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Q-talk 145 - Flipping the Bird

with help from John Loram


I’m getting to a point on my project where I have sanded everything I can easily reach with the plane on its main gear. So I’m starting to think about how I’m going to get the plane onto its back so that I can begin sanding everything on the bottom.

Oddly enough, my main concern was about how to properly support a Q2 while it’s flipped over. I don’t want it resting on any part of the structure that wasn’t designed to be “load bearing.”

Well, as your website/newsletter editor I take it upon myself to keep tabs on all of the other Q builders who happen to have websites. On this particular day, I noticed that John Loram had an updated project photo on his site that showed his Q2 on its back. However, the camera angle prevented me from seeing the support apparatus. So I thought I would send him a quick e-mail to see what he had his Q resting on.

Now, I don’t know if it’s the way I’m wired, but my wife seems to think that I find the most circuitous path between any two given points. She often reminds me that I once thought I needed to take scuba lessons before I could get a pilot’s license. . . Yeah, exactly. . . Don’t ask!

At any rate, in my mind, I was so sure that John would respond with some incredibly ingenious feet of engineering, I began wondering if I would have the time, skills, and financial resources necessary to duplicate whatever contraption he had created. Much to my to my surprise, he responded with the following quick e-mail and three corresponding photos.


Q2 Flipped Over

Hello Dan,
I had some large chucks of expanded Styrofoam (the stuff coffee cups are made of). It was probably from some packing container. They were about 18" long and 3 to 5" on a side. I placed them on small (Harbor Freight) furniture dollies and used one at the top of the firewall and a second at the seat back bulkhead. They crushed nicely, distributing the weight. This left the main wing tips six plus inches off the floor.

Without the dollies my wing tips were just an inch or two off the floor.

I've attached some pictures.

regards, -john-

Q2 Flipped Over

John Loram Working on his Q2





Oh? Uhmmm? I REALLY thought it would be more complicated than that. Embarassed

OK. . . But here’s a tougher one, how did he get it flipped over in the first place? I immediately, began thinking about constructing a 3/4” plywood stand, that would attach to the firewall and allow me, to tip the plane up on its nose, without damaging the wheel pants, and then continue the rotation, over onto its back. After I hired four or five football plays, I figured it would be easy.

But before I went out and started sawing wood, and trying to find “football Players” in the Yellow Pages, I thought I would send John another quick e-mail about how he did it. Again his response was courteous and right to the point. Apparently I caught him at a good time, since he had just documented how he flipped the plane right-side-up. He sent me a link to a slideshow on his website that showed, in dramatic fashion, exactly how he accomplished the task. I animated his photo series below to illustrate how it was done.




His e-mail was just two sentences long, but the second sentence really caught my attention. He said, “That's a plastic bag of pine shavings that the firewall is resting on.” I am such a putz! I am really making this WAAAAaaaaaayyyy too complicated!

At any rate, John taught me a valuable lesson, that I think we all can learn from. We often get so bogged down in the “how in the hells” of the project, that we often overlook some very simple solutions. It’s more important to be out working on your project, than to be in the house trying to figure out the next step. Only one of those choices will get you any closer to flying!

So keep at it boys! Just "Git ‘er dun" already!


You can check out John's site at http://www.loram.org/Q2index.htm