Q-talk 3 - Q-2 HINTS
- Category: Q-Talk Articles
- Published: Thursday, 30 April 1987 07:11
- Written by Jim Masal
- Hits: 1622
From Bernard Peters - Kanab, UT
RE: Changing ground angle of attack at the tailwheel. (See tail wheel assembly in photo pages). To construct, cut away axle fork from pivot assembly, cut a piece of 1.5" OD 4130 tubing and re-weld to the pivot assembly. Determine how far you want to raise the tail to get the 7.5 to 8 degrees GAOA range, cut the 1.5" tubing and re-weld the axle fork. It is very important that the floor is level, because if the tailwheel is down or up approximately 1 inch from the main wheels, this will change the GAOA by about 1/2 degree...which could lead to disaster if what I read is true.
I would like to know the reason why you couldn't run the rudder cables to the rudder post first and then to the tailwheel pivot. I talked to Sheehan about this but he talked me out of it even though I did not understand his explanations.
I am a retired TWA A&P mechanic. If I can be of any assistance to you please feel free to call or stop in. Kanab has a beautiful airport.
Here's a method Marc Waddelow used to stabilize his wing foam and set the angle:
HELP!!! I am strictly an amateur and I bought a partially completed kit. I mounted the already built wings and vertical fin to the built fuselage. When I run a perpendicular line from the center of the firewall back to the tail I find that the centerline of the tailfin is offset 1" to the left and parallel to this perpendicular. What's the best way to fix this, or is it possible that the plane will fly OK in this configuration?
Dale Johnson - 5936 Harvest Ln., Toledo, OH 43623. (Dale didn't give his phone no.)
QUESTION: Who has done dual controls? It would save much time and work to be able to talk to someone who has already done this.
Stu White - Kentwood, MI 942-7264
ED. NOTE: Anybody care to share this for publication?
From Earl Nelson - Mound, MN
I would like to report a faulty canard incidence. My Q-200 has had 3 short flights and it took almost 1/2 back stick to fly level. I'm changing to a Tri-Q now but Scott Swing suggested I buy an inclinometer from Sears and set it as close to the fuselage as I could at the trailing edge of both wings. I found my canard to be 3.5 degrees negative incidence instead of 1 degree positive. We have 2 more Q-2's under construction in our hangar. Marv Getten and I checked both and found them to be the same as mine - negative incidence. Ed Schweitzer's plane in New Prague, MN also checked out the same. We all followed the plans as best we could and we wonder if other Q-2 builders are experiencing the same problem.
ED. NOTE: Let's hear from you guys, this could be a universal problem.
Scott Swing writes: After test flying a few Q-2's, I have made it a practice of checking the incidence relationship between the new canard and the main wing. First, use an angle finder (from Sears, etc.) and place it on the new canard just outside the fuselage, just in front of the elevator on the slot core where it is fairly flat. Read and record the degree it is showing. Next, move to the main wing and do the same thing in the same place. Record and compare readings. The canard should be 0 to 1 degree MORE than the main wing. This is NOT a measurement of incidence angles, it's only a way of checking the relationship between the two wings.
Jim Loberger - Jacksonville, FL
After 4-1/2 years my Q2 (2202) is flying! (As I neared completion I had a heart attack that slowed things down a little.) After numerous tests, the FAA granted me a class III.
I now have 36 flight hours on the "Cloud-hopper". I have experienced one mishap as a result of my own stupidity. During taxi tests I had noted that the parking brake locked "ON" when the hand brake was firmly applied. If this happened on rollout after landing I knew I could just push the parking brake in and release it.
The parking brake did lock "ON" on rollout and I was so busy fighting the swerve (uneven braking) that I didn't even think of pushing in the parking brake knob. I did not know the parking brake had locked "ON" until we pulled the plane out of the soft dirt and back on to the runway. As I departed the runway I had cut the engine and it stopped with the prop vertical. As the wheelpants dug into the soil the tail came up and the prop became shorter on one end.
I could either put a spring on the parking brake to hold it off (as suggested by Gene S.), or disable the parking brake system. I did the latter and am getting along well without it. I also adjusted the brake alignment to get even braking during firm application. LESSON: If something isn't right, don't go!
My Q2 weighed in at 597 pounds and was nose heavy. I flew with 18 lbs. of sand in the baggage compartment until I moved the battery aft 54 inches from the baggage compartment.
The 75 HP heads were installed before first flight. The second prop is an American Prop Co. 58/52. Having noted the numerous tailspring failures listed in QT I had a steel spring fashioned by a machine shop. The AN3-22A pivot bolt is now vertical & QTW5 is horizontal. The tailwheel castors very nicely. Ground handling has been no problem (except for the P. brake problem noted above) however; I might add that the few second after touching down are quite busy. We land at 65 MPH. (solo). Over the fence at 80.
