Q-talk 47 - LETTERS

Fitting the cowling! I finally got around to making the cowling flange. I cut the plywood template out like the instructions said. However, I wasn't convinced that would give me a good fit. For one, the fuselage slopes downward and the edge of my plywood is at 90 degrees. A mismatch in the making. Also, I wasn't comfortable that I accurately traced around the firewall. So in looking for a better way I decided to make the flange right on the firewall.

By putting tape around the inside of the cowling and bonding the cowling to the firewall I was able to lay the glass inside, exactly to the contour of the cowling/firewall. I supported the front of the cowling with a string tied to the nose gear. After the top cowling cured, I repeated the process with the bottom cowling. Came out beautifully with a perfect fit.

Note: Since I converted to the Tri-Q and did not flatten the canard to remove the anhedral, I decided to sculpture the space on each side of the nose gear to provide for a larger air exit duct beneath the cowling.

Jerry Marstall, Fairview, NC

(704) 628-2062

Dear Jim,

It seems that once a year, Edwards Air Force Base in California has an Open House. This year my buddy (who flies a Vari-Eze) and I decided that we should go to that Open House. Never mind that it is 1400 nautical miles away, and that it is a one-day airshow, this is one of those things that just need to be done! So we contacted Major Norm Howell (an old Quickie driver himself), who was the officer in charge of the homebuilt display. Norm sent us a whole package of information that we would need including all of the forms necessary to land on the base. Edwards is in the middle of a very large restricted area, so we had to play by their rules!

So on Tuesday morning 18 October, we left Davenport, Iowa bound for California. The only problem now was there was a cold front about 60 miles to the west stretching all the way to Texas. So we decided to go due west (following Interstate 80) at about 800 feet AGL. About 30 miles east of Des Moines, we broke out into bright sunshine - not a cloud in the sky! So with fuel stops in Salina, Kansas and Tucumcari, New Mexico, we were on our way. The disadvantage of going cross country this time of year is that the days are so short, so we had to stop in Albuquerque overnight.

The next morning we were ready to roll at dawn, but my engine would only run on three cylinders. It seemed I had developed a stuck exhaust valve. The problem with engine trouble that far from home is that you have no tools! So I had to get the FBO's mechanic to 'help' me. One full day (and $452) later, we were back in the air. As long as we had some time, we thought we would take a trip down the Grand Canyon.

We landed at the Grand Canyon airport to pick up a map of the special airspace, and who should come to meet us but Mr. Fred Wier with a badge that said 'FAA'! He said 'Would you mind if I give you a courtesy ramp check?' (There is only one acceptable answer to that question!) We were clean, so we agreed to his ramp check if he would tell us how to fly the canyon. He was more than happy to explain it to us, since it seems he spends a lot of his time making sure everyone follows the special flight rules around the canyon. Actually we were pretty glad we got an 'official' briefing rather than just a local pilot's viewpoint. If you have never flown over the Grand Canyon, you should do it. You simply cannot believe what a big hole in the ground they put there! I'm sure it is impressive from ground level, but you really have to see it from the air to fully appreciate it! There are parts that you can't fly over below 14,500 feet, but we stayed in the established corridors and we had quite a view! After a few rolls of film and some video tape, we decided it was time to push on to California.

The following morning we made the short hop from Fox field to Edwards AFB. The trip was only about 25 miles, but we had to clear the class D airspace at Fox, contact FSS to open our flight plans (you MUST have a flight plan to land on an AFB), and contact Approach. But it was all worth it as we approached the famous 'dry lake bed' with runway markings painted on the ground. I can see why the Air Force has its flight test center here; it is PERFECT - lots of open space and gorgeous weather! It was a real thrill to land on that 15,000-foot runway where so many famous pilots have landed so many famous airplanes! After about a twenty-minute taxi (this place is huge!) we shut down the planes in front of a hangar that we would share with a B2. Major Howell was there to park us and generally keep things organized.

That night EAA Chapter 1000 held a banquet for all those who flew in at the Officer's Club (Club Muroc) on the base. For some reason, they presented my wingman and I a certificate for flying more than halfway across the country for a one-day airshow. I guess it does seem a little silly, but that's why we build these airplanes, isn't it?

After a day at the airshow, it was time to leave (they wanted us all off the base by 5:00 PM). Major Howell had obviously given the departure procedures a lot of thought. Apparently Base Operations had rules that he simply could not get around, but he did an excellent job of moving the traffic along. We got out without too much hassle, and stayed overnight in the San Fernando Valley (where that big earthquake hit last January - but we tried not to think about that!).

