Q-talk 6 - Q-2 TIPS
- Category: Q-Talk Articles
- Published: Saturday, 31 October 1987 06:11
- Written by Jim Masal
- Hits: 929
Bob Malechek here in Dallas has been exercising his analytical mind and tinkering ability to try to figure out and overcome some of his Q-200's mysterious handling qualities. He's beginning to feel his plane handles now more like a trike than a taildragger (and it's not a Tri-gear). Some thoughts on tires: Bob built his pants to fit the McCreary 5.00x5's but switched to Lamb's saving 3" diameter and 4 lbs. He noticed the McCreary's have a rounded tread contact with the ground whereas the Lamb was flatter. More stable? He found the Lamb was balanced better than the McC. With the diameter decrease, he moved his axles 1.25" forward of the LS-1 plans callout. While he was at it, he put a normal load in the cockpit and then set his wheel to contact the ground vertically (no camber) and straight down the runway (no toe). After 12 landings, he believes something among these changes was significantly better. With his soft tailwheel and 70+ hrs. in the bird now, he may need to install a small TV to keep from falling asleep after touchdown. More from Malechek as testing continues.
From Dan Judge - Cut Bank, MT
HELP WANTED: I have the LS-1 canard with carbon fiber spar. The canard is mounted on the fuselage and I noticed while beginning to finish that there was not a smooth transition on top of the canard from the main core/carbon fiber spar to the elevator slot core. From the slot core to the elevator it is smooth. Situation is identical on both sides, and another builder experienced the same thing.
ED. NOTE: I've heard the same from other builders. You need to do what has to be done to make the airfoil curve smooth and continuous. Usually this is done with a micro fill, but if you worry about a thickness of micro cracking out, you could lay in strips of glass to build up the area before final contouring with micro.
From Ed Neister
I work with epoxy to plastic and metal joints in my business and have found it very important for bond strength to put in grooves for the epoxy to grab hold to. For example, I inserted an aluminum ring into the gas tank for holding a float filter. It looked like this when I was done:
My father-in-law and I are putting #2836 together. We were concerned about gasoline leaking into the fuselage so we did it differently. After locating and marking the tank outline, we put two BID down extending beyond the lines. Plastic wrap with squeegee was used to get all the air out (putting some epoxy on top is a must for lubrication of the squeegee). We noticed, however, that after cure, very fine pinholes existed.
We theorized that either entrapped air (the epoxy was not evacuated before layup) or it was gas produced during the cure (you will see this form if you let the epoxy stand after it has been mixed for two minutes).
So we sanded and squeegeed a thin layer of epoxy and let cure. After tracing the tank again, we put on the stiffeners per directions and cured. Then the outside of the stiffeners we microed and floxed. The tank edge was Saran Wrapped and placed into position and allowed to cure. It took several attempts before we had filled all the voids and everything looked good.
Then after cleanup, trim and sanding. 2 BID were laid over the bottom up to the flox edge. This way, we knew we had a good seal line between the two BID layups, and the stiffeners were completely covered.
In order to ensure the baffles make good contact and squeeze-out, we laid plastic wrap on the tank bottom. Flox was put on the baffles, the tank was set and allowed to cure. When removed, we could examine and trim the squeeze-out until satisfied. In several places we had to build up the flox by 1/4. This was glassed over for strength.
I talked to Jan Bowman (QT23) about his elevator trim. It is very good and he said he would send a note to you about it. He is doing some work with the Tri-Q design.
M. D. Dwyer, 5835 Tanglewood Dr., St. Pete, FL 33703
I'd like to suggest we builders/fliers start a Quickie Airworthiness Directive listing for any problems with the Quickie designs, maybe call them Q-AD's. I have a few submittals for the file...
Q-AD #1 - Applies to Q2, Q200 and Tri-Q. Fuel leaked from header tank, header tank lines, or vent lines can get onto canard wing and through a pinhole, eat the foam in the wing resulting in a dangerously weak wing. Corrective action: Build a trap on the canard and use an excess of epoxy to assure no pinholes.
Q-AD #2 - Applies to Q2, Q200 and Tri-Q. When refueling the main tank, any fuel that runs down the side of the aircraft can get into the elevator attach hole and eat the foam from inside the elevator. Corrective action: Seal the hole to prevent fuel from getting in.
Q-AD #3 - Applies to Q2, Q200 and Tri-Q. The backup fuel pump (squeeze bulb) has small valves inside. The valves gum up or fall out and cause the pump not to work after about 6 months. Corrective action: Test the squeeze bulb as part of pre-flight.
