QuickTalk 29 - Sep/Oct 1986 - index
- Category: Q-Talk Index
- Published: Friday, 31 October 1986 06:11
- Written by Jim Masal
- Hits: 2563
ISSUE NUMBER 29
QUICKIE BUILDERS ASSOCIATION
by Jim Masal
Yuuuuck! Oshkosh was like a sea of lemmings this year. Bodies everywhere. A trip through the exhibit buildings was an aromatic exercise in bumping and jostling. Aircraft parts in the Fly Market were picked over early, but then lately there were more and more junk and trinket booths and less airplane parts anyway. You couldn't get a clear camera shot on the flight line this year, and show planes were being examined with less touchy and more grabby. The weather blew hot and cold with a touch of rain thrown in. Back at the dorms, late returning drunks bellowed their arrivals to wee-hours sleepers. I can only imagine what was going on in the choked campgrounds. Except for church services, it was standing room only to all the evening programs at the Theater in the Woods. If you didn't go, be glad.
There...that should make you pessimists happy.>/P>
For the rest of us...it was just wonderful!
Actually, the fact of the matter is that the bigger the crowd, the more show planes that show up, and the better the airshow performers and performances. After so many past surprises, I couldn't possibly imagine what the EAA's "Air of Adventure" would feature as the hit of the show. It came in the form of thick billows of red, green and white smoke from the aft ends of 10 Aermacchi MB-339A two place jet trainers flown in very tight formation by the Italian Military precision jet team "Frecce Tricolori". Convention audiences were thrilled and spellbound. The Goodyear blimp seemed to fascinate the youngsters while the oldies couldn't get over the seemingly impossible hovering of 2 Marine Harrier jets (if the hovering didn't get you, the deafening jet-roar did!).
On the flight line, several new composite designs were shown, but nothing especially awe-inspiring. The four-seat market is heating up with the White Lightning and two Long-EZ 4 pax clones with another expected to be released shortly by Nat Puffer. (Fat Kosher Pickle Forks). The major flight line occupants, as usual, were the EZ's, but a few rows behind them, a smattering of ours showed up:
Two of these are especially noteworthy. Ed Miller's Quickie looks every bit as good in person as it does in our previous photos. Ed reports a top speed of 140 mph even though he likes to cruise at 120. Elliott's Q200 aroused great interest. He had a full house on the panel. He reported that in exchange for only 5 lbs. of additional weight and a 6" extension of his cowling, he gained 16 hp., didn't have to fabricate a magneto box and can put his oil cooler almost anywhere. He can get to anything on the engine without having to remove it.
QAC FORUM - The crowd was noticeably smaller this year...perhaps they knew this would be the same ol' racing talk that Gene keeps flogging to death. For those that came, Sheehan had some good (???) news. As per his July 23rd letter to selected customers he noted that a diminished level of business made it impossible to reorganize as required by the court under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, "consequently we have informed the court that we will not oppose them converting to a Chapter 7 liquidation." Just before OSH, Sheehan said, he got notice that the Mullan case against QAC was reversed on appeal. He fairly gushed as he took credit for this event as starting a turn in corporate liability judgments for us all. Yay, Gene! Now the bad news: Sheehan was deliberately vague and evasive about where QAC goes now (he said he wasn't expecting the win and had been disappointed for some time).
If ever there was a moment for some pointed, incisive questioning about parts availability, engine, etc. this was it. The elusive man was at hand only a few yards away yet the questions were as interesting as day old pabulum. When I finally noted that QAC's phone hadn't been answered and asked Gene if the number had been changed, he said, "Yes". It took 10 minutes for someone to build up the guts to ask what it was (Sheehan certainly wasn't going to give it on his own, that would be customer service, God forbid!). I was in disbelief over this display. Stunned. With all the questions I get about QAC, I couldn't believe this crowd would act as if afraid to ask the man himself. If you keep sitting out there going "Baaaaaaa" you'll keep on getting the ol' sheep dip.
Regarding QAC's appeal, the QBA found out that QAC raised 4 points of law, three of which the court found not reversible. As pertains to the fourth, the original district court judge held that certain language in the contract was unconscionable: BUYER EXPRESSLY WAIVES ANY AND ALL CLAIMS ARISING FROM STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY, PERFORMANCE, FLIGHT CHARACTERISTICS, MECHANICAL FAILURES, AND SAFETY AGAINST QUICKIE AIRCRAFT CORPORATION. Colorado law protects the public from sellers who attempt to unfairly limit their liability by contractual waiver statements. If the seller has unequal bargaining power, exercises oppression, unfair surprise, confusing or contradictory language, or if the contract is imposed on the public on a take-it-or-leave-it basis where other similar products are not available, all or part of the contract may be held unconscionable and unenforceable. The district court struck the above language from the jury's consideration. The appellate court disagreed and reversed the verdict. However, there was further disagreement on whether the waiver actually bars claims on product liability and negligence. This question was sent to the Colorado Supreme Court, and if the waiver does not bar claims, Mullan would still prevail. So while Sheehan gleefully misinforms us (again) that his waiver saved him, it was only a technicality, i.e. that the waiver was not sent to the jury for consideration. Whether the waiver holds water is a bigger question that may not be decided in his favor by the Colorado Supreme Court. It's not over yet, folks.
