Building a Raven (Kitfox I clone)

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Zoomzoooie

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Feb 14, 2011
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170
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BC Canada
Hi everyone,
I recently bought plans for the Raven, a Kitfox 1 clone. There are few videos on Youtube on the Raven if you want to check it out. I am planning some modifications the later Kitfox models have, such as to lengthen and widen, strengthen, make the tail larger, make the door opening bigger and use the naca 4412 and KF IV flaperon airfoils, so I can use some Kitfox IV parts. I'm planning on a 65hp-100hp engine depending whether it's a 2 or 4 stroke, preferable a light 4 stroke. One possiblity is the Susuki G13bb @ 100hp, but it weighs in at 180lbs with the gear reduction unit.

At this point I need some measements from a Kitfox IV for the Raven my mods to fit the KF IV parts. Some of the parts are the cowl, windshield, seat pan, doors, wing tanks and Horten tips as well I need some other critical measurements. PM me if you like to help with measurements for this project.

I know some of you will say to get the parts I need from Kitfox first, but I'm building on a budget and want to get the materials list first. I will more than likely have to get some parts for critical fit areas to finish the design mods and will when I can afford them.

ZZ
 

dcstrng

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Oct 17, 2010
Messages
913
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VA or NoDak
Good luck with your Raven – at one point I was going to build one but eventually went a different direction (no fault of the bird – I still drag out the plans every now and again and day-dream). Sounds like you’ve already done so, but there is plenty of Avid and KFox material available on the net once you start digging – especially the early years which is the most relevant to the Raven. Am less fond of the later birds that tried to become all-things to all people and kinda blimped out over time – The Raven, like the early Avid KFox were just about at their optimum with a 503 or 532, but folks want to take the whole family with associated recreational gear and once the weight went up, the whole motif seemed to morph in the behemoth direction…

I was planning to move “my” Raven more towards the Avid Flyer motif with a Riblett cuff on the wing, stiffened spar, etc., etc., but clearly either Avid or KFox theme is possible when building from scratch… Those Dean Wilson inspired birds have more than stood the test of time… At the time (almost ten years ago) I was thinking of 4cycle power, but if I were to do it now, I’d probably look at the 670 Rotax…

Keep us posted !!
 

Turd Ferguson

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Mar 13, 2008
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5,101
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Upper midwest in a house
Anyone have feedback on the Raven plans?
In the mid '90's, an A&P buddy of mine built a Quickie then started on a Raven. He was somewhat disappointed in the plans. Numerous errors but that's generally the case with many homebuilt plans. Anyway he got the plane up on the gear and was working on the wings when progress slowed down. Not sure if he ever finished or not.
 

dcstrng

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Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
913
Location
VA or NoDak
Anyone have feedback on the Raven plans?
My Raven plans were realistically complete, but not terribly well organized and I was convinced that they were an assortment of old KitFox assembly instructions and some purpose-written fabrication instructions. However, given the exceptionally modest price, I never felt I’d gotten other than my money’s worth. The actual quality will depend a lot on how good your printer is – at least mine was only a CD-ROM. As I recall the total size of the Raven plans were about a dozen mega-bytes, but I ended up assembling another 120mb+/- (non-pictures) before I got sidetracked -- plus a gazillion jpegs from all over...

There are numerous better plans out there (as far as pure quality), but they will cost exponentially more – the astonishingly intricate and comprehensive Sonex plans would cost at least seventy times what I paid for the Raven plans… the clearly first-class Zenith CH701 plans (I also have CH750 and CH601HD) plans will cost about fifty times as much, the entirely satisfactory Sport Trainer (J-3) plans will be about a dozen times more than I paid…

Over the past years I’ve probably spent embarrassingly north of $3000 in aircraft plans – whether designed by Heintz, Wittman, Monnett, Pietenpol or whomever, none ever answered all my questions (perhaps I’m just obtuse) and for my purpose I never felt confident until I’d done quite a bit of additional research…

In light of all that, my CD-ROM Raven plans hold their own… but even with plans in hand, I wouldn’t start sniffing the acetylene or argon until I’d done a bit more research…
 
Last edited:

Zoomzoooie

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Feb 14, 2011
Messages
170
Location
BC Canada
I believe the reason the Raven plans are somewhat wanting is because it is a clone of the Kitfox I. Some information might have not be available or accessable when the clone plans were made up. There is included information taken directly from the kitfox models included.

It's been a while since I looked at my set and have not printed them. I had started on my own design incorporating some features from a few similar types, but that has been on the back burner while I am working on my single seat Cub design.
I hope to get back to my original design sometime in the future.
 

Wanttaja

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Sep 15, 2013
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Seattle, WA
As I recall the total size of the Raven plans were about a dozen mega-bytes, but I ended up assembling another 120mb+/- (non-pictures) before I got sidetracked -- plus a gazillion jpegs from all over...
The Word file with the Fly Baby plans is about 120 MB (256 total pages). That's with the text OCR'd but a lot of Jpegs embedded. The PDF file is about 36 megs, the Kindle file is ~8 (though of course the image resolution isn't as high).

Ron Wanttaja
 

Turd Ferguson

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Mar 13, 2008
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They guy I knew with Raven plans purchased them in paper form. I saw the plans but didn't study them very closely. He called the guy he bought the plans from about discrepancies and the guy always blamed the publisher for errors. I had no idea the plans were available on CD-ROM until you guys mentioned it in this thread. I'm guessing it's the paper plans scanned to CD.
 

dcstrng

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Oct 17, 2010
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The Raven plans are entirely buildable (at least the ones I have). Unless one has built another tube and fabric aircraft a builder, Tony Bengelis’ books, the EAA archives and various technical materials would be indispensable – but so would it be if one was building a Tailwind, Buttercup, Sonerai, whatever… for whatever reason folks these days seem to expect Boeing blueprints for homebuilts… doesn’t work that way, whether Skybolt, KR2 or any other established name… actually, although mine were a tad disorganized, the Raven CD-ROM had an amazing amount of builder material – but mine were not a cookbook… ;)
 
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