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QuickTalk 16 - QUICKIE HINTS

This is an update upon my Quickie #406 JP. I have been flying it a little over two years now and perhaps your readers would appreciate a second letter on some of the lessons learned. Incidentally I have gained much from your publication and the information exchanged therein. Therefore find my renewal check enclosed.

FINISHING THE BIRD...My aircraft has now been showing a few "cracks' in the finish. These have not turned out to be structural, but a result of improper use of "Feather Fill". I found normal micro to be hard to use and sand so I used a mixture of "Feather Fill" and glass microspheres as a major filler. It doesn't last and will eventually crack. Therefore, I suggest that you use only dry micro with the normal "Safe-T-Poxy". A friend of mine also had exactly the same problem for the same reasons. He had to scrape the "Feather Fill" out and replace it with dry micro.

I now have about 200 hours on the Quickie. I have previously reported on my many problems with vibration, loss of engine power, and valve and stud problems. I followed the Little/Anderson articles in "Quicktalk" and now wish to report on the success of the "remanufactured" Onan.

I completely tore down the Onan after first flying it about 175 hours. I was surprised to find how little wear there was on the cylinders, rods and pistons, but the valves and heads were another story. There was ample evidence of much blow-by on the head gaskets, and the valves had to be refaced, as did the seats. Next I replaced the original gaskets with the graphoil gaskets and the so-called 22 HP heads with the 20 HP heads. Before the engine was reassembled, I had the crank and flywheel balanced as a unit. It is interesting to note that the crank at 3400 RPM was estimated to be 80 lbs. out of balance. No wonder I had vibration problems!

At this time I made a bad mistake and had the prop flange machined round to get rid of the "hump" and balance the flange. DON'T DO IT! That "hump" is absolutely necessary to act as a harmonic dampner. I have been able to simulate the hump and add back the missing weight with a series of large washers to smooth out the engine--not a neat way to go!

A friend of mine is using the same Onan engine in a generator application and has used a 100-hour oil analysis program and suggested that I (and all others using the engine as an aircraft engine) follow this suggested program. Run the engine on aircraft straight mineral oil for the first 50 hours and then change to an ashless dispersant aircraft oil (or a quality automotive oil). He has run a similar Onan on such a program and now has 2400 hours on the engine with no problems. I am going to follow it.

After remanufacture with the next graphoil gaskets and 20 HP heads, the engine has been running beautifully.

THE PROP...I have found quite a bit of difference in the Cowley props delivered locally. No two really appear to be the same. I have switched to a Ritz prop and like it. I would appreciate it if others would comment on the experience with their props and recommendations as to which ones are the best.

TYPE OF FUEL..Much has been written about the use of unleaded auto gas and the various epoxy systems. I have used Amoco Super Unleaded for the past two years and have found no problem in the gas tank. Have others had any problems with any unleaded gas? QAC had just recently suggested that I use regular auto gas. Sure would appreciate any info on this subject.

TECHNIQUES OF FLYING...I wish QAC had explained why they choose the technique of taking off with full aft stick. I followed that for the first one hundred hours or so and have since gone to a more "normal" takeoff technique. I now takeoff with a stick slightly aft of neutral. The airspeed is about 5 mph higher and I feel that I have much more control just after liftoff. I then accelerate to a climb speed of about 80 mph in ground effect before I start climbing for any altitude. I feel that this technique compensates for any unexpected gusts and crosswinds and gives the pilot a bit more control over the situation with a bit of "excess" airspeed. This is particularly important since the Quickie has such limited power.

I wish there was some way to tell you how to gain rate of climb. At best it is very poor, and there is nothing you can do about it since QAC has apparently put the acquisition of a more powerful powerplant on the back burner. I wish there was something more positive to report, as we Quickie fliers need about an honest 35 horsepower of reliable power. So far it is not on the market.

LANDING...I have read many suggestions in "Quicktalk" about landings. They range from a wheel landing to the three pointer to the tailwheel first approach. This is what has worked best for me.

Normally I use one of two techniques depending upon the situation. As long as I have at least 3000 feet of runway, I come down final at 85 mph at idle. This allows me to make the runway if the engine should quit. Once the runway is absolutely made, I slowly roundout trying to touch three point accepting a 500 to 750 foot touchdown. I find that I can take about 15 knots of direct crosswind if I really pay attention to direction control on the rollout. I use a second technique to land when I have a shorter runway or must more precisely control the touchdown point. I fly final at 65-70 mph WITH POWER ON using slight throttle changes to control the rate of sink and the exact touchdown point.

I find wing down landings in crosswinds to be effective. The one thing I avoid at almost all costs if flying in the rain. That (as reported earlier) is very dangerous. Just don't do it.

I'll sign off for now saying that the Onan can be a reliable engine if you keep the original Onan configuration. Good flying and have fun with your Quickies.

J.P. Stroud, Quickie N 406 JP, 185 Surnrise Avenue, Satellite Beach, FL 32937

(ED. NOTE: We are following with great interest the efforts of at least 3 members who are installing the 35 HP Global engine. At least one of these should be flying before summer's out. There are reportedly 2 Kawasaki powered Quickies flying at Sun 'n Fun but we've got no pilot reports yet.)

You can order a PDF or printed copy of QuickTalk #16 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.