Q-talk 44 - LETTERS
- Category: Q-Talk Articles
- Published: Monday, 28 February 1994 06:11
- Written by Jim Masal
- Hits: 2856
Well, it's that time of year (to Renew) but I also seem to be running a bit slow considering that it is February, but hopefully not too late for my 20 clams!
Number 2497 is progressing, but slowly. The engine, a Turbo Revmaster, is now in the final stages of rebuild. No major problems in reassembly to report. A part a day makes an engine someday. Work on the hull is next to nonexistent because of a 600 mile separation (Mobile, AL - Sarasota, FL), but the storage problem should be solved soon!?
The next few months will probably be even slower due to getting married in May! After that, progress will be better as my other half shares the enthusiasm for building, electrical wiring, etc., not to mention flying. Gives me that extra motivation I seem to need every now and then.
Well, I will keep it short, but keep up the good work, I really look forward to QBA!
Robert Dixon - #2497, Dauphin Island, AL 36528
Here is my renewal for another year of QBA. Jim Ham and I are continuing to work 6-8 hours a week on our Q200's. Progress is good. Good enough that we think that 1994 is the year we fly. Both planes are pretty much at the same point in terms of completion. I have enclosed a picture of the panel, which is now completely wired. In fact, the whole airplane is wired and has been powered up electrically. The airframe has been contoured and sanded (36 grit) and is ready for the next primer/filler coat and fine paper. Most of the firewall forward stuff is done, although there are still some controls to hook up. Most of the firewall-mounted things are done and wired, as is the baffling except for blast tubes. I have to say that it is getting exciting. It is really true what people say about how long it takes to do the little systems things toward the end.
You can see from the panel picture that I have tried to maintain a standard panel layout as much as possible. My engine is a 275-hour SMOH O-200 which was removed from a ground damaged Varieze which ran off the runway. As far as I know, the engine is OK although I haven't done any internal inspection yet. Radios consist of a Terra Nav/Com, King transponder with ACK encoder, an RST audio panel/intercom, and a Garmin AVD-55 GPS.
As you may know, we have lost a major source of inspiration at Livermore since Barry Weber sold his Q200 to some people in Las Vegas. He had to make room in his budget for his new Long-EZ. I did get an extensive ride just before he sold it with the opportunity to fly from the right seat and take notes about speeds, etc. That should be of some real help when the time comes.
There is a fair chance of making Oshkosh this summer, although I may elect to take my vacation at home to work on the Q. By the time of Oshkosh, we should be really close to starting test.
Thanks again for all your good work in our behalf. I really look forward to each issue. It really makes it feel like a club. Hope all is well with you and yours.
Please find enclosed my subscription for '94. I hope to have my Tri Q-200 flying by the end of February assuming we don't have any further earthquakes of a similar magnitude!! I bought my Tri Q-200 "parted out" and have spent the last 9 months re-finishing it. Two mods I would like to make are to have dual controls and increased fuel capacity. Side joysticks similar to those in the Cozy or angled side joysticks like those in the Venture is what I would like to install. Presently I only have a total fuel capacity of 18 gallons; if possible I would want to increase this by 8-12 gallons by installing an extra tank in the passenger baggage compartment. If anyone out there has drawings/plans for these modifications, I would really appreciate it if they would give me a call. (Please call collect.)
John Mackay, Culver City, CA
Enclosed is $20.00 for my renewal.
Q2 #2758 flew for the first time in July after 11 years of building. It flew well and the flight was uneventful but was cut short because of high CHT. Since then I've flown the plane seven times, each time trying something different to bring down the temperature of my HAPI engine.
Right after take-off CHT's are approaching redline so I throttle back to 2300 RPM for the rest of the flight to keep them at an acceptable level. Oil temp rises but very slowly so I don't think that is the problem. Several experienced builders could find little problem with my baffling. And many attempts at changing the mixture have not helped.
Late last fall I crafted some temporary changes to the cowl flap and exhaust outlets of my cowling, however winter weather has prevented my trying it out yet. If I ever get this figured out I'll report back.
During my first flight I followed the recommendations made in the newsletter and by Charlie Harris on a demo flight and found them very helpful. They were the major reason my first few flights were successful and safe. Thanks Jim.
