In a history punctuated by swirling eddies of ownership changes, bankruptcy and rebirth, another chapter of the Kitfox story opened on April 7, 2006, when John and Debra McBean purchased the SkyStar assets including the tradenames, tooling, engineering and rights to produce the Kitfox designs. The McBeans own and operate Sport Plane LLC, which specializes in builder assistance, service, sales and aftermarket parts for sport aircraft.
John is a CFI and holds a Commercial certificate with Multi-engine, Instrument and Seaplane ratings; hes also a Kitfox Series 7 owner. He formerly performed sales, service and demo pilot duties for SkyStar Aircraft (the former, now defunct manufacturer of the Kitfox) and has significant knowledge of the build process. Debra has a background in business management, with more than 20 years in the auto finance industry. Shes a Private Pilot, also with a particular affinity for flying Kitfox aircraft.
At the time of SkyStars bankruptcy filing, there were existing builders who were left in the lurch, waiting for parts from the old company. John McBean told us that while the new company is a separate entity and not legally responsible for the losses of those who did business with SkyStar, We will do what we can to get the Kitfox builders back to building the dream.
Kits will be available again in fall 2006, and the first model to be produced will be the Series 7. At press time, the McBeans were using the existing manufacturing facility, but they were pursuing the acquisition of a new building.
John and Debras acquisition of SkyStars assets was not only a business decision, its a passion. Johns enthusiasm was hard to miss: Kitfox is a joy to fly. In its class, no other airplane compares. Fun, and a good safety record. I have a true passion for this airplane and the Kitfox family. Its a neat group. As my late friend Ray Volk used to say, Its not how fast we get there-its how fun we get there.
For more information on the new operation, contact Sport Plane LLC at 208/888-1500 or visit the web at http://www.sportplanellc.com/.