Sheehan summed up his "racing seminar" the same way he ended his recent letter: "So friends you are still building the most efficient single and two-place airplanes around" (the Q200 placed first and Vic Turner's Quickie placed first in 1 and 2 place categories of the CAFE 400). The factory Q200, though HIGHLY tweaked and tuned from stock, I can understand, but Turner's Quickie is nothing like the Quickie that QAC gave us. I almost barfed. If you modify a QAC product in any substantial way, Sheehan will "insist that you call your airplane something other than a Q-2 or Quickie". Start winning races in your Q? and he'll be taking credit faster than an IRS agent on a sweepstakes winner's doorstep.
Random notes: "The airplanes are just fabulous performers" and "If you need anything contact me personally and I'll see what I can do for you" and (this one woke me right up though I can't remember the context) "everybody in this business lies a little." QAC's phone: (805) 824-9136. Toe out on wheelpants is still recommended. It's easy to be within 1/4 degree on a wing incidence just by following the plans. 7.5-8 degrees is OK for ground angle of attack and 7 3/4 is optimal. The Ellison carb is particularly effective at partial throttle. The factory Q200 has no sparrow strainers...it's worth about 1.5 mph but is not hands off stable and is only for racing.
QBA FORUM - Our tent was slow filling up this year, but we still had over 300 in attendance. I took a page from the church meeting and asked everyone to mill around a few minutes and introduce each other. It seemed to me if we were going to talk Q's, we ought to also come away having made some friends that we could talk to later. There was much discussion about QAC and my personal speculation is that because of scuttlebutt of other suits waiting to be laid on the company if it comes out of bankruptcy, it won't. Gary LeGare, in attendance, confirmed that he had just such a suit involving an Australian dealership that Sheehan authorized. He also stated that if QAC failed, rights to the Q-2 revert back to his Canadian company Aero Gare. Interesting...mmm?
When we broke into separate sessions, the Q-2 guys talked ground handling, wing and ground incidence; Scott Swing updated us on the Tri-Q progress and Marc Waddelow discussed his sparless canard and aspects of its design.
Norm Howell led the Quickie session. The consensus was that it was not necessary to go through the expense and time of building an LS canard, as the vortex generators are quite adequate. Little and Miller had positive comments on the Rotax engines. You do have to live with higher fuel consumption but 3 gph won't hurt anybody. Several flying QBAers talked about handling qualities and agreed that the rapid roll rate and pitch response would unnerve the average C-150 driver and that stick time in a responsive homebuilt might be mandatory for a low-time pilot facing his first flight.
1987 AND THE FUTURE OF THE QUICKIE BUILDERS ASSOCIATION
I feel like a real patsy. During OSHKOSH, several QBAers I met told me that they don't write or send in tips to QUICKTALK because of their fear of liability for the info they might share. If they are right, then I have been a continuous fool for 5 years in exposing myself by publishing QUICKTALK. I have always tried to learn from my mistakes, and these people are leading me to conclude that I am making a BIG mistake. I see two alternatives: 1. Kill the QBA and QUICKTALK altogether, and 2. Offer QUICKTALK only to those folks who, like myself, have not cowered from some imagined liability fears. There is immensely more benefit to the common good, safety and enjoyment of all Q drivers by sharing all the knowledge available. I respect the decision of those who won't, however I feel it's hypocritical and unfair of those people to enjoy the fruits of my hanging my butt out in the breeze while they hide safe and secure. I don't like working for these people. I much prefer working for people who are right beside me sticking their necks out too, the kind of people who, like those in times past, cared more about exploring and settling the West than they did about meeting Indians along the way. People used to help people in America with small concern for the odds or personal fortune. What ever happened? If you haven't shared experiences with us, YOU may be the one out in the breeze.
While I consider my 2 options, don't anybody send in any dues renewals for 1987; I'll just send them back. I will tell you what I intend to do in your next and possibly last QUICKTALK.
Other Articles In This Issue
QUICKIE HINTS - by Jim Masal
Q-2 HINTS - by Jim Masal
PILOT PROFILE - by Jim Masal
CLASSIFIEDS - by Jim Masal
A POSSIBLE CURE FOR QUICKIE PROBLEMS - by Jim Prell
You can order a PDF or printed copy of QuickTalk #29 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.