Updated 2/3/2023. For those not familiar with the Skybolt, it is an aerobatic biplane. It is very similar to the Pitts S2 in looks and capabilities, but is slightly larger.
When I started this project back in 2005 this page said this: "My logic was that this thing is going to take me something like 4 years to build (fingers crossed it doesn't end up in the 'For Sale' columns under '70% completed projects')". Well, it is STILL not finished!! I am very close (final painting stage), but is now in its 18th year of building. I guess life just gets in the way...
I think I only intend to ever build one plane, so why not build something from the ground up and I can say 'I built it'. Why aerobatic? Well, I have a fair amount of skydives, so I love the adrenalin rush, this plane has the versatility for the occasional basic aerobatic maneuver to satisfy my urges if flying straight & level gets too boring.
I read somewhere that a project like this is very comparable to a BA + an MA Degree - it costs about the same, takes a long time, requires at least as much effort, and is easily as educational.
There really aren't many Skybolt builders logs out there on the web unfortunately. This log, I have been keeping semi-current for years, and I hope it will help someone who is either thinking of building or who is building. And for a final tip to those first time homebuilders...invest in the 3 books written by Tony Bingelis! 'The Sportplane Builder', 'Sportplane Construction Techniques', and 'Firewall Forward'. I think they are available from EAA.org, and the biggest and most important resource; join biplaneforum.com!!
DISCLAIMER: In the true tradition of the U.S.A., I suppose I need a disclaimer...This construction log only shows how I did things during the construction of my Skybolt. These pages are for information only and not to be construed as the only way, or even the perceived correct way of doing things. You are responsible for your own construction techniques.
THANKS: I would have had a bigger uphill struggle without the following help over the years: Jim Accuntius, Steenaero, my local EAA chapter, Randy Echtinaw, Mark Julicher, and biplaneforum.com.