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New guy saying hello


Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2009
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Hello Gentlemen, my name is Scott and I am a 42 year old airline pilot based out of St. Louis, MO. I am a potential Skybolt builder but I have a few concerns that hopefully you can put to rest.

First of all, since 2004 I have purchased plans for the Skybolt, Firebolt and the Model 12. I really, really think the Skybolt is a beautiful bipe but one thing that prevents me from building is the low acro weight for the "S" model. I have no desire to build the Delta or Radial version so that only leaves the original "S" model. Also, according to Steen ,the ideal powerplant is the O-540 with a fixed pitch prop. If I built the Skybolt, this is the powerplant I would chose.

Now, lets say I build the Skybolt and end up with an empty weight of 1250lbs. If the acro weight is 1650, this obviously leaves only 400 lbs for pilots and gas. If I weigh 200 (more like 220) and I want to take a 200 lb friend up for some afternoon fun, there is no way to carry any gas. So how do you guys work around this?

Also, according to Mac, the Skybolt is plagued with flaws that eventually led to the development of the Firebolt. How many of his ideas are right and how many are wrong? I am not an engineer so how am I supposed to know?

So now I have plans for the Bolt and a 12pg document from Mac that tells me how screwed up the Skybolt is (Skybolt vs. Firbolt) and about 4 years worth of Skybolt newsletters that tell me how to fix things the original plans didn't mention.

Because of these issues, I am having a hard time commiting to the build. The model 12 from JK does not suffer these issues. The plans are beautiful, the design is modern and the structure is sound (acro at gross weight). If I didn't like the lines of the Skybolt so much I'd probably already be building the Pitts.

I've already contributed to the forum and gained access to the Skybolt builders manual and many kudo's to all those that are involved with it's development. The manual will certainly make the construction process a bit easier but it still doesn't answer any of the concerns above.

This is quite a first post and hopefully it doesn't come across as ranting but these are the things that keep me awake at night. My mind is open to any and all input from the forum menbers.

Many thanks..


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