Denney Aerocraft produced the first Kitfox kit in
November of 1984 in a small factory in Boise, Idaho. The Kitfox was
designed as a lightweight, two-place sport aircraft with excellent
STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) performance and the ability to
operate from short and unimproved airfields. The Kitfox features
folding wings and is easily trailered, allowing owners to share
hangar space or keep their Kitfox's at home in a single car garage.
Six Model 1 Kitfox's were delivered that first year. Since 1984,
over 4,000 Kitfox kits have been delivered to builders throughout
the United States, Canada, and over 42 foreign countries.
In June 1992, SkyStar Aircraft Corporation, under the
direction of Phil Reed, purchased the rights to produce the Kitfox
kit from Denney Aerocraft.
In January of 2000, an employee group acquired
Kitfox Model 1 introduced the nostalgic “bump” cowl that has become
the signature of the Kitfox. This cowl design was originally
intended to accommodate a small radial engine, but the engine
intended for the Kitfox never matured. The “round engine” look was
retained, and remains popular today. The compact Model 1 had an
empty weight of only 425 pounds, and a gross weight of 850 pounds.
The Rotax 532 was the engine of choice, although other two-stroke
engines have been used.
a flying standpoint, the Kitfox Model 1 would be called an
ultralight by today’s standards. It is a very simple, basic
airplane that is light weight and relatively high powered (usually
65 HP). The interior can best be described as “cozy,” and the
aircraft was usually built without dual brakes. The Model 1
accelerates rapidly and has light ailerons. There is a good deal of
adverse yaw coupled with a neutral yaw axis. The adverse yaw is
easily taken care of with rudder, but the rudder feel is different
than most contemporary airplanes.
Basically, if you push the rudder
to yaw the plane, it will stay yawed. You may have to physically
move the rudder to bring the nose back to the centre. It takes time
to adapt to this characteristic, but it is easily learned. The flaperons may be moved as flaps to affect pitch trim and lower the
stall speed. Lowering the flaperons to more than 2/3 of their full
travel will result in up to a 50% reduction in roll rate. Takeoffs
and landings are quite normal for a tailwheel airplane and easier
than most. The nose fuel tank keeps most of the mass (centre of
gravity) right along the centreline, and directional control is not
a major challenge.
rate of climb
landing distance, ground roll
limiting and recommended speeds
design manoeuvring speed (Va)
never exceed speed (Vne)
stall, power off (Vsl)
landing approach speed
All specifications are based on manufacturer's