Q-talk 61 - LETTERS
- Category: Q-Talk Articles
- Published: Tuesday, 31 December 1996 06:11
- Written by Tom Moore
- Hits: 2000
Thanks for the note with the newsletter explaining the photo troubles. Had me worried for a few minutes. Proves those sorts of things will happen from time to time. If I can still be of help with the previous request for info on the fuselage cut just let me know.
I was fortunate to have the winning Quickie at the '96 Ottawa Fly-In last Sept. The airplane took its first steps on 21 May 1989. It has taken over seven years to finally have the airplane that I thought I had purchased in the first place. Those seven years consisted of one disappointment after another. High temps, leaking gaskets-burnt valves, burnt rings-overhaul. Typical of most Onan installations, I later learned. This was repeated five times while trying to find some answers. Joining the QBA in 1988 began to open some doors. First the 22 hp heads had to go as per the Anderson articles of a few years earlier. However, cooling problems persisted in one form or another. Oil temps continued high and the valve problems just wouldn't go away for long. They effectively kept the airplane from being X-country capable. Finally, after several baffling changes, the engine appeared to be holding up although temps remained somewhat high. Then one day the replacement camshaft bearing at the gear end, which is one half the width of the OEM bearing, moved in the housing and off the cam shoulder allowing the cam to wobble. This happened on take off just as the plane got airborne loosing 500 rpm right now. Running terrible, she did make it around to an adjacent runway. I later learned that this problem is somewhat common with these engines. A new short block was then purchased. It is the newer version of these engines called the Performer series. The block and rods are heavier and stronger and the carburetor is of a different design. Within the first few hours of flying the valves were warped. That had never happened before. It became obvious that the airflow around the engine was not adequate. The air flows in the opposite direction on our application as it does on a standard engine. That may explain why the exhaust valve areas of the engine might run hotter than normal. The standard engine, with the flywheel, pumps air from the rear to the front cooling the hottest areas first. Without adequate airflow our engines get hotter and hotter around the exhaust valves. Changes were made in the way the air flows from the front of the rear of the engine, as seen in the Nov/Dec 96 newsletter and the oil sump was baffled with its own cowl air inlet. Also lower cowl flaps were added.
The sump baffling alone made a difference of 50 degrees in oil temp. The engine now runs with CHT's of 370 in climb and 280 to 325 in cruise. Oil temps will rarely reach 225 now and that is only in extended climbs on hot days. Cruise will run less than 190. The oil now stays clean whereas before it would darken in only a few hours and there are no gasket leaks.
The engine has since made X-countries to Davenport, IA enroute to Ottawa and back, Sterling Rock Falls, IL, and a few local fly-ins accumulating over 30 hrs. and some 3000 miles inside of a few months. Not the first leak nor the first problem has shown up. For planes grossing around the advertised 520 lb range, depending of course on the pro, climbs of 350 ft/min and cruises of 105 plus are not uncommon. I have also learned that souping up small air-cooled engines does not work, i.e. the 22 hp heads. A small engine mechanic told me that he overhauls a number of small engines every year that folks burn up from modifying for more horsepower - usually from shaving the cylinder heads (sound familiar). Like aircraft engines, these engines will produce max hp for many years as designed. Increasing the hp will affect the longevity of the engine. As with aircraft, if you want more hp, you generally buy a bigger engine, right? The point of all this is to give some faith to all the disappointed Onan flyers out there. The troubles we experience are not typical of these engines. Properly fed and watered they will give many hours of trouble free service. These airplanes can do more than fly the pattern ... much more. I hope my experiences can be of help to others. 1997 marks the 20th anniversary of the Quickie's first flight, which occurred on 15 Nov 1977. It received the EAA Outstanding New Design award on 4 Aug. 1978 and a Quickie by Terry Crouch won Reserve Grand Champion Plans Built at Oshkosh 95, the same plane won Grand Champion Plans Built at the North Central EAA Fly-In in 95 and my plane won Grand Champion Workmanship Plans Built at the same Fly-In in 96. The Quickies are special. They are the original tandem wing canard and the only one designed by Burt Rutan himself. Would sure be nice to see a good turnout of Quickies at Oshkosh 97 and 98. I know Crouch and I plan to be there.
Keith Welsh #N494K, Marshall, IL
Dear Mr. Masal
RE: Q2 N145EX
Thank you for publishing my letter in the Sept/Oct issue. My statement that the new rudder greatly improves ground handling is based on a series of high-speed taxi tests at Chino on runway 21 of length 6000 feet. One test lifted off slightly. Also, I had a test pilot fly it around the pattern and land once. It had flown three times with the prior owner.