Bill Mueller, Lincoln, NE
I sat down at the computer a couple of times to write this letter but always had some interruption.
Anyway I have not done any work on the Q200 project I picked up last March. Still finishing the garage so there will be a place to work. I picked up this project from the estate of Ed Kranz in Montrose, Colorado. So I have nothing much to contribute on the building of a Q-2. Reading the newsletters I've noticed that there are still some of you using the Revmaster engine. This is a VW engine and do have some time behind this type of power plant. I've owned a FR-2 for eight years with a 2180cc VW. I have even pondered using a type-4 VW for the Q-200, although I have a mid-time O-200. (I can hear some of you groaning, DON'T DO IT IDIOT!) To me the best part of the project is the engine installation and I have to look at everything. I'm comfortable with the VW's. A type-4 will be about 20-40 lbs lighter than an O-200, produces about 90 Hp, and when you consider the cost of maintenance, there is no comparison. Of course there is the question of reliability. The trick to making the VW based engines last is to keep them in a mild state of tune. The first engine I used in the KR was a 2180cc that I purchased from the pilot of a Soneri-2. It had high compression, 9.5:1 and high performance heads. I spent two hours working on the engine for every hour of flight. Burnt valves, constant valve adjustment, and finally a cracked case. When I built the new engine I kept the compression at 8.0:1, balanced all the rotating parts, used new stock 1600c heads, and paid attention to all the little details. I now have close to 500 hours on this engine. It's rare to find a valve out of adjustment and I'm still able to spin the same propeller at the same RPM. I also never need to add oil between 50 hour changes.
I am by no means an expert on engines, just jumped through a lot of hoops so I could fly. I'm always willing to help someone who is considering using the VW in their project. 303-434-8020.
Q-Talk is the best newsletter I've read. Without all the contributions you folks have made over the years us newcomers wouldn't have a chance of getting one of these strange birds to fly. (Jim, I noticed in one of the past newsletters you gave everyone to the year 2000 to complete their planes. I would like to beat the rush and apply for an extension now.)
Roger Bulla, Grand Junction, CO
Extension!!!!? In a pig's eye. Now you march right out there and get to work on that airplane and don't be talking about extensions!
My wife Virginia and I are both pilots with a love of experimental aircraft. Her father and her built one of the best Vari-Ezes that I have ever seen. It was built exactly to plans right down to the A-80 engine installation. That little plane would top out at 190 MPH with that engine! We have since made a few changes in the plane including the installation of a Lycoming O-320 engine!
Enough about the Vari-Eze, let's talk about the Q-200. N282RW was built as a taildragger by Richard Wallrath and my father-in-law, Warren Martin. My now wife and I were dating at the time but found time to help out once in a while. The airplane was a true sport plane from the start scoring the 16th highest overall score in the CAFE 400 on only its second try.
Unfortunately it suffered the same fate as too many tail wheel Quickies. The plane seemed to be plagued with problems relating to the back wheel. A rudder cable broke, the reflexer was installed, inadvertently, in the reverse order, and the tail spring broke. All three of these occurrences resulted in a broken propeller and major disappointment.
After two years of hanging in a hangar at our local airport I decided that something had to be done with this beautiful little airplane. It was then when I convinced Richard to let me install the tri gear conversion. The airplane was converted with the help of my father-in-law and my wife. Every part of the airplane was modified during this process. All of the wiring was removed, a new instrument panel was fabricated out of birch wood, the clear canopy was changed out for a smoked one, the engine was changed and all of the wingtips were redone. This added considerable time to the Swings estimated time of 150 hrs, but I want to personalize the airplane.
N282RW now is a real docile airplane on the ground. We have taken her through many states on the west coast and have had no problems with airports. She will cruise at 165 mph on 5.5 gph. That is not too bad for a stock O-200. Many of the flights in the Quickie have been solo for me because my wife would rather fly her own airplane than ride with me. NO SHE DOESN'T HAVE A SISTER.
I have enclosed some pictures of our little bird. One is rather interesting. It shows my daughter, my wife and myself all in the airplane. It was my 3-year-old daughters 1st airplane ride and she insisted that her mother go along. By the way I weigh 250 lbs and am over 6' tall. The airplane had 15 gals of fuel on board during this flight and believe it or not climbed out at 700' per minute at 120 mph. Outside air temp was a mild 75 degrees. I for one was rather impressed, not that I had any doubts about the flight. I really trust this airplane and its capabilities.
