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QuickTalk 14 - LETTERS

"I have been working on my little Q2 for 2 years and 3 months. I hope to finish it in 1984. As a first-time builder, I have found this project a real challenge. Being somewhat able to 'read between the lines' helps. Particularly lacking are details on engine installation, fuel and electrical systems and the firewall openings (Do you use grommets or plaster the lines and wires with liquid firewall?)

I have had to reorder microspheres and epoxy several times. I cannot imagine anyone building the entire airplane with the kit amounts. If it can be done, I will have some extra weight for sure.

The Good Lord willing, I will finish this year and my 'Cloudhopper' and I will loosen the bonds of earth..."

Jim Loberger (#2202), Jacksonville, FL

"I have heard several builders comment on the liability of selling homebuilt aircraft or aircraft parts. Is there any way I can sell my GU canard without incurring liability? I consider this canard to be dangerous and, therefore, intend to make an unusual flagpole or diving board out of it unless there is a way to sell or give it away without assuming liability. Do we have a lawyer in the crowd?"

Robert Falkiner (#2015), Ontario, Canada

"One of the details in preparing my Q2 for flight has just been completed. I have just mailed an application to register my plane with the state aeronautics commission. They charge $48 for 24 months.

In order to register the plane, I had to submit along with the application and my check, a state sales tax receipt for the kit which I did not have. I took my kit receipts down to the local tax office which assessed a 5% TAX ($534.00). Then they made me pay $165.25 in interest since May of 1982 when I paid the last installment of the kit.

I was able to avoid an additional $104.00 in penalties for late filing and late payment because of an amnesty program in effect at this time.

I am still in shock!"

Alden Johnson (#2553), Greenfield, MA

"I would like to know if any of the other members who have their Q2's flying are experiencing problems with the heads or valves. We have about 180 hours on ours now and need to adjust the valves every 20-25 hours.

We have also had to replace one set of spark plugs. The first one started cutting out and misfiring at 160 hours, even after cleaning and adjusting. You cannot find the same kind of plugs that come with the Revmaster...They haven't been made since 1958. A friend of mine got hold of a case, so I bought 50 of them. Revmaster is charging $6.00 each."

E. B. Barlow (#2214), Stockbridge, GA

"...I'm building Q2 #2654 with the new GAW canard. All major structure is completed and I'm marrying the major parts now. 658 hours to this point, but I have lots of special things to do since I'm going FULL IFR and using a Rotorway RW100 engine. It will be turbo-charged and fuel injected. Calculated speeds at altitude are phenomenal. Should be flying this summer, as I spend 25 hours per week on my mistress..."

Robert David (#2654), Newbury, OH

"I would like to see what the pitch attitude looks like (from the cockpit) for a Quickie in straight-and-level flight. I think it would be of great help for first time flyers if one of your readers could take a picture at eye level out the front of the plane. The camera should have a wide-angle lens so the picture will show the cowling. If you could publish such a picture, I think it would be of great help. Maybe also the Q2 in different flight configurations."

David Bynum, Denver, CO

"Last summer I believe I wrote 'this summer or bust'. Well, Q2 C-GGFU flew for the first time about the first of August and now has accumulated about 24 hours.

The initial flight was made by someone more qualified than myself. I am sure that was for the better, as I had goofed on my weight and balance. After the initial flight, we made the following changes. The hand-operated brake lever was discarded for toe-operated brakes. (I have the hydraulic type). Also, the brake calipers were bolted solid on the wheel pants and the discs were changed so that they float on the wheel hubs. Finally, about 13 lbs of lead shot were put in the cavities at the bottom of the vertical stabilizer.

C-GGFU flies with Gary LeGare's T-tail and frankly, I would be very hesitant to fly one without it. Presently, my CG (empty) is 46.2" behind datum. Empty weight including oil (less fuel), ready to fly is 612 lbs. It amazed me how weight can creep up as the first time I weighed it, I had 563 lbs. Individual brakes, fire extinguisher, seat cushions, Terra 720, antenna, lead shot, EGT - it all adds up. Performance seems very close to designer specs, but to date I have no hard figures.

