Latest project. Kitfox 3

44 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

A while back, Larry advertised a Kitfox 3 project that was located near him in Wi.  I ended up buying it, and went down there yesterday to pick it up.  It was at Larry's hangar, so I got to meet him there.  Wow, everything was nice there.  Nice airport, nice hangar, nice Champ and of course the very nice Mangy Fox parked in it.  Oh what am I forgetting.  It was very nice to put a face to some one from the AFF forum, and he also was very nice!  Thanks again Larry for being so helpful in all of this.  Picked up a nice trailer while I was there to haul the Kitfox home on.  Only things not so nice was I left home before 6 AM, drove over 600 miles round trip and got home about midnight.  Saw lots of deer in Wisconsin, one from way to close.  It was getting foggy, the windshield was hard to see out of and all of a sudden my friend who went with me starts yelling.  "deer. DEer, DEER!.  Don't know how I didn't hit that deer, he was standing right in the middle of my lane, and didn't know what to do, but finally started to run away from me.  That gave me just enough room to not run him over.  Good thing that trailer pulls so nice and follows so well.  I was on the brakes for all they were worth.  At any rate,  I didn't feel like moving all that fast this morning.  Got everything unloaded though and got the plane in it's new home.  Here are a few pictures of the plane, one as we are driving down the road, another parked in my yard this morning, and then finally in the hangar.  Not sure what engine I will put on this plane, if I can keep it light enough, I'm tempted to put an HKS on it.  Or maybe a 912.  It came with a never ran 582 that I will have a local shop go through, for a complete internal inspection and new seals.  I have the mount for the 582 as well.  Any way, been a busy couple of days, but at least they were NICE!  :lmao:JImChuk

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Edited by 1avidflyer
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Posted

Well, as long as it's quiet on the list, I'll update this thread.  Yesterday, I rolled the Kitfox 4 out of the paint booth, and moved the wings for the Kitfox 3 in.  Had a bit of hangar rash and some dirt and grease to clean off.  Brushed on another coat of poly brush on all the finish tapes, and then shot a light thinned down coat of poly brush on the wings this evening.  Tomorrow will be a bit tedious, as I will have to go over all those finish tapes and iron them down smooth with no pinked edges sticking up.  Then the real fun part of spraying can start.  Anyway, that's my story for now.  Hope you all aren't getting tired of my posts.  JImChuk

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Posted

looks great Jim you'll be done in no time

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Posted

Overall how were they, Jim?

 

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Posted

Larry,  the wings cleaned up ok it seems.  I was worried about the oil or grease stains, and if that would block the poly brush from sticking to the fabric.  I cleaned them with poly fiber 2210 cleaner and I didn't see any fish eyes when I sprayed the poly brush on.  I think they will finish up just fine.   I had to put 3 or 4 patches on from "hangar rash", but it seems that it will work out.   I got the 582 back from the shop Friday, and they say it's like brand new inside.  The old assembly grease inside had dried and thickened, but it cleaned up good and there was no corrosion anywhere.  I sent the gearbox to Airscrew performance because the front bearing seemed to turn rough, but it was just the assembly grease had dried in there as well.  So all is good, and I'm glad I got it.  Thanks for helping Mary and myself out on this!  JImChuk

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Posted

More poly brush on the wings.  Maybe poly spray tomorrow.  JImChuk

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Posted (edited)

Wings are about ready to roll out of the paint booth.  Sure had a devil of a time getting the yellow to cover the blue.  I did the same way as I did with the Kitfox 4.  Painted the blue, then masked off for the strip with the blue underneath.  The orange on the Kitfox 4 covered great, the yellow today didn't cover like that at all.  It also seemed like it had twice as much thinner in it.  I'm sure I added the right amount.  Took about 4 coats to cover the blue.  Not sure what I'll try when I get to the fuselage but it will be something different.  Maybe I will mask it off in the same place, then cover the area where the yellow stipe will be, do the blue where it goes, and then remask over the blue for the yellow paint stripe.  Anyone got any ideas?   Last picture shows how I will finish it off with red pinstripes.  (Hopefully straighter then these)  :lmao:Thanks,  JImChuk

PS.  reason I went with this yellow color was I wanted to match the powder coating of the fuselage.  Not sure I like it though.  To late now.