I for one really appreciate the hard work you do for this association. We really need to see more of these little guys out at the fly-ins. Barry Weber and I are tired of being the only Q's at the events held by the R.A.C.E. group every year. If we have a better showing consistently they promise to give us our own race class. So let's get out there. Once again the events are held at Kanab, Utah during Memorial Day weekend, Jackpot, Nevada during 4th of July weekend, and Wendover, Utah during Labor Day weekend. If you would like more information on these events feel free to contact Barry or me. (Hope that's OK, Barry)?
I have made several improvements to the Tri-Q this year. The most important was the addition of a starter on the O-200. This made the airplane a pleasure to deal with. While I making the modification to the case for the key start clutch I decided to increase the compression a bit and replace the bearings. The best improvement that I have made to the airplane by far was the installation of a Performance Propeller.
I have been flying N282RW for 2 years with the Warnke propeller and it was great. I thought. Clark at Performance Propeller worked with us on a new propeller for my wife's Vari-Eze until we got the "Perfect Propeller". One week before a RACE event with the EZE people I discovered a crack in the prop on the Tri-Q. Clark worked day and night to get me a prop before the event. Because of that I was able to show up again with the Tri-Q and race the EZ people. The Quickie did a respectable 180.23 MPH at only 2800 RPM. I sent the prop back after returning home and asked for additional RPM. The next event was at Wendover, Utah. The Tri-Q did over 192 MPH! This, by the way, was faster than over 80% of the 0235 powered Long-Ezes. Anybody that is looking for a prop should consider calling Performance Propeller at (602) 394-2059. Ask for Clark.
See you all in the air.
Martin L. Skiby - (805) 393-5418
Two Britons brushing: Brandenberger (L) and Buckley (R). Buckley's bloody bird. Bashful Britons beyond.
Was it just me or did 1993 whiz by for everyone else. Glad to hear you are feeling better now, Jim. You know the way to get out of doing this newsletter is to die and we won't let you do that! That's what my E.A.A. Chapter keeps telling me.
I don't know who took the pictures of you, my wife, and my aunt at Oshkosh, but we liked it anyway. A friend says I'm no longer a virgin, I have made my trip to Oshkosh and my whole family enjoyed it. Sun 'n Fun is still first on our list but it doesn't draw the important personalities like Oshkosh does.
1993 was not as productive as I would have liked it to be. The header tank was finished and installed into the fuselage. The canard sanded and prepared for the core slot attachment. Motor mounts, backing plates and firewall were drilled and fitted, but waiting on warmer weather for final assembly. I purchased a Diehl accessory case at Sun 'n Fun and the 103 mm piston set last month from Great Plains. I began the machine work last week on the heads of the type 4 VW engine and plan to work while the weather is cold on completing the engine.
Keep up the good work, Jim, we need that boost every other month.
Richard Barlow - Tri-Q 2100, Stockbridge, GA
Terry Crouch's fine Quickie panel. This plane oughta stand out like a diamond in a goat's butt. Here's the caliber of the man: He wrenches for an IA Toyota dealership, won TOP MECHANIC in his region and was sent to the National competition in California recently. Results TBA. I'm proud to tell you this. He wouldn't.
It's that time of year again; to fess up coins for the information and entertainment you've sent for the years I've been reading your 'Q-TALK'. It is not only very informative but is a joy to read, even by the non-flying folks in my family.
I've got a couple of questions ... first, are you OK? We surely do hope so. The reason why I ask is that the last Q-TALK that I have received was the July/Aug edition, issue No. 40.
Next question ... if back issues are still available, please forward the 1991 back issues. I would also like to have a roster, if available.
My thanks for the informative Q-TALK which gives the bimonthly push to stay on the project. Looking forward to my bundle, take care ...
Dale R. Vandermolen, 3336 Floyd Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78411
ED. NOTE: In the long history of the QBA, I have never been this late with the newsletters. Clearly I have been a bad boy. Here it is Valentine's Day and I'm working on the last issue of '93. Fear not, you'll get 'em late, but you'll get 'em all.