The following day we took off for home with an overnight stay in Dodge City, Kansas. The amazing thing about this entire trip was after we reached Des Moines; we had totally clear weather for almost 3000 miles! Most of the time we had tail winds, nothing big, but it was better than a headwind!

Just to show how efficient the Q-200 is, we flew just about 3000 nautical miles in 278 hours (most of which was at 2300 to 2400 RPM). That worked out to an average of 110 knots over the entire trip at 4.5 gallons per hour (24.4 nautical miles per gallon). The Q-200 is an excellent cross-country machine. I now have over 400 hours on mine and I still love it! I hope those who are still building will get their planes flying soon, it's just too much fun to miss!!

Paul A. Fisher, Q-200 N17PF

Dear Jim;

This is a very important revision to my notes that were published in Q-TALK #41, page 7, next-to-last paragraph. This change concerns the table that relates the canard/wing/fuselage angles. For all you faithful Q-Talk followers, please get a pencil and correct it right now, so you don't forget!

(ED. NOTE: This change was made directly to the online version of Q-Talk #41.)

Change the words on the top to underneath.

This error was discovered by alert reader David Chalmers who, by now, has successfully installed his wing and canard. He said the table was very useful, especially after I verified the need for the correction.

Does anybody have experience with purchasing off-the-shelf Q200 exhaust systems that do not run 4 pipes into one? I heard that Aeronca pipes might work. Has anyone tried them? The QAC supplied pipes are a pain in the butt and seem costly and inefficient to boot.

P.S. In case anyone was wondering, the Q-200 shown at Oshkosh for the 6th time on the bottom of page 5 of Issue #46 is mine. (ED. NOTE: On the online version, you will find Sam's picture after the Mark Schwendeman letter.)

Samuel R. Hoskins, R.R. 6, Box 344 - Redbud Lane, Murphysboro, IL 62966-9236

(618) 687-1579

Hi Jim and QBA members:

I wanted to write and give you the details on my plane and also send you this video.

Most everyone knows my story but for those who don't here it is (short form). I bought the plane partially complete, finished it using a Rotax 503, and flew it for the first time in late November 1991. I flew 110 hours the first year and 40 hours the second year. By this time I had grown weary of the Rotax even though it had never given me any real problems. Of the two problems that I did have, both were my fault. Once I vapor locked it by plugging the fuel tank ram air line and landed on the Interstate. Second time I allowed some crud into the fuel tank and it plugged a fuel filter (very small unit - everyone preaches a big filter - DO IT!) and I could not develop more than about half power so I made a precautionary landing on a really rough dirt field. The Rotax was a good engine to me but I was losing interest and needed to make some changes to renew my enthusiasm.

During the fall of 1993 I started gathering thoughts on the VW idea. I was able to track down two other guys who did this very thing back in the early 80s in North Carolina. I talked to them both several times and they both had positive things to say about the flying characteristics of the Q1-VW combo. They both took different approaches to the weight problem though. One mounted the VW on the original firewall and put 35 lbs of lead in the tail. The other added a one-foot extension between the wings. They both flew their planes at 800 lbs!!! The most interesting fact was their cruise speed - 165 mph!!!

The guy who put the extension between the wings did some interesting experiments with his plane. He initially did not do anything structurally to the canard but after doing some damage to it with a farm tractor (don't have the details) it finally broke on a hard landing. He then put a couple plies of carbon fiber on the bottom. (We know that these units usually fail in compression and not tension so it would be best to make this type of fix on the top of the canard.) He has also put on tricycle gear, did some major mods to the vertical fin, installed the T-tail (wasn't worth it he said), and experimented with a split flap system on the canard. They both still have their planes although neither has time to fly them anymore, sounds like both guys have intentions of getting back to them in the next few years. They were both very helpful and even sent their cowl mold to me, too bad UPS destroyed it in route, all that was usable was the cheek portion, the rest I did with foam buildup and plaster.

Here's what I did with the engine:

Removed the original firewall and installed a new one four inches aft of original. I used Q2 and Dragonfly plans to aid in deciding what the glass layups should be for the increased weight. I used three plies of 10 oz inside and outside. The first ply went four inches onto the firewall and eight inches onto the fuselage. The second ply was three inches onto firewall and six inches onto firewall. The third ply was two inches onto firewall and four inches onto the fuselage.

