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Q-talk 33 - May/Jun 1992 - index

MAY/JUN 1992
ISSUE NUMBER 33

QUICKIE BUILDERS ASSOCIATION

GRAZIN' IN THE GRASS ...???

by Tom Moore

 

Can I ramble on a while? I haven't rambled in quite a spell. Come to think of it, I haven't stepped on anyone's toes in a while either. I gotta get caught up on all that kind of stuff.

 

THE K.C. GIG (i.e. Grazin' In The Grass)

Doubtless this sub-title for the so-called National Canard Fly-In (or maybe THIS is the sub-title) was chosen because the only canard aircraft these guys recognize are those with the vestigial, stump-like whiskers on the front end. Not a very manly sort of a canard, I should think ... almost an afterthought. When parked, these aircraft appear to be grassing like cows (some even believe that their takeoff rolls are somewhat cow-like). Nice as these folk are, they just naturally tend to ignore REAL, SUBSTANTIAL, canard-equipped aircraft like ours. I thought that at the speaker/awards program after the Saturday night banquet a cordial but very brief mention of our participation this year might be sort of a way to encourage our future support. Nope, too much to expect. Truth in advertising might dictate that this thing in the future be called the National Vestigial Canard Fly-In or a less pompous and more earthy, National Short-Canard Fly-In.

The Short-Canard organizers counted 61 airplanes roped down. 4 of those were ours (the Whetsten's Tri-Q2 visited briefly on Fri.) Bill Varga had his 80 hrs, Tri-Q200 in from Ohio; Jim Kisthard had the same, only with over 300 hours. Paul Fisher from IA and Art Jewett of KY had a pair of very nice Q-200's on the ramp. The rest were mostly knock-your-eyes-out Vari and Long EZ's, Cozy's and at least 1 Defiant ... Oh, yeah, even a T-18 with the canard on the tail ... a novel arrangement if ever one was.

Remember, I SAID these were nice folk. They had some very nice airplanes to admire and learn from. Pilots of whatever stripe are generally very cordial to other pilots (with the likely exception of Warbirds pilots, who seem to believe that their excrement is perfumed). I found the short-canard guys to be as enthusiastic and helpful as most builder/pilots. All airplanes have a certain number of things in common, more so in this case, inasmuch as we use the same construction materials and methods. It wasn't a waste of my 9 hr. drive each way. It wouldn't have been a waste of time for Dragonfly pilots, none of who showed up. But, to be fair, this was the weekend of our usual Springfield meet and, as usual, the weather was pretty crappy until Saturday afternoon. It was just a bit better than scud running stuff and not at all the kind of weather that basks you in summer.

I found a couple special points of interest at the short-canard awards program. The short-canard organizers had the neat idea to have a few patches made up with the number 1,000 on them and some with 500. When they called for all the short-canarders with more than 1,000 hours on their aircraft to come up, they ran out of patches. Ditto with the 500 hr. patches. There must've been 15 guys in each category? So .....? What this means to me is:

a) When Rutan set out to design a cross-country aircraft; he designed one damned effective piece of machinery.

b) All the carping of the aluminum folks notwithstanding, this method of construction is not only simple (do a tail count at any airshow), but it is holding up very well in the hands of dedicated users who don't sit around BS-ing in their hangars on a nice weekend.

I've heard tell that Rutan expects composite structures to get progressively stronger over the first 20 years, after which strength starts to decline. Well, hells bells, folks, let's get out there and build a few more!

The short-canards are our pathfinders. IF there is any weakness in the method or materials, these guys will run into them first. So far, so good. The "medieval" hand-layup method is cheap and strong and effective. HOOray!

 

DEJA VU

Loyal and longtime QBAers will remember way back in April of '84 when my then partner Robert Herd wrote his bowing-out editorial citing his chance of a lifetime to construct a homestead on a airport/home development on the south side of Dallas. I helped him put up his hangar and just coincidently owned the acre next door. After a time, Robert moved on, but I've been pinching my pennies since then waiting for the opportunity to construct a hangar of my own. The time is at hand.

While waiting for our incessant rains to clear and planning my Quickie's engine change-out, I got a call from Tri-Q builder Jeff Cox, also a neighbor at the development, saying that 2 of them were starting hangars and inviting me in on the mass purchase savings. I leaped at the chance. All I got done on the Quickie was to yank the engine, and now I'm deep in the throes of hangar erection. The 6 months of relief that Tom's help was going to buy me won't result in a flown-again Quickie as I expected. While that's a bit discouraging, I take heart in the fact that I may shortly have a most outstanding facility in which to build airplanes far into the sunset ... a 3,000 sq. ft. hangar with 17 ft. eaves ... and (apparently) at the cost of something half that size (which is really all I wanted). Unlike Robert, I'm not bowing out. But I wanted to update my interested inquirers on my current status. Good things come to all who wait and this is a very good thing.

 

*** MORE GOOD NEWS FROM SUN 'N FUN ***

Marion Brown received an "OUTSTANDING AIRCRAFT" award at Sun 'N Fun '92. Congratulations Marion, well deserved.

Other Articles In This Issue

LETTERS - by Tom Moore
PILOT PROFILE - by Joe Kelly
ODDS and ENDS - by Tom Moore
CLASSIFIEDS - by Tom Moore
QUICKPIX - by Tom Moore

 


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