Update on my Q-200, N3QP. A good pix is QBA issue #3&4 under Sun 'N' Fun 87 (first plane). I have 203 hours TT, fly twice a week. I've learned how to hand start the Q-200 Continental engine quite well. When cold: mags off, pump the throttle once, pull the engine thru 12 clicks, pump the throttle, pull 12 more clicks, 1/2 pump the throttle & open it a crack, make the mags hot, pull the prop and run. On a hot engine, turn the prop backward at least 10 half turns, 1/2 pump the throttle & close it, pull the prop and run.
I tried to fly at the far forward CG but found it nearly impossible to land. Reflexing the ailerons up a little by pushing the control in allowed me to get the tail down enough to land...though still touchy. Please inform people to test fly at mid CG!!! I've flown at the far aft CG with no problems, stalls are the same, and landing is easy.
At Sun and Fun a number of people asked about the aileron reflexer. The way I use it is to set the reflexer at neutral, take-off, fly and land. While rolling on the ground, I push the control in which puts both ailerons up maximum, killing the lift on the rear wing, and improving the steering. I never use the aileron down setting. I can take off with full up ailerons without problem, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Last note... If my approach is high and fast, I found that by slowing to 70 mph the sink rate is tremendous and you lose altitude in a hurry...never have to go around due to being high and fast.
I read a lot of complaining about the ground handling and building of the Quickies. Being a 60 hour Cessna 150 driver before flying the Quickie, I'd like to say that, treated with respect, the Q-200 aircraft is a great plane, it climbs out well, flies like a F16, drives better than most other taildraggers on the ground (on windy days I fly when my friends stay in the hangar), and flies cheap.
John Schnackel, 84JS (2329), Fort Dodge, IA
After 5-1/2 years of construction, Q2 84JS (Serial #2329) made its first flight on May 22, 1987. The thrill of flying something you created is incredible - like having a child. I was doing a high-speed taxi test hoping for a runway flight. When it did levitate, I decided not to attempt to land on the runway remaining. The throttle was advanced as soon as lift off occurred. My first attempt at landing resulted in a bounce, so I went around. Second attempt using power was relatively smooth.
84JS has the original GU canard. Prior to adding vortex generators, porpoising occurred at 70 MPH, afterwards 65-67 MPH. Rain showers caused a dramatic pitch down as others have indicated. Since adding the vortex generators, I haven't flown in any rain to compare the effect.
The power plant is the 64 HP Revmaster with the Revflow carb. Except for keeping the head bolts and spark plugs torqued, it seems to run well. Using the prop supplied by QAC results in 2600 static RPM and 3050 RPM's in level flight, full throttle. Hopefully reworking the prop will increase the RPM's. Top indicated speed was 157 MPH prior to adding vortex generators, afterward approximately 153 MPH.
Empty weight is 580#. Except for EGT and CHT gauges, the rest of the panel was what QAC supplied. I plan to add a NavCom when finances allow it. Aileron reflexors, belly board, and hydraulic brakes have been added. The wheel pants toe out.
I have put on 30 hours since the first flight. The plane can be trimmed to fly almost hands off. The right elevator can be trimmed during flight to adjust for various weights carried in the passenger's seat. I got the idea from Bob McFarland. The left elevator connects to the control stick per plans except the center joint isn't bolted to the right elevator. The right elevator has a separate aluminum tube connecting it to the control stick. Left and right threaded heim nuts were secured in the rod ends. Heim ball joints connect to the control stick and to a strap of steel that was welded to the right elevator pivot rod. Note: A phenolic bearing was also added to the shear web to stabilize the right pivot rod. A few twists of the connecting rod in flight will trim the plane level.
Prior to my first flight, I had 190 hours spread over 10 years in Cessnas and Pipers with no time in high performance planes or tail draggers. I feel comfortable in all phases of flying my plane except landing. Early on I made several go-arounds due to bouncing. I seem to have that conquered. The plane has unexpectedly ground looped 3 times, the first two resulted in minor damage - wheel pant chipped, canard leading edge paint chipped as a result of mowing down runway lights (Note: I got 3). One of the ground loops occurred after touchdown. During the roll out the canard started flexing, probably due to the washboard runway I was landing on. The frequency flexing continued for at least 100 yds. before ground looping. After talking with others at the La Crosse, WI get-together, I probably should have added power. The thought did not occur to me at the time because I was on the runway.
The third ground loop caused the most damage. I landed at a small airport 25 miles from home base and ground looped. The plane stopped and tipped up on its nose. I, like an idiot, stood up and shifted my weight to bring the tail down, breaking the tailspring. No other damage of significance was noted; fortunately the prop had stopped horizontally. I made a steel sleeve to slide over the spring and reattached it to the stub and flew the plane back to Fort Dodge.
