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Q-talk 13 - Q-2 TIPS, Q-200 TIPS, TRI-Q TIPS

Cloud Dancing (Moreau, Dimond, Parnigoni)

From Jerry Gerome, Cohasset, MA

For the belly board, I used the QAC hinge arrangement (except mine is forward hinged) and I plan on using the Rutan linkage setup a la Vari and Long-EZ. I have seen a friend's, and this is an excellent design - easy to retract in case of a go-around, spring loaded to keep it extended, etc.

From Mitch Strong, Batavia, NY

Tri-Q builders: Instead of one glass covered plywood mount per brake cylinder, I wish I'd used two 3/16 aluminum mounts instead. The Rosenhan cylinders tend to dribble oil which the plywood mounts soak up. If that oil-soaked plywood gives way, it WON'T be while you're braking to a stop at O'Hare's 2-mile long runway. It will be when you're doing brake stands trying to stop at ol' Fred's 1800-foot strip with the cliff at the end. Not pretty.

I've found I made much better landings in my Tri-Q with full nose up reflexor, just like conventional Quickies. Much more elevator authority.

(Looking at that BRIGHT RED 250 mph Lancair make me salivate - Ouch! Ouch! Stop! Please don't hit me anymore, Dear, the new kitchen comes first.)

From Marvin Getten, Plymouth, MN


The warning in the Tri-Q conversion manual says "The Tri-gear conversion was not designed to make good pilots out of bad ones nor good airplanes out of bad ones."

I flew a Tri-Q this past year and just loved it. I had flown the aircraft as a Q-200 tail dragger before it was converted. I used my usual plan of holding plenty of speed on takeoff and landing. It worked out great! You see, when I get down to the runway, ground effect holds the front wing up so the nose gear doesn't hit first. But it is close. I began to feel pretty good about the craft so I added enough weight to get it to maximum weight. I proceeded down the runway and lifted off as I saw 80 mph. About 4 feet high I got into pitch buck so I quickly pulled the reflexor and gave it all the down aileron I could. It quit bucking and I climbed out.

I did not hit the ground but I was very unnerved so I came back around to land. I came down to the runway with power and just as the speed played out to 85 mph, I got a pitch buck just at touchdown. Two hops and then she settled down for rollout. The nose gear was bent forward a little so we took it to Midas and got it bent back.

I learned a lesson: As the total weight of the aircraft increased, I should have increased both takeoff and landing speeds GREATLY. I should have realized this before it happened, but I got used to rotating at 85 mph.

I turned the plane over to its owner with takeoff and landing instructions and he started test flying it, rotating at 90 or above and flying down to the runway at 100 or so. He was as excited as could be at the performance.

The snake came into the picture on the fifth flight. The tower cleared him to land on 9L and then 2 miles out switched him to 9R. Perhaps this caused him to lose concentration because he rounded out above the runway, glided a bit, then pitch-buck took over and slammed him onto the runway. Back up into the air he went, then down again. I watched in horror as the nose gear bent back and the prop was chewed back to 4" stubs on each side of the spinner. The aircraft went off the runway, up on its nose almost vertical, then fell back onto the main gear. NO OTHER DAMAGE, NO INJURY. The FAA listed this as an incident.

This is the second Tri-Q in this area to experience this type of incident this fall. ALL TRI-Q DRIVERS: Speed is like money in the bank. Be sure to have plenty on both takeoff and landing or THE SNAKE WILL SURELY GET YOU!

I thought now with 2 Q-2's in St. Paul and 2 here we would have a good time flying around. Eyes readjusted!!

As soon as the parts get here I'll fly this bird again; it is still a great aircraft. Meanwhile, my Q-2 was 5 years old last Sept. and still no damage.

From Rand Kriech, CA

My engine is repaired and back from Revmaster. Joe said it was under warranty but I did get an invoice which I think was a mistake.

I noted in Q-TALK that someone else had needle leak problems on their Revmaster, as I did. I can attest to a world of difference between a working Rev-Flow and a leaking one. If you cannot go from idle to full throttle with rich mixture without killing the engine, have it looked at!

