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Old 09-21-2006, 02:21 PM   #1
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Default Skybolt Newsletter listing

The Mac McKensie newsletter from the 70's has some interesting reading and some great tips can be found with references to basic procedures. But don't assume this is the 'Skybolt Bible'. If you apply every mod suggested by Mac, your plane will be too heavy and you will more or less end up with a Firebolt - I have seen a Firebolt weigh 1570, empty! While Mac had some good ideas, they weren't always my dad used to say 'if it aint broke don't fix it'.

The Rights to the Newsletter are nowadays owned by Steen Aero Lab. They have graciously allowed us to publish them here on

Series 1 Dec-76.pdf
Aileron/Elevator balance. Torque tube. Tailpost issue. Fuselage tube sequence.

Sheet steel fittings fabrication. Wing rigging. Torque tube. Tailgroup. Weight & balance.

Wings. Tailgroup. Stringer standoffs. Wing rigging.

Vernier trim tab control. Flying/landing wire fittings. Landing gear. Pitot in I-strut. Bungee truss. Aileron bellcranks. Sharp painted trim lines. Pitot-static port location.

Aileron bellcranks. Slave struts. Cabanes. Wing leading edges. Turtledeck.

Bungee cords. Cord tool. Main fuel tank. Smoke system. I-struts.
Series 2

Antenna install. Slave struts. Alum' cowling. Engine mount.

2 pc wing. Wing antennas. Hardware list. Upper fuel tank. Aileron hinges. Brakes. Engine mount.

Marquart gear. T-88. Fuel system. Round bushing/welding.

Flooring install. Seat back & bottoms. Flooring tabs. Alum' sidewall & belly skins. Battery. Idler Arm. Wiring schematic.

Electrical System (cont). Landing gear pads. Clipped wing traits. C.G. Wing covering.

Gas tank venting. Wing covering. Seat belt/harness. Wheel pants install.

Series 3
Rudder trim. Drag/anti drag wire tension. Wing root fairings. Baffling.

Rudder stops. Baffling. Tubing list. Wing construction. Spar jigs. Tramelling.

Marquart landing gear. Firewall & Exhaust Deflector. Wing construction. Landing light install. Throttle Quadrant install.

Rib stitching. Upper wing splice. lower wing construction. Aileron balancing.

Landing gear safety cable. Fuel pressure numbers, injector and pressure carb. Aux fuel pumps. Accurate angles without protractors. Upper wing construction.

Fuselage fixture. Fuselage construction pt1. Single canopy construction pt1.

Landing/Flying wires. Tension numbers. Single canopy pt2. Fuselage construction pt2.

Fuselage construction pt3.








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Old 04-27-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
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Someone recently kindly gave me this handy content list:

Skybolt News, Series 1 Volume 1 to Series 5 Volume 4


Number the pages of each volume starting with the cover page as one then number each page in order to the last. This will prevent discrepancies between the Skybolt News page numbers and the page numbers listed below.

Not all of the issues had a date referenced on the cover page so pages are therefore referenced via the issue series, volume, and then page numbers (e.g. S2V3P7-10).

In making this index I have tried to take an unbiased approach to listing the topics discussed in the Skybolt News. This means that I don't necessarily agree with some or all of the content of the Skybolt News even though I may have listed a reference as a Precautions and safe practicesŁ, for example. It's just that, for that example, that's what the author of the Skybolt News was trying to write about.

