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QuickTalk 27 - LETTERS

Dear Jim

I was shocked to learn of the passing of...Bob McFarland and Doug Swanningson. I met and talked with these 2 fine men many times at OSH and they were always easy to talk with and very willing to offer their experiences and ideas to those of us who were following in their footsteps. What a loss to all of us.

Dick Pettit, Circleville, OH


Before he died in the crash of his Quickie, Doug Swanningson had a few hairy experiences including an off-airport landing. It is therefore not easy to believe that he might have attempted a low altitude turn back after losing the engine in the climbout, but some suspect that is what could have happened. Whether it took Doug or not, this type of accident certainly has taken a lot of pilots before, so I want to review some information I learned from a new series of "videotape magazines" called AILERON which QBAer (and USAF instructor pilot) Norm Howell showed me.

The AILERON staff simulated an engine failure after climbing to a pre-determined altitude in a Piper Archer. The pilot then made a carefully coordinated and successful turn back and landing. Bear in mind that the pilot KNEW the altitude he needed, KNEW that the engine would quit and was practiced and current in the turn coordination he would need to do the job. You yourself won't be able to perform as well because you won't have these advantages.

Consider: Actual flights showed that 1316' was lost in a standard rate turnback to the airport after simulated engine failure. So what, you say, who would use standard rate in this situation? Okay, the AILERON staff flew one at a 45-degree bank. They found that the typical pilot would take 4 secs. to react to the problem, 15 secs. to complete a 180 degree turn (which displaces the plane 1120 ft. from runway centerline), and 2 more secs. to continue the turn to point the aircraft at the runway. At a descent rate of 1000 fpm, this is ALREADY 350'+ loss and the pilot still has to reach the runway, make a VERY SHARP, low altitude final alignment turn (which could turn out to be the pilot's FINAL turn) then an immediate flare and touchdown. Add a tailwind to this. 750' was the minimum altitude to achieve before considering a 45 degree turnback after an engine out IF the pilot has the skill to hold a constant (and necessarily higher) airspeed in a continuous 45 degree bank. A mistake at this required speed and bank by a poorly proficient (in this maneuver) pilot could easily result in a stall/spin accident. DON'T TRY IT.

If this isn't dangerous enough, consider these additional problems:

1. Pilot has a natural inclination to turn left regardless of wind or obstructions in that direction.

2. You will land downwind with a possible overshoot.

3. You may encounter departing traffic.

4. You may face a cross wind landing.

5. Increased potential for a stall/spin due to the perception by the pilot of increased speed in the sharp turnback followed by a pull back on the yoke.

Professional pilots agree that the aircraft can be safely maneuvered to an emergency landing at a spot within 10 degrees right or left of the aircraft.


This was the headline from the April 23, 1986 Willsamson County Sun, a paper near Austin, TX reporting on a Q-2 crash.

"A 50-year-old Georgetown man and his 28-year-old son were seriously injured when their experimental airplane they were flying crashed at the Georgetown Municipal Airport...wife Bon, said Tuesday that both men were doing fine...She said her son Paul suffered a broken heel on one foot and the other foot was broken. She said her husband received head injuries, two broken legs and broken toes.

Briggs said her husband (Richard) and son told her that they had been flying in the air for about 5 minutes at 5,000 feet when the throttle malfunctioned..."

The Briggs' called to share some of the details of their experience with you and me. Q-2 N39943 had about 15 hours on its Revmaster engine, and slightly less than that in flight time. The first flight was a thriller as the ship took a long ground roll and Richard had to hold a great deal of back stick on the flight.

It was discovered shortly that there was about a 1.5 degree wing incidence error in different directions on each wing for a cumulative error of 3.0 degrees. One wing was fighting the other. He made a few flights to discover the problem and tried adjusting the sparrow strainers. Single place he found a stall at 70 and around 90 with 2 on board. The plane had a tendency to pitch down and to the left at stall speeds.

The aircraft was put in the shop and the incidence of the wings was changed and the sparrow strainers were returned to plans. The next flight was made to check the behavior of the plane. Richard and son Paul climbed, with normal stick forces now, to 5,000' near the airport, and the engine suddenly went to 1800 rpm. Richard tried the throttle as the descent began with no response until it dropped to 1500 rpm and he quit messing with it. Not knowing whether the stall behavior changed, Richard spiraled down at 100 mph and a high descent rate. He failed to come out of the last turn in runway alignment, apparently clipped a tree and crunched in on airport property. The engine was driven up under the instrument panel, canard and canopy busted up, tail snapped etc. belts and harnesses held and the composite structure did its usual job of providing protection to the occupants. The pictures show the front end a shambles up to the panel.

