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Old 09-09-2011, 05:20 PM   #1
HD Flyer
 
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Default Kitfox vs. Highlander

Would like to get your opinions on the pros and cons of both planes.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
War Eagle
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Default Re: Kitfox vs. Highlander

There is some info in this thread:

http://www.teamkitfox.com/Forums/sho...ght=Highlander
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Kitfox vs. Highlander

Keep in mind you are posting on a Kitfox board and I would venture to say 99% of us are very pleased with our Kitfox's. I know I am so I'd say the Kitfox is the better plane
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Kitfox vs. Highlander

Since HD asked for opinions I guess we are allowed to respond. I'll take the Kitfox hands down. I've flown them both. Kitfox is much more responsive in all control axis which makes it much more fun to fly. Kitfox is faster. Kitfox has a stronger fuselage. Also the STOL gets thrown in our face all the time but I flew a short wing Kitfox from Phoenix to the factory fly in and back that would give the Highlanders some pause in that dept too besides being extremely fast. Build em light guys and no one can hold a candle to the Kitfox. All that being said, if the Kitfox never existed I could get by with a Highlander. But with the Kitfox we don't have to settle now do we?

Yes this is a Kitfox forum and yes most folks are extremely happy or they wouldn't be here enjoying each others company and sharing the fun. We are also happy with the factory support that comes along with every Kitfox purchase. Kitfox has sold over 5,000 kits. Highlander what, maybe 170?
That's 5,000 potential new friends if you choose a Kitfox and they come at no additional charge. That is a lot of combined flight experience ready and willing to lend support at every step of the build and after the build as witnessed by the generosity of our membership over TeamKitfox.com's few short years on line.

Course you could fly them both and decide for yourself.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Kitfox vs. Highlander

I think it probably has to do with what you want to do with the aircraft. If you operate out of short rough fields most of the time I think I would opt for the Highlander. If speed is more important then the Kitfox. They are both great aircraft.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Kitfox vs. Highlander

I was just thinking that someone should have a fly off between a 912S Highlander and a 912S Kitfox SS but since this is not likely the next best thing is to look at the manufactures performance claims. I was surprised that the take-off and landing distances were very similar, 300 feet for both take-off and landing roll for the Highlander and 290 feet take-off and 270 feet landing roll for the Kitfox SS. Take into account that manufacture's claims are usually a little on the optimistic side and are often hard to match in real world conditions. I would assume the Highlander's take-off and landing distances would actually be much less than the Kitfox for 1 simple reason, stall speed. Highlander list's stall at 32 mph, Kitfox at 41 mph. Also the Highlander's empty weight is a good bit lower so in a short take-off contest between 2 lightly loaded planes, the Highlander should be the big winner. I assume the manufactures claims were planes at full gross so the performance differences may pretty close in real world conditions. Even if the Highlander were the big winner in the short take-off and landing contest, what sacrifice is it worth in cruise speed? Highlander claims 110 mph or 10 mph or so slower than the Kitfox. This may be the real "stretch". The only Highlander in my area cruises about 90. This is more in line with a CH 701 than a Kitfox SS. Considering the Highlander wing is more like a Model 3 Kitfox than a SS, I'm not surprised at these speed numbers. From what I hear, the Kitfox SS owners are getting 110 to 125 cruise speeds. You can check with the Highlander sites and you might get a better picture of what kind of cruise speeds they are actually getting. It all comes down to what you want and what you're willing to compromise to get it. To get a very low stall speed you'll have to give up some cruise speed. (90 foot take-offs are impressive but I've never been anywhere I needed to do one) James Thomas
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Kitfox vs. Highlander

Quote:
If you operate out of short rough fields most of the time I think I would opt for the Highlander.
This is an urban "back country" legend that gets repeated until everyone thinks it's true. The Highlander image has been, for lack of a better word, manipulated to make folks think it is more rugged than the Kitfox. Every photograph is of one with huge tires and an aggressive stance. Makes you think it is better for rough fields and short strips. Not so fast. Kitfox owned that territory for decades before the Highlander was ever conceived. The Kitfox still retains all those capabilities from days past yet has evolved into a very refined and comfortable aircraft with zero compromises. The Highlander image has been presented as the answer to the folks dreaming of being "bush pilots". Why fall for the marketing angle.
Don't let the Youtube videos showing dead stick take offs from mountain tops or tail up turns on top of rocky mountains fool you. You know the video's I'm speaking of.
The Kitfox can do anything you've seen the Highlanders do with no apologies for the faster cruise speeds, better looks, sportier handling and superior factory support. Time for one "urban legend" to retire. Might be time for Myth Busters to do a fly off.
The people that build the Highlander are good folks. They build a good safe machine that performs well but it will never be a Kitfox.

Beauty and brawn.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: Kitfox vs. Highlander

Well said Steve
I for one am very skeptical of any and all videos for airplane performance. After all Superman leaps off tall buildings and flies but I really doubt that strapping on a cape will do the same for anyone in the real world.
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Last edited by Mnflyer; 09-11-2011 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Kitfox vs. Highlander

My Kitfox is so old ( 1987 model 2 ) that my 16 years of Kitfox experience would not weigh into this discussion.
I also have questions regarding the comparison since my reason for flying these small homebuilts is exploring where most others have not.
I am sure there are many factors for the Highlanders reduced stall speeds assuming those are accurate numbers.
The difference between 41 and 32 mph stall is huge on a 300-400 foot gravel bar.
Is the use of conventional flaps allowing the major reduction in stall speed?
The wide open baggage area of the Highlander is appealing.
Herman
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Kitfox vs. Highlander

nothing wrong with the ole model 2's herman,..wish I never sold mine ,..built by Dennis Sawyer N-73DS ,..I landed my model 2 on a 75 foot sand bar off the coast of Cape Cod Mass,and had room to spare,..then I took off from that sand bar when the tide started coming in (after a couple little black jeeps had come out to "inspect" my plane ha ha ),..which made it shorter,..yes I did have a head wind,..maybe 15 mph,cant remember to be honest,..it was just another awesome take off in an awesome plane .. the ole model 2 didnt grunt ,..she lifted off with room to spare as well,.
Sure miss that plane ,..tried to buy it back ,..but the new owner wont part with her,..cant say as I blame him.
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