A Stitts Skycoupe Restoration Project

The Stitts Skycoupe is also known as Stitts SA7 D

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Work Session 1/28/2012

Great January weather and a good turnout from BCAC members resulted in good progress on several fronts:
  • continued work on the RV-7 wings
  • filled fuel tank with water to check for leaks (so far, so good!)
  • took photos of various members seated in cockpit, for planning purposes
  • created list of nearly 30 task groups that will be assigned to members, for instance, seating, engine, cowling, windshield, etc.

The images below show members at work on 1/28/2012.

The new owner of our BD-4 project, Gerry Huser, made the long trip back to Memphis and sent the following message:

Kent, got the BD4 project home safely, and stored in my garage, did not have time to go thru anything.....got home wed aftn, and had many things to do, before my current trip. In alaska now, on  to asia tomorrow, then Europe, and back to mem,   round the world westbound, only 5  legs , the 777 able to do it in three, if scheduled that way.....anyway, thanks to Terry, & Mike for the help loading all my stuff, it was much appreciated......nice chatting with all of you......take care, regards,  gerry huser.

The work group poses in front of the Skycoupe's fuselage, adorned by a bright yellow banner from Wicks Aircraft Supply, our newest sponsor. L-R are J-P, Jim, Terry, Kent, Joel, Andy, Terry, Kelly & Todd. (Tim took picture.)

Kelly poses for a picture that will be used to help Kent design the airplane's seating.

The panel now being designed by Terry, Joel, Chris and Michael will be minimalistic, but not quite as simple as this mockup!

Jim slowly fills the fuel tank with water to check for leaks.

Tood & Kelly brought along their dog, 'Pancho Barnes', the perfect name for the irreverent and fun-loving members of the Bear Creek Aero Club.

Todd and Kelly squeeze rivets on the RV-7 wing.

Jim finishes filling the fuel tank under the watchful eye of EAA Technical Counselor & BCAC member Jack Phillips.

Terry and Jim discuss plans for completing our RV-7 wings and Terry's RV-9.

BCAC RV expert Joel McLaughlin in his element and sporting a new RV jumpsuit.

Terry introduces Tim to the dreaded deburring tool.

Joel prepares to Cleco a subpanel on the RV-7's wing.

Below: Tim squeezes rivets on RV-7 wing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Regular Saturday Sessions Return!

Despite seeming like activity has stopped, things are happening!

-The exhaust headers have been removed and are to be sent to Vetterman Exhaust for duplication.

- Kent has been working on seat cushion material and designs.

-The Coupe has tank has been drained and will be ready for leak testing tomorrow.

-As of today we have an Ameriking AK 450 transponder to use to mock up the Skycoupe tomorrow.

-Since we have our battery, we can now begin to figure out where is the best spot for it and begin bracket construction.

-As of the last meeting, avionics have been selected and we will have more discussion tomorrow. I think this will give Chris a good starting point for panel design.

-Lastly since money is the driving issue on the plane a decision was made to get the wings to quick build status to enhance their saleability. One is done and we will be starting to rivet top skins on the second tomorrow. We still need to fabricate a fuel tank so that will be an interesting experience for many of you who have not had the experience of working with proseal. It has been encouraging to see the number of folks that showed up to drill, dimple, and remove the hated 6 year old plastic.

I don't expect a lengthy session tomorrow but we will be breaking tasks down. Think of what needs to be done and what you you have the knowledge, skills, abilities and most importantly desire to do.

See you tomorrow,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Goodbye BD-4

Our BD-4 project headed to its new home in Memphis, TN yesterday. Its new owner, Fedex B777 pilot Gerry Huser, is seen in the pictures below with BCAC members Mike McCann and Chris McClure, just before Gerry departed to points West. Pictures courtesy our Great Leader, BCAC president Terry Gardner, who is working feverishly now on our other project, the RV-7 wings, and has even found time to work on his RV-9. Look for the BCAC to resume regular Saturday meetings as we move forward on multiple fronts to get the Skycoupe in the air this spring.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Welding workshop at Bear Creek 1/7/2012

Sunny weather in the 60s greeted a crowd of 20+ people to the Bear Creek Skunk Works for a free welding workshop, demonstrations of the Skycoupe's powerful Lycoming O-290-D engine and display of BD-4, RV-7 and RV-9 projects. Thanks to the BCAC's newest sponsor, Steve Johnson of Everything Aero or Thomasville, NC (aerovoltz.net), our Skycoupe now sports an incredibly light, compact lithium starter battery. Its amazing 400 cranking amp power resulted in the engine starting after only a few spins of the propeller. What makes this even more amazing is that the spark plugs in the engine have not been cleaned or gapped since the engine was run last in 1995! The plugs will of course be replaced prior to completion of the plane, by the latest Tempest plug technology from another sponsor, Aero Accessories of Gibsonville, NC. See pictures below from this fun meeting.

Welcome to new BCAC members Todd and Kelly Wichman, Brian Vandivier and Carl Lindgren! The Aeroclub now has 10 FULL and 12 ASSOCIATE members, exceeding the goal we set last fall. Better yet, we have been fortunate to gain the support by some of the biggest names in homebuilding, including Aero Accessories, PolyFiber, Everything Aero, and just this past week, Wicks Aircraft Supply and Dynon! All are enthusiastic about our 'back to the roots' effort and have pledged financial support in a variety of ways.

What's Next?

Skycoupe - Terry will be assigning tasks soon, many of which can be done in parallel. One of these, design of the panel, is already underway, thanks to Chris McClure.

BD-4 : we have taken an inventory of the material acquired and will be offering it all for sale to the BD-4 community. We're being aided by the leaders of their type club, BD-4.org

RV-7 : the empennage is complete and could be offered for sale now. The RV-7 quickbuild wings will be completed as a BCAC project and then offered for sale.

We expect the proceeds from the sale of the BD-4 and RV-7 projects to yield substantial revenue to the BCAC, lowering the final cost to members for completion of the Skycoupe. Please do not hesitate to mention these two projects being for sale to anyone who might be interested.

Next work sessions - expect a resumption of our twice-weekly sessions during the week after 4PM and on Saturdays. If we are to achieve our goal of flying the Skycoupe to Oshkosh this summer, we'll need everyone's help. Having the airplane at AirVenture 2012 is important for a number of reasons we'll discuss at our next session.

Brandon Troy, son of EAA1114 member Barry Troy, learned basic welding skills.

Brandon was very proud of his work, and his bead was not bad for a beginner. Darth Vader (aka BCAC member Mike McCann) looks on from behind.

Completed RV-7 empennage now ready for sale to some lucky RV builder.

Terry fires up the Skycoupe's powerful 125 HP Lycoming O-290-D engine.

A strong crowd of 20+ BCAC and EAA1114 members attended the welding workshop and demos.

Part of the BD-4 project now for sale, prior to transporting from Cox Field to the Skunk Works.

BCAC members Jim Cronin and Kent Misegades test the power of the Lycoming running at idle.

Below, new BCAC sponsor Steve Johnson of 'Everything Aero' (aerovoltz.net) with his amazing Aerovoltz lithium starter battery installed in the Skycoupe. Compare its size to the standard battery box it will replace. Steve also donated us a shiny new battery box for this mini-mite.