At present I have bags of salt in the right seat. In-flight testing indicated an increased landing speed of 5 MPH with the "salty" passenger on board.
Except for oil leaks the Revmaster-75 has performed OK so far. The oil leaks are primarily the push rod tubes at the head end. Static and climb RPM s 2750. ROC solo 700-800 at 100 MPH. IAS is 150 MPH at 3000 RPM.
I made the main fuel tank a little larger than the plans tank. I recently stuffed 26 gal. of fuel on board split 18 and 8 (main and header respectively).
I am a first time builder and became completely engrossed (almost possessed) in the project. However I did take my vacation time out of town. My wife appreciated that and I knew what was good for me: I never lost interest and my guiding principle was, "do something every day - even if it is just reading the plans." The project sharpened my shop skills relative to accuracy and thoroughness.
Next stop - Lakeland. See you there!
After finishing this letter I was making a routine check of my sparkplug condition. No. 3 plug was seized in the head and consequently the threads in the head came out with it. (I had installed the plugs with anti-seize on the original installation.) Therefore I removed both heads to install steel inserts in all eight-plug holes. Subsequent inspection revealed that #3 cylinder was running hotter than the other three. Called Revmaster who acknowledged that this was possible if a cruise RPM of 2700 was used most of the time, and the engine did not have the new design 75 HP intake pipes installed with the 75 HP heads. I ordered the new intake pipes. Will install them and report.
ED. NOTE: Jim Loberger sent a nice write-up of his plane in the local paper. I liked the following: After painting was done, it was time to add the detailing. Since one of Loberger's sons had nicknamed his dad "James Bondo" while he was gluing the plane together, Loberger chose the number 1007 (FAA numbers cannot start with 0). The double 0 seven, of course, is the famous code number for the fictitious secret agent, James Bond.
From John Touchet
Beefing up a weak point: (see picture pages) At the point where the tailwheel is inserted into QTW5, I found it necessary to sand the spring down in order to insert it. To strengthen this point, I generously floxed the area and then wrapped a split sleeve around the joint and about 5/8" onto TW5. This sleeve is out of chrome plated shower rod. Then I secured it permanently with two hose clamps. This is unproven, but certainly should help.
You will note by the photo that I have incorporated the tip from Bruce Wood (QT #9), by adding springs and spreader to the tailwheel to hopefully improve control in high speed taxiing. (ED. NOTE: Wood has since converted to a Tri-Q. Ouch!)
From Mike Conlin - Conroe, TX
Tri-Q wheel pants: Instead of 2 separate glassing steps, prep side for cut out - mask as plans - 5 min. or hot melt glue pant halves together - glass seams and place your tape for cut out.
From Jack B. Harvey - Ponce Deleon, FL
I am a retired USAF pilot who has worked the last 16 years as a crop duster. Once while writing a technical manual on a facet of aviation, I learned the hard way that airplanes, like people, frequently do not do things for what are the "apparent" reasons. Many of my pet theories were shot to hell by unseen or unrecognized factors. It was humbling. With that in mind, I submit my impressions and experiences in building my particular Q-2.
A low time private pilot will need some good advice, a hell of a lot of help, and a considerable amount of good luck to be able to construct this airplane with no serious defects.
These airplanes can accurately be described as a radical departure from conventional aircraft design. Their operation and flight characteristics can sometimes give surprising results. It is definitely a tailwheel airplane. Ground directional control is better than some and worse than others of the type. Pilots without tailwheel time never seem to believe that taildraggers are much more difficult to control on the ground. I don't care if you're an astronaut or an F-15 pilot, I urge you to get at least 10 hours in a taildragger, preferably in gusty crosswinds, before you fly a Q-2.
After reading numerous accounts of directional control problems, I decided to increase my rudder area. I glassed 3 BID on each side of the rudder and trailing edge of the vertical fin. Those 2 layups are overlapped 2 inches ahead of the old trailing edges and extend 2 inches aft of the old trailing edges. I reasoned that if I didn't like the effect, I could snap a chalk line and cut it off. In my opinion it is a useful modification giving much better rudder control with the tailwheel up or down. I have individual hydraulic brakes and the extra rudder helps counteract any asymmetrical braking action. I would caution everyone that the aircraft may no longer be spin proof if extra rudder is added.
My aircraft required 2600 hours to build. Empty wt. is 650 with all the extras except cabin heat and including a full panel with a complete aircraft lighting system.