4130 Plate, bending S1V2P2-6
Angle of Incidence, fixture S5V1P4-6
Angles, measuring w/ chart S3V5P9-10
Avionics (see electrical system)
Backing plate S2V2P9
Bleeding S2V2P10-11
Master cylinders S1V3P4-5
Torque tube S1V1P3, 5, 6-13; S1V2P7-9
Covering and Finishing
Painting, trim S1V4P12
Rib stitching S3V4P3-4
Stits Products
shelf life S4V4P3-4
another reason to use Stits S5V2P6-7
Wings S2V4P10-11; S2V5P8-12; S2V6P5-7
Electrical System and Avionics
Antennae S2V1P2-4; S2V2P2, 4
Battery, mounting & selection S2V4P7-9, 13; S3V4P1-2; S5V4P2-6
Chart, current carrying capacity of copper electrical cable S2V5P3
Chart, wire size and circuit protection S2V5P4
Fairleads for electrical wiring S5V3P3-4
General S2V5P1-4
Landing light, installation S3V3P10-11
Simplifying the system S5V3P5-8
System schematic (provided as example) S2V4P12
Baffling S3V1P13, S3V2P3-5
Control linkages (throttle, prop, mixture) S4V4P11-12, 14-15
Exhaust stacks S4V1P6
Mounting S1V2P13
Mount construction, S1V6P11-12; S2V1P11-12; S2V2P11
Stats & prices (current for 1978 unfortunately) S4V2P2
Throttle quadrant S3V3P12-13
Construction, general S1V2P2-6
LG/flying wire S1V2P3, 5
LG/front spar S1V2P5
Lower wing, rear spar S1V2P6, 12;
Fuel System
Auxiliary boost pumps S2V3P9
Filler necks S2V3P11-12
Filters/gascolators S2V3P9
Flop tube S4V3P4
Fuel lines S2V3P8-9
Fuel selector valves S2V3P6-7; S2V6P8
Main tank S1V6P4-7; S2V6P3-5
mounting S2V3P5-6
Precautions and safe practices S4V3P1-5
Primers S2V3P11
Starfire (McKenzie's company) inverted main tank, discussion S2V3P11
System diagram (suggested by article's author) S2V3P10
Tank, auxiliary S2V2P7-9
Vent line covers S4V4P2-3; S5V3P1-3
Cabane struts
compression strut S5V1P3-4
jigging and construction S1V5P4-7; S2V3P4
single place S3V6P11-13; S4V1P7-10; S4V3P12-13
two place S4V6P4-12; S5V1P7-11; S5V2P9-13; S5V3P9-11; S5V4P8
Coaming S2V1P7-11
Construction S3V6P10-11; S4V1P10-11; S4V2P6-9
Cowling S4V4P8-10, 13
Final welding S4V2P9-12
Firewall S3V3P4-6
Fixture/jig for construction S3V6P7-10
Flooring S2V4P1-3
Formers, fuselage and turtledeck, fitting & construction S1V5P10-12
General S1V1P3-6,
Mounting tabs S2V4P5
Rear seat relocation S1V1P3
Seats S2V4P3-5
Seat belts S2V6P7-9
Side and belly skins S2V4P6-7
Stringers S1V3P10-11; S1V4P1
Tailpost clamp block S3V6P10
formers S1V5P10-12
aluminum skin S1V5P12
Windshields S1V1P14
Construction, general S1V6P9-11
Mounting brackets, alternate design S1V6P10
Landing Gear
Main gear
bungee cords & installation tool S1V6P2-3
fabrication jig S1V4P7-11
Marquart Charger (cantilevered) style S2V3P2-3; S3V3P1-3; S4V3P5-12, 14; S4V4P4-7; S4V5P6-11
modified S1V4P7-11
placement on fuselage, regarding A/C balance S3V6P5-6; S5V4P6-7
rebound pads S2V5P5
safety rings S3V5P5-6
loading S3V6P2-3, S3V6P5-6
tailspring mounts S1V1P5; S1V2P4-5
Wheel pants S2V6P10-13
Materials Lists
Hardware S2V2P5-7
Tubing S3V2P5
Photos S3V5P13-15
Pilot report, Skybolt, 200 hp w/ 22' wingspan S2V5P5-8
Pilot report, Skybolt, Olds V-8 engine S3V1P1
Pitot/Static System, Construction/Placement S1V4P12-13
Plans, corrections
Wings S3V1P10-12; S3V5P3; S4V5P3
Propeller, constant speed S4V2P3-5
Smoke System S1V6P7-8
T-88 Epoxy (comments) S2V3P3
Tail Group
Brace wires S4V1P4-5
Construction, general S1V2P9-11; S1V3P5-10
balance S1V1P15
servo/trim tab S1V3P8-10
Flutter S4V6P2-4
Horizontal stabilzer
forward mounting points S1V3P6-7
rear connector tube S1V3P7-8
Inspection covers S5V2P7-8
Pitch trim
vernier control & indicator S1V4P2-4
trim indicator, electric S3V4P4-6
trim tab, electric S3V6P6-7
cable tension springs S5V2P5-6
trim S3V1P2-5
stops S3V2P2
Vertical stabilizer
offset S3V1P3, 4
support tubes S1V3P6
Weight and Balance S1V2P13
Bushings S2V3P4
Final welding the fuselage box S4V2P9-12
balance S1V1P15; S3V4P12
bellcranks w/ ball bearings S1V4P11; S1V5P1
construction/balancing S3V4P11-12
gaps S1V3P2-3
hinges, alternate design S2V2P9-10
hinges, another alternate design S5V4P9-12
idler arms S2V4P9-10
push-pull tubes S4V4P1
slave struts, streamlined S2V1P4-7
slave strut brackets S1V5P2-4; S4V5P3-5
Spar plates, gluing S3V3P8
Spar splices S3V4P7-10
Construction, general S1V3P2-4; S3V2P7-11, S3V4P7-12
Drag/anti-drag wire
blocks S3V3P7
drilling holes in spars S3V3P7
tension S3V1P8
End ribs, bracing S2V5P9
Flying/landing wires S4V1P2-4
Pitts style S1V4P4-7
measuring length (Steen style) S4V1P3
measuring length (Pitts style) S4V1P4
tensioning wires S4V1P4
trunions, self aligning for Pitts style wires S5V2P2-5
upper wing, rear attach point S3V6P7
Inter-rib bracing S2V5P9-10
Leading edges
aluminum S1V5P7-9
installation tool S1V5P9
Ribs, gluing S3V3P7-8
Rigging S1V2P6-7, 11-12; S1V3P11-12
Root fairings S3V1P8-10
Trailing edge S1V3P2
Upper wing, two piece design S2V2P1-4

