Background: I have been trying to build a BD4 since 1990. There have been a number of interruptions that have caused years to go by without any progress. In 1999 the wife and I decided I should purchase something to fly until I get this project completed. I wanted to learn to do some aerobatics and have always liked the looks of the Steen Skybolt. So, I started looking for a Skybolt. I found one in Los Angeles, California. I flew it 1500 miles across the desert to my home in Blue, Texas. This was an enjoyable trip. I have never planned a cross country that covered this much distance.

The aircraft did need some repair on the fabric, but I did not think it would require removal. However, the AI, Bert Brundage, wanted to see under the fabric on the wings. He told me the fuselage was fine. I removed the fabric and made some repairs. Ernest Woodard machined new bushings for the bell cranks. As always, Ernest added an improvement to the original bushing design with a grease groove to help retain grease on the bushing surface. Ernest is what I would consider a perfectionist. If you ever see any of his machine work you will understand what I mean.

I decided that I did not want to paint the 20 year old fabric on the fuselage, so I removed it. As one thing leads to another, I ended up removing wiring, instruments, etc. and sandblasting, then shooting a two part epoxy primer on the tubing. This took a few months to complete.

So, the Skybolt is completely rebuilt; new tuned exhaust, prop reconditioned, new mags, Engine ADs complied with, factory rebuilt fuel injection control unit, some new instruments and paint. Cost: too much!!! I do have peace of mind knowing everything is in good condition. This is important, especially when performing aerobatics.

The final inspection came on May 12, 2002. I had my bi-annual flight review the first weekend in June and went to La Porte the second weekend in June for some aerobatic training. First flight in the Skybolt was June 21st. It flew great with no problems.

I plan to be at Abilene this year with the Skybolt. I have been to the SWRFI almost every year since 1983. I have not flown to the show since I sold my J5A in 1990.

Thanks for advice and help from Ernest Woodard, Dean Ogden, Lynn and Dick Smith, and Herman Dierks on this project.