Q-talk 5 - LETTERS
- Category: Q-Talk Articles
- Published: Tuesday, 30 June 1987 07:11
- Written by Jim Masal
- Hits: 1636
Your QBA Newsletter has been one of the several bright spots in my Q-200 construction campaign, and I read it word for word the instant it arrives. I purchased all back issues when I started the project, and constantly refer to the collection for advice and suggestions. The fact that few of the suggestions are wrong and/or the hard way doesn't change the fact that MOST of the newsletter is marvelously useful, helpful, interesting and makes a significant contribution to the project. The common knowledge around EAA Chapter 393 is that the QBA Newsletter is absolutely the top newsletter.
Quentin Durham, Orinda, CA
Your article, "Onward and Upward", (QT #1) hit the bulls-eye. We can do more for each other if we have a central clearing house of information as to where the parts are. If anyone has information as to who made what and the price, they should certainly send the info to the editor.
Jurand Composite Development Co. (owner Fred Jurand) built Q-2 fuselages at Mojave Airport (805) 824-4558. Revmaster's Joe Horvath says he still has some Q-2 exhaust systems left in stock, P. O. Box 2084, Hesperia, CA 92345. Someone called me looking for a Kevlar spinner and I couldn't help him, but I will write the Quickie builder from France and help him. I have a TW3 in stock.
Marvin Getten, Plymouth, MN (612) 473-5398
ED. NOTE: Now THAT'S the spirit. Marv is one of the few active Q dealers. Put him on your list of "helpful advice" people. Kevlar spinners? Try Gary Wilson: (901) 586-4311.
I would like to take this opportunity to say how much I appreciate the newsletter and the link with other Q builders it provides. The QBA is all we have for construction tips, news or others projects and probably most important of all - general encouragement to see the project through to the end.
Chris Simpson, W. Sussex, England - (Kit #79, 3.5 years to date!)
First of all I'd like to lay to rest the canard that some of us are afraid to contribute. How can we measure up to the professionalism of regular trailblazers like Bob Falkiner? Most of us are better with a squeegee than with a pen, but you are right, this is not National Geographic. We have a common dream that has gone awry by ALMOST no fault of ours. If we fail to actively support this forum, we abdicate our chances of living out our reverie. Don't we owe it to ourselves?
In regards to my Q-2 progress: the fin, wing and canard are done (single, unheated garage, summers only, since '83). Far cry from the advertised 500 hrs, but I accept it as the price to pay for my gullibility. I hope to complete the airframe in the next 2 summers. Then...a few hours in a Cessna, 4-5 hrs. Q-2 dual and off I go, soloing (Gary LeGare, Mojave, 27 Oct. 1982).....Not quite...NOW I know - thanks to Q-talk.
Igor Mokrys, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I personally feel the submission of ideas we have used and sent to Q-talk represents a very limited liability exposure when compared to the good the newsletter has accomplished. As an example, I submitted a very long article on the problems I have had (QT #28). Before I even had a chance to read the issue, I began receiving phone calls and for some time afterward I received letters. All were very constructive and helpful. Two were from Tri-Q conversions that were flying. I certainly have some good solid information now on which to base my repair decisions.
Bud Menely, N56WM, Reno, NV
Not all of your non-participating readers suffer from fear of liability. We moved "back to the farm" about 3 years ago and found that between building a workshop for the Q-2, running a sheep farm, renovating a 100 year old house, holding down 2 paid jobs and raising a 2 year old, not much time is left for airplane building, therefore: nothing to write. We have not given up, and still consider ourselves airplane builders. We live in a geographically remote area about 200 miles north of Oshkosh, and QBA is our only contact with other Quickie builders.
Kirk Yarina and Nancy Reed, Chassell, MI
(ED. NOTE: Raising the 2 year old is probably the hardest job of the lot...but you better get that other stuff squared away before it becomes a teenager.
Many thanks for your information concerning Q-2 builders in So. California by both letters and phone. I rang Len Padios and we arranged to drive out to Mojave where Len is taxiing his Tri-Q. Also saw Turner's racy Quickie plus Voyager. It was a great day for me and I am grateful for the fantastic American hospitality. I will keep in touch.
John Cartledge, Dingley, Victoria, Australia
ED. NOTE: I don't know how Ted Fox is coming with the QBA Hospitality Club, but I can see that there is a bunch of it going around behind the scenes. You folks are great!