Richard had previous concerns with his Revmaster engine. He noticed that it would run fine at times and then suddenly run rich or fine and then suddenly lean. The problem wasn't solved. He found if he was running full throttle then closed it suddenly it would quit but that he could run full, pull back to 2000 rpm and then close it without it quitting.

Richard's engine had the Rev-flow carb and he reported calling other Q-2 pilots whose planes had crashed and who also had the experience of having their engines suddenly go to 1500 rpm. Canadian Arnold Forest had this happen and I was reminded that another Canadian had the problem on approach to OSH last year. LOOK OUT! Let me hear from you if you've had the problem so we can get a response from Revmaster.

Briggs said the FAA rep yanked on his mixture cable a couple days after the accident and it came out in his hands. He feels the mixture arm moves too freely and should have a spring added to move it full rich in case of failure. He also advised using Loctite on the Allen screw holding the mixture.

Richard Briggs is an experienced taildragger pilot with even some airline flight experience. If you're wondering how such a pilot could be 5000' over the airport and not make it, perhaps you should go out this weekend, grab 5K of air, chop the power and investigate YOUR engine out glide characteristics. You'll either learn a valuable lesson or I'll be writing your story in the next issue.

Dear Jim

You are a strong heartbeat in a 500 cell organism. Will it adapt? Survive? Certainly you are improving its chances.

Carl Nielsen #2042, Middletown, CA

Dear Jim:

Keep up the good work. It doesn't offend me at all if you Slam-Dunk ol' QAC now and then. It's nice to see them be the "Dunkee" for a change.

The Rotax 503 Super Quickie is still coming along. I've been busy trying to zero in on the right "general purpose" propeller/gear combination.

Brock G. McCaman, Chatsworth, CA

Dear Sir:

I just saw a copy of your newsletter. Here's my membership check for $12.

We are going for 200 mph with a larger German engine on the Quickie airframe. Will advise development on this new unit. Engine on dyno at present.

Dee L. Brown, Payson, AZ

ED. NOTE: You can go for the speed of sound on a Quickie for all I care, just be sure to read the red line spec in your Owner's Manual then beef up firewall, controls, etc. to take the added stresses so you don't blow the wings off. THEN, if flight test proves it safe, let us know how you did it so that we can all make a sonic boom. Fortunately Dee is an A&P and EAA designee so he knows all about this stuff.

Dear Jim,

I agree with your first paragraph, to hell with the "generic" stuff. Keep your personality in it and have fun - Issue #26 was the best yet. Practically all of us agree with your thoughts about Sheehan - but he's got to have SOME redeeming features somehow, somewhere. Didn't he design the original Quickie (or did Rutan do that)?

Spike Knapp, Vero Beach, FL

ED. NOTE: Sheehan does indeed have redeeming features and Quicktalk discloses them periodically. Sheehan's background is as a tool and die maker and his prime work on the Quickie was in the development of the engine (I bite my tongue here). Sheehan's now dead partner, Tom Jewett, was an engineer and he worked with Rutan on the airframe whose unusual shape and construction should leave no doubt as to who did the major engineering.

The Q-2 was conceived and developed by Garry LeGare who had been successful in the plumbing business in Canada, had built one of the early Quickies and became turned on to composite aircraft. Presumably LeGare got some help from QAC, which was later granted the right to all U.S. sales only. LeGare may still hold international sales rights thus QAC may not assume the obligation to assist a foreign customer in any way whatsoever. When Sheehan does so, it's redeeming.

Dear Jim,

I have C-GDHK flying. After 4 years and 2,000 hours my Q-2 dream has become a reality. If anyone has had a cylinder head heating problem would they please advise me how it was solved. At sea level and 60F OAT, 3000-rpm mine is red line (450F). I've changed cowl air inlets to the Smilie type but do not have plans for it and don't know exactly how it is built.

From my past experiences over 4 years with QAC, it would be a lost cause to communicate with them for help. They won't even answer your letters (with SASE supplied).

