• The Biplane Forum is a large global active community of biplane builders, owners and pilots. From Pitts to Skybolts, to older barnstormers, all types are welcome. In addition to our active community, our content boasts exhaustive technical information which is often sought after for projects and maintenance. This information has accumulated over the 12+ years the forum has been in existence.

    The Biplane Forum is a private community. Subscriptions are only $49.99/year or $6.99/month to gain access to this great community and unmatched source of information not found anywhere else on the web. We are also a great resource for non biplane users, since many GA aircraft are built the same way (fabric and tube construction). Annual membership also comes with two BiplaneForum.com decals.

Considering a FL Skybolt


Premium Member
Aug 18, 2006
Reaction score
Hi, All -

In my last communication with the Biplane Forum, I was optimistic about picking up my lagging Firebolt Project and getting cracking at building wings.

Something happened these past couple of weeks and I've taken a 180-degree turn. I am now putting my Firebolt project up for sale (ad forthcoming) and actively seeking a flying Skybolt with an IO-360.

Sometimes you just have to cut your losses. I did not see the project happening but I've seen plenty of friends pass away recently or have to leave flying due to medical and financial reasons. I still have my health and old age hasn't crept up too close, and I suddenly felt that maybe I was not cut out to be a builder...a maintainer, yes, but maybe not a builder. And I do love to fly...

I also found that there are examples of Skybolts on the market right now that would cost me less than finishing my project. That was probably the tipping point...that, and I could be flying very soon:)

So...I have my eyes on a Skybolt in Panama City FL. I just flew it this morning (this was my first Skybolt ride...you always remember those, don't you??). I loved it. I am hooked. However, it wasn't perfect and I still feel I'd like an experienced set of eyes to go over the plane. I wanted to bring an experienced IA with me but it did not work out.

So...I am wondering if we have any members who are flying and/or building in this area...someone who might be willing to take a look at this aircraft for me at their leisure? I'm looking for smoking guns, deal stoppers, not cosmetic comments. I thought the plane flew straight, trimmed hands-off, and the engine sounded strong and even. The plane is cosmetically a little tired (though still HOT on the ramp) and there are scuffs and ringworm in the paint. It is on Grove gear and has the single 28-gal tank. It first flew in 1996 and is currently flying an engine overhauled in 2001, with ~300 hours.

If anyone in BiplaneForumLand could help me out, I would be very much obliged. Please PM me if you have any ideas.

Thanks, all, and thanks especially to Randy for taking a hard (electronic) look at this plane for me.


PS. The plane includes an uninstalled canopy, new in the box from Steen. I am interested in having it installed prior to undertaking the cross-country flight back to San Diego. Any suggestions from the membership for resources to do this, local to the FL Panhandle?Edited by: CKeller

Latest posts