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kitfox/skyfox

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I was wondering if anyone can tell me the difference between the Kitfox and the Skyfox?

 

 

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I was wondering if anyone can tell me the difference between the Kitfox and the Skyfox?

 

 

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I can only give a very basic version Tim, but Oscar and others could give a better description. The Skyfox was based on the Kitfox but was modified a fair bit be certified in the 101-55 category. It was strengthened in places from memory. I should know more as the factory was only a couple of hangars down from Skyfox Flight training where I used to fly many years ago. It was 17 years ago and my memory is unfortunately lacking.

 

Rob Kerr would know a lot about them as he built them I think from memory.

 

 

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I can only give a very basic version Tim, but Oscar and others could give a better description. The Skyfox was based on the Kitfox but was modified a fair bit be certified in the 101-55 category. It was strengthened in places from memory. I should know more as the factory was only a couple of hangars down from Skyfox Flight training where I used to fly many years ago. It was 17 years ago and my memory is unfortunately lacking.

 

Rob Kerr would know a lot about them as he built them I think from memory.

 

 

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I was wondering if anyone can tell me the difference between the Kitfox and the Skyfox?

One difference is the wing profiles of Kf to Sf, also between the Skyfox CA21, 22 and 25 's is the tube sizes from the firewall to the carry through member at the strut attachment point. The Ca21 are 1/2" and the others are increased in size. If you can have a look at the three models in that area, open the door and look down between the seat pan and the side. Also the vertical fin size was increased with each Sf model.

 

Cheers

 

Mike

 

 

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The Kitfox is a better aircraft in my opinion being the original. The Skyfow has a weaker landing gear and ruined insurance for us for a couple of years after failures in training use, where the main fuselage longerons would also be damaged requiring claims for repairs of around K$40 (90s dollars ) each. Additionally the Skyfox also suffered in many areas from being CASA certified becoming way unnecessarily too complicated for UL use. Much harder to now source parts for the Skyfox where as Kitfox parts are still available with factory assistance.

 

A 912 powered Kitfox Mk 4 with the larger rudder and fin is a beautiful aircraft to fly and land, whereas the Skyfox will always be a handfull.

 

 

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Maj that would depend on which model kitfox you are comparing it to, skyfox was based on the model 3 kitfox. Model 4 kitfox has a different wing profile and as you have said a bigger rudder/fin so makes a big difference in handling. I like the skyfox/kitfox aircraft.

 

The latest kitfox 7 is a much different and bigger machine to the originals, thee early kitfoxes used the 582 rotax as a base engine and were designed as a simple, inexpensive fun machine for weekend flyers. Still a lot of fun.

 

 

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I tend to agree with you Maj. Kitfox Are the original and still have parts, plus factory backup is still there even for the early models, I was looking at a 1200 mk4 myself as you know. But looking around at similar types I came across the Bushbaby Explorer, good stol and cruise performance, 600 kgs what more could you want. So I ordered an Explorer II kit. Before I could bat an eyelid it was delivered, the kit even included the covering material. Got some work ahead of me now . . . Don't know if your interested in a kit ausadvance but the Bushbaby would be worth looking at.

 

Steve

 

 

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The Kitfox from which the Skyfox was developed had many problems, including aileron flutter and aileron lock-up when the wings were bent under load. The Skyfox wing profile is known for load reversal at higher speeds / gust conditions, that can result in the forward lift strut buckling and the wing departing. Later models of Kitfox, presumably, addressed those problems successfully.

 

 

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It is an interesting statistic, that Kitfox aircraft have 56 fatalities to their record from 24/11/92 to 07/08/15. I have no idea of how many Kitfox aircraft are flying, but from current statistics, the comparable number of Jabirus flying to achieve the Kitfoxes flying to achieve the Kitfox 'fatals' figure, would be over 18,000. According to the Kitfox website, over 5,000 kits have been delivered.

 

 

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My apologies to Kitfox and Kitfox owners etc., I completely screwed that maths up - Jabiru have had 9 from about 1,500 aircraft, which would make it about 9,000 Jabs. to get to 56 . No breakdown, I'm afraid - it was a compiled list for Kitfoxes published by Aviation Safety Net and I can't seem to pick it up again. I would guess the later models are far less represented in that list, as obviously Kitfox has changed the design a great deal over time..

 

 

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A lot of misinformation here , firstly , there hasn't been a case of a Skyfox shedding a wing , ever !

 

There has been a couple of break ups , one was an aircraft that was left outside in a tropical environment , the timber ribs were rotten and when pulled into a low level steep turn the aileron departed taking the outer wing with it.

 

Another broke up after being illegally aerobated .

 

Aileron hangers have been a problem , but it's interesting that since the AD on them there hasn't been an inflight problem , it is also a relative easy fix now .

 

As for landings and take offs , I've got around 250 hours in mine , I've flown it in all plenty different conditions and crosswind strengths and it performs wonderfully , it doesn't forgive sloppy pilots , but is an extremely rewarding aircraft to operate.

 

I am very aware of airspeeds in her and never fly fast in rough air , as is the smart way to operate any aircraft.

 

As for differences between the kitfoxes 3-4 and the Skyfox

 

They share the same basic construction, the Skyfox spars are much stronger as is the fuselage , which does make them heavier , the Kitfox stall is lower which reduces the landing speeds ( maybe contributing to them being considered easy to land) the also retain the flap operation in the ailerons ( making a flaperon )which also helps with landing speeds.

