The story began in 1972,1 had my first solo in a RF-5 D-KATO, to that time owned by our Aeroclub LSV Hellertal at Siegerland Airport EDGS.
In the following years I flew a lot of hours on the 5 ,and I was the top user in our club -up to 100 hrs. a year. Other members were moaning like "it seems,it's your private plane" and similar remarks more. So I looked out for a private plane to cool down the other club members;
Meanwhile I my nose was pushed on the RF 4-D..fast, very good aerodynamic,
very economy fuel consumption, aerobatics and soaring
possible- shortly the ideal little plane for my purposes. In the beginning 80's I started the search,but,like nowadays,4's were rare birds and,if in good condition very expensive and in bad condition also, with a high necessity of work and money to restore.
Meanwhile I absolved some courses to get the licenses for building and repair light aircraft in wooden-mixed and composite construction and of course after successful ending of the courses. I looked for a challenge to prove my brand new qualifications. So I found in fall 1986 an advertisement in the Aero-Kurier about a wrecked RF 4-D.
Quickly a date was organized and I drove to the airfield were
the remains were situated. The first impression was "oh shit" let's turn home immediately! But the second and third, longer glimpses convinced me to make it possible to fly the poor baby again. In what time ever but it must work!
So I made the price agreement with the owners, gave a little down
payment to assure that the wreck was mine, and went back home and organize the transport to our airfield. Two weeks later I returned with a trailer,loaded the scrap and returned back to Siegerland airfield.
In the two weeks between first inspection and taking home the scrap I organized
with the help of formerly Sportavia people to get a set of drawings, originally
from Rene' Fournier as well as the unavoidable paper war prior to start such
a project! -Looking for an Inspector escorting and supervising all work -Getting
permits from the aviation authorities-Preserve the callsign for the rebirth
and so on. Everybody knows the bureaucracy, no matter in which country So I
sorted in our hangar the remaining parts,to look what parts are to build completely
new, or to repair or to purchase new or good working used parts from other Rf'sA
lot of 'our club members looked at the now assorted scrap and decided that I'm
now turned totally nuts; O.K., that's their
First seven pictures show the assorted crap on its way to a plane I confess, it made not the best impression...Early in December 1986 all paperwork was done,the workshop prepared -fortunately a room in my house's basement with a door to the place in front.
At first I cut of all cracked areas out of the remains of fuselage, wings and
control surfaces -the material amount of the scrap shrank more and more But
in the same December-it began to grow up -the first formers,
so firewall up to the back rest became new or repaired,also the
longitudinal beams for top and bottom of the sidewalls. End of February 1987 the sidewalls were attached to the preserved rear fuselage,in following may the fuselage was nearly completed.
Meanwhile Eichelsdoerfer of Bamberg did a fine job in repairing the main spar
and nose assembly for a very fair price. You know,to rebuild a complete spar
was because the lack of. Experience as well as workshop capacity (machinery!)
better to be done by very professionals. And it kicked the project a giant step
forward! So I could repair respective build new the control surfaces while fall
1987 ,completed in October.
Every time I had completed some work,I invited the Inspector and he was always satisfied about my work.Of course I will work exactly,it's at least my ass depending of doing a good job...Mid January 1988 all parts to complete the wings were finished.
It-lasted only a short time to restore the metal fittings and
End of January 1988 the reassembly of the wing started. At least, the wing assembly lasted up to beginning March 1989. In the same days I could do a test assembly of the complete structure. The inspector gave green light to cover the structure with fabric and paint. A lot of designs were tested,the result you will see at the pictures.
Next green light came to complete the technical equipment as well as landing gear, engine, electric wiring, instrument panel and so on.
I was lucky to purchase a nearly brand new engine and prop for 2.200,-DM from a guy who converted his 4 to a 1700 Limbach engine.
Now, at good Friday 1991 I trailered the D-KAQA parts to the airfield and assembled the plane with the help of some club members 'under 'the severe eyes of the Inspector. At the same day,all things were tested, weighted and approved, I very proudly entered the cockpit, fired the engine up and did my first flight in the RF 4-D D-KAQA. The way to the rebirth lasted nearly five years ,needed approx. 1,500 hrs. of work and a total amount of DM 29.500,--. But it was every penny worth, because it gave me a lot of experience and since the first flight more than 1,600 hrs. of flight across complete Europe.
I am very appreciative to my wife Gaby for her patience with me while the restoration time and bearing lots of saw - and grinding dust all over the house also the strong smells of the special paints for covering the structures with fabric (Nitrocellulose) and some more incommodities. Also I thanks alot to my Inspector, Dipl.fengineer Werner Kantelhardt (+) for his efforts to escort my project; but I know,that he enjoyed it very well,because it was much more as the normal annual airworthiness inspections a job of high interest. A nice moment was - as all the guys who declared me nuts -were watching with watering mouths my initial flight....
Dipl.Ingenieur Werner Kantelhardt was a long time Employee of
Gerhard Fieseler Aircraft works of Kassel .