A Stitts Skycoupe Restoration Project

The Stitts Skycoupe is also known as Stitts SA7 D

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.

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