I'm onto the finishing process now, and for an amateur, it's worse than finishing furniture! My current conclusion on building one of these things is - make sure you enjoy sanding.
Spike Knapp - dual citizenship, VT and FL
I received the technical specs from Aerotek Rotary Aero Technologies, Inc., 19365 SW 89th, Tualatin, OR 97062 on their converted Mazda engines. Looks fantastic (120 hp on 190 lbs., wet). Are these specs inflated? Could it be mounted in a Tri-Q? I'd be grateful to hear from anyone experienced with the engine or the company.
Vic Prodaniuk, Box 447, Thornhild, Alberta, Can. T0A 3J0
Enjoyed your Dec. newsletter. Everything shut down until it was devoured in total. Good to see new builders writing in and the bad language dashed out - thanks. The closing remark of your editorial could well be true and that is a shame. For all to accept that, there is no need for the newsletter, etc.
My greatest concern for my project is my inability to get those 2 wings within even + or - 5 degrees. Marking on foam and working from that poor line is not very accurate. Suggestions or help in this area are surely needed by this slow builder.
Floyd Perryman, 912 Pear St., Jena, LA 71342
My present pressing need is info on where and how much reinforcement is needed on the tailcone.
Henry Hurd, Belleville, IL
ED. NOTE: I don't have the official number and length of plies for the dorsal tailcone reinforcement. Can anyone help us out?
I have decided to form an association for users of the Rotorway RW-100 engine (as I am on my Tri-Q). Potential subscribers should send me name, address and status of project, and pictures or any info they would like to share. Do NOT send money until I can give a projection of the future of the association.
John Derr, 706 Partridge, Cir., Golden, CO 80403
I am in the category of a "slow builder" due to the nature of my job. I am a ship's captain, which requires that I be gone for 56 days and then home for 28 days. All of my time home cannot be spent on my Tri-Q. As a result of this slow progress, I am in a position to take full advantage of all the worthwhile items appearing in QUICKTALK.
Bob Lockwood, El Cajon, CA (and the bounding main-ED)
In a real way I am glad that I did not rush my kit to an early completion. The man who did got national magazine recognition, after which he declared his bird unsafe, sold it, and now I understand, says these Quickies are totally bad news. If he had had the input coming from the QBA builders over these 5 or 6 years, there might have been a different story.
Harvey Nack, Glen Ellyn, IL
A short review of the Ted Fox video...highly recommended and very entertaining. Just what I needed to get my project going after our long Canadian winter. Flying the Quickie sure looks like fun. (It most certainly is - ED)
Ken Norwick, Ontario, Canada
For those of you out there who may be a bit behind or even a little concerned about your own ability to turn out a critical piece of glasswork, Gary Wilson is an artist. His company is Composite Aircraft Components in Bruceton, TN, and I'm not ashamed to say I've used his services on a number of subassembly areas.
Scott Bergin, St Pete, FL
We lost a lot of Quickies as well as the nerves of the pilots because of not following the directions. A lot of accidents could have been prevented had the builders read and obeyed the suggestions from the factory about first flight. Your TAXI, TAXI, TAXI etc. is right on. I am surprised that it must be driven into the heads of a lot of people, because that is exactly what we were told to do from QAC.
Vic Schatz, Athol, ID
I have taught flying for about 6 years. In all that flying I have come to be amazed at the number of people who think that they are really fantastic pilots that in my professional opinion couldn't fly a Cherokee 140 properly. (I just can't think of a more docile airplane than this). Many of the Q-2 pilots I've talked to had a real problem understanding what they were flying. The Quickie is NOT a Cessna 152! I don't think a homebuilt HAS to be as docile as a Cherokee 140. Many I've talked to before and after purchasing my kit seem to have the belief that the Q-2 should be a docile airplane. The plane flies at 180-200 mph. That kind of airplane requires much more care and consideration when flying. It has no flaps and gets easily behind the power curve; again, things that must be remembered when flying. It is a high performance airplane and MUST be flown like one.
A few years ago Saylor Milton offered a fuel pump that turned on and off with the level of fuel in the header tank. I worked up my own schematic and I think it is safer and easier to build and even has fewer parts. I can write a little article on the pump or builders can contact:
B. Clark Williams, 7735-103 Newman Av., Huntington Beach, CA 92647. (714) 847-7823
ED. NOTE: First, be careful about being too critical until you strap one of these things on yourself. More experienced pilots than you (instructors to boot) have bought runway lights before ever having the chance to accelerate to 180-200 mph. Secondly, if you had been QAC's PR man, many of us would not have been led to believe it was quick to build, easy to fly...and QAC would've sold less kits. Your words of caution are much appreciated.
