Kitfox 3 Seater?

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by David Weisser, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. David Weisser

    David Weisser Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey, any of your thoughts would be super helpful!

    I live in in the Seattle WA area, and I am working towards buying my first plane (a STOL type bush plane). It's primary use will be for weekend adventures, mainly remote back country camping. I'm looking forward to landing and camping in areas where most planes can't go.

    I really like the Kitfox, a lot. I love it's look/design, the price is right, and the visibility is incredible. It really does hit all the marks for me. The only draw back is I wan't to fly with my two kids (ages 4 & 7). I have been doing a lot of research on what it would take, if possible, to modify this plane for a third seat.

    I've seen a guy do it in a STOL CH 750 Super Duty, powered by a Viking Honda Engine. The 750, however, is a tri-gear. I am planing on a tail dragger.
    What do you all think? Is this type of modification something that is doable, with it still making sense cost wise???

    Would love your feedback.
    Thanks!
     
  2. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    If you have the budget, you might want to look into the Glasair Sportsman— it has 2+2 seating as a kit option, is convertible between taildragger, tricycle and floats, and there is a 2-week to taxi factory build program if you want to get in the air quick. Consequently, it’s a better fit for your mission, but is more expensive.
     
  3. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Barrows Bearhawk. A three-seat Kitfox, is going to be heavy, and if you're taking camping gear into the bush, it'll be even MORE heavy. Not the best solution for a bush airplane.

    Get a Bearhawk (four-seat design) and you won't have any problem.

    Alternatively, look into the Highlander instead. Similar to the Kitfox, but bigger.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
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  4. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    fyi - the Zenith Super Duty is available in TD configuration. Though the original design, and tail configuration, is intended to give equivalent prop clearance when compared to most tail draggers. Still some just like the look of a TD.
     
  5. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    I tried a Kitfox when I was shopping for an LSA, and I was really, really cramped. I'm 6 ft tall with 35.5" leg length, and after the first ten minutes my knees started hurting and I wanted to stretch my legs, but there was no room to do that. If you have shorter legs it might be OK.

    I'd be looking at a tailwheel version CH 750 Super Duty if I were looking for something that would fit your mission requirements.
     
  6. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    PA-18-180, extended baggage, stall kit, 2300 pound gross weight STC. and all the other mods that are available.
    Go where no one else can at 2300 Pounds
     

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  7. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How good are you at welding and fabricating?
     
  8. Kansas Flyer

    Kansas Flyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Bearhawk or Sportsman seem to fit your bill the best if you're dead set on experimental. The new Rans S-21 may also be an option, it has a 2000 lb gross and room for jump seats but nobody has actually done that yet and i'm sure it would add quite a bit to the build time.

    Are you also considering certified aircraft? There are quite a few that fit your mission and many of them can be had for less than you could build an experimental for.
     
  9. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Amen to that, C-175 with a 180 horse Lycoming upgrade, comes to mind. With a stall cuff, and VGs, and a 210 nose fork, it will go anywhere a C-180 will with the same load. Very doable aircraft for under $40K
     
  10. David Weisser

    David Weisser Filing Flight Plan

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    The Highlander could be the right fit. As far as the weight, when the kids get bigger, I most likely will be ready for a bigger plane. As of now, they are light as feathers. There combined weight is still half of the average adult. We also pack real light when camping.

    Am I going to run into any issues with the FAA when adding that third seat????
     
  11. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Modifying an already done been flying aircraft? Look at the operating limitations for what to do for a major modification.
    Modifying a kit that you are building? Nobody cares.
     
  12. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    If you need three seats, build something that is designed for at least three seats. If you sorta kinda expand a two seater into a two plus one, your STOL performance is apt to be gone.

    Zenair Canada still makes kits for the CH 801. It's not a taildragger, though.
     
  13. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have a hangar mate with C-175 that sports an O-470 that he has been thinking of selling. It gets off the ground real quick as you can imagine. converting to a TD would be easy. He would be well below $40K. Delivery possible. PM me if interested.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  14. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    The 175 doesn't need a tail wheel conversion, a 210 nose fork is all you need, they will go anywhere a tail wheel will.
     
  15. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Agreed, but the OP spec'd a tail wheel. But it would be an awesome plane for little $. Paint a third window, instant C180!
     
  16. Ray Eaker

    Ray Eaker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've seen several side-by-side RVs (e.g. RV-6,7,9) with a child seat in the baggage compartment. Likely built with anchors in the floor for securing the seat. As long as it is experimental, the FAA has no say on how you build your plane.
     
  17. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Get an old Skylane. It'll go near anywhere, boost you and your spawn and your **** and your spawn's **** and some other ****, not to mention an tank load of gas. Probably wind up spending the same amount as your experimental in the end, except you don't have to wait unlit your kids are grown up to get the thing built.