From Don Baker, MS

I just got my prop back from Bernie Warnke. He and I have concluded that the 75 hp heads didn't deliver anything like 75 hp. Performance seems to confirm this. My prop's been repitched twice now and I hope to finally get 3200 rpm.

From Joe Martin, NJ

After 1800+ hrs and 7 years of part-time work, I suspect my bird will fly in '89. The Revmaster has been totally torn down and I found the torque was bad on some bolts and the valve seats were corroded. Not bad at all for an engine that was on the garage floor for 5+ years! But a word to the wise -- check it over for all clearances and torque settings. I was lucky I think.

From Art Dalke

Due to personal circumstances, my plane sat unused for about 6 months. When I went to fly again, she wouldn't start. A compression check revealed very low compression. Examination revealed severe corrosion of the rings causing them to freeze tight in the grooves. I just replaced the pistons, rings and wrist pins.

Moral: fly EVERY week or at least run the engine once a week.

Flying 2432T is STILL GREAT!

From Lance MacLean, FL

My project has been stalled nearly a year. My Q-2 is powered by a BMW K-100 turbocharged motorcycle engine. I had made 4 successful test flights and decided to modify the aircraft for some cosmetic work. Running low on funds, I went back to work as a flight instructor. I'm still low on funds. For those who think there is no money in aviation...WRONG...I put it there!

From Jack Soules

I have my Mazda single rotor engine from Lou Ross. It has about 5+ hours of test stand running and seems to do fine. It should be on the airplane by the first of the year. I'll keep you posted. The engine includes starter and alternator, Ellison throttle body, but no prop, muffler and exhaust. I haven't weighed it yet.

From Bill Varga

Building planes is like making wine...not ready until its time! I have a pull start 0-200. I will have it working similar to Belshe's, except mine will pull vertical under the starter. The pull-start cable will pass under the header tank.

QBA letters are read to the point of almost being memorized. Keep up the fine work!

From Jan Bowman, CA

During testing of my instrument panel for N5585N I reversed the polarity to the panel and fried my electric turn and bank. A local instrument shop charged me $50 to tell me it couldn't be fixed. Then I bought a condenser at Radio Shack for $3, replaced the old one and it works perfectly. Moral: Do it yourself first.

How about all of us with flying airplanes reporting any interesting items that turn up during our annual inspections?

With 100 hrs, Tri-Q 85N is a dream!

From Scott Pihl

Possible tip: tapes that attach the bulkheads in the baggage area are very difficult to get at. Early in construction you might install bulkheads by taping just the accessible areas, then when you are at the point where fuselage halves are together, jig the fuselage into flight level position. Then make the cutout for the main wing. From this point, installing the tapes is a lot simpler. Also install a surface level somewhere permanently at this time (insure fuse is solidly jigged longitudinally and laterally).

From Kimbull McAndrew

(ED. NOTE: Kim is embarked on a venture to modify his Q-2 with inboard gear as is done on the Mark II Dragonfly.)

I bought the landing gear from Rex Taylor for $500. Included were 2 gear legs, some aluminum angle for mounting and some plywood as well as his plans showing the layup for his C-section carbon fiber spar canard. It might be possible, though, to adapt the legs to the Q-2 carbon tube spar.

Rex would only guarantee the adequacy of the legs if I bought the gear from him since the axle strength and offset of the wheel are critical. I bought the wheels, axles, brakes and cylinders and toe brake brackets from him for $405. All parts appear very well made.

From Don Ismari, NM

I'm stuck. I need to replace my Cheng Shin (Taiwan) 4.00 x 5 tires as supplied (no longer) by Aircraft Spruce. The outside diameter is 12.25-12.50 inches (it's hard to tell exactly). I've called 50-100 businesses with no luck. I've tried Lamb tires but I could hardly get any wheelpant clearance and they would change my ground angle of attack (Yeah, it gets better, ED.). Any ideas? 819 Toro S.E., Albuquerque, NM 87123

After damaging the plane on the ground at 33 hrs, I now am pushing 250 hrs on my Revmaster powered Q-2. The airplane has lots of problems, but it is difficult to match the performance and economy of the Q-2.