FLASH! Here it is closing in on St. Paddy's Day and I'm STILL trying to get this thing out. "Houston ... we have a problem."
Nice talking to you last night. I thought of something after we hung up. I experienced a very dangerous condition when I attempted to takeoff from Homestead General a few years back. The O-200 pulled hard to the left after getting up to liftoff speed. I later found considerable amount of rainwater had leaked into the left canard. I still am not sure how it got there but I think there must have been tiny holes between the inside of the cockpit left floor where the canard joins to the fuselage. I would guess that area should be specially waterproofed before joining the canard to the fuselage.
Good luck finishing your hanger. I envy anyone who has that much-protected workspace. The only problem for you is you will have no excuse for not finishing. And then the biggest problem all builders face after finishing ... will this creature bring me back in one piece. The Hurricane (Andrew) and the high-tension wires that landed on my Q-200's wing saved me from that problem. And as you know, Avemco totaled it, promptly paid me and found a buyer from the Sebring area. If you ever see 999XP, that's the one. I hope they have a good liability clause in their sales contract.
Phil Kelly, Miami, FL
Over the years, as more Q-2's take to the air, the emphasis of Q-TALK has shifted from building tips to flight reports. This is reasonable and proper, yet some of us sluggish folks still are interested in design refinements. I've incorporated a few changes in my Tri-Q-200 that may or may not prove wise when flight tested, but should be of interest to current builders.
I've limited my engine-cooling intakes to two 2.75-inch diameter circular openings and have added a 3.5-inch diameter eduction tube through which the exhaust exits. This configuration is approximately what Sheehan was using when he last brought his plane to Oshkosh. He claimed that this arrangement provided adequate cooling and because reduced throttle diminished eduction, he said it prevented excessive cooling during descent. I've retained some additional clearance at the bottom of the cowl for air discharge during testing, but hope to eventually limit discharge to the eductor tube.
Most builders put the cabin-air-discharge ports below the wing or on the rear belly and often report poor cabin cooling. I believe that a discharge point on the top of the plane would be at lower pressure and thus should provide a higher airflow rate. I've constructed a 3x6 inch oval section behind the canopy that can be removed in preparation for flight. It's equipped with a lock, and when removed, yields access to the canopy latch. (My canopy hinges at the front and latches at the rear top center.)
In addition to providing an exit point for cabin air and a means of securing the aircraft, it provides access for a rescuer to open the canopy from the outside. The inside is screened against bugs and drained to deal with leakage.
Al Medley, Tulsa, OK
ED. NOTE: FYI everyone: Putting the cabin air discharge vent on the belly anywhere is the WRONG place. One of our guys has already tuft tested that and found the air going IN to the vent rather than out. Your plan is good and very ingenious, Al.
Time to send a letter to the old Q-Talk again. While working on my brand-x canard, I tried out a new type of glue last week. It's not supposed to cause cancer like the evil Saf-T-Poxy. It's called PTMW Aeropoxy. Now, I don't know if you can print this because it's just my personal opinion, but the stuff is awful. It's clear so you have a hard time seeing when the cloth is wetted out, it has a shorter pot life and it captures air something fierce. When you stipple, it makes suds! Why, with this stuff, you could build a plane that's slightly weaker and considerably heavier. Wonderful.
I ordered two gallons of Saf-T-Poxy yesterday. I am in less danger from some future cancer risk than my wife who becomes an immediate danger when she has to listen to me whine for three hours about the glue while she's helping with the layup. By the way, this in no way reflects poorly on Wicks. They just offer the stuff along with all the other glues. I've been ordering from them lately because they give such good service.
Another tip I thought of that might help some of the newer builders is on Peel-Ply. (You do Peel-Ply to prep for cold joints, don't you?) When you're having a tough time wetting out the Peel-Ply because the layup is getting a little old, go get the wife's hair dryer while she's not looking and heat the glue ahead of stippling the Peel-Ply and it wets right out. The wife will like the non-slip surface you applied to her hair dryer. (NOT) Another finishing trick that Rutan doesn't particularly like is to apply the micro balloons while the layup is still wet. The trick is that you have to do a good inspection of the layup first to look for bubbles, etc., then wait until the glue is starting to set up pretty well and sprinkle the micro on and rub it in very lightly with your gloved hand or a brush. Work at it for a while and it will give you a partial fill of the weave and a good bonding surface for sanding and filling - just don't start until the glue starts to get pretty stiff because if it's too wet the micro will draw out the glue, make the layup too dry and create voids.