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Edited by 1avidflyer

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Posted

Jim, I've heard it's best to paint awhite undercoat before yellow.

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Posted

You don't have enough projects Jim.

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Posted

I think you are both right..... Wait a second, Chris I thought you said I had to many projects when I first read it....JImChuk

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Posted

yes, if you want the yellow to pop you shoot white first, however, if you do it different than you did on the wings then you have a chance of colors not matching between the fuse and wings.

At any rate she be looking good mr!

:BC:

 

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Posted

I have a yellow  with a green tint to it now, and just don't have the heart to start painting on the wings some more.  I will do the fuselage the right way, and if need be will revisit the wings afterwards.  I can paint the stripes in a warm garage in the winter if need be, I have to get the fuselage done before it gets to cold to run my exhaust fan in the paint booth.  Fuselage is covered, but I'm going to try and widen the fuselage at the doors with out wrecking the fabric to much.  I'll have to redo it under the doors, but am hoping to be able to keep the tension up the back of the doors when I add the widening material.  On this one, I will do more of a Merhl Williams job rather than the round tubing I used on the last two planes.  We will see how it goes....JImChuk

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Posted

Bit more progress on the Kitfox 3.  I wanted to widen the fuselage before I painted it, and was able to peal the fabric off the door frames.  I got the wood formers pushed out 1 1/2" behind the doors so was able to get enough stretch out of the fabric.  It is tight though....  On the other planes where I widened the fuselage, I put 1/2" tubing around the doors.  I had thought about using aluminum on this one like Merhle Williams does, but ended up going back to an idea I had a long time ago.  Before I put tubing on the others actually.  Hope it works out.  I used wood.  Rounded the outside with the router, used a different bit to reverse round (?) the other side of the boards so it mated up with the 1/2" tubing around the door frame.  I epoxied it all in place and I think it will work.  At any rate, the fuselage is now 42 1/2" wide instead of 39 1/2".  That's the size I made my Avid Flyer, and it makes a big difference when you have two (average sized???) guys in the plane.  Not to many in the FAA 170 lb size anymore so the extra room is nice.  Maybe be ready to paint the fuselage on Monday or Tuesday hopefully.  JImChuk

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Posted

Looking Good!  I'm' curious how this works out for you.  It could be done by almost anyone without any welding.  I want to widen mine but haven't done it yet so this could be an option.   Cheers Randy 

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Posted

Probably you all are getting tired of my posts about the progress on the Kitfox 3, but if not, here is what the door frame looks like now.  Got the fabric pulled back and glued on the other side as well.  Finish tapes there tomorrow.  Also a pic of how I pulled the fabric tight.  Was even able to save the fabric under the doors, which I thought would have to get torn off.  Progress anyway!  JImChuk

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Posted

Jim, I don't think anyone is sick of your posts. I like seeing your progress, even if I am a little envious of the pace you are able to keep :)

Keep up the good work and keep those pictures coming!

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Posted

Absolutely!   Totally agree with cr125r847!

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Posted

What did you do to keep the fabric from pulling the wood toward the rear of the plane as it is shrunk?

Or do you think the angles of the pieces to one another gives enough strength to resist the rear pull?