The Revmaster engine and QAC supplied prop run surprisingly smooth. Speed at 3200 rpm is 160 mph IAS at 1,000' but I prefer 155 mph at 3000 rpm.
Prior to my initial flight, I could not get a weight and balance problem to work out correctly. I was unable to reach QAC to discuss this, but phone conversations with Marc Stupar of Fort Walton Beach, FL and Sherman Hanke, the S.C. QAC dealer revealed that we had all come to the same conclusion i.e. the shaded CG limitations area on the handbook chart was incorrect. Hanke told me that he simply tried to make sure that the CG was always about mid-thigh to the pilot. I noticed that using QAC's own sample problem in the book gives a CG out of the shaded CG area limits on the chart. Since both Stupar and Hanke had flown with a CG in the area of 43-44%, and mine fell in the same area, I decided to fly after about 3 hours of taxi, turning and braking practice.
On the first takeoff I did not initially apply any back pressure to the stick other than 5 degrees of up elevator trim. The rear wing began to fly at 70 IAS, but with the extra rudder there was no problem with directional control. At 85 mph I gradually applied nearly full aft stick. The aircraft came off the runway cleanly, but started a slow rolling action to the left. The roll was corrected by applying about 1/3 of the total right aileron. By this time the airspeed was already 120. All gauges looked normal and I leveled off in the pattern at 1000'.
At this point I became uncomfortably aware that the faster I went, the worse the left roll tendency became. At 3000 rpm and 155 IAS the aircraft required full right aileron and some left rudder. The biggest immediate problem was getting the plane to slow down so I could ease off on the aileron. 2700 rpm gave 140 IAS and required about 2/3 of full right aileron. Control forces other than the rudder were much higher than I expected. Most Ag planes and even the C-130 are lighter on the controls. With the rudder, however, the force was light. At 140 mph a movement of about 2 and a half inches on the pedal put the ball against the side of the race. At slower airspeeds the results were not as pronounced.
About this time I noticed that the throttle control had begun to stick, and smooth, accurate changes of power were difficult to make. At the same time it became apparent that even with auxiliary trim friction tight, the elevator trim constantly slipped back to the neutral position. With the aileron and elevator trim problems plus the sticking throttle, this was becoming a very irritating fight.
I made one complete circuit of the traffic pattern at 1000', slowed to 125 mph, and cautiously tried the speed brake. Operational forces were light to moderate and the system was effective. Airspeed decreased immediately and considerable power was necessary to maintain 125 IAS. There was absolutely no pitch change upon actuation of the speed brake. Retraction of the brake was easy and gave a rapid increase in airspeed.
By this time my oil pressure was down to 35 with my oil temp beginning to run in the yellow. I decided to land even though I had not yet checked pitch-buck speed. With the plane obviously out of rig, I was not anxious to check it anyway since the stall characteristics could be unpredictable. I had an 8,000' runway, was aware how effective the speed brake was, and I knew I could afford to carry extra speed on final. Therefore, high final was flown at 120 mph with speed brake extended. Speed was decreased to 110 on low final. By now, the throttle was quite difficult to move, but I was able to back it off to 1500 rpm over the threshold. There was considerable float, but I held it off as airspeed dissipated. The first touchdown was reasonably soft but produced a bounce. The second bounce was harder. An attempt to open the throttle to soften the third touchdown produced no movement. In all, 5 touchdowns were made including a hard tailwheel strike on number 4. At that time I gave it full up elevator, managed to keep the nose up, save the prop and soften touchdown number 5 enough for the airplane to finally stay on the ground. The rear wing continued to fly for about 500' but gradually settled. I began to apply brakes cautiously. A moderate asymmetrical braking action was controllable with rudder and tailwheel steering. All things considered, I would have to describe the first flight as a sobering experience.
On rollout I discovered that idle speed would not go below 1300 rpm. Turn off was made at the 5000' point. I was not aware of it at the time, but the throttle arm that attached to the RevFlow carburetor shaft had slipped, causing the idle speed to increase. I continued to have trouble keeping the idle speed set on the second and third flights. I finally removed the Allen screw that tightens the throttle arm to the carb shaft, drilled out the hole and substituted an AN3 bolt and self-locking nut. It was then possible to torque the bolt enough to stop slipping of the shaft and the idle speed remained set.
Prior to engine start on subsequent flights, the throttle always worked smoothly and with ease. At first, I thought my throttle was sticking in flight because of the negative pressure on the slide of the RevFlow carb. A phone conversation with Eric Shilling of Revmaster convinced me that the real problem was the inner lining of the throttle cable swelling from engine, heat that in turn restricted throttle movement. I made several attempts to insulate the cable, but this only delayed the heat transfer and on longer flights the result was the same. When Eric told me that some people had the cable jam completely, I finally changed to a cable with a metal housing only and the problem was solved.
