in the Quickie has been skyrocketing over the last 45 days. Mail has
averaged over 50 pieces per day and telephone
up over 200 percent. Informal surveys and polls taken by us indicate
that rapidly rising fuel prices ($2.28 in Denver, CO) together with
unprecedented aircraft rental rates ($30.00 per hour for a Cessna 150)
have forced much of the pilot population to reevaluate their abilities
to continue to fly regularly for pleasure. Pilots already fortunate enough
to own an aircraft are looking for ways to reduce their costs when flying
frequent comment heard over the phone has been, âWhen I first saw your aircraft two years ago, I thought
that it was so ugly that only a mother could love it; but every time
the price of fuel rises, your aircraft gets prettier!â Likewise, one
Pitts owner commented, âItâs ridiculous to run 12 gallons an hour through
my airplane just to go out and have fun.â First time builders are looking
ahead to the Quickie as an aircraft that they can afford to operate
regardless of fuel availability and price in the years to come. (Just
using 10% of the proposed Federal standby gasoline ration would enable
an individual to fly over 5 hours per month.)
As a result, we are gearing up at QAC for a busy summer and forging ahead with
our Quickie Dealership network, as well as exploring squeezing even more efficiency
out of our aircraft.
The authoritative Aviation Consumer reports that many industry sources predict
that aviation fuel prices could reach $4.00 per gallon by the end of the year.
If true, that would drive aircraft rental rates on a Cessna 150 up to over $40.00
Although we at Quickie are in a highly favorable position in this regard , we
are not gloating. This matter is an extremely serious problem to the General
Aviation industry, as indicated by the significant layoffs of personnel and the
overflowing inventories, On the other hand, the evidence has been there r everyone
to see for over 7 years.
.....As this newsletter is being written,
over 30 Quickies are flying. There has been a first flight every 2.5
days on the average over the last 2 weeks. We expect over 50 flying
by the end of the summer.
SUN âN FUN FLYIN,
.....Recently, Tom took a few days off from
the rainy California weather to attend the EAA sponsored flyin, down
in Lakeland, Florida.
.....Tom Blythe, from Virginia, flew his
Quickie down to the flyin on Saturday and spent the first three days
showing everyone his Quickie, including flight demonstrations every day.
.....On Wednesday, 19 March, Tomâs right
main tire blew just at liftoff speed. He left the power on attempting
to fly, and in the ensuing seconds he ended up veering off the runway
through the weeds and coming to rest upside down with the vertical fin
buried in the sand. Tom was unhurt, and his Quickie had only a broken
propeller, broken canopy, and, of course, the damaged tire! No basic
structure was damaged by the wild ride.
.....Since no Quickie pilot wants to truck
his aircraft home from a flyin (itâs too expensive!), we all set about
to organize a Quickie workshop to repair the damage by Saturday evening.
Although dozens of people lent a hand during the next 3 days, Howard
Norton, Al Whitesell, Larry Kienzle, and Dick Fontaine were always around
helping repair, replace, or supervise. A very special thanks needs to
go to Larry, who donated all of the parts from his Quickie project to
get Tom flying again.
.....By late Saturday afternoon, the aircraft
was back on the flight line, surrounded by interested onlookers; on Sunday
morning, Tom flew home!
.....One high official at Lakeland is reported
have commented after seeing the accident scene, âIf he hadnât of broken the canopy to get out in a hurry, the aircraft wouldnât have even been damaged.â Tom Jewett just said that it wasnât
a QAC approved maneuver. .....The cause of the mishap could not be determined, although inspection revealed that the tire was flat-spotted, perhaps from a previous incident.
.....The Lakeland flyin confirmed the trends
in public attitude that QAC has been seeing over the last two years. Thorps,
Stardusters, and beautiful Steen Skybolts were hardly ever surrounded,
whereas the ultralights, small single place aircraft, and the Quickie had
crowds. Lots of horsepower is out, small engines that donât burn much fuel are in, perhaps fueledâ by
the rumor that aviation fuel at Denver was over $2.20 per gallon.
.....The shift in emphasis from horsepower
and speed to economy and efficiency was so abrupt and far reaching, that
overheard one couple say after watching a pass by a 180 mph. 80 h.p. single
seat aircraft, âThat sure is nice, but it burnsfrur gallons per hour â we canât
.....Flying will never be the same again.
Another Quickie nearing completion.