Well, enough of my blathering, Jim. Enjoy your winter of building this Quickie (you ARE working on it, right?) and keep up the good newsletters.
Robert Bounds, Darkest Nebraska
Just a short note to let you know what is happening with my aircraft. I was coming home from the get-together in Kansas in 1992, yes 1992, when the alternator quit. When I got home I decided to pull the alternator, er engine, to get at the alternator. The armature was shorted. So ... while the plane was down for mx, I decided to change the angle of incidence on the canard. (I needed more incidence.)
The process that was described in Quicktalk was tried but I found the process harder than anticipated and cut into the canard too much for my taste so I just took the whole canard off. Then I decided I didn't like the shape of the wheel pants so I started to reshape them to blend into the wing shape. I had read about the Finchtip in Sport Aviation and decided to try the shaping described in the article. This meant a lot of cutting and sanding so I used a belt sander. Worked great!!! I was adding foam to get the required shape and then sanding the glass, wood, foam, micro and anything else in the way. I got carried away and started to sand away the hump where the carbon fiber tube goes through the wing. It was just fiberglass, but I got down to the foam in some places so I figured I would have to re-glass the whole wing. I started to grind the paint and primer off the wing. I got carried away again grinding with the belt sander. I stopped to feel the wing and noticed that the glass felt spongy. My heart stopped!!! The glass had delaminated from the foam. Well, I figured the canard was shot. I investigated and found that an area of 1 foot by 3 feet was raised and had delaminated. I suppose the heat of grinding caused the glass to expand faster than the foam and the heat softened the micro or melted the foam bond. Well I cut out the de-bonded skin area, prepped the inside surface of the fiberglass skin and bonded it in with micro. Oh, I also found that at one time gas had leaked into the canard and melted the foam on the bottom aft side of the carbon spar. It was a triangular area of foam from the center area out to the wheel pant right along the spar. (All this sounds like a mess, doesn't it?) The lost foam didn't seem to affect the strength, and I didn't even know it was there until I cut into the canard. I refoamed this melted area.
Once I got one wheel pant to the right shape and blended into the canard I started scratching my head on how to make the other side look the same, only as a mirror image. I finally started making cardboard templates for every inch of fuselage station on the wheel pant. After about 20 templates I turned them around and took them to the other side and started carving again with the sander. I finished the other side after getting the rough shape with the templates. It was easier once I got started, but I sure worried about how to get that mirror image on the wheelpants. I have glassed the bottom of the canard and am waiting some warmer weather to glass the top.
I changed some of my fuel fittings on the header tank and main tank. I still have to pick a location for the fuel transfer pump. It was always hard to get at behind the radio stack! I also have to figure out how to get electricity, as I am not going to build another alternator. I will probably use a B & C setup but I need more than 12 amps! I hope to make it to Sun 'n Fun in 1994, but knowing my speed it will be close.
I have started to do some work on a Dragonfly that a man purchased here in Valdosta. We have taken off the wings. It is a great deal easier to do maintenance work with the wings off. This plane needs a lot of electrical work and laying on my back squeezed in the leg holes is not my idea of fun!!!
Larry Koutz N39LK
Here's my '94 renewal plus some comments compiled over a period of time and in no particular order. Are people still building out there? Most Q-Talk info these days seems to concern flying.
I bought Jon Groff's firewall forward O-200 setup since he pronged his bird when he ran out of fuel. It includes the swing-out mount and cowling and should reduce the amount of head-scratching I will be doing in the engine area.
I spent a long time trying to figure out a good way to attach the top of the center console such that the console was strong enough to stand on and still allow it to be removed for access to seatbelt anchor points and aileron torque tube. I finally installed a hinge along both sides with one half of the hinge flexed into the sidepieces and the other half flexed into the top. With the hinge pins in place it is very solid. When the hinge pins are pulled out from the front the top can be removed. The only fabrication problem is keeping the flex out of the hinge. I did this by careful application of duct tape. It works great and much neater than bolt heads sticking out. An improvement would be to arrange for the pins to be pulled out backwards through the seatback bulkhead rather than forward. The hinge I used is Aircraft Spruce MS20257P3-3 - it's about right, a little larger would also work OK.
