A Stitts Skycoupe Restoration Project

The Stitts Skycoupe is also known as Stitts SA7 D

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Work Session 9/29/2012

Terry, Andy, Noel and Kent enjoyed breakfast at Al's Diner at 0700, a popular place on Saturday morning.   Work today included further airbox assembly, stripping old paint from some fairings and the start of seat fabrication.
The next work sessions are tentatively planned for Friday, October 5th from 4-8 PM.

Andy attached most of the cowl and nose bowl in order to determine how best to install the airbox.

Andy working on the airbox.
Upper air box cover as it mounts to lower face of the carburetor.

Terry measures length of hinge needed to attach set bottom to seat back.

First seat with hinge in place.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Work Session 9/27/2012

A great turnout last evening allowed us to make progress on a number of fronts:
  • Repaired small leak to RV-7 fuel tank caused by poorly-cured ProSeal.
  • Rounded corners and debured edges on seat panels.
  • Finish ironing on empennage parts.
  • Positioned old panel and planned new panel.
  • Positioned seat panels and planned further fabrication.
  • Mounted carburetor and cowl and planned airbox.
This productive session was capped with dinner and a lively discussion at Al's Diner.

The next session will be on Saturday, September 29th, starting with breakfast from 7-8 at Al's Diner.

 Terry demonstrates finish ironing on seams.
Jim - "Mr. Methodical" - Cronin makes it right.

Chris, chief panel designer, checks out dimensions of the old panel with the new seats and Terry's RV-9 seat cushions in place.

Above: Seat panels and Terry's RV-9 seat cushions in place. The new panel will be a few inches shorter to allow more room for knees. Right: Andy rounds the corners and takes the edge off the four seat 0.070" aluminum seat panels.

 J-P carefully removes old ProSeal from RV-7 tank.  For reasons not understood, it did not completely cure, leading to a slight leak.   After cleaning, new ProSeal will be applied and the tank again tested.

"Some assembly required" - Airbox boss Joel studies the instructions for installation.

The first iteration looks quite good!  PVC piping was added to mockup air inlet and location of needed opening on the lower cowl.

Below: What it's all about - Joel describes his plans for the airbox and inlet while others listen or adds their thoughts.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Work Session 9/22/2012

Andy, Terry, J-P and Kent enjoyed splendid Indian Summer weather at the Skunk Works and made significant progress on final work on the RV-7 wings and the Skycoupe seating.  The final few components were riveted onto RV-7 wings, with Terry doing the pressing and J-P acting as the careful inspector.  He's well-qualified as a current RV-12 builder.   Kent made the final decisions on the aluminum seat backs and bottoms, which will mimic Terry's RV-9 seats in most respects.  Terry had some excellent ideas how storage boxes could be easily incorporated into the underside of the seat bottom and onto the seat backs, both of which will be attached to the existing seat pan with piano hinges.   Fortunately, we had plenty of pristine 0.070" sheet aluminum in our parts bin, adequate for all four seat parts. Grover Macnair has kindly offered use of his brake to cut the sheet this coming week, and needed parts to complete and mount the seat parts will be ordered this week.

This week we need to make progress on a number of fronts:

1. Seats (per above)
2. RV-7 - final touches prior to their being offered for sale
3. Panel - need to make decisions on materials and order two primary MGL instruments
4. Airbox - needs to be kept in the shop and completed, including mounting on carburetor, then lower cowl must be adapted to it.
5. Cowl - Cecil Boyd has offered to help remove a few wrinkles. Opening must be made for airbox.

Stay tuned for dates and times for next work sessions.  We'll try to hold one during the week and one on weekends from now until we fly, so everyone can carve out time to help.

0.070" sheet for seat bottoms and backs marked and ready for cutting.

J-P checks the RV-7 plans for the remaining work.

Terry at work under the watchful eye of "Mr. Rivet"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Work Session 9/20/12

Jim, Terry, Andy, Chris, Kent and Tim spent several hours assisting Tom Malechuk with planning for the wing struts.   The right wing was mounted and supported at the tip to provide the required two degrees of dihedral.  After some deliberation, it was decided to provide independent mounting of both ends of both fore- and aft struts.  Tom suggested a series of steps, and the first was taken - removal of excess length from the struts, donated by Brian White when he restored his Super Cub a few years ago.  Cutting a section off of the strut allowed us to inspect the inside walls for corrosion - the initial look was good, with a nice coating of the original linseed oil still in place.

Tom also inspected the RV-7 wings and showed a few small blemished we'll remove prior to offering them for sale along with the tailfeathers.

The work session was completed with a light dinner at Al's Diner, to the enjoyment of all.

Tom Malechuck inspects our work on the RV-7 wings.

Andy and Chris check the dihedral angle on the right wing and Terry and Jim look on.

Terry's chop saw makes quick work of the strut.

Outline of needed work on now-shortened strut, to be done in Tom's shop.