A Stitts Skycoupe Restoration Project

The Stitts Skycoupe is also known as Stitts SA7 D

Friday, May 27, 2011

A brief history of our Skycoupe

Thanks to Terry Gardner, we now have a more complete understanding of the 50-year history of our Skycoupe project:

A number of folks are curious about the lineage of our Skycoupe. After combing thru the existing records here is the story!

Stits SA7 Serial Number P-445 began its life in 1961 with:

1st Owner: Paul Schauber, Baltimore, Md

Mr. Schauber started the project no sooner than 1961, based on the latest revision date found on the plans. No builders logs exist for this period

Terry discovered Mr. Schauber spoke to the Eastern Region FSDO on 18 March, 1963 before starting a project. So that means we now know he started the SA7 after this date!

Built fuselage (unclear if he built the complete fuse) acquired O290-G engine and parts to convert it to a aircraft D Model. The fuselage welding was signed off on 8 June, 1964 by FAA Eastern Region GADO Inspector T. Johnson.

Parts for the O290G were magnetically inspected by Mertz Aviation, West Chester, Pa. on 31 October, 1961(complete list is available). This inspection was done for Walter Szymczewski, Severn, MD. We don’t know if Mr. Schauber bought a started kit from Mr. Szymczewski or just engine parts.

2nd Owner: Lawrence Oppegaard, Garner, NC

Mr. Oppegaard acquired an incomplete fuselage assembly, engine / engine parts and plans on 7 September, 1991. He had previously attended an EAA Meeting on Experimental Airworthiness with Jeffrey Halliday FAA FSDO Morrisville speaking on 8 March 1991. Is this the spark that jumpstarted Mr. Oppegaard’s desire to build an airplane? Mr. Oppegaard then completed the lion’s share of the work on the Skycoupe which became our project. (Minwax Spar Urethane was used on the wings.) He worked on the project until abruptly ceasing 4 years of work on 23 September, 1995.This was the last work performed on the aircraft, as it over time passed thru others hands.

Spring 2011 – Chapter member Tom Hall discovered the airplane in the back of a hangar at Triple W airport, part of a collection of derelict aircraft projects owned by Tom's friend, Bill Amos. Bill offered to give the airplane to Tom, who has since donated it to the chapter.

May 19th, 2011 – A crew of chapter members moved the airplane from Triple W to Cox Field where it was displayed at the annual family picnic on May 21st. Later that same day, it was moved to Terry Gardner's large hangar shop at Eagles' Landing, where the restoration has begun.

May 25th, 2011 – A dozen chapter members played hooky, working all afternoon disassembling and cleaning the airplane in preparation for a thorough inspection by IA Tom Malechuck and chapter Technical Counselor Jack Phillips in the coming week.

Stay tuned for more!

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