A Stitts Skycoupe Restoration Project

The Stitts Skycoupe is also known as Stitts SA7 D

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Work Session 3/9/2012 - right wing taping session

Proving that our team is learning quickly, the right wing has received its tapes in one afternoon session and is nearly ready for the silver coat. Pictures below show the good teamwork exhibited at the Skunk Works this past week. Thanks J-P Bernoux for the pictures!

Great News! Van's original airplane, the RV-1, will make a stop at the Skunk Works during its tour of the country on April 22nd or 23rd. Read about the restoration and tour at this link. Stay tuned for details!

Konrad, Terry and Kent prepare to lay down tapes.

Andy, Kent, Jim hard at work watching Chris do the hard work.

Chris and Terry add the last strip of rib tape before a final bit of rib stitching.

Andy, Chris and Terry at work on the always-challenging curved surfaces.

Below: Tucker the Wonder Dog inspects our work.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Work Session 2/29/2012 - Final Touches before Silver Coat

Warm weather allowed Terry, Andy and Kent to put the final touches on the left wing. This included applying bias tape around the wing tip bow and 6" tapes on the entire leading edge. We also repaired the two small tears in the right wing, providing another good learning opportunity. As in the past, we followed the excellent guidelines in the Poly Fiber manuals.

While we progress on the Stits SA-7D Skycoupe, a group of RV builders in Texas have been preparing another highly-modified Stits design, the SA-3 Playboy, for a tour of the US this spring and summer. We know the airplane as the RV-1, the first of Dick Van Grunsven's amazingly popular line of aircraft. Earlier this week, the EAA ran a webinar including Van, who described the evolution from the the Playboy to the RV-1 that is worth watching.
You can find a link to the webinar here.

One RV-7 wing tank completed.

Our newly-fabricated exhaust stacks just returned from Larry Vetterman's Idaho shop. Compare them to the original stacks (darker colored). Larry's Vetterman Exhaust is considered one of the finest shops of its kind in the US, and he supplies most exhaust systems for RVs.

Terry and Andy apply the 6" leading edge tape.

The most difficult part of the work was the need for darts at the 'break' between the leading edge and the 'notch' at the wing root.

Don't they look nice? The left wing is now ready for its silver coats.

Terry smooth the pinked edges of one of the two patches applied on the right wing.

Below - the final results of one of these patches - more complicated than it looks to get things smooth and aligned with other tapes.