Here at home I have an 1825' grass strip and I operated off it last fall, but I do need some wind to get it stopped before I run out of runway. In a no wind situation, I have to land at the local airport.

I find the Q2 an enjoyable aircraft to fly and not difficult at all. (I have a little over 300 hours total, about half in taildraggers.) But, heed the contaminated canard warnings. I once flew from my strip with a little dust on it and was unable to reach 500 AGL at full throttle (solo). That landing approach was made at 140 MPH indicated at the local airport with lots of runway. Not my type of flying to say the least. I'll be watching for reports on the new canard in QUICKTALK..."

Hugo Menheere (#2024), Ontario, Canada

"Had a bad bout with the epoxy raising hell with my hands and finally looked up an old ad in SPORT AVIATION about a company that had a solution to the problem. So I sent them my $38 bucks and guess what they sent me? A bunch of Amway products that really work.

To replace the Ply-9 Gel sent with the kit, they use Amway Allano and you just apply it as the Gel. It dries in place and really protects your hands. I even put it under my fingernails and, when complete, I clean my hands with Amway L.O.C. I scrub my hands with a brush and good old Ivory soap. Finally, I coat my hands with Amway Honey Cream. Works like a charm...And believe it or not, I'm not an Amway dealer!

So, for whoever wants the info without paying 38 bucks - be my guest!"

John Marrotte (#2330), Hankins, NY

"Our Quickie (owned by three of us) is structurally complete and we are about to finish surface filling. We have fitted our engine with 20 HP heads and graphite gaskets and it seems to run smoothly. Ray Anderson's articles are most useful. We hope for a first flight about Easter."

Martin Burns (#439), Renfrewshire, Scotland

"My Q2 now has 45 hours flight time and I'm looking forward to many, many more. I enjoy the airplane, but it must be regarded with respect and caution. It does bite! I think a high performance taildragger pilot might be less susceptible to the sharp edges of takeoff and landing characteristics. Since my taildragger experience was limited to Piper Cubs, I've had to use great patience in expending the crosswind component of my airplane. Any crosswind makes me alert and 30 degrees above 5 knots variable is, how shall I say - potentially damaging?!

I believe the variable crosswind is far more difficult for me to deal with than a constant wind. I have not yet damaged the plane on landing rollout, but I have fishtailed often and left the runway once. All very exciting!

Before my first flight, I had a taxi accident similar to Max Stupar's report in the NOV/DEC QBA newsletter. Ten days before my final inspection, I went off the upwind side of the runway during a 20 MPH taxi test. The wind was 5 knots or less with a 60 degree crosswind. The wheel pants dug into deep sand at the edge of the runway and I poked an 8" hole in the ground with my spinner! At the time I just couldn't imagine what happened to cause the departure from runway heading. Now I believe the main problem had to do with AILERON STEERING. In my airplane, the effectiveness of aileron steering can't be ignored. In fact, much of my crosswind difficulty may be associated with it.

In my taxi testing (low speed) I was very relaxed with the flight controls (How can you go wrong at 20 MPH?). My natural stick position was half deflection left aileron, which produced a right turning force. This coupled with a right crosswind and a forward CG (I wasn't planning to fly that way) to overcome the tailwheel. Aileron steering is very difficult for me to control because of the reverse input (i.e. right aileron/left turn, left aileron/right turn), but I'm learning. All new pilots should be aware of aileron steering, even though many Q2's don't seem as severely affected as mine. Aileron steering will overcome my tailwheel above 40 MPH even at aft CG.

One more thing to mention. At aft CG my elevators buffet (flutter?) at a rate of about one oscillation per second - very lightly. No buffet at mid to forward CG. The elevators are 100% balanced at 4 degrees TE up. The buffet isn't affected by airspeed. Anyone have comments?..."