During test flight, on landing ground roll, the tail wheel was off the round and the rudder was not able to hold the aircraft straight. When speed decayed so that the tail wheel touched down, there was a beautiful ground loop. So there was an incompatibility between the rudder and the tail wheel control. I experienced the same incompatibility during my taxi tests. When the wheel was off, there was a lack of directional control and when the wheel was on, directional control was good. The high time Q2 pilot here uses adverse aileron yaw for ground directional control. I tried this but was unable to be effective. So I went to the larger rudder and now directional control is excellent. The balance between the rudder and the tailwheel still slightly favors the tailwheel, so if the tail hops, there is some instability, but I am not going to increase the rudder.
Since my last letter, the engine top end has been rebuilt. The lower spark plugs blew out causing a ruined cylinder head. Fortunately, the pilot was able to land without incident. In the Revmaster engine, to remove the lower spark plugs, it is necessary to remove the rocker arms and shaft. So they do not get removed very often. The plugs worked loose possibly due to corrosion. The engine only had 50 hours in 10 years of operation and the lower plugs probably had never been serviced.
It was decided to upgrade the cylinder heads comparable to or better than the latest Revmaster heads. My engine was the original 64 HP. The later engines have 85 HP. I got racing heads from a local speed shop in Chino that are polished, ported, have unshrouded valves, 6000 RPM valve springs, etc. These are commonly available in the Southern California area, which is the center for hot VWs and dune buggies. Pick up a copy of Hot VWs from your newsstand for information. Also found some scored cylinder walls so did new cylinders, pistons and rings. Used a small under size, which has less distortion and actually produces more power. The total effect is to run cooler, more HP, smoother and faster. The valves and valve seats are also tougher to use unleaded gasoline so do not require valve adjustments as often. Total price for parts was $900. A little less than in the O-200.
I now have flown it 15 hours since the rebuild and it does all those things. RPM is up 300 to 3400, speed is up from 137 to 150 MPH and oil temperature is down 20 to 180 degrees. I can now fly with the cowl flap closed which was marginal before. I have the original Q2 prop from the 1981 kit. It has been trimmed 1 inch on each side.
The top end is now capable of 150 HP if the RPM's could go to 6000. This would require gearing the prop. The bottom end would also need something. I may go to a new camshaft and propeller similar to what is used in Formula V racing with direct drive. The objective would be something like 100 HP at 4300 RPM. Look out you Q-200 drivers!
One more thing. The new heads have 10 mm plugs in the lower end. They can be removed without removing the rocker shaft and arms. I kept the 14mm plugs in the top position.
I have not left the Chino airport yet. I am limited to 2500 feet because the Ontario TCA is over us. The nearest airport is Corona, which is only 3200 feet. So far I need 4000 feet for landing. My best landing technique is to approach at 100 mph, level off at the runway and touch down at 80 mph. I've tried approaching slower, the owners manual says 95 mph, but the sink rate is high and I do not have enough elevator power to hold it off. I think my airspeed indicator reads slightly high, but have not done the airspeed calibration tests yet. Need to get away from the airport for that. My next landing tests will be with more up reflexor (less wing lift) to require less down elevator (stick back). The full-length elevator looks more like a huge flap and seems to pick up a lot of drag and resultant sink as the stick is pulled back. So the idea is to use the reflexor more and the elevator less for pitch control in the flare. I would appreciate comments from other Q2 drivers regarding landing techniques.
James Postma, Steilacoom, WA
I have just rejoined QBA recently, after a long absence, and want to share some of my experience with you. I finally completed my TRI-Q, after approximately 14 years of on again off again construction, in the spring of '95. I now have close to 60 hours logged and am very happy with the little bird. It is rock stable in smooth air and will fly hands off for long periods. In turbulence, it requires a little more vigilance, primarily in heading control, but no worse than most any other light airplane. The tri-gear makes it a cake walk for ground handling and I would not be concerned about most any pilot being able to fly it safely.
The engine is an O-200 with a three blade Warp Drive propeller. I love that prop!! Smooth and quiet! I tried a 2 blade wood prop for one flight and couldn't wait to get the 3-blade back on. The 2 blade was noisier and rougher and if there was any gain in performance, I couldn't measure it. The engine is on a swing mount and is moved forward three inches to improve C.G., which is perfect. No matter how I load, I am within limits. Initial oil temps were a bit high and I wanted an external oil filter, so I spent the big bucks for an ADC oil filter system. I got enough extra cooling from that to keep the oil temps in the green except for extended ground ops in warm weather.
My fuel system turned into a plumber/electrician's nightmare, but it was done so normal ops would be simple yet redundant and safe. The header tank has a floating magnet and through reed switches and relays, the transfer pump turns on and off automatically to keep the header full without running the pump continuously. A second pump was installed, as a backup to the main pump, and through a selector valve, is used to transfer fuel from two 3-gallon aux. tanks in the baggage compartment. Thus, I have 24 usable gallons, with two independent electric pumps and if all else fails, a hand squeeze-bulb pump.