Similar layups were done inside the fuselage. The firewall is 1/4" aircraft plywood with three ply 10 oz BID on the inside, two ply on the outside with a four-ply pad at each mount location. An X stiffener to take care of any torsional loads was glassed in using high-density foam and two ply 10 oz BID. Two plywood braces on the bottom and one on the top were installed. The firewall has a large cutout in the center and a foam/glass box glassed in place. This is a recess for the starter to poke into. The motor was mounted using two-inch spaces, which are 1.5 inch steel tubing with a large washer welded on each end. The typical Q2 mount would be better with the square steel plate and small bolt at each corner securing the mount to the firewall. Next time the engine is off I will make this change. The engine is installed with zero degrees tilt and zero offset. Many argued this with me in the design stage but using zero/zero gives you a known starting point. It turns out that this setup is just fine. Only 22 hours on it but do not think I would change it.

The engine had 40 hours on it in a Dragonfly, so performance was proven. It is an 1835cc with a Diehl accessory case, starter, alternator and magneto mount although I did not use a magneto. Two reasons for not using a magneto - Cost - simply could not afford it. The second is speculation among KR2 flyers that the problem with burnt valves that they were having was due to the cooler spark from a mag causing combustion to still be occurring as the exhaust valve was opening. At that time I was planning on using stub stacks and wanted to avoid this valve problem. I decided to use the cheap, although well-proven route of a distributor with points for now. In the future I plan to install an electronic ignition in the distributor. Since there was no way around a bump on the cowling I decided to make my life easy and install a mechanical fuel pump as well. Obviously a Q1 does not have any gravity flow fuel and even with the addition of a header tank I'm not sure if the head pressure would be enough so either an electrical or mechanical pump is necessary, since I don't like to need anything electrical I decided on the mechanical pump with an electric unit as a backup. The battery is a 16 amp motorcycle battery that starts it just fine if you don't have to crank on it for more than a couple minutes, it wears down fairly quickly.

The KR2 guys are having really good luck with the Zenith carb, which is a float carb sold by Steve at Great Plains. I decided to go that direction. I thought about the POSA carb for a while but three things are against it, everyone seems to have problems (minor) with it, I am using a fuel pump (it can't handle the pressure), and I like to get wild and crazy while I'm flying and with the POSA it is pretty easy to kill the engine in the "other than straight and level" maneuvers. I know there are some diehard POSA users out there that will argue the above statements - Sorry!

The exhaust I fabricated from mild steel tubing sections. There was no thought given to tuning them, I just wanted them as short and light as possible without having short stacks hanging out of the cowling. I would have liked to turn them back and exited them under the canard like the Dragonfly does and probably will at some point but it involves modifying my cowl and I just want to get out and fly it for a while first!!

I am using the same ground adjustable prop that I was using with the 503. It is a 46" unit from Precision Propellers out of Vernal, Utah. I tuned it to allow the engine to turn 3000 rpm static, 3200 RPM during a 105 mph climb, and have not maxed it out in flight - it's too fast!

I am very happy with the way the numbers turned out which was exactly as planned. An empty weight or 385 lbs and a normal flying weight of about 640 lbs. This gives a wing loading of about 13 lbs/sq/ft. I currently have an eight-gallon fuel tank, if an aux fuel tank is added (?) of five gallons and a little baggage is thrown in I'll be up to 700 lbs. That is 14 lbs/sq/ft. That is a much more comfortable ride than the 11 lbs/sq/ft. that it used to be.

After waiting for the FAA from July 1 until Sept. 7 .....(sigh!) First flight was on September 7. I started with a couple runway hops, then a couple circuits of the pattern then orbiting above the airport at 2,000' - 3,000' AGL (6,000'- 7000' MSL) until the five hour mark. I then spent a couple hours over the Interstate at 3,000' AGL. Then I was off.

It now has 18 hours on it and a couple cross-country (50 miles) type trips trying to get some speeds recorded. It flies alongside a friend's Dragonfly, who has a 2100 cc VW, very nicely at 3000 rpm and 120 indicated. He is running 3100 rpm and indicating 120 also. We ran the GPS/Indicated speed tests in zero wind conditions, both directions so am sure they are accurate. In the air I have had it as fast as 3400 rpm passing through 140 mph indicated and started getting rudder flutter so I backed off. The GPS says the following: speed at 120 indicated - 3000 rpm is 140 mph, 130 indicated - 3300 rpm is 155 mph. So I figure 140 indicated is around 165 mph - that at the recommended cruise rpm of 3400!! Yes, I do believe it will have some speed to it when I get the controls balanced and things cleaned up! It currently is about half primer, has no fillets on elevators or ailerons, and no spinner.

