Progress…  January Summary (part 1 of 2)

I am happy that much need work got done on the Skybolt this month. The previous builder made a mistake. Some mistakes can be classified as “big”, or maybe “small”. This mistake, let’s call it consistent. When measuring, a steel  tube for example. You measure from the end (outside) of the tube to the center of the adjoining tube. Our previous builder measured to the outside. So as this is a mistake, the mistake is consistent and carries through to the rest of the airplane, about a half inch everywhere, about one inch total.

The engine mount was made by Steen Aero, it did not fit. This was my mistake, I assumed that everything on the airplane was to plans. I only learned of this half inch/inch mistake by incorrectly ordering the engine mount without actually measuring. Steen Aero graciously took back the engine mount. We now had to make a template and send it off to Steen Aero to build the engine mount.

Here is a photo of the engine mount template.

So now we must wait at least a month for the new one to be made.

Now on to the bungee cord truss.

As you can see from the plans, the bungee truss calls for 1 1/8″ tubes all around. For some reason the previous builder used 1 1/8 tubes for the top pieces, but the main tube that runs the length of the truss was made of 7/8″..?!?

The amount of work required to cut out that tube and replace it would warrant a lot of work. It is easier to replace the whole truss. The simple solution would be to order a bungee trust from Steen Aero. However the aforementioned problem of a half inch will most likely come into play. Steen Aero was kind enough to ship up a truss and if it fits we will use it as-is. But most likely, I am expecting a modification. Only time will tell.


Here is a similar bungee truss finished on a different airplane. The truss along with the bungees support the weight of the airplane and keeps the gear from collapsing. This builder did weld a gusset-type of support in the bungee truss, will it help strengthen? Perhaps a little-bit

Photo courtesy of