A Stitts Skycoupe Restoration Project

The Stitts Skycoupe is also known as Stitts SA7 D

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot day at Bear Creek Skunk Works

It was a good day to start wing varnishing as the room where the wings are stowed is air conditioned.
Before dipping our brushes, master technical counselor Terry Gardner noticed that the bolts linking the crossbars to the wing spars were not oriented properly:
"Standard practice is to insert all aircraft bolts either with the bolt threads down, pointing outboard or aft whenever possible. This is done in case the nut should somehow come off; the forces of gravity and inertia will tend to keep the bolt in place"
Correction done!
Then the fun starts:

At the end of the session, the two wings were varnished from head to toes and we too!
The usual suspects participated: Terry, Kent, Andy, Nathan, Tom, Joel, Jim & JP

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bear Creek in the News!

Thanks Michael Crowder for being the first to notice an excellent article on our efforts written by Dan Grunloh, Editor of EAA's Light Plane World. See this link to read the article.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ordinary Day at Bear Creek Skunk Works - Work Session 6/30/2011

Unseasonably cool weather increased our productivity this past week, allowing a strong crew of ten to check off a few more tasks (see also images below):
  1. Blocks for the aileron hinge attachments were cut by Chuck Borsuk and installed Wednesday by Kent.
  2. Space blocks for the wing trailing edges were measured and cut by Chris McClure, Nathan McConnell and Andy Thomson. They'll be glued/tacked in place at the next session.
  3. Terry made a major ($$$) order of 4130 steel for the aileron torque tubes, fuselage tabs and wing compression tubes. It should arrive from A/C Spruce soon, allowing us to fabricate the ailerons and prep the fuselage.
  4. Konrad Schoen has made contact with the Marvel-Schebler division of Aero Accessories (that we'll tour next Thursday from 2-4 PM, 7/7/2011) to understand our options in rebuilding our carburetor.
  5. All sheet aluminum parts were thoroughly stripped by Joel McLaughlin, Andy Thomson, Nathan McConnell, and JP Bernoux. Konrad Schoen then power washed these. Kent will take the dented pieces to Cecil Boyd for repair.
  6. Tim Misegades stripped the paint from the formerly black wing brackets used for strut and fuselage attachments. Terry will prime and paint these.
  7. JP Bernoux and Kent Misegades replaced the last bolt on the wing diagonal struts.
  8. Noel Fallwell reported on his findings following a thorough review of the previous builder's log.
Our next "session" will be a tour of the Aero Accessories facility in Gibsonville, NC on Thursday, 7/7/2011 from 2-4 PM. Leave from Cox Field at 1PM or drive directly to their facility at 1240 Springwood Avenue, Gibsonville, NC 27249. Our host is Tom Welsh, plant manager.

We may also have another regular work session next week, depending on parts arrivals, so stay tuned.

J-P Bernoux gently "mallettizes" the last bolt for the wing diagonal bracing. (JP's comment: Kent is unwittingly funny as my wife Michèle's maiden name is Mallet)

Konrad Schoen power washes the last remnants of goo off the freshly stripped sheet metal.

Thomas Barnes, Terry's hangar neighbor, zips past us in his swift little Wittman Tailwind.

Nathan McConnell and Chris McClure discuss the dimensions of the poplar spacers needed to keep the trailing edge straight and consistent.

Tim Misegades once again with his arms in the blasting box, this time preparing wing brackets for priming and painting. Tim had nothing better to do after a long, hot day at his job in the Guardian Aviation hangar at Siler City than to spend a few more hours in another hot hangar.

Male strippers show what they do best: Handy Andy, The Laird, Nathan "The Quiet One", and Frenchy hard at work.

Male strippers show what they do best: The Laird, Nathan "The Quiet One", and Frenchy hard at work.

The Laird, dreaming of Highlander conquests in a past life, wields a stripping brush as well as his fore-bearers carved with their dirks.

Quittin' time - Terry and Joel turn Chris's Husky around on the BCSW Ramp.

Chris prepares for launching with the Redneck A/C engaged (door left open).

"Let's see, KJNX used to be there." Hey Chris - just head East and look for the steam rising from the Johnston County stills!