Garth’s SKYBOLT 540

Discussion in 'Steen Skybolt' started by GARTH, Feb 20, 2018.

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  1. Feb 20, 2018 #1

    GARTH

    GARTH

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    At age 18, after reading an article from a Sport Flying magazine (08/1979) that I had bought in a second hand book store in 1983, I decided to build a Steen Skybolt.* I was flipping burgers for Burger King and learning to fly at the time.* It wasn’t until a decade later that I had the time and the money to start building.

    I ordered the plans in ‘93 and later that year a rather long box of steel tubing from Hale Wallace/Steen Aero lab, Marion NC.* I had read somewhere that the Skybolt was an excellent project for the first time builder using simple hand tools.* That was definitely a huge understatement.

    I started the fuselage in a freind’s garage.* He was building a Glasair III.* He was also welding my fuselage and taught me how to weld.* I was building the wings in my basement.* I moved the project into a hangar that I had bought in ‘99.

    I ran into many hurdles, sometimes putting the project aside for years out of frustration.* I never wanted to give up, though.

    I’m hoping by starting a thread that I’ll be able to answer my many questions.
     
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  2. Feb 20, 2018 #2

    GARTH

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    Here’s some pics...

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    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  3. Feb 20, 2018 #3

    hatzdude

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    You Sir, are the winner of the daily " Unqualified Persistence" award!!
     
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  4. Feb 20, 2018 #4

    Chuck

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    Garth,

    Welcome and congratulations on your persistence. If you have any questions, this is the group.

    I think you have this in the wrong section? Not for sale is it?

    Chuck
    Skybolt 540 rebuild
     
  5. Feb 20, 2018 #5

    cactusav8r

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    Nice work, and congratulations on the determination... whew! It’s impressive that someone stuck with something so long, and it sure looks like it’s been a labor of love.
    I think you’ll love flying the Skybolt, it’s docile enough to be docile and hot rod enough to be a hot rod.
     
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  6. Feb 20, 2018 #6

    GARTH

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    Not for sale. This is my first thread. Not sure what I did wrong. ��
     
  7. Feb 20, 2018 #7

    cactusav8r

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    I think he was joking with you!!

    sorta like, “that project needs to be for-sale”

    because it looks great!!
     
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  8. Feb 20, 2018 #8

    Chuck

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    I was joking. I have one project already. Very similar to Garth’s. Are you going open cockpit or canopy?
     
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  9. Feb 20, 2018 #9

    GARTH

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    I see now that I posted this in classifieds instead of builders forum. I’m trying to change it but I’m having troubles...
     
  10. Feb 20, 2018 #10

    Beej

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    Moved. :0)
     
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  11. Feb 20, 2018 #11

    GARTH

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    I first thought open cockpit. But 175 mph and cool Canadian weather makes a double bubble canopy a more practical choice.

    I have a canopy kit from Steen Aero.
     
  12. Feb 20, 2018 #12

    Chuck

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    How did you make your seat pans?
     
  13. Feb 20, 2018 #13

    Chuck

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    Are you building the canopy per Steen clamshell or something else?
     
  14. Feb 20, 2018 #14

    GARTH

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    Seat buckets are from Steen Aero.

    Canopy will be built as per Steen Aero as well.

    I’m trying not to reinvent the wheel but I have had to make modifications along the way. For example, I needed to modify the engine mount because my Lycoming A1A5 engine has a sump with a rear intake. The air box is made from stainless steel.

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  15. Feb 20, 2018 #15

    Randy

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    Welcome to the forum Garth,
    I had to laugh when I read -
    "I had read somewhere that the Skybolt was an excellent project for the first time builder using simple hand tools.* That was definitely a huge understatement."
    A SkyBolt was also my first build and I remember reading that exact advertising. I thought the plans were OK - - until I saw a set of real aircraft plans :(
    It just proved to me that it is possible to build an aircraft without being hampered by blueprints :)
    There are probably very few questions left to be asked on this forum, we have covered most of them but, we love questions and it is much easier to 're-ask' questions than to search for the previous answers. Besides, the guys we taught 10 years ago love to chime in with their new found knowledge :)
    Looking at your photo's you are way past the basic questions stage.
    When you have time I would also like to hear about how you did your seat pans.
    Glad you found us, enjoy your stay :)
     
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  16. Feb 20, 2018 #16

    StinsonPilot

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    Welcome aboard! Love your optimism!! I can see 175mph straight down!
    Lots of experience here, you came to the right place. Best of luck...
     
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  17. Feb 20, 2018 #17

    cashflyer

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    I personally would not force the air to make a 180 turn. Seems like a way to cause a lot of turbulence and flow problems. But I'm no engineer and don't know Jack. Just expressing an opinion.

    If it were me, I would just buy a Sky Dynamics intake.
     
  18. Feb 20, 2018 #18

    GARTH

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    The engine came off of a Cessna 310 with a similar air box. The Piper Aztec also has a similar induction system. It does seem strange but apparently it works.

    This is the airbox from the Aztec:

    B8C16586-720A-48CF-9C96-9C46EBBE5B9F.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  19. Feb 20, 2018 #19

    taff

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    Garth.
    Welcome to the forum, even though it looks like you joined a long time ago.

    I believe you are correct, starting a building thread will keep you motivated, us interested and I think on top of that, you persistent. It does for me anyway.

    Keeping the thread current means your doing something, no matter how small and for us it's always interesting when you add a couple of photo's of your progress.

    Skybolt building is a good hobby and your not alone.
     
  20. Feb 20, 2018 #20

    ndlakesdreamer

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    That might be for an Aztec with a carb but it's not for one with FI. IO-540-C4B5 has an updraft sump.
     

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