To apply BID tapes to a joint I always make the layup onto plastic, trim to size, then invert onto the joint with plastic backing still in place. This is what someone suggested for the inside of the canard slot cores and it's unbeatable for that and many other things. Once the glass has been carefully smoothed into place the plastic can be peeled off. The advantages over the in-place wetting out method are many - no distortion so you get a neat tape line, less mess, easier to wet out on flat, no fighting with the 'BID-tape monster' as it tries to make itself 30 ft long and 1/16" wide. One thing to be careful of is to apply a lot of pressure to the lamination to make sure it has good adhesion to the surface. I did one where I just laid it on and wiped over it and found that I could easily peel it back once set. You need to apply both thumbs to the plastic and wipe away from the center forcing the glass into the surface to ensure a good bond. This also removes any trapped air.
Get the 1/2" Peel-Ply rolls from Aircraft Spruce to apply to the edge of laminations.
I made my trim wheel using the 2-part flex, 1 part micro mixture (Flokro) suggested in Q-Talk. I made a foam mold including finger holds around the edge and put the spindle with metal pin in it before I added the mixture to it. I was really surprised when I came back 2 hours later and it was set solid! Guess I forgot about exotherm. It had expanded rapidly and melted most of the surrounding foam including the finger holds. I put it on the lathe and turned it down to a circular wheel with a rim (no finger holds). Interestingly the rapid cure trapped a lot of air bubbles in the mixture and the resultant wheel is very light.
I wanted to make the instrument panel removable for maintenance so I had to stiffen up the 1/8" plywood panel. I did it by glassing the panel each side with 1 BID then fabricating 1/2" x 1/2" 2 BID fiberglass 'angle' to the back of the panel. First figure out where all the instruments will be, then locate the stiffeners to go between them.
Cut some scrap pieces of 1/2" square wood, wrap them in Peel-Ply and use them as formers. Lay up the 1" wide 2 BID strip so half is on the panel and half is against the wood support. When the layup is set, trim along the top of the wood and you have your stiffeners. I did 2 horizontally, 2 vertically and around the edges of the leg cutouts. They stiffen up the panel just the right amount and give a finished look to the leg holes. Looks like this:
I have been compiling a database of Q-Talk articles and still have it available for anyone who wants it. It's in Microsoft Access format right now but could be exported to another format if required. Each record in the database contains a short summary of the article, Q-Talk issue number, page, and associated major and minor category and associated aircraft part so you can look for all info on 'Building/Finishing' or anything associated with the canard etc. The database is not comprehensive (I basically ignored Revmaster and Q1 info) but most other stuff should be there. If anyone wants it they should send me an IBM PC disk and a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. If they want something other than MS Access format, they should give me a call.
Dave Chalmers, 17744 NE 101st Ct, Redmond, WA 98052
Prodigy: FHBK62A - CompuServe: 71672,1150
P.S. Jim, I sent you mail on Prodigy but got no reply .. Are you still subscribing? I could send this over email if you were on there or CompuServe - might save you some effort. Anyway, I hope this comes out the right width.
ED. NOTE: Nope, I wasn't really getting much on Prodigy so I cancelled it and didn't replace it with anything.
Save on your liability policy --
$1 mil liability with passenger coverage = $416
$1 mil liability w/o passenger coverage = 286
For $230 per year, my passengers can buy their own insurance.
Sorry that I haven't provided any data for you in a while. I have been real busy trying to get my blasted airplane out of the garage and into the hangar. One thing at a time you know. I tried doing an engine run in the driveway on 2 March 94. Didn't work. Didn't succeed in getting all the contamination out of the fuel system. Contaminants came from the Airoquip hoses as cutting debris. I believe that this succeeded in clogging up my lines to the Ellison TBI. I found out one good thing though ... the blasted TBI would gravity feed just like they said it would. I managed to run the engine on 9 March 94 after 10 pumps on the prime solenoid and a shot of engine start in a can. The damn thing runs like hell. It's now up at Mojave in hangar 24. I've got to figure out a carb heat rig, some brake adjusting and assorted systems trouble shooting.
Brian M. Martinez - Q200 Engineer
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