Login Form

QuickTalk 13 - LETTERS

"Regarding your editorial (RAF vs. QAC), I've been concerned about the same things. I think we all agree that good, clean competition is not only great, but absolutely necessary in the American way of life. But this is ridiculous! At this point, I can only conclude that these designers of the world's greatest airplanes are still human, and therefore, are subject to the same human frailties the rest of us are.

Duane Swing's letter in Issue #1 was certainly well written. We could all do well to take his suggestion (i.e. quit bitchin' and get to work)..."

Keith Williams (#2311), Cedar Rapids, IA

"Your editorial in Issue #12 hit the nail right on the head. It's just a shame that two companies that both obviously have a lot on the ball have to engage in such a "p___ing" contest. A letter is being sent to both RAF and QAC requesting that instead of devoting space to insulting each other, they use the space for a composite education section."

Pete Borozan (#2788), Danbury, CT

"Let me say that I agree completely with your editorial about the bad relations of the various outfits at Mojave. I'm currently building a Sea Hawk, and after talking to Gary LeGare a few times, I think he could be added to the list also. On the other side, as an Evinrude dealer, I must say that most Mercury dealers are inferior souls, and Chrysler dealers even worse. And I never heard my friendly Ford dealer say too much good about Chevy..."

Robert McFarland (#2061), Wormleysburg, PA

"...The finish on my wings was poor, even after many hours and months of sanding. But we finished them anyway. The plane flew so poorly that we put it back in the shop and spent another winter getting the low spots out. Now I wonder if all the fussing changed the shape of the wing.

But maybe it doesn't have to be like this. If you could cut a perfect core, there would be very little sanding. Why not cut a perfect core? Two reasons, besides lack of skill. One, the temperature of the wire. Too hot, and it burns too much away. Too cold is even worse with wire lag. Can anyone figure out a way to standardize the temperature of the wire? Second, errors occur from cutting the core of the wings from templates that you make from paper patterns...

Suppose QAC would send no paper patterns for the wings. Instead, for a rental fee, they would send durable metal stamped templates at a builder's request, to be returned after the hot wiring.

Just thought I would throw my idea into the hopper. It might help someone. The Quickie is such a slick little plane that builders will go to extraordinary effort to get it built."

Vic Schatz (#137), Athol, ID

"I removed the Onan (in disgust) in early summer and after looking into several different engines (Cuyuna, Kawasaki and others), I decided to try Stubbs Aero's Koenig. After a delay, I received it and mounted it in mid-June.

Tests were hair-raising - Low power! I ended up with about 85 MPH tops and poor climb rate. After no help from Stubbs, I contacted Dieter Koenig. I was surprised - he set up an identical engine on a test stand and designed a different exhaust system and air intake system and increased the thrust quite dramatically.

I received these parts and, after installing, saw an improvement. I ended up with an over-revving engine with the prop sent with the original kit. Koenig suggested I try a prop he had sent Stubbs. I contacted them, but no response and no prop. I next contacted Ritz Propeller and purchased a stock 27"x42" prop from them. This seemed to be about right. Recent tests have shown max speed around 119 MPH at 3950 RPM. Climb rate is 600 FPM at 70 MPH. I have not made any CG corrections (i.e. added weight).

The aircraft is now smooth, has low noise and is a pleasure to fly. I have one more problem not solved - rough idle. I hope to correct this soon. I believe this engine has these good features to consider: 1) Rotary-X design which means LOW vibration. Any two-cylinder, horizontally opposed engine will vibrate on a Quickie. 2) Two-cycle means FEW moving parts, which should add to reliability. 3) Low weight - I LOST 10 pounds in the empty aircraft weight. 4) Less maintenance - I don't have to remove the cowl before each flight.

In summary, I feel Stubbs Aero falsely advertised performance of the kit as one receives it. I got no help (other than from the engine manufacturer) in solving the lack of performance as advertised."

Bill Thurman (#174), Hixson, TN

"...The Aircraft Spruce catalog continues to be a valuable information resource. The latest one contains an expanded selection of composite materials. Aircraft Spruce seems to have their computerized order processing system thoroughly perfected. Turn-around time is down to 2-1/2 weeks from the date the order is put in the mail until UPS arrives at the door. They now pay the UPS charges, too..."

Bruce Patten (#2512), Oakland, ME

"I'm an air traffic controller stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Independence which is presently deployed overseas. My only source of communication is the mail as telephones are completely out of the question! I reside with my wife in Virginia while not deployed.

I'd like to have my address published in your newsletter with a request for a Q2 builder approximately halfway through construction interested in corresponding with me. I feel the best source of information would be from a fellow builder. My questions deal with various stages of planning and early construction. As I said before, the mail is my only way of communication. If I could get in touch with a fellow Q2 builder, I could begin moving toward a definite construction date."

