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Old 01-31-2010, 10:14 PM   #1
DesertFox4
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Default Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

Kitfox N703KA – Texas Bound

Friday, Jan 15, 2010, I officially took ownership of N703KA, the S-LSA Kitfox that is soon to be called "Kick Ass" by my loving wife!

Paul Z and 703KA.jpg

I struggled with the idea of finishing the Dragonfly I had started, versus buying a flying Kitfox Series 5, 6, or 7, or buying a kit. Having partially built a Dragonfly over a 15+ year period, I wasn't sold on the prospect of another project! I knew I wanted a Light Sport AC. I found a really nice looking Series 5 Tail Dragger, which was registered as a Light Sport, but its cruise speed was 85 to 90 MPH. Not knowing what was the cause of the slow cruise speed, I couldn't bring myself to buying it! There were a lot of owners who were trying to convince me to buy their planes, and said that even though their plane registered at 1550 lbs, it could flown as a light sport, if I just flew it within the 1320 weight limit. I checked with my local Designee and the FAA, and found that isn't true! After looking at several planes all that needed quite a bit of work, I finally made the decision that not only did I want a Light Sport, but I also wanted a Tri-Gear, one that I could convert to a tail dragger when I get a little more proficient. That immediately ruled out the Series 5! I found an extremely nice Series 7, that was flying, that could be converted, but by the time I called on it had been sold! Looking at the TeamKitfox Forum, the Series 7 is currently getting a new upgraded instrument panel. I looked from West coast to East coast looking at Series 5s & 7s, I never found a Series 6. Most of what I found were partially completed. I also found 3 planes, which had damage history, 2 of which sustained significant damage. After looking at a few partially completed kits, I realized that although when you build a Kitfox you are primarily assembling the plane, there are some good and there are definitely some bad builders and I had definitely found both.

I finally decided it was time to call up John & Debra McBean at Kitfox. I made arrangements to fly up two weeks before Christmas. December 13th I flew up to Idaho, on Southwest Airlines, to look at the Series 7 Super Sport. I was contemplating
buying a Series 7 SS kit with quick build wings, pre-rigged, along with the head start program which gets you through the point of covering. That sounded a little more palatable to me. It would get me to the point of final assembly & paint. John and Debra were great. They gave me a tour of the fabrication and assembly areas, showed me their planes and I got to see some of the new things planned for the 2010 season. He offered a demo ride. However it was so foggy the first day you could not see across the runway. John said if I came back Friday he would be glad to get me a ride then. I told him I had a flight home scheduled Friday morning, and that Dorothy wanted me home. The next morning I went to Boise International to fly out at the crack of dawn. As the sun came up it was sunny and clear. I checked in at the gate and the plane was over booked due to the prior days fog. I asked if I could get on a Saturday flight. Southwest could get me on the next day and it would save me $60. I called Dorothy then went down and got a rental car and drove back to the Kitfox factory. As I got to Homedale, the fog started again. Another foggy day! However, later that day it lifted enough that John was able to give me a tree top flight. John's plane N102YB, cruises at 120, and flies GREAT! John showed me N703KA and man that is one nice Kitfox. I definitely liked the S-LSA . It definitely Kicked Ass. While there I also had the pleasure of meeting Steve Kellander, the TeamKitfox Administrator, who was visiting the factory. After talking with John and Steve I called Dorothy and I told her I finally got a flight in the Super Sport. I also told her about the S-LSA N703KA. While there, John diligently tried to get me to put down a deposit on a kit to reserve the last April build slot. John said that if I decided to purchase the S-LSA, he would move the deposit to that. I told him I needed to talk to the BOSS before I spent that kind of money. I flew home Saturday. I told Dorothy I wanted to buy the kit with pre-built wings, pre-rigged, and go through the builder assist program. She said she thought I was going to come home as the new owner of the S-LSA. We discussed it over the weekend. I rolled up the cost of the kits, builder assist, paint, engine, instruments, gauges, & my time, and I made the decision. I called John and said I wanted the S-LSA. Man, spending money for a tight wad like myself is HARD!

703KA @ Kitfox Aircraft.jpg


January 13th, I flew up to look at N703KA, to fly it, and to pay for it. Thursday was foggy. No flying that day. Friday morning the fog lifted and we got 1.5 hours of flying in and did several touch and goes at Caldwell. The winds started picking up. They were SE at 39 miles per hour. We flew back to Homedale and we closed the deal! I truly enjoyed flying the plane. On final you set your speed 65 – 70, trim the plane to reduce stick back pressure, and then use the throttle to make sure you have the altitude to make the runway. You literally fly the plane to the ground then a slight flare and your landing. When I first looked at N703KA, I was not sold on the AFS-3500 Glass Panel but the GPS, the audible alerts, the wind direction and speed, everything about the Glass Panel was awesome. In looking at the plane there are a lot of finishing touches that I would never thought of installing but they definitely add to the overall package. I couldn't have built this nice of a plane for the price and that's not taking into account the 1 ˝ years of my labor.
Currently, Kitfox is building another S-LSA with the same paint scheme as N703KA only its BRIGHT YELLOW. I never thought I would like yellow but that is going to be one awesome looking airplane! ! Steve K. you WILL BE ENVIOUS of that one! In talking with John he has sold the new Yellow S-LSA to a local flying school, and he commented that the owner of the school had come in shortly after I committed to buy N703KA. I am really pleased I bought the first Kitfox S-LSA, before it went to a flight school. I feel I saved N703KA from a life of student abuse and hard landings. I am truly excited about getting "Kick Ass" home and I am looking forward to flying around the Great State of Texas!

Paul Z.


P.S. Thanks Dorothy for letting me buy N703KA and thanks John & Debra McBean, Jud Parker, and Mark Smith for building it! A special thanks to Steve Kellander for being a sounding board. I wonder what the Air Traffic Controller at McKinney Airport's going to say when I announce, “McKinney Tower this is KitFox seven zero three Kick Ass, five miles south east of the airport at 2500 feet, inbound for landing”?


703KA waiting for it's new owner..jpg




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Old 01-31-2010, 10:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

Paul, Congrats to you and Dorothy. I hope you have many fun years in 703KA. It's a nice part of Kitfox history and couldn't have found a better home. Enjoy every flight.

Here's a couple more photos of her that wouldn't fit on the KOTM post.

703KA interior.jpg

703KA panel.jpg
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

just georgous Paul ,.. I know you will be the envy of Texas
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

Congratulations Paul. All it needs now is an ATm on the Turtle Deck Skylight to make it perfect. By the way my brother and I borrowed from 703KA a few details for the paint scheme for our RV-9A that is currently in the paint shop. Saw 703KA at Osh and loved the paint.

Gig Em
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

The ONLY way the plane could have been nicer is for it to have been Painted Maroon & White, versus Blue and White.
I like the idea of a Block ATM on the Turtle Deck. I would bet I could make that happen .

Your RV - 9A is going to look Awesome, especially if you got the colors right!

Have you resolved your hanger issue?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agfoxflyer View Post
Congratulations Paul. All it needs now is an ATm on the Turtle Deck Skylight to make it perfect. By the way my brother and I borrowed from 703KA a few details for the paint scheme for our RV-9A that is currently in the paint shop. Saw 703KA at Osh and loved the paint.

Gig Em
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

Paul, no the 9 will not have the right colors (maroon). My brother is paying for the paint job, so I guess he gets to pick the colors. We have a hanger in Calhoun. My Kitfox is coming home to tear down the engine. The 9 should be ready this week and go in the hanger the Kitfox is in.
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File Type: jpg RV9A Paint 2 - Copy.jpg (18.6 KB, 992 views)
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