John Groff #2627, N87JG

A lot has happened since my last letter. Tri-Q (C-85) N87JG now has 17 hours on it from May 1988. I have had three major problems since then:

1) Front-hinged canopy was blown off,

2) Engine seized on first take-off,

3) A stalled canard on landing severely bent the nose gear.

All of these problems were basically unrelated to design factors but more to my own "learning curve". The seized engine was due to faulty cylinder head boring by a Certified Aircraft shop in Florida so just because you get a "Yellow tag" does not necessarily guarantee that you are home free. The word by those who know is that Continentals run very hot on break-in so even minimum piston to cylinder wall clearance (.007") is too tight. Mine were .005". You better believe that a seized engine at 500' with the runway behind, on the first flight, is an energizing experience! I could not stop blabbing the rest of the day. Fortunately, I was able to do a U-turn without fear of stalling.

A new prop was needed after my poor landing (at 13 hours). Aymar-DeMuth makes a real good one for $275. The top speed is 181 MPH at 2500' and 2625 RPM. Cruise at 7500' is 172 MPH and 2550 RPM. Both are adjusted to TAS. Climb at about 1000 pounds, under standard conditions, is slightly over 1000 FPM clear up to 140 MPH indicated. It does not change much between 120 and 140 MPH so you can do a cruise-climb that gets you up there quickly! Keep in mind that this Tri-Q has no nose pant, a C-85 engine and extended wings which cuts top speed somewhat. I am very satisfied with this prop and treatment received by Mike DeMuth.

A few flight impressions:

1) An aileron reflexor is a very useful control especially on landing to give more elevator authority,

2) The rudder, as per plans, is not powerful enough to prevent weathervaning on a crosswind landing if airspeed is too low (say under 80 MPH) or crosswind is strong.

3) A belly flap is very useful in eliminating excess float. You can come in with, for instance, 1200 RPM at 90 to 100 MPH, kill the power and land "right now".

4) The standard throttle cable in my application was not smooth. Try Wicks' $38 special.

To those of you who are still working, don't let those problems stop you. Everyone solved will make your plane better! It is worth it.

Sam Hoskins, R.R. 2, Box 456F, Murphysboro, IL 62966

Since I sold my spam can in favor of buying my Q-2 kit back in '81, I haven't flown much at night and I had forgotten how neat it is. I'm starting to get comfortable enough with my aircraft to get a little time at night. (I've now got 280 hrs. on N202SH) Big Lesson! If you're planning on flying at night, don't mount strobe light on the wing tips! The flash bounces off of the wheel pants and is quite annoying. I'm going to change mine someday and perhaps move them to the upper and lower tail cones.

I checked my electric Westach tachometer against a highly accurate tach calibration unit and found that my tach is reading high, which alters my perspective of my performance figures. Up until I checked my tach, I thought that my engine was running too fast and that Bernie Warnke's prop wasn't big enough. I thought that I was getting 160 mph at 2600 rpm, and it turns out that I was only turning about 2400 rpm. Here are some comparisons of engine readings taken on the ground:


Regarding oil coolers for the Q-200. Continental used to have an oil cooler, which would bolt right onto the crankcase. I obtained a couple of these (used) and both of them failed in flight! Fortunately, I caught the drop in oil pressure in time and was able to land at airports in both cases. The first instance happened at 10 hrs. and the second at 250 hrs. I would strongly caution against using these old (or homemade) oil coolers unless you can pressure and fatigue test it so you're certain it will hold up. My Q-200 lands at about 80 mph and that doesn't make for a very good cow pasture airplane. Instead, make the crankcase baffle described in the Tony Bingelis book FIREWALL FORWARD and ensure your cylinders are properly baffled. I am keeping my eyes open for a new, modern oil cooler.

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