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Old 04-27-2007, 12:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for doing that. I don't know how you find the time for some of this.

I hear you on the value of the content. I found some of it extremely useful and some of it very questionable. I guess everyone needs to decide for themselves what recommendations they trust and want to follow.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:33 PM   #4
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V4N3 - Discussion on fuel systems, Cantilever Landing Gear Construction (Part 1), Single Place Canopy (Part 3)

V4N4 - Fuel Tank Vent Line Covers, Shelf Life of Stits Product, Cantilever Landing Gear Construction (Part 2), Engine Cowling Installation (Part 1 - The Nose Bowl), Throttle, Prop and Mixture Control Linkage,

V4N5 - Safety Bulletin (Aileron Hinges), Forward Mounted Slave Strut Brackets, Sharpe Paint Spraying and Air Control Equipment, Cantilever Landing Gear Construction (Part 3),

V5N1 - New Compression Strut for the Cabane Assembly, Angle of Incidence Fixture, Installing the Dual Firebolt Canpy (Part 2)

V5N2 - New Flying and Landing Wire Trunion for use with Pitts Type Pins, Rudder Cable Tension Spring Installation, Inspection Covers for the Tail, Dual Canopy Installation (Part 3 - Cutting and Mounting the Bubble)

V5N3 - Simple Fairleads for Electric Wiring in Difficult Spots, Electrical System (Simplified), Dual Canopy Installation (Part 4 - Installing the Windshield Bow)

V5N4 - The Gates Battery - (A Sealed, Lead Acid, Non-Vented System), Plans Type Landing Gear (Re-visited), Dual Canopy Installation (Part 5), New Aileron Hinges for the Firebolt, Checking the Thrust Line
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:44 PM   #5
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Please, anyone, tell us what doesn't seem prudent/right/correct, to you? We still have to decide for ourselves, but it's easier if we have some different input. I'm tired of having to learn everything the hard way???

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