will bend the gear leg... C5 went to bungges for this reason I think, ask him..
    I went with grove gear...heavy, $$$$$$ but bolt on and it works even with its known issues..
    C5, and myself both bent our front tubes on the landing gear with the coil spring set up...Leni went to a super duper heavy duty coil spring from a skidoo I think to prevent bottoming of the coils... The absolute best set up is the nitrogen shocks that Just aircraft uses but lots and lots of $$$$$
    Tire size plays a critical role in all this , large low pressure tires take up a lot of shock. When I ran 6:00x6 tires and made a fairly hard landing, my gear bent.. If I had 800x6 or larger low pressure tires, it might not have happened....
    WIth the coil spring gear, just taxi thru a ditch at moderate speed and the coils will bottom out or bind and then it is the same as a ridgid gear...
    ON both the aircraft that the bungees snapped, the gear got trashed, however the airframe was undamaged... the gear fittings were not hurt and I only had to install new gear and go on my way... Had Grove gear been on there, it would have bent the hell out of the has been seen time and time again... I do like the grove gear, 
    but you can bend the fuselage tubes. They are only .035x1/2"od tubes...
    THe wider gear makes the plane handle better on the ground...
    The stock Avid or Kitfox gear will not take much of a side load before it folds under the plane and then you get the wing bent, prop trashed, and other damage...
    Bandit has a pretty good youtube video showing the stability of the coil spring gear on his Avid Bandit. He likes it... 
    I just know  learning to fly, you are bound to make a few hard landings... the main thing is to keep the plane undamaged while learning to fly it...

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  13. zadwit added a post in a topic First kitfox coming home to Oregon. suggested mods?   

    ONe good hard landing with the coil spring type gear and you will bottom the springs and bend the gear legs.. .I did, C-5 did and others have as well. 
    The wider gear makes a HUGH difference in ground handling of the plane , however I would opt for bungee type shock absorptions.
    I have seen 2 skyraider/ ridge runner airplanes that made very hard landings and the gear got trashed , the bungees snapped, and the gear legs bent like pretzels, however the gear fittings did not get hurt.... When I say hard I mean dropped in from 10-15ft.
    WHen learning to fly a kitfox, no one plans to land hard but it happens.... and if you have an instructor with you, now you have an extra 200 # or so in the cabin that makes it all the worse....I think you are better off to get checked out in a 7AC  or citabria and then go fly the kitfox yourself.
    Take it up to a safe altitude, do a few turns , some slow flight, do a few approach to landing type stalls and note the airspeed... Now when you land add 5 or 10 mph to that speed and use that speed on final, until you get a few hours under your belt... The under camber airfoil will quit flying with little warning and if you are landing and level off 5 feet int he air, it will quit flying 5ft in the air and you will smak the ground so just carry a little extra speed until you get used to the plane and how it stalls.
    ALso these are light airframes, with LOW INERTIA... if the engine quits on takeoff, SLAM the stick forward so you dont loose your airspeed... and you will have to put the nose down at an uncomfortable angle to keep the airspeed if the prop is still windmilling. Also dont even think about turning back to the airport.. After you get some time in the plane you can practice at altitude and there are a few youtube videos on "the impossible turn" which helps you determine at what altitude can I turn around with engine is highly variable, density altitude, weight, your proficiency in the airplane so for starting out, just fly straight ahead with gentle turns to avoid obstacles. 
    I used 50 mph for initial climb and after about 50 ft altitude, go to 65mph (speed is life!)  I used 55-60 in pattern slowing to 50 on short final.. some will say too fast but not when the plane is new to you... after you get time in the plane you can slow the speed down  .. Just remember this is a thin cross section airfoil (12% or so) and they tend to have undesirable stall characteristiccterics in stall and secondary or accelerated stalls. It does not stall like a champ or cub airfoil..and is made worse by the low energy of the proceed with caution. ONce you learn to fly it, the performance is eye watering.... DO NOT do 45mph full power steep climbs to show off if you value your life at all.
    My KF 2 had a 582 and I tried different props, but liked the 3 blade Warp Drive 68" diameter, with a "C" gearbox and 3:1 ratio, smooth , good climb, reasonable cruise. Blade pitch set for 5800-6000 static.
    Grove gears is bolt on and improves the ground handling and they have lots of wheel and brake combos..however I would opt for cub type gear with bungees..Grove gear is heavy, and $$$$$$$
     Just my experience on this ...
    The KF 4 if beefier and different airfoil, faster, also heavier, so the KF 2 will out climb it, but the KF 4 is a nice plane and this is reflected in their price...
    KF1, 2 come up for sale in the 7-10K price range... KF4 a lot more..
    The KF 1,2 have small tails and you can run out of up elevator in flare on landing and the rudder looses authority around 20mph so in a wind it can be trouble...some learn to live with it, some make the vertical and rudder taller..
    There are some water temps gauges on Ebay for $12 that work great with the 582 engine. They are LED gauges.
    FOr EGT I like the Aircraft Spruce SPortavia, round EGT that has two needles and switchs from one cylinder to the other automatically. THey use K type thermocouples, also on Ebay for $15 or same ones from SPruce for $59. There are all shapes and lengths and attachments types but "K" thermocouple is the one you want.
    SO there ya go.... this is what I learned , in some cases the hard way!! but it is a fun plane to fly.
    Also if you trailer it any distance at all , make sure the wing braces to the front wing spar tube to fuselage are in place...

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  14. zadwit added a topic in Avidfoxflyers General Hangar   

    wing spar I beam inserts
    It seems like I am going backwards.... I have this ridge runner 3 with 2.5"x.062 wall thickness wing spars... looking down the spar tubes I see no "I" beam inserts....
    Im pretty sure it is built that way...GW=950# max.
    My question is this. Can a person slide the I beam inserts in without removing the wing lift strut attach fittings?
    I know this is Avid and Kitfox country however this forum and group of people are the true experts and there is such a wealth of knowledge here. Each person knows a little and collectively that is powerful.... 
    Mark Smith
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  15. zadwit added a post in a topic Ground wind to tip   

    This is a tough one.. A few times in my life I arrived at my destination, low on fuel and high winds.... ONe time I landed and absolutely could not turn the plane, IN fact the gust were occasionally picking up one wing or the other off the ground. I thought I was going to lose the plane... I took off and did like Leni said. I came around and landed with a big hangar about 100 feet in front of me and taxied up 4 ft from the hangar with tail in the air.I landed across the runways at a 45 degree angle in about 25 feet.. .This was in a Super CUb at Black Rapids Glacier in INterior Alaska south of  Delta Junction, AK....I have seen planes picked up and blow over backwards just after the pilot got out. Less weight, high wind. 
    IF flying local you have to decide before you take off. IF the wind is close to your marginal limit better to be on the ground then up in the air wishing you were on the ground....
    I have flown the kitfox 4 in 20 gusting to 30 mph but that is pushing it... you start to get that pit in your stomach that you are on the verge of losing control so that is about too much wind...
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