Kitfox off the endangered list

You can take the Kitfox, the popular, sporty, highwing experimental aircraft, off the endangered species list. John and Debra McBean, former SkyStar employees and owners of Sport Plane LLC, an Idaho-based builder’s assist center, have purchased the assets of SkyStar Aircraft Corp., the makers of the Kitfox.

SkyStar declared bankruptcy in October 2005, leaving hundreds of Kitfox owners, not to mention builders whose projects were not complete, to wonder where to turn for parts.

“We wanted to see the Kitfox legacy continue,” John McBean explained.

McBean spent several years as a Kitfox salesman, demonstration pilot and technical support representative. He is very familiar with the design and the pilot community. “We wanted to continue to support the Kitfox builders,” he said, adding that the idea of letting the line die out did not sit well with him or his wife Debra.

“We were willing to support someone else if they ended up with the assets of SkyStar, but instead we ended up with the assets,” he said.

News of the acquisition was announced the first week in April. “The initial plans are to support the Kitfox builders out there who are in need of parts,” he said.

He already has some experience with that. In December, McBean, with the help of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Rotax Austria, and its U.S. distributor, Kodiak Research Ltd., worked to assemble a one-time bulk purchase of 912S Rotax engines with special pricing for builders who had lost their engine purchase due to the bankruptcy and had not yet secured another powerplant.

According to McBean, Sport Plane LLC now owns the intellectual property, the trademark, patterns, trade names, tooling and the rights to reproduce the Kitfox. “Right now parts are the primary focus,” he stressed. “We will work toward full kit production.”

McBean added that eventually the new business will be known as Kitfox Aircraft LLC.

For more information: 208 888-1500.

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