This Ain't Your Father's Kitfox....
Skystar's Ed Downs says
that, "It was time to develop an airplane for the sport flyer who
didn't care if Sport Pilot EVER showed up. And boy howdy, we did
What Downs is talking about, is the new Super Kitfox Turbine...
a two seat, side by side, SportPlane that guarantees that, "You'll
never lose a short take-off contest to anyone but a Bell Jet
The high wing, fabric covered bird has been beefed up a great
deal for this mission and features an engine that Downs is keeping
quiet about--for the moment, "...Our partner in this is well known,
but after having had some problems in other development programs,
they're taking a wait and see attitude as to whether a sport
turbine market will come about." Rumored to be produced by Williams
Int'l, the engine is reportedly based on the aborted FJ22 program
and adapted to a transmission system developed by Helicycle
designer BJ Schramm.
"We've derated the puppy to only 300 horsepower or so, added
some rudder, and are requiring a factory checkout... but for those
who are willing to part with $150K, you'll get an airplane that
takes off, at full gross, in under 20 feet, climbs 5000 fpm, and
will cruise at 200 kts at 18K.
And landings? That prop offers full beta, so you better tighten
your straps if you want to use it or you'll do a face-plant on the
panel. And you come off it (beta) real quick, or you might
back into something, and screw up your tailfeathers really bad...
don't ask us how we know that."
A new FADEC system not
only keeps turbine operation simple but will limit power if the
air-data sensor reports a potential for airframe overspeed. Using
some of the design data gathered from the Sportster days, the new
bird is sport aerobatic and offers an interesting bag of tricks.
"Just remember to come off the power... A LOT... in the tail
slide... or you'll never get it to actually... well, slide. The
last guy who forgot that wound up with a helluva nose bleed before
he figured it out. Thank God he had oxygen on board," notes
Downs (pictured, right) expects to offer the public a first look
at the bird by Oshkosh and has offered ANN's Jim Campbell first
shot at a test flight, wryly noting that he "is crazy enough to
enjoy something like this." More info to follow.
ANN Thanks Rex Heffran and Dave Estapa for the first look at the
secret photo shown above...