A Stitts Skycoupe Restoration Project

The Stitts Skycoupe is also known as Stitts SA7 D

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Work Session 3/2/2013

Terry, Andy, Kent and Steve Johnson met for breakfast at Al's Diner at 0800 then worked from 0900-1300 on a variety of projects including riveting the seats, the airbox and (after Konrad came a bit later) the brakes.   Terry gave Steve a good lesson in setting rivets in the seat bottoms and backs, something Steve mastered in a few minutes.  Andy and Kent used the panel mockup to look into what will be needed to mount it offset from the frame to provide clearance for instruments.   We found that the panel can be much shorter than originally expected, leaving more leg room than expected.   We'll also not need a lower central extension to the panel.   The panel mockup will now be modified and we'll look at the best means to mount it in a way that makes removal simple for assembly and maintenance.

We need someone to take 'ownership' of the completion and assembly of the ailerons.  Who can help?

Steve Johnson shows off one of the seat pans, nicely riveted.

Terry and Steve set rivets on the seat back.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Instrument panel mockup

Skycoupe instrument panel mockup 2/22/2013

Yes, a few BCAC members have been making progress this winter.  For instance, at Noel Falwell's suggestion, Kent created this mockup of a new instrument panel with full-scale images of instruments tentatively planned for the airplane.  Following is a list of instruments being considered or already purchased:

Stits SA-7D Skycoupe Instrument List

  1. GPS/Moving Map - iFly 700 GPS gimbal mount + antenna
      • http://ifly.adventurepilot.com/HOME.aspx
      • Dimensions: 7 1/4" X 4 1/2" X 3/4"
  2. MGL Flight-2 Primary Flight Instrument (MGL Velocity Single)
      • http://www.mglavionics.co.za/
      • Dimensions: 3.346" X 3.346" X 2.047"
  3. MGL E1 Universal Engine Monitor
      • http://www.mglavionics.co.za/
      • Dimensions: 3.346" X 3.346" X 2.047"
  4. Radios
    1. Garmin Apollo Slimline SL-30 NAV/COMM
      • http://www8.garmin.com/products/sl30/
      • Dimensions: 1.3"H x 6.25" W x 10.5" D
    1. Garmin Apollo Slimline SL-40 COMM
      • http://www8.garmin.com/products/sl40/
      • Dimensions: 1.3"H x 6.25" W x 10.5" D
    1. MGL V-6 w/Intercom
      • http://www.mglavionics.com/html/radios.html
      • Dimensions: 2.40"H x 2.40" W x 4.2" D
  1. Intercom
    1. Flightcom 403mc (donated by Michael Crowder)
      • http://www.flightcom.net/general-aviation/intercoms-ga/403mc/
      • Dimensions: 2.375″ W x 1″ H x 2.625" D
    1. MGL V-6 COMM w/Intercom (see above)

  1. Transponder
    1. Garmin GTX-327 $1200
      • http://www8.garmin.com/products/gtx327/index.html
      • Dimensions: 6.25"H x 1.65" W x 8.73" D
  1. Fuel/Air Mixture gauge = Innovate MTX-L AFR
      • http://www.innovatemotorsports.com/products/MTXL.php
      • Dimensions: 2.0625"H x 2.0625" W x ~3.0" D
  1. Inclinometer
      • http://aircraftproducts.wicksaircraft.com/item/aircraft-instruments/inclinometer/1576s?
      • Dimensions: 3.5"H x 1.5" W (surface mount)
  1. Throttle Dia. 1.5" ?
  2. Mixture Dia. 1.5" ?
  3. Primer (?)
  4. Magnetic compass
      • http://aircraftproducts.wicksaircraft.com/item/falcon-gauges/falcon-gauge-magnetic-compasses/mcdn-2?&plpver=10&origin=keyword&by=prod&filter=0
      • Dimensions: 2.0" Dia.
  1. Switches Left - Contura-2, Carling
    1. Master On/Off
    2. L-Mag On/Off
    3. R-Mag On/Off
    4. Starter - momentary switch
  2. Switches Right - Contura-2, Carling
    1. Future use
  3. Fuse panel - Bussman
  4. Headset sockets right/left
  5. Map box

Friday, December 7, 2012

Work Session 12/6/2012

Terry, J-P, Konrad, Jim, Andy, Joel and Kent met from 4-8 at the Skunk Works and made progress on the seats and air intake. J-P was aided by others in some detail work on his RV-12.

