Firewall Forward

It took 18 weeks to get my Firewall Forward package, Rotax 912iS, and the Airmaster propeller.  Just mentioning this to those of you that are starting out, plan way ahead.  It worked out for me.  I got the struts completed and a few other odds and ends.

Here are a couple pics of boxes and crates.




The first item on the list was to register the Rotax for warranty purposes.

I opened up the Airmaster boxes.  They do an excellent job shipping.  It was handled by DHL and USPS took care of the final delivery.  No damage.

Next was to do a physical inventory of the FWF package.  Everything was present and accounted for except for a few extra items that I called in for and requested that they be shipped at the same time.  No big deal, one email fixed it.

And now for a little assembly!

First up is to temporarily put the firewall on and fit the boot cowl.

Next is to install the engine mount.  This took a little effort because the upper two mounting holes were off a little bit as well as the bottom.  But in the end everything came into place.

Now for the fun part.

The above pic shows the Rotax hanging on my overhead hoist.  I have one strap around the gear box and two straps on the circle mount on the rear of the engine.  This way I was able to tip the engine to match the angle on the motor mount.

Here it is bolted up.

Got a thumbs up from Big Bird.

The next step in the assembly is pretty much left up to the builder.  I am going to wait fitting the cowl till later.  Next will be laying out the avionics and engine wiring.  I will split this part of the assembly into the FWF post and the avionics post.  Stay tuned.




Fusalage and Tail Feather covering

Now that the aft wiring, auto pilot servos, ADAHRS, and ELT have been installed it is time to cover the fuselage and tail feathers ( horizontal stabilizer, elevator rudder and vertical stabilizer).

Here is the bottom fabric glued and ready to shrink. 

I decided to work on a smaller piece next, the horizontal stabilizer.  It proved to be a challenge because of the rounded corners.

Here it is heat shrunk and ready for poly-brush.

Below shows the right side of the fusalage prepped and ready for fabric.

Continue reading Fusalage and Tail Feather covering



I decided to install Dynon products in the Kitfox.  For the last couple of months I have been working with Advanced Flight Systems in Canby Oregon designing a VFR panel and putting together all of the needed components.

I picked up my early components which included the auto pilot servos.  The idea is to get everything installed in the aft part of the fuselage so that the covering can be completed.  The wiring for the horizontal stabilizer and trim sensor wire have been run.

Shown above is the elevator auto pilot servo being fitted.  Below is a pic the mounting bracket that I fabricated from some aluminum angle.  It is bonded to the frame and the linkage is fitted

Above shows the servo bracket painted and servo plus wire harness installed using DB9 connectors.

Below is a pic of the other side.

It’s a little hard to see but the aluminum triangle frame is for the ADAHRS to be mounted to.  Because the baggage area was extended I will need to install a remote magnetometer in the left wing tip.  Normally there is a location just behind the standard baggage sack to mount the ADAHRS.

Below shows the position of the ADAHRS.  It is mounted dead level with the fusalage floor.  A static port and the pitot tube are connected here.

Here are a couple of views of the roll auto pilot servo. It is mounted and wired in.

Another item to be installed is the ELT (emergency locator transmitter).  It’s a little hard to see but Kitfox has an antenna mount for the ELT.

About two weeks ago I picked up the completed system.  This is going to be “plug and play” for the most part. It was nice to see the entire system up and running.  All of the harnesses are made and tested by the AFS team.  I can not say enough about how good it is to work with AFS.  They also have great technical support.

Here it is temporarily mounted.  I will be painting the panel before installing of course.  There are a few empty holes.  The ones on the left and right are cabin vents.  The round one in the middle is for the Air Master prop controller.

The pic above and the one below shows some of the work that AFS did for me.  I temporarily hooked everything up just to get an idea of how the components would need to be arranged give the cable lengths and space available.

All of what you see in the two pictures above has been removed so that I can continue with the covering process.

Wing tips

This is is a closer look at the lights and tips.  I put a lot of time into this but I am happy with the outcome.

The landing lights I purchased from a great guy, Josh Esser, from Canada.  Looking forward to turning them on Josh.

The nav lights are Avio from Poland.  Looking forward to turning them on too.

Here I finally have a landing light fitted.

The aft edge edge had to be split because it was too narrow.  The leading edge had to be split also because the shape was all wrong.  This pic shows the first application of super-fil.  I lost track of how many coats it took.

I must admit that I was not looking forward to doing this step because body work is not my strong suit, I can get it done, it just takes me forever.

The upgraded wing tips were very rough to start out with.  It took a lot of trimming and sanding to get them fitted properly.  This first pic shows the right tip clecoed in place. Looks easy, HA!

I put the finishing touches on the wing tips and am happy with the result.



Extended Baggage Area

This is what the factory baggage area looks like.  There is an option to extend the area aft which I am going to do.

This shows the seam taken out and an aluminum hinge attached to the original board.  Two more plywood pieces will make up the extended area. The first piece is attached to the hinge on one end and the other end is bolted. The rear ply is bolted in the four corners.

Next templates were cut out to use as patterns for the fabric, which is 500D Cordura.

The aluminum tube is held by adel clamps and rivnuts inserted into the ends of the tubes. These rods will support the new baggage sides.

Here is another view of the rod. One on each side.

And now for a little assembly!

Many thank to my talented daughter, Hannah. She brought her sewing machine, supplies, and talent to my shop and did a fantastic job putting this together.

The new area is velcroed in the same manner as the original.

On final assembly there be “D” rings spaced along the sides to use as anchor points for a cargo net.  We would not want anything sliding aft and upsetting the balance.



Rib Stitching

Prepping for rib stitching. This shows chalk lines and reinforcing tape on each rib. Both wings ready to lace.

The stitching is not very hard to do once you understand the knots. It took me a couple of days. This pic shows the single knots under the fuel tank ready to trim off the ends. I used a small zip tie with the head cut off as a “needle”.

Rib stitching completed

Rib stitching is complete. Next is to shrink the fabric the final time to 350 degrees with my calibrated iron.