I keep saying I will report after I fly the darn thing, but reading Q-Talk, that may be after I/they pick up the pieces. Anyhow, this is the here and now:
- Construction time of one Q-200, 3 years.
- Sheehan no help, but Gordon Pratt, of Norcal Quickie was.
- Used engine and radios, etc. = $22,000 cash invested.
- My reflexor is from QBA - seems positive & accurate.
- Changed Sheehan carb/air/heatbox to standard Cessna 150 from ye olde aircraft junk shoppe. Because of that, I have a cowl with a goiter problem but it's a cleaner installation and I can put the vacuum pump back on.
- I have Swing's slide-forward canopy. It is fragile but works great unless someone doesn't know the open/close sequence.
- I was always slapping on an extra ply here and there so empty weight is 661 lbs.
- CG stays in the envelope all the way up thru over gross. Empty CG is at FS 38.12 (Battery is at FS 92).
Like all good plane builders I forgot to fly much the last 3 years. I have been driving 120 mi. round trip to get some Taylorcraft time. As of now, I don't feel qualified to fly either the Taylorcraft or the Q-200. The Q-200's ready, I'm not. Right now a sucker with cash would look good.
Glen Lowe, Temecula, CA
P.S. A liability paranoid is one who puts his foot in the toilet bowl and pees down his leg to keep from creating waves.
ED. NOTE: Chortle, chortle! But seriously, folks...just to dramatize the lengths people will go to in avoiding a liability mess, I just heard that Tri-Q owner Dennis Sutton, faced with a personal situation that would keep him from flying it for a couple years, has parted out the instruments and firewall forward and sawed up the airframe rather than sell it whole.
A few remarks (about your remarks, QT #30) about the Q-2 and its place in history. I would venture to say that many of us, given the knowledge we have today, would not build the Q-2 again. However, looking back, what were the options? The new pre-molded EZ clones were unavailable; the Lancair and other conventionally configured aircraft were also unavailable (except for the economically out-of-reach Glasair). I'm limiting discussion to composites because of their easier construction by the beginner. Options back then were the Polliwagon (no contest), Dragonfly (weak clone) and the EZ's (proven design, good performance, but lots more work and tandem seating). Those who selected the Q-2 should not question their decision. While not the wonder it was claimed to be, it does fly well, living up to most of the specs. Unless you are the type who buys a new car, camera, TV, etc. every year to keep up with all the added whistles and bells, be happy with your decision, press on, do the best job possible and fly for enjoyment (then sell your Q-2 later and build ANOTHER plane that will be obsolete before you finish it!). If you wanted a Q-2 because it was cheap, and quick to get into the air and not because you also get immense pleasure from building things yourself, you made a mistake.
Alan Schaffter, Alexandria, VA
All current subscriptions end, as usual, on the first day of '88. Anyone who renews between now and the next newsletter coming in December may do so for $18.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
At Oshkosh, one of our newer QBAers, Rudi Brandenberger of Berks, England presented me and some of the Q-2 guys with a very nice gold-plated, 3 dimensional Q-2 casting made up as a tie tack or collar pin. Pins are approx. 3/4" long and would make a nice gift for you or your favorite co-pilot at $13.50 each. Available through the QBA, allow 3 weeks for delivery. I'll try to have a photo for next issue.
Having survived a Quickie crash, I learned some valuable lessons. Unfortunately, no clear cause has been found. Bob Giles cut it up and discarded it and through I did not examine it in detail personally, Bob did not see any failed linkage or parts. I saw most of the metal parts he saved, and they looked OK. Some things you should consider:
1. Quickie pilots: CSA7 which links the right elevator to the stick control linkage must have a triangular beef-up weldment between the tube and arm sections. Giles' didn't have this. Early in the program there was an in-flight failure of this part (no injury), and QAC offered a free exchange of the old part, for the strengthened version. It shouldn't be a big job to have it fixed. DO it.