I added the belly-board speed brake as per the Tri-Q conversion plans, but made it electrically actuated. I don't feel anything as it deploys, but it seems to make the aircraft a bit more stable in the flare and touch down. Altitude test with it deployed indicate an increase rate of descent of a couple hundred feet per minute, at approach speeds.
I added an aileron trim system and I am very happy I did. The first few flights were without it and I quickly grew tired of the necessity to hold roll pressure on the stick to maintain wings level.
There are many other small things I have added that make for easy flying and for easier maintenance. However, all add up to HEAVY. I believe the trade off is worth it. Making things accessible for maintenance makes for safer flying since there is less reluctance to look at or adjust things periodically. And if the added weight costs a few mph - BIG DEAL! I go 160 mph and if yours is lighter and ten mph faster, in a days flying, say 8 hours air time, I will only be 30 minutes behind you and I will make that up at the first oil change. For those of you still building, hang in there. It is a fun airplane to fly!!
Fly Safe, Fly Happy!!
Doug Brablec, Coral Springs, FL
I will send you details of my electronic display as soon as I can put the details in a decent form. Basically it consists of a Stamp BS2 microprocessor driving a 2 line by 20 characters LCD. It displays RPM, left CHT, right CHT, EGT, OAT, battery voltage, fuel flow and running hours, with warning LEDs on CHTs, EGT and voltage. I only have about 6 hrs on my Q1 at the moment and have had a problem with the exhaust mount threads on the Zenoah head. These were stripped due to a loose exhaust attachment bolt so necessitated head removal to fix, when refitted I found some head bolts stripped so a barrel removal was required to fit Helicoils. All is back together again and I hope to fly this weekend. At the moment the max speed seems to be about 130 mph, cruise @4200 rpm is about 100 mph @2.5 gal/hr fuel consumption. My cowls are very draggy at the moment so improvement in this area will result in some increase in speed. I hope!
Barry Charlton, Waitati Otago, New Zealand
My Tri-Q200 has flown 60 hours during the past year with only one problem. On leaving the runway at Bourne, a small airfield near Cambridge, the nose wheel went into a deep pothole, which nobody warned me about, resulting in the need for a re-setting job on the nose wheel strut. This required heat, which in turn softened the material. After a discussion with Scott Swing I had it re-hardened at a local firm. This appears to be successful, but it's early days yet.
In my report last year, Q-TALK 48 page 4, I described a circumferential support for the spinner to counter cracking reported by other members. The engine has now run a further 88 hours without any sign of cracking. Making a total of 140 hours.
Derek Clarke, Doncaster, England
Quickie N14TC has 231 hours now, work and weather holding the numbers down. The only real interesting technical discovery made this year was under the cowl. Previously I did a lot of temperature measurements to explain the airflow under the cowl, but it wasn't very conclusive. This year I did a lot of pressure measurements. Both are very time consuming, but the pressure measurement will apparently yield more usable information for a builder with cooling problems or those trying to maximize cooling.
Terry Crouch, Bettendorf, IA
Highlights of 1996 on our Q200 N8242K.
1. We replaced the original exhaust pipe system that routed the exhaust out thru one pipe with four short stacks - two on each side.
2. One of our four partners designed, built and installed a wing leveler. Total cost $50.00. Plane flies HAND OFF!!!
3. We put a cradle/jack arrangement under the center fuselage to take the weight off of the landing gear when the aircraft is stored in the hangar.
Bill Benner, Missouri City, TX
Ed. Note: I'm sure that we can expect Bill to send in a little bit more info on the wing leveler that his partner came up with. I just have to let him know that we're interested. :-)
What is new with my project? Well, we continue to debug the Q-200. Running at 180 MPH TAS currently, I'm looking for places to steal an extra 15 MPH and loose about 20 degrees of excessive oil temperature. I've been running since day one using an El Reno spin on oil filter setup. Supposed to lower the temps, right? I'm still experimenting with it. I'm trying to rig a cooling manifold over it to see if I can drive the oil temps down that way. It seems that a small coffee can works about right. It just needs a proper domed manifold on one end. I've also got a blast tube blowing air on the O-200 oil sump tank. I tried the Firewall Forward under case baffle, but my cylinder head temps went up, which made me go to the more controlled flow of a duct. I'll give this a few flights before I break down and get an oil cooler.
The Cessna 150 type tachometer on my airplane started slowing down this fall. As I would throttle the engine up, the manifold pressure would show an increase and the engine would roar as expected, but the tachometer would still be there at idle. I tried a little WD-40 down the cable and then gave up and bit the bullet. I took an hour and a half, pulled the motor off and removed the cable (capping and stowing the takeoff position for the cable on the back of the engine.) After doing a little inspection, I put the blasted motor back on. I then started modifying the instrument panel for a smaller tachometer indicator. The panel is now being modified for a Horizon Instruments model 336 which runs off the P-leads.