It flies super great! It is a little heavier feeling than with the Rotax but no complaints yet. It pitch bucks power off at 68 mph indicated and power on at 58 mph. This is compared to 65 indicated power off and 60 power on with the Rotax. I have VG's and am going to install gap seals soon as the Dragonfly group is having great success with them. I did not install them when the plane was down, as I did not want to make to many big changes at once. It is to difficult to evaluate a change when more than one are made a time.

I did some time to climb tests. On a 55-degree day I made runs from 4,500' to 6,000' and timed from 5,000' to 6,000'. At 90 mph indicated it will climb at 900'/min. 105 mph indicated (cools better) is 750'/min. At 105 mph indicated the CHT is 380, oil 180, and EGT of 1200. At 90.. oil temps are a little higher and CHT will climb to 450 if I let it. Climbs great at 80 mph but heats up to quickly so no results at that speed. The above tells me that it will perform very well at sea level but is going to have a heating problem next summer. I will address that this winter with cooling tin and baffle modifications.

As with the Rotax static stability seems to be about neutral. Not sure if other's planes are this way or not but mine always has been. It certainly makes you fly the plane at all times but is certainly controllable and responsive. I always thought that there was not enough vertical fin area with the Rotax installed but I have not noticed this as much with the VW. In short, so far I am very happy with its flight characteristics and performance.

I believe my rudder flutter (?) problems are a result of the new rudder that I built. It is the full height of the vertical fin and is upside down L shaped. This was to allow balancing. The problem seems to be (guessing here!) the lack of stiffness in the unit. It has one bearing top and bottom and is very flexible. I have thought of two possible fixes.

1. I need a slight amount of weight in the tail (1-2 lbs), so I think I will run a steel tube inside the aluminum torque tube and additionally layup several additional plies of glass. Between the two it should become very stiff.

2. Install a full-length Plano hinge on the rudder. This should stiffen the unit up.

Plans include installing a 10" spinner and balance the controls. A friend here has a Ford V6 installation and has found a supplier for an automatic coil-switching unit. This would not be a dual ignition but would be one step closer. I need to find out more but that is a possible enhancement to the system. One modification that I am entertaining now is building an LS1 canard in the shear web/spar cap style and beef it up a little more than standard (+9, -4 G's at 700 lbs) and installing bigger wheels and brakes. Because of all the mods that I have done over the last couple years it's almost as much primer as paint. When I painted it the first time I really didn't know what I was doing so the parts that I painted don't look all that great, but who's after looks anyway???

I absolutely love the sound of this thing now. No more sewing machine for me - sounds like Charlie Harris's machine now!!

Everyone take care and fly safely!

Jon Finley, 2217 Choteau St., Helena, MT 59601

(406) 443-7311

Dear Jim,

You've gotta print my phone number correctly. (803) 764-0065. The Q and Q-2 plans/text/drawings are complete. Work has come to a standstill on the remainder of the program and I need the following according to the original Quickie Newsletter:

Q-200 pilots manual, new canard plans (1 packet 1 tube), brown booklet (Q-200 engine installation plans), and appendix sheets 1-3.

Seems a shame to have come thus far without being able to capture only a few more drawings and descriptive text. There have been some tenacious critters who sought me out thru directory assistance and I am most appreciative, but if this appeal doesn't facilitate a response I'll drop the project. Surely amongst the 100 or so fellas building and presently subscribing there has to be a set of unused plans. I will more than make it worthwhile to any individual who supplies me same for copy purposes.

Also, in an ancient newsletter Bubba Hamiter (#2176) advertised complete drawings for all metal parts and female mold drawings for anyone wanting to build a Q-2 from scratch. Well, I tried to contact Bubba and the letter came back. Bubba may scoot and Bubba may dance and Bubba may still have all this stuff, sooooo, if anyone knows of this cat, put me onto him or his whereabouts.

Response to contact will be almost nonexistent from me from now until after I stop delivering all your boxes for Christmas, but have a happy one and drop me a line if you've time.

Keep the blue side up.

