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[October 22, 2005]


I read this today on AOPA ePilot email:

SKYSTAR AIRCRAFT FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY Kitfox maker Skystar Aircraft located in Caldwell, Idaho, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation) in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Idaho. The firm is owned by ETG Corporation in Nampa, Idaho. The filing was apparently made to avoid more stringent bankruptcy laws that took effect October 17. The company's attorney, David A. Kras, said the company's light sport version of its aircraft may not be a part of the lien holder's assets, meaning it could be sold separately as part of the liquidation. Kras added that no one has raised that question yet, but it may come up during bankruptcy proceedings.




I know that if I decided to go with the Kitfox, I would be having some HUGE second thoughts about now...

Today I looked on the Yahoo! groups for air compressor recomendations. Definitely some good insight to what works and what doesn't work. Here are the basics of what people recommended:
1) Oil-less are noisy and do not last as long as oiled-lubed compressors
2) 25+ Gallon tanks are sufficient for most projects
3) 2 cylinder compressors are prefered (most of the 2 cylinders I found were 220V)
4) Belt drive (instead of direct drive) were quieter
5) Cast Iron tank instead of aluminum
6) I saw a lot of people using the Home Depot Husky (rebranded Campbell-Hausfeld) compressors.

I also found some people that used much smaller compressors for their whole project. One guy put an external air tank to increase the time between the compressor cycles. I stopped by Home Depot on the way home from work to look at their compressors. They had 3 nice vertical models, with 26, 60 and 80 gallon capacities. They seemed well made. I think I am going to put off my air compressor purchase for until after I get my tools and empannage kit because I have a small Emglo M79 HC4V compressor that my dad gave me years ago. Looking online its a 1.5 HP, Oil Lubed compressor capable of 4.1 cfm at 100 psi. It has two small tanks on it - about 2.5 gallon each I would say, one is regulated with the build in regulator. I have used this for a number of years for automotive work. Mainly impact wrenches, filling up tires with air and blowing out my garage at my previous house. I am going to give this little guy a shot to see if its up the the job of starting the build. I am doing this for 2 reasons. One is to save money, because I will wait for a 20% coupon to appear for Home Depot (TechBargains.com has them listed when avail) to save a couple of hundred on the compressor, the other reason is because I am buying a house in the next 6 months, and I would love to be able to perminantly put a stand alone vertical compressor in or outside of the garage. The place I am in now doesnt have a door on the garage and the basement isnt easy to get into. So any vertical compresssor would be a pain to get in and out. We will see how the Emglo will handle the job. Hopefully it will get me through the empennage.

Today, I also started taking a closer look at tool kits for the RV. Specifically Avery Tools and Clear Air Tools. Tom Emery recommended the Clear Air tool highly and knew the owner well. In fact, if we order the Clear Air stuff, we get a 18% or so discount because we took the class. That right there almost paid for the cost of the class. I spent a couple of hours trying to line up the tooks recommended by Vans with the Avery toolkit and the Clear Air toolkit to see what I would need in addition to what the kits had. After about an hour, I realized that none of the toolkits align. I am leaning towards the Clear Air tools now because of Tom's suggestion. Also, something I forgot was that Tom Emery let us use the Experimental Aero DRDT-2 dimpler. Very nice design and construction quality...and QUIET. I could easily dimple
at night when others in the house were sleeping. Tom also recommended the Clear Air pneumatic squeezer from Clear Air (SPEC2-RSP). After doing a couple of rivets with the hands squeezers, I can see how the pneumatic comes in handy. Once it is setup, consistent rivets every time. Plus its cool. My plan now is to order the RV toolkit and squeerze from Clear Air. One thing that I didnt see in the toolkit were fluting pliers that I know I will need on the empannage.

For now, I am waiting for this rain we have to pass by so I can get a demo ride with Steve or Scott.
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