The QA Newsletters has been very helpful with building tips and flying hints. It let me anticipate and plan for many of the characteristic quirks others have experienced previously. Even though I didn't purchase my kit from him, Marv Getten, a former QBA distributor from MN has been very helpful in advising me when I had questions.
Schnackel's tailspring fix was pictured in QT #5.
Sam Hoskins #2614, RR2, Box 456F, Murphysboro, IL 62966 - (618) 549-3023
Here is the story (so far) of my Q-200 N202SH. My kit was S.N. 2614 and was purchased in 1981 and construction started fairly slowly.
When the Q-200 mod was announced I decided that it was what I really needed since I wanted to cruise at 200 mph!
The project was started in Wisconsin and about halfway through I relocated to the Minneapolis area and moved into Marvin Getten's hangar at Flying Cloud Airport. Marv provided a lot of support and guidance and really helped.
My Q-200 was equipped with a newly majored engine, vacuum pump, artificial horizon, DG, wingtip strobes, belly board, reflexer, Warnke prop, and weighed in at 599 lbs. using very accurate scales. I have not yet installed upholstery or radios. I estimate total cost to date of about $22,000.
My previous flight experience consisted of about 500 hrs in Cessna's, so before test flying my Q-200 I got about 10 hours of dual instruction in Citabria's and an hour riding with Marv in his Q-2 while he shot landings.
After about 3 hours of taxi testing, the first flight was made on June 9, 1986 with Marv coaching and former Quickie dealer Elliott Youngberg video taping the happy event!! Over the next couple of weeks I made several flights and did have handling problems resulting a few ground loops. Also, two of my subsequent flights were made with no airspeed indicator!! It checked out in the shop but in the air it wouldn't work.
Early on, it was obvious to see that there was some type of rigging problem, because, in order to maintain level flight I had to fly with my elevators down about 8 degrees. I called Scott Swing and he said that the angle of incidence of my canard was wrong and that I should raise it up!! Well I could see that there was no other way out and so I bit the bullet and went to work. I cut the canard free of the fuselage on the two sides and the front, cutting out a wedge shaped piece. I pulled the engine just far enough to make the cut across the firewall. The front of the canard was raised about 1.25" and repaired. The entire cutout and repair, including the fillets, moving the rudder pedals, and repainting took 1 week.
After modifying, in level flight the elevator trimmed at about 1-2 degrees down. An improvement that I'd been hoping for (I was getting about 160 mph).
On one of my flights after this I landed with the parking brake on and skidded off the runway. It is common practice to have the parking brake on in flight to prevent wheel spin and the accompanying vibration. I have now added "Parking brake - Off" to my landing checklist and made a change to my in-flight brake system.
During all of these flights I was constantly tinkering and trimming and adjusting everything but I just didn't feel that my proficiency was coming up to speed and always felt that I was on the verge of another ground loop. Then, on my 15th flight, on the 29th of July as I was just touching down, the rudder pedal attachment points tore loose and I was left without any rudder or tailwheel directional control. I was able to keep the wings level but I was off the runway moving at a high rate of speed. I saw buildings and aircraft coming toward me and I vigorously applied the hand brake. The tail rose up and the prop tore up the rain-soaked ground and the aircraft pole-vaulted over using the spinner as the pole!
My beautiful plane came to rest upside down (you can picture this, can't you Jim?). Besides the spinner and prop being destroyed, the lower cowl was severely damaged, the canopy smashed, and there were compression fractures of the left wing and tail cone and vertical fin. Except for some scratches, the canard was OK. The harness system held and I was uninjured. I believe that when I repositioned the rudder pedals while changing the angle of incidence of the canard, I didn't have enough of a glass-to-phenolic bond, resulting in failure.
Rebuilding started soon. Even though the wing was only fractured on the bottom just outboard of the aileron pivot and didn't look all that bad, I took the cue from Bob McFarland's accident and resolved to build a new wing. It only took about 2 hours to remove it from the aircraft. At Oshkosh I was able to pick up a new canopy for only $150, and although I was still heartsick from the accident things started looking brighter.
After Oshkosh I knew that I had one hell of a lot of preparation in order to even begin repairs, but I had a terrific resource in our local composite chapter 587. I mailed a postcard to each member requesting help and they came through gangbusters! More than 10 people showed up and in one day we removed the broken canopy and prepared the frame for the new one, sanded the fuselage inside and out to prepare for the wing installation, removed the tailcone fillets and completely removed all paint and filler from the tailcone, removed paint from the upper and lower cowling, and hotwired a new set of wing cores and a new vertical fin!! On one Saturday those guys saved me at least a month's work!!