The Skycoupe's new hangar

Terry and J-P discuss work on the RV-12

Jim clecos the stiffener angles on the seat back and bottom

Seats, reader for riveting

Conrad (Konrad's friend), Andy, Joel and Konrad discuss attachment of the air intake to the lower cowl

Andy trims the composite air intake

Copper tubing works well for making smooth, symmetric trim lines

Skycoupe in its voluminous hangar

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Work Session 10/27/2012

Terry, Kent, Andy and Joel met at 0700 for a hearty breakfast at Al's Diner before heading down to the Skunk Works for a full morning of work.  J-P joined us during the same morning.    The most important accomplishment of the day was completion of the RV-7 wings and empennage preparations for their sale.  A separate posting on this blog serves as a gallery for prospective buyers.   We also helped Terry rearrange a few things in the shop in preparation for coming projects.  Andy continued work on the Skycoupe's air inlet scoop and fairing, and it's looking great!

Right wing - ready for sale

RV-expert Joel McLaughlin put many hours into the RV-7 project, here he is with the empennage

Andy Thomson working on the air inlet for the Skycoupe

Closeup of Andy's work - very nice shape!

RV builders Joel and J-P set a final few rivets in the left wing of the RV-7

RV builders Joel and J-P set a final few rivets in the left wing of the RV-7

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Work Session 10/24/2012

A major rearrangement of the shop was made in preparation for some new major projects at the Skunk Works.  Otherwise, Joel and Andy crafted a foam plug for a composite fairing for the airbox inlet.  Kent and newcomer Bryan Gossage began addition of eight angle stiffeners to the seats.  Present were Terry, Jim, Andy, Joel, Kent and Bryan Gossage.

The next work session will be on Saturday, 10/27/2012.  We'll start with breakfast at Al's Diner at 0700, work begins at 0800.  Plenty to do - seats, tail feather rib stitching, aileron fabrication, etc.

Andy sands the inlet plug into shape using TLAR technology

Airbox inlet - Mark I

Andy test fits the plug to the lower cowl

Test fit of the rough airbox inlet fairing to lower cowl

Newcomer Bryan Gossage prepares seat angle parts for drilling

Monday, October 22, 2012

Work Session 10/20/12

BCAC officers met after the EAA chapter meeting to discuss completion & sale of the RV-7 parts, acquisition of a storage trailer, work scheduling, future recruiting, sale of spare carburetor, general financial issues and upcoming major tasks.

Terry, Kent, Andy, Joel, Mike Maltby, Niels & Judy Nielsen and Dan Kangas stopped by the shop on a glorious Indian Summer afternoon to work on the Skycoupe.

Andy and Joel made modifications to the lower cowl and made the first test fit of the airbox.  Dan assisted.

Kent cut, drilled and clecoed the attachment hinge onto the pilot seat.

Welding on the wing struts will take place this week off-line.

Sorry, no pictures, but progress is evident.  As the seats and airbox are being completed, we'll start soon on rib stitching of the tail feathers,  silver coat of the same, and the panel fabrication.  The ailerons also need completion. Once the struts are ready, the wings will be remounted in order to work on the aileron linkages.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Work Session 10/10/2012

Attending this session were Terry, J-P, Mike, Andy, Konrad, Jim and Kent. 

Steady progress was made on the following:
  1. RV-7 wing tank sealed, pressurized and leak testing begun.    Terry and J-P.
  2. Airbox upper plate/filter assembly. Andy and Mike.
  3. Dents in cowling worked on.  Konrad, Jim and J-P.
  4. Large mounting hinge added to back of right seat. Terry and Kent.
The next work session is planned for 10/11/2012, 4-8 PM.



Mike works on nut plates needed for the air box top cover

J-P and Jim prepare the RV-7 tank for leak testing.

RV-7 tank ready for testing - a temporary cover plate with air connection has been added.

MG car expert Konrad explains the art of sheet metal repair, using a set of body dollies he brought along.

Konrad goes to work on one nasty dent while Jim secures the cowl section

Andy and Mike attempt to understand the complicated instructions that came with the airbox

Konrad and Jim inspected the night's work.