Don Keizer, 4291 Fernwood Av., Power River B.C. CANADA V8A 3L2

ED. NOTE: QAC does not assume an obligation to help a foreign builder. International sales are AeroGare territory. Furthermore, QAC developed options (carbon spar, belly board, smilie inlet, etc.) may not even be available for sale to AeroGare's foreign customers unless the option is approved by them.

Dear Jim,

I just wanted to let you know that QAC did something really nice for me. I'm using the Rotorway Rw-100 engine and a hybrid engine mount. Randy Komko at Transition Aircraft, Yelm, WA, made the top mounts for me, but I decided to use modified Q-2 mounts for the bottom. I needed very short standoffs, even shorter than what's used for the Revmaster, so I called QAC to get the name of their supplier. When I said what I wanted to do, they said that they would send me a set of Q-2 mounts and washers so that I could cut them off as needed and weld new washers onto the ends. No charge. Three days later, I had them and was on my way. That's service!

John Derr #2562, Golden, CO

ED. NOTE: I've said it before, when you have a problem; ALWAYS try QAC's Sheehan first. See, this is the way it's SUPPOSED to work.


Could someone add to Gene Comer's find of SEARS selling foam? I couldn't find it at the local store and catalog counter. How about an order number etc?

Has anyone got the NEW canard templates for sale/loan? How about alternate suppliers of spars?

Would someone PLEASE publish a good design for the forward sliding canopy, or call me collect? (405) 493-2804.

Alan Kittleson #2656, Drummond, OK

Noticed your request, Jim, for templates in the last newsletter. I was considering placing an ad to rent or purchase templates. I would appreciate borrowing any Quickie templates which may arrive.

Joe Hantz #535, 160 Ridgewood, Bridge City, TX 70645

ED. NOTE: Only one QBAer has responded to my request and he sent a fine set of Q-2 templates but with the old GU canard. I have set up a loan procedure to protect templates from loss. Write for details. No one has yet sent Quickie templates. In fact my Quickie was built from templates borrowed from QBAer Ev Wieland.


I've held up construction on my Quickie for almost 2 years waiting for a reliable engine and new canard. NO MORE! I'm now about 75% through fuselage construction on a "Silhouette". It's a joy. Plans run 350 pages, excellent detail, no guess work.

Eugene Andrew #501, Florissant, MO


After a 1 yr. pause in my construction, my New Year's resolution is to spend 15 hrs minimum a week. So far I've built 2 1/2 canards in search of perfection. I now have a beautiful FS-1 canard ready for slot cores; however, I may cut it in half and switch to the Tri-Q. The advantages appear to be well worth the time and cost. I sure would like to hear from other builders who have FLOWN both configurations. How does it hold up after a few hard landings and how does it work with the LS-1?

Jim Neffinger #2119, Atlanta, GA

Hi Jim:

Recently I took a trip in the T-37 and wound up at Dobbins AFB in Marietta, GA. Being a true-blue QBAer, I had my trusty member roster with me and gave Phil Haxton a call. He was kind enough to invite me to stay over night and I visited his project and Tom Solan's. I have enclosed pictures. This visit got me thinking. Wouldn't it be nice to have some sort of simple notation, an asterisk perhaps, on the roster that would denote members who were willing to accept other QBA visitors...sort of like a Hospitality Club within the regular QBA membership? I personally have stayed with you, Robert Herd, Bruce Luedeman, and Bob Gochnaur and have always experienced wonderful hospitality at each place. Perhaps you could put something in QUICKTALK to that effect since more people will be traveling as the weather warms up.

Norm Howell, N17VQ, Enid, OK

ED. NOTE: I always like when Norm travels because I often get pictures after. I also like his idea. There is an IVHC for the pickle-fork flyers (International Vari-EZ Hospitality Club), which has worked out very well for some years, and even has their own newsletter. I myself at least try to call local Q builders when I am in their area. Such calls or visits can be very stimulating and educational - even more so than this newsletter - because it's more personal, and that's what this self-help association that we have is all about. What say you, fellow QBAers?