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Posted

Most of the fabric tension was up and down.  When I forced the wood side formers out there was a fair amount of tension there.  As far as pulling front to rear, I used 4 bungees pulling on the duck billed vice grips for about every 8" of fabric to pull the fabric tight in that direction while the glue dried.  The wood was chamfered/rounded out so it fit tight onto the tubes, and was glued on with 2216 scotch weld and the 3 wood pieces were screwed and epoxied together.  The epoxy is supposed to have 3000psi or so for strength when cured.  The boards were about 15" 18" and 25" and for about every 2" of run would be at least 1 square inch of contact.  By that figure, it should take about 22500 lbs of force before you would pull that 15" board loose.   (15" x .5 = 7.5 sq. in x 3000 = 22500 lbs holding force)  Even if I only have a quarter or half that much holding force, I think it will be fine.  I didn't think how much holding power there was till I did the math just now.    JImChuk

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Posted

That does amaze me that the wood is holding that well.  Obviously by calculation it makes sense but I guess the wood is attached to each other too which helps with the opposing forces.

I think I'm going to give it a try.  Makes sense in the fact that it is a solid surface that the fabric is attaching to.  With the tube version the open space between the tubes would increase the chance of puncturing the fabric while getting in/out possibly!  Great Job Jim.....Thanks for another Great option!

Great People, Great Site and Great To Be Experimental! :BC: Randy 

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Posted

When you think about it, there really isn't that much tension also.  I reset the duck billed clamps twice on the verticle piece of wood, and 2 1/2 times on the diagonal one.  So in a sense, it was like 8 bungees pulling on the verticle fabric.  If they each pulled 50 lbs, that would be 400 total.  But if there is no real stretch in the fabric at that point, and all you really are doing is pulling out all the wrinkles, how much tension is there really? Probably not any way near 400 lbs.  Should 7 1/2 square inches of scotch weld hold 400 lbs?  Like nothing I would guess.  I'm sure time will tell, but at this point, I think it's a non issue.  JImChuk

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Posted (edited)

When I went to update this thread tonight, I see the post that's just above in the reply box.  Guess I typed it out, and never sent it.  That was a couple of days ago I believe.  Here is where I'm at now.  Tapes are all in place, fuselage widening is done.  Ironed all the finish tapes down, and sometime tomorrow hopefully I will wash it all down with polyfiber 2210 cleaner and start spraying poly brush.  Couple of pics I shot today.  Funny thing in a way, I almost didn't tear into it cause I knew it was going to add a bunch of work to the project.  I'm sure glad I did it now.  Kind of like buying good tools verses junk ones or something like that.  Cry once or cry often.  And I do think the wood additions to the width are the way to go.  JImChuk

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Edited by 1avidflyer
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Posted

Great job Jim!

If you run out of projects you could market your fuselage widening kit. It turned out nice.

Thanks for the updates, keep them coming! You inspire us all!

Brooks

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Posted (edited)

I like this approach, certainly much simpler vs. welding in new tubing. Seems to lend itself particularly well as a 'retrofit' install even after the fabric paint has been applied. Assuming PolyTone top coat, one should be able to release fabric along the door frame with MEK and wash the edges for re-gluing without too much drama. Paint to the 'repair' would not need to extend much past the finish tape I would think. Only thing I might do different is add a wood support along the vertical tube in the side truss from the lift strut bracket on the lower stringer to the underside of the sill extention at the rear junction of the two wood pieces. Sliding/rotating it into place after the fabric has been re-glued to the new sills might help to tighten the side fabric up some too. Whatever adhesive is used to attach the wood sills, I still would be worried about putting too much weight on the sill dragging my fat azz in and out without some support under it.

Edited by dholly
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Posted

Thanks guys, and Doug,  I have thought about putting a support piece under the bottom board.  It is glued and screwed into the next board up, so that would help support it somewhat, and is only 1 1/2" wide at the widest, so not a lot of leverage.  Course if it popped off, you got a real job ahead fixing it.  I may go back and add the support in still.  It would be real easy to do that if the fuselage wasn't covered, I added a tube there on the ones I did with steel tubing.  Good suggestion, and I think you are also right that this method would work for a finished airplane.  I have one that I may try it on eventually.  I think it would be better to have the boards glued in place before you attach the fabric.  It actually worked pretty good with the duck billed vice grips to stretch the fabric back in place.  More vice grips would have been better, but not many people would have many of them lying around.  Thanks again for the replies.  Jim

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