2. ALL Q-s: Notice that the elevator torque tube is only held to the elevator by a micro layer between the tube and FOAM ONLY. Did you rough up the tube carefully? Did you spread plenty of micro to eliminate voids? Over the years, can you trust that twisting forces will not break the tube away from the foam? In a post-crash review of a local Q-2, I was surprised to see a torque tube that would spin completely around in the right elevator. True, there was a crash impact, but I now see the scary consequences of losing an elevator in flight, especially on takeoff, where that long elevator on the good side will give you a nice, breathtaking roll close to the ground. This seems to be a design weakness. Note that on the ailerons the torque tube is bonded similarly, BUT the aileron skin is wrapped DIRECTLY onto the tube AND the skin is attached to the tube by pop rivets at the pivots. This doesn't happen on the elevators. POSSIBLE SOLUTION: One might drill through the leading edge of the elevator, chord-wise, through the torque tube in 3-4 places and insert wooden dowels through the tube and well into the foam. When bonded in place, it would be hard for the torque tube to twist around. Since the drilled holes are on the leading edge, this could be done on completed aircraft without visibly messing up the paint. Wooden dowels would not add excess weight and unbalance the elevator, I don't suppose. If anyone has thoughts on this, I'm ready to listen.
3. ONCE AGAIN: If you find yourself upside-down unexpectedly and your bird lights up, you have to fight a fire in position until your rescuers arrive. I bought a small 12 oz. Halon extinguisher at Oshkosh for $12. If you STILL don't trust discharging Halon in a small cockpit, your alternative may be suffocation from the fire while being fried at the same time. You won't like it even if you do survive.
4. AND AGAIN: If you land belly up in a remote area, you ain't getting out unless you cut your way out. A light survival saw of some kind would be just ducky. Something to cut through the side of the fuselage and maybe break the canopy would be in order. I know I've seen such things advertised. Would some of you guys offer some suggestions on this? Maybe you hunters have something of the sort.
We pilots don't like to talk about this gory stuff so let's not dwell on it, but let's don't ignore it either.
A QBAer reported that a Q-2 had been "lost" on the way to MA after departing Syracuse, NY on a long flight from Okalahoma. After a long search, he was found within 50 miles of home just below the top of a hill. Fatal. Scud running in marginal weather is suspected.
QBAer Arnold Forest told me at OSH that a recent Canadian fatality involved a pilot who pulled the main wing off a Q-2 during some "low level" flying. Today I got a letter from the Canadian Aviation Safety Board re: Investigation of the crash of Quickie 200 N5538N at Dawson Creek, Sask. "The pilot, who was unfortunately killed, was doing a low pass (100' AGL) at an airspeed estimated at 135 mph by witnesses...examination of the left wing revealed a positive "g" failure in pure bending such that the upper surface buckled along a chord line at the end of lamination I, that is, about BL30. The upper skin had a "V" notch type buckle failure, whereas the lower skin failed in pure tension. All of which points to failure under an upwards bending overload...The right wing was broken at BL 40 just at the end of lamination H...The owner and pilot had, according to his aircraft logbook entry, adjusted the wash-out of the wing by the method of painting the upper surface black and allowing noon-day sun to take the wing temperature to 140 degrees F for softening prior to mechanical twisting. There was no indication of how wing temperature had been measured or how the twist had been applied...My thought on looking at the layup pattern for the wing was that the abrupt endings of the laminations created a significant stress concentration." This letter was signed by the Chief, Systems Engineering, CASB.
Readers will recall QUICKTALK #28 wherein QBAer Marc Waddelow indicated his strong concern to Gene Sheehan about wing stresses at BL 40 and the potential concentration of stresses at the blunt endings of the wing spar caps. You ought to re-read this exchange. Waddelow felt the wing was adequate if built per plans, however, if you insist on doing low level airshows for your friends make sure your cemetery plot is paid up.
In yet another recent accident, QBAer Glenn Kuhlman and his passenger died in a crash near Redlands, CA. Glenn described his Tri-Q 200 in QT #1 and advertised it for sale in #3-4. Reportedly he was finalizing the sale in a checkout ride with the new owner. As if to underscore all I've been saying in recent times, the local paper reported that Kuhlman was doing touch and goes when on the third approach the aircraft clipped a street (?), possibly causing it to cartwheel into a ravine where it came to rest upside down. The deputy county coroner determined that the men survived the impact but died of smoke inhalation and thermal burns when the plane burst into flames. Cause of the short approach as yet unknown.
You can order a PDF or printed copy of Q-talk #5 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.