Charles Belshe (#2082), Worchester, MA

"I have stewed long enough and finally decided to answer the letter from John Hicks (#401) in the NOV/DEC issue of QUICKTALK. I have now flown my Quickie N220WA over 65 hours, including cross-countries of over 200 miles one-way. It is the sweetest flying airplane going.

I do not have Mr. Hicks vast Air Force experience, but I have flown a great number of single-engine aircraft from 65 HP to 1000 HP, with fixed gear and non-controllable props to retractable gear and controllable props. I have held commercial, instrument and CFI ratings. I am now old, tired, "stove up", worn out, reflexes and eyesight far from what they once were and I had practically no flying time in the previous 15 years prior to building and flying my Quickie. In my opinion, if the airplane is properly constructed, CG within limits, gross weight of pilot and plane not wildly out of bounds, wheels mounted properly, etc., then this airplane is perfectly safe for the brand new minimum time pilot. My aircraft is definitely not, I repeat - NOT tricky. There are no surprises lurking in waiting. It has perfectly honest and definitely predictable characteristics. It is as gentle as a pussycat on take-offs and landings and there is no aberrant or unusual behavior in flight.

Any airplane can and will kill you, if you have your head 'up and locked' - to use an old Air Force expression. The air, like the sea, is terribly unforgiving of gross mistakes of thought or action at an inopportune moment. But then, so is the automobile.

Anyway, the main thought I would like to get across to all the builders and prospective builders out there is - you are in for a thrill. You'll love it, and you don't need 100,000 hours of flight time or the training and reflexes of a Lindberg or Doolittle."

William Adams (#528), Pineville, LA

/The above comments notwithstanding, reports reaching us indicate a surprising number of Quickies involved in 'fender benders'. Low time or out-of-practice pilots should exercise extreme caution and preparation before and during flight-testing. Even pussycats have sharp teeth. -Ed./

"A quick report on Q2 #2130 (N13962). The project was completed, painted and test flown in August 1983. The following may be of interest: Engine - Monett conversion 1700cc VW; Empty weight - 520 lbs.; Top speed - 156 MPH at 3100 RPM; Prop - 54x42; Static RPM - 2850; Climb rate - approx. 500 FPM.

My son Joe and I followed the test procedure outlined in the manual - low speed taxi, high speed taxi, followed by short runway flights and test flight. We experienced no real surprises, except for the quick response in pitch. Pitch trim system is a definite must in this plane.

We have 16 hours total time to date, a result of a mishap and winter weather. One bad landing, high and fast, resulted in a forced ground loop which threw me into a ditch and snapped off the left gear approximately 12"-18" into the canard.

Prior to the mishap, we clipped the prop to 52x42 and saw a static of 3150 RPM, up 300 RPM from the original...The new prop is a 54x40 in order to see 3500-3600 RPM in flight. Reports have it that these figures are about where the engine should run.

We can verify previous reports on landing. The plane will not come down. It is very difficult to hit the threshold, so pay attention, pick a touchdown spot and if you miss it, go around... Oh yes, the mechanical brake system leaves a lot to be desired. I would recommend everyone presently building to go the hydraulic system.

For what it's worth, we intend to build a parking stand to support the plane in the hangar. We have observed a definite sag in the canard and elevator from the weight applied...Remember that 99% of the time, the plane is just sitting there. Why not give it a lift? Just get the load off the gear."

Bill Slattery (#2130), Lansing, IL

"I'm confident the new LS airfoil will eliminate the majority of Q2 problems. As a matter of fact, my only problems can be attributed to the GU airfoil. My first encounter with a bugged-up canard resulted in a broken prop when I botched the landing at Cameron, Texas in March of '82. I had been 500' AGL for about an hour because of low ceilings and decided to land. I didn't notice I had been slowly using up my aft trim until I entered downwind and couldn't get slower than 100 MPH indicated. The stick felt like a lead weight. I hit hard and broke the prop on about the third bounce. The other was a hair-raising encounter with rain after winning 2nd place at the Amarillo Airshow in May 1982. I had departed Amarillo to return to Hobbs when I tried to penetrate a light shower. Upon entering visible moisture, the airplane started down. With full aft trim and both hands on the stick, I was descending at 120 indicated and 500 FPM. After a 180 and exiting the shower, the airplane jumped back into the air. Just to be sure, I turned around and tried again with the same results.

