A Stitts Skycoupe Restoration Project

The Stitts Skycoupe is also known as Stitts SA7 D

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ray Stits Praises our Work!

Dear Bear Creekers - I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call this morning from the designer of our airplane, Ray Stits, who is also the founder of EAA Chapter One at Flabob Airport in Riverside, CA. I had written to him last week and sent him some pictures of our progress. Here are some of his comments:
  • Your work looks good; I am glad that people are still interested in my designs, which were always meant to be safe, simple and inexpensive.
  • I just turned 90 and fly a Cessna C162 Skycatcher. I have made 1,200 Young Eagle flights and am in good health, which is important.
  • The kids working on the Wathen Foundation's Skycoupe restoration only put in two hours a week. They are making steady progress, but it will take them five years to get it done.
  • It took six years, a large investment and hard work to certify the Skycoupe. We used a Continental O-200 engine and tested everything. When everything was done, we calculated that we'd need to sell 90 aircraft each month in order to break even, so we decided not to go into production.
  • Please send me more pictures on your progress.
  • The Skycoupe was the most popular homebuilt at EAA conventions in the 1960s. They were harder to build than kits are today, but you could build one back then for a few thousand dollars.
  • It would be great if you could organize a reunion of my designs at Oskosh one day.
Ray is a quick, articulate speaker with a sharp mind, and seems very interested in what we're doing. I look forward to sending this icon of American sport aviation progress reports on our work in the coming months.

Today I also spoke with David Doherty, president of EAA chapter 32 in St. Charles, MO, who owns a Skycoupe project, the airplane his father built and flew for many years. David mentioned a mod to the design we might want to consider one day:

"Have you heard of a mod on the Skycoupe where the carry-through member right behind the seat is moved back? It’s a fairly large diameter tube the seat back is tied to. I’ve talked to several owner/builders who have done that. They added a plate on the fuselage at the weld cluster and moved the tube back 3”, Without the mod, the seat is very upright and uncomfortable on longer flights. I was thinking of doing a mod of that type to my plane, but probably won’t.

Our next work session is tomorrow, Thursday, 6/23/2011 from 4-8 PM. In the past week, we have obtained new bearings for the wheels, and Terry wants to put the fuselage back on the gears tomorrow. He and Tim are in the shop today painting the landing gear and doing some other prep work. We have more work to do on the wings, stripping of aluminum panels, and additional prep work for covering. Hope to see many of you at Eagle's Landing tomorrow afternoon end evening.

Congratulations to Tim for his completing a 2.5 hour long cross-country this morning, using dead-reckoning and VORs, no GPS. Can we old guys still do that?

No comments:

Post a Comment