AC3 Todd D. Abbotts, OC Division CATCC, USS Independence CV-62, FPO New York, NY 09537

"My Quickie is apparently running fine with the QAC supplied 22.5 HP heads. After reading Ray Anderson and Harold Little's fine article on the cylinder head studs, I called Quickie and talked to Gene Sheehan back in June of 1983. He suspected Anderson and Little may have overheated their block and softened it, causing thread torque problems. Since mine seem to be holding torque (155 hours on the engine) and has never exceeded 390 degrees (90 degree day with a long climb), their recent points about cleaning up the cooling fins and carefully sealing the baffling with high temperature RTV silicone may be the most important.

As far as being unsafe for low time pilots, as was recently stated in the newsletter, I don't really agree. But while the Quickie is not difficult to fly, it is different in some respects to factory built airplanes. Mainly, it does have a low climb rate. At the 700' elevations I fly from, I would not recommend flying in temperatures above 90 degrees. I operate off a good 5000' strip and at those temperatures, climb is marginal.

Also the Quickie is clean with no flaps or spoilers and small brakes. If you are high and/or fast on final - go around. I like to approach at 75 MPH indicated and smoothly flare it out. If the winds are steady, you can hear each wheel kiss the ground. I feel holding an extra 5 MPH greatly smoothes out the landing and give better aileron control on approach, especially if it is gusty. I also feel the Quickie's ailerons may be somewhat weak and roll control power limits its crosswind capability. I limit my flights in winds less than 30 knots steady and direct crosswind components of 15-20 knots. Just remember, Quickies go up slow and come down slow..."

Brian Meyer (#175), Naugatuck, CT

"Due to the difficulty experienced with Quickie Aircraft by numerous builders in obtaining material, etc., it should be made known to the membership that they can obtain assistance by contacting the State of California Dept. of Consumer Affairs (Div. of Consum. Services), Complaint Assistance Unit, 1020 North Street #579, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-0660. Please note that assistance will be provided if the matter has not gone to litigation, so try this first.

I would greatly appreciate hearing from any builders that have found it necessary to contact the Department."

Donald Ulrich (#2165), New Hartford, NY

"Thumbing through the list of QBA members, I notice that the Quickie serial numbers do not go above around 550. I'd love to know how the sales are distributed among the years since introduction. It appears that QAC may let the little feller die a quiet death from neglect.

It seems to me that there is a place for a cheap single-seater. It would be neat to give it much higher performance, but that would sacrifice much of the cheap..."

Will Hubin (#295), Kent, OH

"I repeat to you once again that the poor plans and dimensional information of the Quickie will cause this aircraft to have a bad record in safety. Almost every flight letter has in it problems of some sort in the handling of the Q aircraft. On page 8 of QUICKTALK Issue #2, (the Olson's) clearly repeat that which I have been saying - I quote 'Accumulating data supports the statement that each aircraft is different.'

I must continue to say that the Q aircraft are built from interpretation and assumption and builder JUDGMENT CALL, rather than from hard engineering design and detailed specific construction data to be followed accurately."

Harvey Nack (#2046), Glen Ellyn, IL

"As with Robert Godbe (QUICKTALK #12), I also bought my Koenig conversion from Fred Stubbs...I only have a couple of hours on the engine at this writing, however, the initial impression is that it is a very good engine. Rated at 30 HP, the power increase over the Onan is obvious. So far, my flights have only been in circuits, and the only problem has been in keeping the aircraft from slipping up to 100 MPH. Unlike Godbe, I have had no change in my weight and balance with the installation. With the Onan, my Quickie weighted in at 290. With the Koenig and new paint job, it weighs 289.

...So far in Canada, we have had three Quickies destroyed because of Onan engine failures. All of the pilots have walked away from the accidents, which is a tribute to the strength of the composite structure. This fact, plus some of the horror stories I heard from Quickie owners at Oshkosh 1982, convinced me to change the engine.

Fred Stubbs has closed his shop as reported by Godbe. That is a real loss to the aviation industry here."

Ron Thornton (1014-Can.), Ontario, Canada

"During my Quickie's first flight, it took off in just a few hundred feet and got about tree top height. It was not getting any higher. I had read where a Quickie pilot had the same experience and had landed in the bush. I thought I might have to do the same thing if I kept going. Since I still had part of the 5000' runway ahead of me, I decided it would be better to be down on runway instead of in the bush. Power was chopped and it went down like a brick and bounced like a ball. I taxied back to the hangar and found the aft fuselage broken completely open just in front of the vertical fin. Compression from the drop is what broke the top part.

