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request for input about skylights and sea plane doors for QB kits

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  • #16
    I'm working as fast as I can to scratch build my wings! When I am ready to order the fuselage kit, I would definitely order it with the the skylight and seaplane door options!
    Bearhawk Bravo #1508B - Scratch Build (wings)
    Northern Idaho


    • #17
      Originally posted by Mark Goldberg View Post
      Thank you all for your input. I just spoke with Bob discussing with him the possibilities. It is his call exactly what we do with his design, but I bet he will develop something worth the trouble to make the changes. Anyone else that wants to give suggestions - they would be welcome. Mark
      If the seaplane doors were backwards compatible with the A model and current B model planes, that would be an advantage for some of us Nice to have, but not required!

      I could easily raise the door sill and make a seaplane door from scratch, but I am time poor and a bolt-on solution would be great.


      • #18
        I'm leaning heavily towards a QB for the fuselage once I get my wings done, or at least close. I'm indifferent about the seaplane door, but would love to have a skylight option with the kit.
        Todd Weld
        Plans #1515B


        • #19
          Mark, as you are aware my build will not start until Dec of this year, I will be including both the skylight and sea plane doors, if they are engineered and backwards compatible to my kit I would like to order the factory options asap

          i plan on putting the plane on floats in yr 2 and the seaplane doors are a must, plus they look better as well
          Dan Dagasso


          • #20
            I will definitely want seaplane doors which can either be opened in flight or have a window that can open (within speed restrictions).


            • #21
              Working with Bob, we are zero'ing in on a skylight design for the 4 place kits that will allow skylight panels on the two sides back to the rear spar carry through. But not the middle. The Lexan panels will just slide in and be secured in channel on 3 sides. But the center will remain fabric. And all could be fabric with no skylight if the builder wants.

              Design not done yet but that is the direction we are heading. Mark


              • #22
                We keep our skylight covered most of the year, but the other day I was flying with it uncovered and found that in turns away from my seat, I could see the horizon at about 30 degrees of bank. It definitely makes the plane feel more open, but I'm not one to enjoy sitting in the sun, especially from April to November or so.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Mark Goldberg View Post
                  Working with Bob, we are zero'ing in on a skylight design for the 4 place kits that will allow skylight panels on the two sides back to the rear spar carry through. But not the middle. The Lexan panels will just slide in and be secured in channel on 3 sides. But the center will remain fabric. And all could be fabric with no skylight if the builder wants.

                  Design not done yet but that is the direction we are heading. Mark
                  Sounds like a nice solution but I'm wondering how much visibility will be lost due to the lack of middle panel. Seems like the middle is the area the pilot would want to look though especially in a right hand turn. Maybe someone with a flying BH and a skylight could tell us whether this is the case or not.
                  I'm a Tapatalk user so I can't see your "comment"


                  • #24
                    I would suggest the skylight be just the front 8 to 10" but all the way across on the 4-place and fabric the rest. I love the skylight in my Patrol as I can see all directions easily. My 4 place has just the 2 small skylights on each side and they aren't very useful for looking out of. The real benefit is some natural light in the cabin.


                    • #25
                      I am not sure I would like the 2 piece skylight with a fabric section in the middle. I think I would prefer the whole thing be glass.


                      • #26
                        As expected. there is not a one size fits all solution. We will probably do something that I hope most will like, but expect others to still be modifying what we do to get their preference for their plane. Pretty wide area of what you guys say you want. And remember that many want no skylight. Like me here in Texas. Mark


                        • #27


                          • svyolo
                            svyolo commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Very nice.

                        • #28
                          Just a quick update on something almost done at the kit factory - a new ceiling design for the Model B. The purpose was to allow skylights to be installed with no welding while still allowing fabric to cover the ceiling if a skylight is not wanted (Texas summer).

                          On the front will be a double channel of aluminum (like the Patrol). Double channel meaning two channels butt welded with the forward one capturing the windshield and the aft one the skylights. In place of the steel tubing now used on the "hump", two channels of aluminum (facing outboard) will extend aft following the same shape/height of what has been. Using the shrinker/stretcher to get the shape. Aft channel of aluminum as well. The upper fuselage formers of 3/8" steel tubing (above the upper longerons) will stay exactly the same.

                          This structure of aluminum will be welded together and provisionally installed in place on the fuselage from the factory. To install the lexan panels - they will just slide in from the outside. Captured in place on three sides (front, inboard side, and aft) with the lexan being screwed or pop riveted to the 3/8" square tubing on the sides with a 1/8" aluminum strip on top better securing the lexan.

                          So there will be the ability to install two skylights pieces quite easily that will extend aft to the rear spar carry through. Doing another piece in the center will be possible as well but some challenge sealing it up properly. It is really intended to just have the skylight pieces on the sides and not in the center. While there is no doubt some builders will want to do something different, this seems a good solution for most. We would have got it finished already but I didn't understand well what Bob wanted on the aft side of this where the stringers come up to. How it all connects. But with a couple phone calls to Bob from the factory we got it more or less figured out.

                          It is a lot more fun to undertake something like this when Bob is there at the factory with me and 3 or 4 workers scrambling around like ants following Bob's instructions. Make this/bend this/tack weld this etc. Bob has seen preliminary pics, and with a few suggestions/corrections he is happy with how it is turning out. Hope to post pictures soon. Mark


                          • N942VT
                            N942VT commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Mark, can you send me a retro fit kit for the LSA, just send the pieces and I'll make it fit.
                            I'll email you too.

                          • JimParker256
                            JimParker256 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Since Mark is talking about the 4-place B model, I doubt this would fit the Patrol or LSA.

                        • #29
                          I'm late in finding this thread. I fly a 4 place and have a long list of tweaks I'd love to make. Rather than making lots of little (and moderate) changes to a perfectly good flying airplane, I have aspirations to have one built that fits me closer.

                          I find that the leading edge of the wing and top of the windshield is a bit further forward than most high wing aircraft and limits visibility in all phases of flight. It is quite workable, but an area that I see might be improved. A skylight might help, but haven't flown in one with a skylight.

                          I also fly an RV-4 with a bubble canopy. There is no doubt is can get hot in the sun, but at least when not in Texas, the visibility is very much appreciated. A hat and open vents keeps things manageable.

                          I'd love seaplane doors. Though I grew up in a J-3 with the doors open when weather was warm enough, I never fly my Bearhawk that way. ...except when I take off and then remember to close it during climb out. The wind and noise level from a Lyc O-540 is not the same experience as a Continental A-65. Having the door open during ground operations is sufficient. A small sliding window to open in flight would be nice. Having the lower door completely out of the way while getting in and out would be outstanding, even if the door sill were a little higher to do it.


                          • #30
                            Mark, I haven’t started my build yet, but I’m planning on doing so soon. We met and spoke at the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering in ANC this spring.

                            I would prefer a skylight and the gullwing/seaplane doors as an option when I order and start my build.

                            Just my $0.02


                            • Mark Goldberg
                              Mark Goldberg commented
                              Editing a comment
                              The skylight option is a done deal. Al the new kits coming will have that. The sea plane doors depend on Bob getting motivated to help with it getting designed. Mark