Buzz Flye, 2978 Nantucket Ave., Charleston, SC 29420

Dear Jim,

I said I'd do you a report when I had flown G-BUBG myself so here goes: -

In August 1990 being retired, I decided to build an aircraft having recently acquired a pilots license. Mistake number 1, I believed the crap about how long it should take to build. I must be a slow builder or you multiply the estimate by 4. However, I bought a part built Q2 from America and set about changing it to a Tri-Q-200, by replacing the canard for a straight L.S. 1 type, fitting a trike undercarriage, modifying the header tank, firewall and mag box for an O200 engine and fitting a forward hinged canopy. Even starting with a part completed Q2, there was still a substantial amount of epoxy work to do and towards the end I became sensitized to the Saf-T-Poxy and after working became red and itchy for a couple of days. I never worked without gloves whilst handling resin. Apart from the basic tools on the list I consider a Drill Stand essential to be able to drill holes in aluminum or phenolic accurately. I found a Black and Decker Rotary File a great asset for shaping cured glass fiber, wood or phenolic parts accurately.

I also made and used the recommended wooden balance for mixing epoxy throughout the build and for the West Filler system later. There obviously was some waste but you became quite adept at estimating the amount needed for a particular job.

To build the canard I made two 8'0"x3'0" benches, which I bolted together to give an accurate level and rigid base. Later I dissembled one of the benches and used the 1" thick block board to make fixtures to support the fuselage during the assembly of the undercarriage and canard fitting etc. When fitting the slot core to the canard I made two simple female fixtures to hold the canard vertical without using Bondo. Using the template for BL 48.8 I cut female slots in 1/2" chip board, obviously the slot needed to be parallel past the widest part of the aerofoil shape. These fixtures proved to be very useful for all the rest of the work where the canard needed to be held vertically or horizontally (see photo 1).

Working on the canard core upside down and from the back (my only excuse) I managed to put the Pitot tube in the wrong side, left instead of right side. I worried about this a bit when I realized somewhat later what I had done, however now that it's flown it doesn't seem to matter.

I noticed a recent correspondent commented that most reports are about flying the aircraft so I will add some details of the build in the hope they help someone.

1. I fitted dual rudder pedals and thought the suggestion by one QBAer to mount them on plywood on the bench and then put them onto the canard as a good idea. However when I tried I found it impossible to put the assembly on the curvature of the canard for satisfactory glassing so I reverted to placing them individually in position without too much difficulty. It may have been that due to my length of leg I was on a different part of the canard.

2. The NASA air ducts work very well. I fitted them with some car type vents in the panel and scat hose between. Even in England this summer I've found it very hot and need all the air-cooling I can get. I've also fitted a hot air system for the winter, which can blow additional cold air around your feet in summer. It appears to me that I'm borderline on the air flow due to the size of the air outlets under the main wing, so make them adequate.

3. The main tank was fitted when I received the Q2 and later when I tested it with air at approximately 6' 0" head of water (using a length of plastic tubing tied to the roof of the garage as a manometer) there was a slow leak which I found was seepage through the fuselage shell. I would strongly recommend to any builder that he coat the area of the fuselage, which will be in contact with the fuel with resin just prior to installing the tank. You could add some glass bubbles to thicken the resin. I didn't have the problem with the header tank as I had to remove it for alteration and I coated the fuselage area before re-installing the tank.

4. On Q-Talk 28 there's a photo of a bellcrank fitted aft of the split line complete with stops to restrict pressure on the rudder. I fitted this system and it works a treat, no need for any other stops up front. Many thanks Maury Condin.

5. The C.G. called for the battery to be installed in the tail section but in view of the additional wiring connections necessary and the difficulty of access, I fitted it in the luggage area and put 10 lbs of lead as far down the tail cone as possible. This has now proved to be successful and the new battery turned out to be defective and had to be replaced during the test flying.

6. A simple reflexor operation arm was already installed on receipt from American (see Photo 2).

My first reaction was to replace it with the Bob Falkiner design but on reflection decided to keep the original, only adding a coil spring to pull the arm down. Having got used to a quadrant type throttle flying a Warrior, I decided to make my own quadrant for the TRI-Q with a second lever to operate the reflexor trim (see photo 3).

This system works well in flight as throttle and tri can be adjusted with the left hand whilst the stick is controlled with the right.

7. In the plans the fuel pump is shown positioned on the front of the header tank but this causes a two-foot suction head. On the advice of Don Johnson (Quickie European Agent) I put my pump in the trough between the main fuel tank and the canard and this system works well. You only have to lift a plywood floor cover to see the filter, which did part fill with debris in the first few hours of test flying.

*** There is more to this extensive pilot report from Derek Clarke of Doncaster, England, and it will be continued in Issue #48 which is next up. Don't forget to drool again over the picture below which features Derek's aircraft.

Nice craftsmanship out of the workshop of Derek Clarke, Doncaster, England

Partners for life.

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