After about a week of repairs, I went up again only to make another bounce landing. On the third landing, I bounced it in and ground looped about 50 MPH (Boy, did it stop!). The ground loop was caused by my tailwheel bolt leaning back instead of being vertical. This was repaired according to an article in QUICKTALK. (No more ground loops.)

After a few more bad landings, I read an article in QUICKTALK about crossing the fence at 80, slowing to 70 and get as close to the runway as possible before cutting power. Have made several decent landings since, but always with no crosswind...

Every Quickie pilot should read the article Ground Effect in the November 1983 AOPA NEWSLETTER (page 5). It tell why the Quickie gets off the ground early in a mushing attitude, but does not have the speed or power to climb out. After reading that article, I fly only when there is no crosswind and I let the tailwheel come up and get about 65-70 MPH before pulling it up..."

Jack Dempsey (#279), Rayne, LA

"PROPS and TAIL SPRINGS - I wish I had the corner on the market. Has anyone thought about a temporary nose wheel mounted to a piece of spring steel and bolted somewhere as far forward as possible? This might save those nose-overs that seem to be happening to MANY people during their early flights. This "training wheel" could be removed when desired..."

Alan Schaffter (#2792), Oak Harbor, WA

"An accident I had with my Quickie occurred in Keflavik, Iceland and happened at just under lift-off speed. I picked up a small stone from the runway and it lodged behind the right brake pad, almost completely locking the right brake. I swerved right, off the runway, and had to ground loop to the right intentionally to avoid hitting the 4000 foot marker (which was solidly set in cement). The right gear sheared off from a side load caused by a partially buried rock. The engine had already been shut off by me, but the prop had not stopped and shattered when the aircraft went low. I was unhurt and to my surprise, I was not even shaken up by my wild ride through the boonies...Has anyone else had any brake problems with a Quickie?"

James McGuire, Orange Park, FL

"I have been hired to build a Global-powered Quickie. If you know of anyone else using this engine, please send me their address."

Gary Wilson (#114), 401 College St., Bruceton, TN 38137

/Ed. Note: QUICKTALK has been hearing quite a bit of interest in the 35-HP Global engine (GMT Corp., 140 Ashwood Rd., Hendersonville, NC 28739). We would appreciate any comments or flight test results be sent for a possible article./

"...Your comments on the safety record of the Q2 are well taken. It is abysmal. If this were a production aircraft, it would be grounded. The main causes seem to be pitch instability on short final and directional control once on the ground. I am taking several steps to reduce my personal risk, and I'm really not very happy about having to do this with no technical support from QAC or LeGare. The LeGare/QAC relationship is WORSE than QAC/RAF, if you can imagine that...

I have today ordered the carbon spar from a U.S. dealer. LeGare will not handle this 'option'...This change (to the new canard) will cost me $1500 (Canadian), but on the basis of the recent flight test report by a U.S. Quickie distributor, it appears worth it. This will also allow me to meet the false advertising claim of 525 lb. useful load. This will also leave me a half-finished canard, which should make a most interesting flagpole.

I intend to use a test pilot to do the initial flight work. One builder has already done this, and a second (my building partner), will do likewise. His flight test report is not overly flattering especially on pitch stability on final and this is with the T-tail installed. Transport Canada (equivalent of the FAA) is aware of all this, and will be watching future flight tests with more than casual interest. There have been several Q2/Quickie/Dragonfly incidents already, including one unexplained 'controlled descent into trees' - fatal.

Testing will cost $300-$600, depending on how much inspecting/flying has to be done. This also assumes that Transport Canada is cooperative, since I'm volunteering myself as a guinea pig on the new canard in Canada. Since LeGare is considered to be the designer, and he is not cooperating, I may be forced to do static load tests and some more elaborate flight tests (flutter, etc.,). If LeGare would cooperate, this would be unnecessary.

It is going to cost $2000+ to try and overcome some basic, and I feel serious, design deficiencies in my airplane. I feel this is worth every penny, since it works out to about $25 per year, if you think of it as life insurance. When I bought in, I knew I was getting an 'unproven' product, so I really have no basis for complaint on that score.

However, I am concerned that I have been forced into taking these steps with no 'factory' support. I bought this kit because it was complete in the sense that development work had been completed and the kit was advertised as such. (Also because it was advertised as the safest aircraft around!) This was the first wave of the 'sophisticated homebuilt' - almost a production aircraft in a box. Now that the deficiencies are apparent, the suppliers should NOT be allowed the option of saying these are experimental homebuilts and the builder is on his own. QBA must continue to make QAC and LeGare responsive to the needs of the builder...