The installation of the T-tail made my Q2 an entirely new airplane. I'm using an approach speed now of 85 where I previously used 95-100 to feel comfortable. I've learned that a simple 3-point or slightly tailwheel-first touchdown is all that's necessary for beautiful landings although I consistently use 2000'.

The reports of the new canard are like day and night difference in performance...It's regrettable that problems with the GU airfoil had to be discovered the hard way. I'm really proud of Gene Sheehan for continuing the development and making the 'recovery-turnaround' that he did...It appears that the lines are drawn between the chronic complainers (with people experiencing problems) and the "Scott Swing's' or the people flying without problems and having a ball.

I go to considerable expense to maintain an answering service. (505) 624-1499. In the event I'm not available at any given moment I will return the call. My phone is answered Mon-Sat from 8 to 5. I fly my Q2 regularly and I'm available for check rides and demos. I'm located at Great Southwest Aviation in the Roswell Industrial Air Center."

Theodore Martin (#2104), Composite Aircraft Co., Roswell, NM

"Like so many of my fellow builders, I too have had difficulty in constructing my plane with only the instruction manual to go by. However, I believe maligning QAC is uncalled for! I suspect that they are no worse or better than the average. After all, I believe the statistics show that only approximately 15% of all homebuilts ever actually fly! I don't know, but I would guess that some percent of the other 85% are a result of construction difficulties or communication problems with the kit seller or the plans seller. What do you think? If 800 Q2's have been sold and 15% is correct, then we should expect only 120 planes will be completed and flown.

I hope to be included in this 15% or 120 planes. This leaves 680 unhappy builders! That's a lot of people with a lot of money invested and good reasons for being upset. Whatever their reasons for being upset are, they do not justify maligning the Q2 design. I have read all the flight test reports I could get my hands on and am still convinced that if somehow you can build your Q2 no worse than the ones tested were built, you too can have a plane which performs as well as the 'factory model'."

Art Dalke (#2242), San Jose, CA

"During the past two years of reading QUICKTALK and building a Q2, I have formed several conclusions. First, based on complaints of the writers and of my own, Quickie Corporation and Revmaster lack in exercising good business management (i.e. a continued back order problem and failure to exercise quality control with its suppliers and subcontractors). Secondly, the Q2 is a 'squirrelly airplane to land'. There appears to exist a speed envelope during the landing phase within the control surfaces are not adequate to maintain control throughout the landing. In more simple terms, it appears difficult to stay on the runway centerline.

I know there are builders who are flying their Q2's and don't seem to have a problem or have not reported it. Perhaps they should produce a video tape (cockpit view) of just how they land their Q2.

Fred Wemmering (#2296), Fayetteville, NC

"I thought it was probably time that I wrote to you about 'Buttercup' (Quickie #213), which I have been flying for the past year and a half. So far Buttercup and I have accumulated approximately 135 hours. Most of these hours have been good, and I have no real complaints except for the usual gripes about head bolts and perhaps about the margins of safety concerning the canard.

I put in graphite gaskets and I've had much better performance from the 22 HP Onan. Only two studs right around the spark plug seemed to have the problem. Helicoils have been added and I am waiting for 10 hours more to go by before I check to see if they are really holding. I may still go to 20 HP heads, but I am anxious to see if this can work.

As far as the canard is concerned, I had an experience that pointed up the water problem. I started Buttercup on the ramp one spring day while there were puddles of water everywhere. On the runup, the propeller splattered the canard on one side only. I took off with one wing low and a real forward pull on the stick. I cleared the snowdrifts on the left hand side of the runway and continued barely climbing until finally it dried off and everything returned to normal. A few gray hairs!