 

The rudder is slightly bigger on the KF , and the trim system is much better .

 

Some of the KF have airfoil shaped formers in the tail feathers , I'm not sure on the benefits to this as the cruise speeds are very similar ( discounting the KF Speedwing , I have a mate with one and the bugger will keep up with a eurofox with 20 less HP )

 

Tube sizes in the fuse are generally smaller in the KF.

 

As for landing difficulty I've seen plenty of KF ground loop results , they are both a short coupled tail draggers , both light and neither will forgive sloppy feet , have I come close ,yep , nearly lost it in a 25 knot crosswind at yarrawonga a while back , but I've also learned more about flying stick n rudder from my jigger than any other aircraft I've ever flown , they are a good aircraft that could've been great if the company had lasted , and if you get a chance to give one a go I'd highly recommend it

 

 

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Comparing KF/SF to Jabiru is chalk and cheese. Look up utube and see where these Fox flyer land as well as other antics. Try some of those in a Jabiru. Not rubbishing Jabiru rather pointing out the capabilities of the Foxes. I am still coming down your way Metalman. Cheers all

 

 

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The tailwheel version will test you till you have a fair bit of time on it, and probably some will never get to feel fully comfortable.

 

The undercambered wing is dangerous if you overspeed it. The front strut ends up in compression at speeds easily achieved if you aren't careful in training.

 

The gazelle is in contrast probably the easiest plane I've ever encountered to fly, and train someone in. Maybe too easy as the transition to the next makes some think they have lost their skills. . Nev

 

 

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The gazelle is in contrast probably the easiest plane I've ever encountered to fly, and train someone in. Maybe too easy as the transition to the next makes some think they have lost their skills.

I didn't learn to sideslip/forwardslip to lose height until I flew a Gazelle. Other that than, I agree with you - but my god it feels slow now.

 

(Mind you, I flew a foxbat yesterday and that feels remarkably slow.)

 

 

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I believe that the early model tail dragger skyfox was only 450kg MTOW, with 80kg pilot + pas you were already overweight without fuel and baggage, later models were 520kg MTOW.

 

 

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Apart from a similarity in name, I wonder how similar the Kitfox and Eurofox are?

 

 

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Apart from a similarity in name, I wonder how similar the Kitfox and Eurofox are?

The Eurofox is an impressive aircraft up close...gear that looks indestructible, ailerons that probably won't fall off and a very roomy cabin, although the Kitfox cabin is comfortable enough with two onboard. Very good workmanship on the Eurofox so they should be around for a while.

 

 

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I have no experience of the Kitfox or Skyfox, but I support Maj's comments about the Eurofox. Mine is built like a Swiss watch IMO. All structural tubing is sealed against corrosion, with meticulous construction and workmanship. It is available as a trike or tail dragger. It can be used to tow gliders up to 750 Kg.

 

It has impeccable manners in the air, and with a Rotax 912ULS, 110 Knot TAS cruise is always on offer. Full length hanging composite flaperons slow it down to 36 knots for excellent STOL operation. When you are done having fun, fold the wings back and tuck it into a trailer for storage & transport.

 

Mine has a 10" Dynon driving the autopilot which is handy for the longer nav legs. 85 litres useable fuel gives a total range around 570 nautical miles or 5.7 hours endurance.

 

Of course I am biased because I have one, but I am convinced the Eurofox offers all I could hope for in this category of aircraft.

 

 

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Mmmm eurofox , everything the Skyfox should've , could've been, they are a delight to fly and beautifully built , the one I put a few hours on has 26' bush tyres , it gives it a few traits for take off and landing that are a surprise , I doubt you could do a bad three pointer in it , just chop the power at nearly any reasonable height and it soaks it up, pin it to aggressively in a wheeler and a that rubber trying to catch up give you a pitch forward that you're not ready for.

 

I flew it with the original smaller tyres a couple of times and they're still quite a snappy taildragger , again , sloppy feet and it'll bite ya. , the wider track definatly helps tame it though.

 

As with all these types , if you want to experience adverse yaw to a rather noticeable degree ( read barely turntable) try a turn with your feet off the rudder pedals , in the eurofox pull on a bit of flap and it gets even worse , nothing that can't be fixed by using your feet , but it a great way to demonstrate something that has been "tuned " out of many types and does tend to encourage lazy footwork.

 

Something that I didn't like and after seeing a wing off a plane it's clear why, as you fly the eurofox the outer wing , from the strut attachment , moves a lot , it doesn't flap around nearly as much in the Skyfox , the reason again is no vertical web in the spar , the Skyfox guys got it right when they designed the spars , sadly you can't buy the extrusions any more.

 

 

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Metalman, it's interesting to hear your comments. I haven't flown the taildrager version (2k) and certainly not the bush tyres. All short-coupled tailwheel aircraft will bite the unwary.

 

As for the adverse yaw, I can't say I've noticed it to be a problem, although as I started my piloting life flying gliders, I've never been afflicted with lazy feet - perhaps that's why I haven't had an issue - regardless of flaps. Note that more recent versions of Eurofox (like mine) have a taller vertical stabiliser fin, so they are more directionally stable... perhaps that has made all the difference??

 

As for wing flex... again, haven't noticed it as an issue. Factory wing-loading tests have shown it is structurally strong in all the sandbag loading & certification tests I've seen photos of. There's nothing negative in my opinion.... again, perhaps I'm too biased??

 

 

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