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Kitfox Speedster Returns

By Randy Dufault

July 24, 2017 - Back in 1992, air show great Jimmy Franklin showed off a new version of the Kitfox S4 with a surprisingly spirited aerobatic performance. Equipped with shortened wings, and other speed and maneuverability modifications, the model, which Kitfox christened the Speedster, brought a bit of flying fun to the high-wing kit plane.

Now, exactly 25 years later at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017, the Speedster is back. By adding some of the tried and true features from the earlier version, along with a number of modern improvements, the current version has an option for a Kitfox builder that, according to company President John McBean, is “a bit of a challenge at straight and level.”

“It’s putting the fun back into it,” John said. “It has a very quick roll rate, and it is a joy to fly … very sporty.”

The new Speedster option shortens the wings of the current S7 model, adds smaller wheels, wheel fairings, aerodynamic landing gear legs, and new wing struts, along with other speed and handling improvements. Also returning is the original S4 model’s symmetrical flaperon in lieu of the standard S7 high-lift design.

Speed, of course, is one of the benefits of all of the aerodynamic treatments. John said he achieved 130 mph true airspeeds on the way here from the company’s home base in Idaho, while burning only 4.3 gallons of gas an hour in the prototype craft’s Rotax 912 UL fuel-injected engine.

The Speedster option of the S7 joins the Kitfox standard factory-built S7 S-LSA model, and the Super Sport short takeoff and landing kit-built variant. Kit versions have 11 different choices for engine installations.

In an homage to Franklin’s 1992 aerobatic performance, and to demonstrate the new Speedster’s fun flying capabilities, Jimmy’s son, Kyle, will fly the S7 Speedster at EAA AirVenture 2017 during Wednesday’s air show.

Kits are available now, in complete form and as subkits. The Speedster and the other Kitfox models can be seen at Kitfox’s booth in the North Aircraft Display area.

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