This letter has turned out longer than I intended, probably because when I'm finished, I go back to sanding. At the rate I'm going (with kit #2015), Robert Herd and I will be sharing the single and two-place awards for longest time to see the light of day. I was beginning to be embarrassed to talk about it, thinking maybe I had some neuron damage that prevented me from finishing this in 600 hours. The 1500-3000 hours I'm hearing now is a little more realistic. I would guess I have 800-1000 working hours in now and am 60% completed. However, I am still enjoying it and will not be a quitter.

Bob Falkiner (#2015), Ontario, Canada

"In the beginning, QAC newsletters generally were very informative to builders, even if you had to take some salt with some of the claims.. It is a sad state that these newsletters have degenerated to almost non-existent news or feedback for Quickie builders...

I do not know whether it is cause and effect, but the QUICKTALK magazine has gone from strength to strength with its straight, unbiased, helpful information and feedback from builders. Let's look at some of the facts. Both magazines requested feedback on the Quickie performance. It is possible that a lack of replies may have been due to uncompleted projects, encountering problems similar to my own. It was my full intention to send feedback to both magazines when I had completed my flight-testing program, which was expected to be in December 1982. Not it is December 1983, and I have spent at least 20 hours per week since then...trying to get my engine to a reliable enough state to enable me to fly it.

It has been my experience that QAC rarely, if at all, responds to correspondence. It has cost me a fortune in telephone calls to the USA. I eventually learned to make person-to-person calls, which became even more costly, if you are trying to get a decision or advice from Gene Sheehan. If you are lucky, you may get him to condescend to speak to you, after three tries, on an average. In the last instance, I tried twice. On the third time, I spoke to his shop foreman, who could not give me answers to my questions, but promised to get Sheehan to answer them at 2 pm the next day, if I put another person-to-person call through. The foreman also advised me at the time that he had never seen the inside of an Onan engine. At all times, and up until the last attempt to get Gene Sheehan, I had been accorded pleasant courteous treatment from the QAC staff. It took seven person-to-person calls to eventually be told by the toll operator that Mr. Sheehan told her 'he did not want to speak to me as he had sent a letter'...

The Quickie's performance does not live up to QAC claims:

TIME TO BUILD: QAC claims 400-500 hours (QAC N.L. #5). Without feedback, many may consider themselves incompetent and slow. Actually, 1500-1600 hours is closer.

WEIGHT (245 LBS): I would think 280-320 lbs would be a better approximation.

TAKE OFF PERFORMANCE (660' for 18 HP, 58 degrees at S.L.): My experience with .005" tolerance on the canard has been 1000'-1100'. A fellow builder reports 1500'. By the way, getting that .005 tolerance all over the canard is no joke. Allow two months after you are finished to complete your painting. As repeated many times, be careful with weight.

SPEED (127 MPH for 18 HP): Perhaps downhill? Maybe 95 - 105 would be more realistic.

FUEL EFFICIENCY (13 MPG at 95 MPH - 18 HP): Perhaps 1.2 to 1.4 gallons for 90 MPH.

INSTRUMENT RELIABILITY: In my case, the compass and altimeter are useless, tachometer and CHT calibrated O.K., but are hard to read accurately.

CROSS WING CAPABILITY: QAC stated 50 knots had been tried in N.L. #1. Refer now to QUICKTALK #11 (pg. 2). A 6500 hour pilot recommends 12 knots or LESS.

N77Q: Having seen this machine in June, I am at a loss to see how it does all the things claimed for it, with rough patches over the canard which bear no earthly resemblance to the tolerance of .005 over the whole surface recommended.

There have been five Quickies completed in New Zealand in the last 18 months. Two are for sale, mine is unsaleable in its present configuration. One crashed on its first flight and was repaired. Nothing has been heard of it, nor of the other one since. The first Q2 built in New Zealand recently crashed on takeoff.

...Maybe these are the reasons QUICKTALK doesn't have enough feedback. Because our first priorities are to get our machines flying, and only when our backs are to the wall, with no further work to do, do we have time to sit down and write to QBA. With QBA's assistance and permission, the remedies I suggest to members are: 1) If you are having difficulties and are starting to doubt your abilities, write your name, kit number and address to QBA to enable them to assess the depth and scope of how it is affecting all builders. 2) For those who are contemplating, or have fitted other engines, a note to QBA on performance achieved would enable other builders to home in to a successful engine for the Quickie configuration at the best cost.

Perhaps QUICKTALK would be kind enough to relate in one issue Problems, Reasons and Solutions found so far and provide an assessment article on new experimental engines fitted to Quickies. Successful demonstration of these configurations to the FAA will enable those of us who live in more bureaucratic regimes to submit a request for certification. It is possible that if the problem is as widespread as I suspect, that we may be able to get cooperation from QAC to resolve it by working together."

A.J.L. Macdonald (#361), Dunedin, New Zealand

You can order a PDF or printed copy of QuickTalk #13 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.