Aside from general growing pains of learning the idiosyncrasies of the plane, I've had little real trouble. Several times I was frightened by the seemingly absent rate of climb on takeoff. I found it a result of a hot day and also a blown gasket. I make a point of running the engine up to 3200 RPM every time before takeoff...

I've sheared off two engine bolts - at different times, thank goodness! They were not the right kind, I found out. I've done several ground loops (in the beginning, not on purpose) and lost a prop as the result of one. I might suggest that the test flight be conducted with extreme care since my very first taxi flight took me up to 30' when I wasn't ready for it. I abruptly shut down the power and hit the ground quite hard, breaking the left canard in half. It should never have happened, but I think that all pilots can benefit from knowing that the Quickie isn't really flying right after takeoff. It's in the air at 53 MPH, but you cannot keep the canard up under 60 MPH without power. Cut the power and down it dips. This seems to be the only time it gives you trouble. However, once you are over 60 MPH, you cannot go slower without adding power and it simply nods instead of stalling.

A few specs: Buttercup weighs 300 lbs and cruises at 100 MPH. Climbs very slowly at about 350 FPM. I've had a great time with this little plane. I am constantly amazed that it works so well and I enjoy it more each day.

Dick Grosvenor (#213), Newport, RI

"I decided to check the torque on the head bolts of my standard 18 HP Onan prior to preparing it for installation of the 20 HP heads in accordance with the excellent QUICKTALK articles on the subject.

I've only ever seen one slight reference to checking the torque of the head bolts on the 18 HP engine. We ALL know of the loosening of head bolts with the 22.5 HP conversion. This is very important to those flying the 18 HP (stock) version. They may not have ever checked the torque, as one has to remove some of the baffling to do so.

I found that the top head bolts on each cylinder could be tightened with as little as NINE pounds on the torque wrench. I then removed the heads and found ample evidence that I'd been getting considerable blow-by though technically the gaskets were not 'blown'.

Now to MY comparison of the 18 HP vs. new 20 HP heads (acknowledging the above problem):

18 HP
20 HP
800' *
150 FPM
300 FPM
95 MPH
110 MPH

* Note: During prescribed heat cycling on new heads I obtained 3600 RPM static with throttle only two-thirds open (climb prop), so I switched to a Cowley kit prop (cruise) to compare performance.

I've not yet readjusted the mixture for the new heads or the timing - things are SO good now (comparatively!). I have added the cowl bottom flaps/vents per the QUICKTALK article. I will add the top cylinder baffles, etc. later. I experienced NO climb temperature problems with 60 degree O.A.T...

My Quickie has over 60 hours since 13 October. Lazy Eights and wingovers are fun - in the future maybe even Cuban Eights."

John Hicks (#401), Mary Esther, FL

"My experience building and flying pretty well parallels most of the other builders. The biggest problems are low power and a too 'critical' canard. I flew my Quickie for 40 hours and put it in the hangar a year ago and started looking for another engine.

I am especially interested in the "Rotary". The SP-440 air-cooled model should make a neat installation. I would really like to hear from anyone that has had any experience with this model or the Mazda rotary..."

Irving Mord (#143), Tylertown, MS

A good QAC distributor can smooth many lumps for you. Mine (Lanny Rundell of Grassroots Aviation) is a good one! Lanny and I re-hotwired my old canard cores using new templates. It can be done if you are careful and are willing to work with cores having some of the 'tails' missing. These are removed anyway after laying up one side of the canard."

K.C. Priest (#2559), Bastrop, LA

"I have recently finished making the new canard with attached wheel pants and elevator slots. The weight was 65 lbs and I am a little discouraged that it came out so heavy. Have any other Q2 builders found their finished new canard of similar weight?"

Saylor Milton (#2484), Fillmore, CA

You can order a PDF or printed copy of QuickTalk #14 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.