I have been doing some thinking about slats also but a friend of mine that has them on his S7 thinks that without more HP they would not do that much. He has his 912 pumped up to 140 HP. Bruce is the owner of Back Country Super Cubs so he has a lot of experience with slats but none with the Avid. He could be wrong but for the amount of work and expense involved I have been somewhat dissuaded, but the thought lingers. It sure is fun flying the BCSC with them and the 35" tires!. You can drop them in like a bomb. The one I flew most had the Dodge gear, can't think what he call it but it does have lots of travel for sure but the 35" Bushwheels absorb a lot of the impact.
I've mentioned before that the 3/4" axles from Matco are great. They are hollow so lighter and the darn things just don't bend. Must be some kind of heat treatment in play with them. Really, the fuselage will break and the axles will be straight.
The heat gun works fine, I've done just that several times. Take your time starting a foot and a half away from the fabric and keep the gun moving did I mention take your time, go slow and presto it's almost like magic. Don't even try the iron if you don't want to be painting.
the cross member on the cabane does help but will not protect the fuselage. I would suggest that you try the spring that Leni and others have suggested and add a king post in the cabane going to the lowest point from the center of the cross bar. The gear as is will not take a hard landing.
When I was building the F7a I found some weld nuts to make the pushrods and then used some 10-32 long set screws to make those pushrods. I tried to find where I bought the weld nuts but I just don't recall. I do have a few of the long grade 8 set screws that I can send you if you find the weld nuts. My guess is that the original tube that you have had cap screws welded onto the end of the tube before it was chromed. That wil make them prone to break and don't recommend that method. Also there is a modified setup with better geometry that should be much better on the Yahoo Avid flier site in the files section there is a drawing and somewhere there is a more complete set of instructions for this mod but I am not sure where but someone on this site my have them.
Just curious are your chains tight? I waltched a video recently that made a very good case for having just a little slack in the chains for the tail wheel to release properly. Mine are just taunt and release ok but I plan on trying the slightly slack chains. I will see if I can find the video and post the link. Mine is the Matco 8" dual fork with the 25* arms. Here is the link
I had the tail first issue on my MK IV as well and that is one of the reasons I went with the taller gear. It also increases the takeoff roll besides the tail first issue. Shorter tail spring increases the risk of the tail wheel hitting and bending the rudder on a slightly harder than normal landing, one guess as to how I found that out. Nice to see that you got it flying, looks good. You will like the 912 when you get around to installing it.
Welcome Art, I used to go to the Gorge to windsurf. Had some monster days out there riding my AHD Rocket behind a 3.2. My boards and sails now just hangout in the hangar, no more playing chicken with the barges.