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Q-talk 68 - TWO MORE FIRST FLIGHTS

QBAers

Tri-Q2 N666GB construction is complete. Inspection and sign off was done March 26, 1997. First flight was July 31. When I have more time in the aircraft I will write a report. Build time was 2972 hours over a six-year period, empty weight is 661 lbs.

Ground control was very stable but the nose gear was "glued to the ground". About a quarter inch of reflexer lightens the nose considerably. After talking to several other builders I came to the conclusion the canard angle of attack was low. I installed it at plans angle. Other builders suggested I should have put in at least one to two degrees of positive angle. Other builders tell me the LS-1 canard has much greater stick force.

Lift off was about 85 mph. Preliminary pick buck was between 75 and 80 mph. The only problem was the airplane took too much aft stick pressure. Landing was uneventful with touchdown at about 80 mph.

The Revmaster/Posa combination ran well, all temps in the green. Getting the fuel mixture rich at all speeds has turned out to be a challenge. I am still trying to get it right. I bought the Revflow carb to replace the Posa, but it is not a direct replacement and not that much different functionally. A bad investment for my installation.

I have ballasted for the nose heavy condition and am still working on the mixture problem while waiting for spring.

The panel is equipped for day/night IFR. Nav-Com w/glide slope, xponder, blind encoder, GPS and intercom. Vacuum system is an engine mounted pump.

Gene Bowen, Waverly, Ohio

(740) 947-4163


The following article was forwarded to me from Don Johnson, who was the Quickie distributor in the U.K.

Dear Don

I started building my Tri-Q in my garage in late 1992 under the watchful eye of Don Forman, my inspector. After the first winter I decided that air conditioning was essential and was able to acquire a redundant unit from work. This enabled me to build when the English weather was cold and humid. 1996 saw the completion of the airframe, and after painting the instrument panel the engine went in. Following the usual fuel flow checks etc., I ran the engine with the plane tied down to a large metal stake in the ground so that it wouldn't get away. The next job was trimming, this took much longer than I had expected but was eventually completed with the help of a friend who is an upholsterer.

Having checked and checked again, the next hurdle was to build a trailer to transport it on. It's amazing what you can do with an old caravan chassis and a welding set! The test run for the trailer and plane was to a local farm to do the weight and balance, as I didn't have a large flat concrete surface on which to do it. Having positioned the battery as ballast and satisfied Don Forman that all was as it should be it was off to Lydd Airfield.

It was suggested to me that John O'Hara had the necessary experience with canards to undertake the test flying. He had a look around and after familiarizing himself with the position of all the different bits and pieces did some taxi runs. On one fast taxi run he had problems with the nose wheel shimmying so we went back to the hanger to adjust the damping. After a couple more fast runs G-BWIZ took to the air on 5 March 97 for the first time. One circuit and back to the hanger to remove the engine cowlings to check everything over to make sure all was OK. It was not long before John suggested that I go with him to add to the weight and write the numbers down for him. What an experience! The best day in my life! All those late evenings spent working in the garage; the frustration and the lack of social life didn't matter anymore. My dream had come to life and I was flying the plane that I had built.

Test flying complete and paperwork in order it was my turn to fly and learn how to handle this little plane. Challenging and a great deal of fun is the best way to describe it.

I have only flown just over 20 hours to date and am very much still learning how to handle it. I have had problems with the nose wheel shimmying throughout this time and am waiting for the modified nose leg which is reported to be of better design and less prone to shimmying.

The performance figures are not as good as advertised but I am satisfied with them. I rotate at 85 mph and climb out at 100 mph. In the normal cruise (2300 rpm) I indicate 140 mph with a maximum speed of 170 mph indicated.

I haven't been too far from base yet but have had several memorable flights, one of which was flying along the south coast wing tip to wing tip with another Quickie owned by Derek Clark. We both commented on how good the planes looked and performed.

And where was my camera at the time? On the back seat of the car!

Now winter is upon us and the evenings are short it is time to catch up on all the things that I should have done whilst building, and patiently wait for the new nose leg to arrive and the days to draw out.

Brian Cain, Essex, England



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