Puting experimental back in ELSA

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New Member
Jul 21, 2021
Thanks for letting me join this group! I hope to become more active here as my current work schedule returns to normal and my enthusiasm for rebuilding my old Kit Fox III returns. I haven't touched my project in a year because I got tired of the condescending pilots, the naysayers and the people who gleefully divide the group with political commentary. (both sides) I think the common interest of building and flying "should" bring us together on a aircraft forum. As for the occasional naysayer, I'll listen in hopes of learning something but if I'm told something can't/won't/shouldn't be done just because it's outside of the author's comfort zone or knowhow, ultimately I'll walk to the beat of my own drum. :)

As for my project; I picked up a 1992 Kit Fox III that sat in a barn for six or eleven years depending on if you believe the previous owner or the log books. Either way, I don't trust anything on this plane so I started a complete tear-down starting with the fuselage. Being a taildragger with an open turtle deck, any spindrift, leaves or dirt the wind kicked up in the barn had settled in the tail. My suspicions were confirmed upon removing the fabric when I found one of the lower longerons had rusted through from the outside. That was my first repair. While I had the whole empennage stripped of any fabric, I decided to build a larger rudder because so many people complain about these early Kit Foxes not having enough rudder authority but I felt the straight edges of the KF rudder were rudimentary looking and I wanted something with rounded edges, even if it would be more labor intensive. Because the old J3 cubs and early PA-18 rudders have such a classic, rounded look and are just as functional, I decided to remove my entire empennage and build a very close copy of a J3 complete with it's aerodynamic counterbalance or "horn" as some pilots call it. I was in the process of designing a 90% scale J3 horizontal and elevator (to fit through my shop's rollup door) when I became discouraged with the attitudes on other forums.

This weekend I met a pilot with an engineering background who highly recommended THIS forum so here's my first step towards picking up where I left off. The second step will be a thousand questions!
Bend, Oregon


Well-Known Member
Feb 10, 2007
Sopchoppy, Florida, USA
Thank you, Mike, for carrying on! Yeah, there are "hot-air headwinds" from some. I say "Foof on `em."
Bend is great for flying. I will be going through there early next month though not much visit time. Have a friend that flys out of Sun River.
Welcome. This forum is a real mixture of folks but most "play well together."