Brian Martinez, Quartz Hill, CA
I wish I could say that this has been a good year for my aircraft, but I had to work on the damage to the canard, cowling and tail cone due to my running off the runway and hitting an information sign at the end of last year. The canard was the hardest to fix as it had snapped at the fuselage. I cut off the canard and built a plug that fit inside the carbon spar that would hold the spar ends in alignment from the inside. Then I positioned the two parts of the canard with the proper anhedral, angle of attack, width and sweepback using the inside plug slathered with flox to hold where all the carbon fibers had splintered. Then I wrapped 27 layers of carbon fibers in various lengths around the broken spar area. I put pour-in-place foam in the mangled foam area and shaped it to the desired contour of the wing and then glassed over the area with one more layer of glass than required in the plans. Then I remounted the canard. I had made molds of the cowling back when I first started this airplane project so I dusted off the lower cowl mold and laid up a new lower cowling. I had to build a new carb heat/intake duct, which is better than the old one I had made. The Warnke prop had both the blades snapped in the accident and he told me he didn't want to make a prop because he was "backed up" and it would take 6 months to get to it, so I bought a new Prince "P Tip" that is 58" x 66" and it works as well as the Warnke and it took a couple of weeks to get, but it ain't cheap! The tail cone repair was tedious, as I had to glass it in sections from the inside out. I sanded the inside of both parts near the break then held the two parts in alignment with two pieces of wood Bondoed to both parts. I then glassed a part of the inside that had the least damage. This greatly stiffened the two tail cone pieces. I continued with two more interior glassings until there was only a 4" - 6" hole in the side to access the interior. The whole outside was glassed, except for the hole. Then the hole plug to match the contour of the inside was built bigger than the hole and held in place while it cured. Then the outside was glassed. This entire repair took until September when I was finally able to get the plane back in the air. I have flown about 25 hours since the accident. The ground handling is just as touchy as ever, but now on take off the tail will lift off first. It is not much of a problem on takeoff, but on landing it is difficult to get the tail to touchdown first. Then if the stick is not held fully back the tail wheel starts to bounce. I have even held full forward stick but this does not seem to help. Anyway it's fun to be flying again!
I have mounted the aircraft engine (O-200) 1 degree down and 1 degree to the right as per the plans. The aircraft will yaw to the right when I pull the power back to idle and to the left when I add power. Does anyone know why? Does anyone know at what angle of attack to the waterline their planes fly at cruise speed?
I still have the Q database. It is about 22 pages of information on where to find the tips in Quicktalk. It is $6.00 + $1.50 shipping. I also have a database on who owns Q planes gleaned from all the information I could find. It is for sale at the same price.
Larry Koutz, Valdosta, GA
Jim and Tom,
I haven't done anything to the plane this year, but fly it and haven't gotten to do much of that since December (up here in the frozen nauth yall know what I mean).
I do have one experience to relate to you. On Sunday, January 14th, the local flyers with Alzheimer's and other degenerative brain dysfunctions saw a break in the weather. Such an opportunity was not to be denied (ceiling 1900 ft, tempt 19 deg, f, no precip. for at least a couple of hours). We launched 4 planes for breakfast in Decatur, IL, a distance of 40 miles. On the return trip with a tummy full of eggs and waffles I was loosing the race with a Piper Arrow. He was about 2 miles ahead of me when he reported icing at 1800 ft. We were about 15 miles from the home airport and dropped down to 1200 ft and continued. I never did get any ice on the wind screen, but by the time I got to SPI I was down to 1000 ft (agl 430) and had 3/16 of clear ice on the wings and 1/16 on the prop.
Visibility was fine all the way in and there was no noticeable change in flight characteristics. The other three planes picked up considerable ice on the windscreens, but I had none. I believe my windscreen was kept clean by my up draft cooling blowing warm air over the canopy. This is offered not as a recommendation for flight into icing conditions, but as a warning to those who might venture out in marginal weather. We were lucky it was clear ice and not rime ice and so we survived.
Jim Doyle, Springfield, IL
Bill Benner noticed an odd thing about his Tri-Q when it was sitting in the hangar. The front tire would develop a flat spot after a period of time. Bill resolved this problem by adding ears to the nose gear and building a cam jack made of wood. You can see the cam jack about half way thru the process of lifting the front wheel off of the ground, all you have to do is push the plane backwards and the cam jack lowers the nose wheel onto the ground.
By adding the ears for the cam jack Bill has also given himself a great way to attach a tow bar.
Marion Brown has sent in a picture of his Subaru installation nearing completion. From the looks of this picture Marion has built himself a quality setup. We're looking forward to seeing this machine up close.
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