I was able to salvage several parts from the old wing including the ailerons. (Our accomplished crew can now do a wing or canard layup in 2.5 hrs)! The second time around was easier because I had accomplished all of the tasks before and knew what to do, but it really wasn't very much fun. I only made one significant change in the rebuild. I changed the ground angle of attack of the aircraft to 7.5 degrees by lowering the tail wheel as described by Scott Swing in Quicktalk#29, and this was quite easy to do. Aircraft aesthetics were foregone in order to have the plane back in the air as soon as possible. Ed Schwitzer of New Prague, MN let me have a slightly damaged prop that I was able to have repaired to reasonable performance. Paint was only applied as necessary so it doesn't all match right now, however, I was pleased to find that the plane gained only 9 lbs in the rebuild, and I suspect most of that was from the heavier canopy.
During this period I spent a lot of time thinking about the accident and really questioning my own ability to handle this hot little airplane. When I order the kit, I wanted a fairly reliable craft that would be useful for me and not just something to buzz around in on Sunday evenings. I decided as much as I loved the looks of the taildragger, if I didn't feel comfortable with the ground handling problems I'd convert to Tri-gear, or maybe just sell the whole thing to someone more qualified than I.
After getting another few hours of dual in a Champ, I made my second "first flight" on May 3, 1987, just short of 10 months after the accident. I freely admit that I was more scared now than the "first" first flight. I could feel improvements in the aircraft right away! My takeoff roll increased slightly but the ground handling was very much improved, which I attribute to the change in the ground angle of attack. This is going to be OK!
Now, 5 weeks after my second "first flight", I love my airplane. It is a real joy to fly! I have put on 50 hours in the last month and have made over 40 landings and no ground loops!! I am getting quite comfortable with crosswind landings and have even landed on a 25' wide runway with crosswinds. This plane is going to remain a taildragger. The fuel economy is good although I'm still cruising at "only" 160 mph. I've made several cross-country flights and it really eats up the sectional charts.
The plane, like a house, is never finished. I'm still having problems with engine cooling on the 80-degree days and have a lot of experimenting with baffling to do. The whole thing needs to be repainted and upholstery installed, and I have a new Warnke prop ordered. I'm still using a handheld radio (which the tower controllers hate) and navigate using landmarks only. All this is just as well, for if it was "finished" I might wind up doing something silly like ordering a new kit of some sort and building something else, instead of continuing to improve mine.
My general advice to builders has mostly been said before in Quicktalk, and Jim gave some of the most realistic advice in Q-Talk #3&4. First, this is one hot little airplane! It is not docile! You must be on top of it at all times and don't expect anything else. If you feel that you may not be capable of handling it, get some dual with an instructor in something tricky and see how he feels. This is often a hard thing to call, but please be realistic with yourself. You can fool yourself and you can fool your friends but you can't fool Mother Nature.
On building an airplane... The most important single thing that a builder must do is to keep his hands on the project. Sound obvious? There were many, many times where I was discouraged and felt "What's the use?" Keep at it. Do something no matter how small, all the time. Also when you have a seemingly major modification or repair to make, just jump in and get started. Don't waste time worrying about the size of the task ahead. You'll often find that it wasn't as hard or time consuming as you thought once you finally get started. A guy that needs to change his ground angle of attack could have most of the work done in a single day!
Again, as Jim has said, don't build or fly in isolation. By now there are lots of people that may be able to help you. Use the people resources available and have other people help and often. The chances are that by now someone else has had your problem and came up with some sort of solution. Stay in touch with other builders. I had some non-flying buddies help with finish sanding and they helped save weeks.
While I think of it, I have a couple of questions:
1. What are other Q-200 builders doing about engine cooling? I have installed a bolt-on Continental 0-200 oil cooler (yes there is one) with a ram air shroud over it and it has helped but is still not enough on 80+ degree days.
2. What type of setups have been designed of the air intake/carb heat setup especially when using the vacuum pump? Photos would be most helpful.
From Phil Kelly - Miami, FL
To handle the seat building problem, I first took a grocery bag (with nice stiff paper), and after laying it against the seatback was able to outline the seatback on the paper. I then cut out 1/8-inch plywood matching the outline. I then put 2 layers of BID on one side and 3 of UNI on the other. I sanded and fit it tightly into place...very sturdy yet flexible. For padding, I used some extra thick rug foam padding (1/2 inch). I took another piece of paper, outlined the base of the seat and cut the foam to fit. I then cut another layer wider in the front to allow for the slope of the seat. I continued in that manner until I had 4 layers at the base. I finished by laying 2 full-length layers from the top of the seatback to the front most point on the gas tank at about the knee joint. I found Elmer's Saf-T-Contact Cement works nicely to hold the layers together and then they can be removed to be covered by your material of choice.
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