Incidentally, my wife Mary and I drove up to Enid for a Vance AFB open house recently at Norm's invitation. While there, I saw that Norm is s-l-o-w-l-y (not enthusiastically) doing the final 2% on his Quickie. I know the feeling!! We also took a Mooney over to Fairview, OK to visit Wendall Beckwith and Jim Eck and see their temporarily engineless Quickie and tell tales.

Let it be recorded that in hospitality, Norm gives as good as he gets.

Dear Jim

Greetings and many thanks for QUICKTALK. Enclosed is a check for back issues and '86 renewal. Note the change of address. My wife and I intend to move our Q-200 building project to Nepal and to (hopefully) complete the job there. You may not know it, but we just left Nigeria after 16 years!

Brian Jackson, Kathmandu, Nepal

One thing I have learned during the construction of this airplane is that a one-week job takes at least six weeks to complete to satisfaction. So, having discovered the above idiosyncrasy my revised test window is spring of '86.

Curtis Lambert, Alberta, Canada

ED. NOTE: AMEN! Curtis.

Dear Jim:

The otherwise great tip from Dragonflyer #20 on sprinkling microspheres on wet airfoil surfaces (QUICKTALK #26) has a very important caveat. My partner, Dick, noted it.

Micro is structurally weak and IT SHOULD BE EXCLUDED from all places to which structural tapes will be later attached e.g. wing and pant attach tapes. Mylar or Mylar over Peel-Ply could be used, but don't depend on Peel-Ply only because of the spaces between the weave.

Neal Current & Dick Chandos #299, Goleta, CA

P.S. I vote for your "non generic" format in QT 26.

Some sharper minds than your editor's spotted a fly in the ointment on the wonderful tip I lifted from Rex Taylor's Dragonflyer.

From Rutan Aircraft Factory: "suggestion...to use a salt shaker to sprinkle micro balloons onto an uncured layup for future contouring. We do not like this idea for two reasons: it makes it impossible to inspect the layup after it cures, which is unacceptable and in order for the dry micro balloons to wet out, they must be leaching epoxy out of your layup.

If you have already done a good job on your layup...if you are following the instructions in the plans, you are causing what might have been an excellent layup with the correct epoxy to glass ratio to become a starved, dry layup which you would never be able to check."

From T. J. Wright of Custom Composite Components: If you shake micro powder on your last ply of glass, and if you squeegeed the proper amount of epoxy out, the micro will starve the last ply of glass of epoxy. You can however do the last ply wet and do this micro trick. In my opinion a better way is to mix dry micro as usual and apply after the glass had set 3-5 hours but before final cure. This gives a chemical bond rather than a mechanical one as with sanding. Also, if micro is sprinkled on and only fills the low areas between fibers, the fibers will get sanded through in order to obtain a smooth finish, rendering the top ply only about 50% of its strength.

ED. NOTE: I concede the inability to inspect. I have, however, heard over and over again that a hand layup is almost always much wetter in epoxy than vacuum bagging. That's what attracted me to this tip, and though well-experienced people are theoretically speculating that this tip will result in less strength, no one is sending me data from actual testing that proves it. Nevertheless, it seems to be a tip to avoid.

The micro idea is great, but after trying it on some non-structural (filet layups) and checking results, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that micro not be sifted onto a finished layup until the epoxy is partially cured (almost not tacky) so that you are assured that no air bubbles are present. I tried this technique on wet micro and found (LOW AND BEHOLD) that the micro draws up the epoxy just as efficiently; leaving a micro surface that is thick and a pleasure to sand. I therefore suspect that the optimum procedure would be to leave the layup clear until not tacky (and therefore proven bubble free) but still uncured enough that a second coat would bond without sanding. Then paint with wet micro or epoxy, taking care not to disturb the layup, and then sift micro balloons over the surface. I think the proper time would be about the same as when knife trimming is possible, but we should seek help from Hexel on this point (i.e. at what point is the layup cured so much that sanding is necessary for a good secondary bond).

In Canada, we need an inspection of wing layup before workmanship is obscured by micro or paint etc., so be sure to arrange inspection with your local EAAC designee before proceeding with micro.

Dear Jim:

If anyone is flying or getting ready to fly with the Posa carb, make sure it has the set screw mod to hold the needle from turning. DON'T FLY UNTIL IT IS FIXED. Mod info was furnished to me from HAPI Engines and I will send you a copy if you send a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Jim Langley, 245 E. Kimberly St., Republic, MO 65738

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