When I had 8 hrs. on the engine I was suddenly unable to start it at all. Nothing seemed to work, I began to attend Revmaster carburetor school via long distance telephone with professor Eric Schilling conducting class. It finally developed that the head bolts needed re-torquing. The low torque produced a low cylinder pressure, which prevented the RevFlow carb from developing enough suction to atomize the fuel. After re-torquing, the engine started easily. The left rolling tendency was removed by adjusting the right elevator 2 degrees up and the left elevator 1 degree down.
The oil temp and pressure problems were improved by better baffle to cowling seals and changing oil from SAE 30 to Castrol GTX 20-50 as suggested by Schilling. I also wrapped the exhaust pipes in front of the oil cooler with asbestos firewall fabric and aluminum reflective tape. If you wrap yours, keep the fit tight and as smooth as possible to preclude restricting the airflow to the oil cooler. Also put safety wire or some kind of sealer over the wrap to make sure it won't unravel and stick in the oil cooler.
I set an 1/8" up aileron reflex in both ailerons. The rear wing then flew at 80 mph instead of 70 and gave better landing characteristics. I eventually ended up with ailerons reflexed up 3/16". The rear wing now flies at 85, the aircraft takes off and lands easily and the pitch trim and heavy control problems are all solved. The aircraft still cruises at 152 IAS at 1000' with the engine turning 3000 rpm.
My main complaint on this project was the difficulty of building and assembling components with precision. The primary problem was in the lack of multiple measurements between various points. There was often no way to cross check one measurement against another. In an aircraft with virtually no straight lines and no square corners, it becomes extremely difficult to accurately position all the aircraft components without a way to double check the work.
It is my opinion that QAC is recommending a poor takeoff and landing technique for this aircraft. The procedure of pulling the aircraft off the ground with full aft stick frequently causes the aircraft to come off the ground at the earliest possible moment. The canard will fly until it leaves ground effect (about 9'), then the canard stalls, the nose drops, and the aircraft settles back in. After several flights I tried this and that's what it did every time. In my opinion this is caused by the fact that the stick is already full aft, therefore the elevator/flap are at the maximum deflected position and no additional lift is available to prevent the nose from dropping and the aircraft from settling in. If takeoff is delayed slightly to allow a little more speed, the canard will continue to fly out of ground effect and the last bit of elevator/flap is available to stop any sink.
My first 2 landings using QAC's recommended procedure were near disasters. John Hicks recommended I try the technique he had been using for 2 years with his Quickie. As soon as the main wheels touch, give it a moderate amount of forward stick. This in effect raises the flaps, reduces the lift, and glues the wheels on. I have made 22 landings using John's technique and they have all been good.
From Alan Schaffter - Alexandria, VA
My procrastination and numerous trips abroad courtesy of Uncle Sam resulted in a not quite complete (99%) Q-2 when I was obliged to move clear across the country from Washington State to the Washington D.C. area. Towing my craft behind my car, I had the chance to test its crashworthiness.
The plane was mounted on a modified boat trailer vertically and firewall down. It trailered well behind my RX-7, at least until Wyoming. I was cruising along 55-60 mph about 30 miles outside of Gillette when my son mentioned that the plane and trailer were rocking. As I looked back, I passed a gulch just as a large gust of wind blew the Q-2 and trailer as a unit off the car. I watched it cartwheel off the road into the grass. MY HEART SANK!!! I backed up and pulled off the road. Upon inspection I found to my surprise that everything stayed together (testament to my method of mounting the aircraft to the trailer), and that the only damage was about a one day repair job to the wing tips, a small hole in the canard where the Revmaster had shifted on the trailer, and scratches on top of the canopy (repairable hopefully with Micro-Mesh or a painted roof a la Eric Schilling's Q-2). All in all, it was a minor miracle. I flipped it over, hooked it back up to the car and pressed on S-L-O-W-L-Y. It did ruin the remainder of the trip - talk about being paranoid!
Of the enclosed pictures, one shows our hangar, a second floor corner of our shop. "Flying it out is going to be fun" leaves many bewildered.
The other shows the bottom fuselage with some mock-up pieces used to get dimensions. The gas filler tube was made easily by heating gently with a heat gun 2" pvc. A 45-degree elbow was used at the tank entrance and as the entrance port. After the elbow was slightly bored out, a standard compression gas cap fit nicely. A 1/4" tube fitting is used to collect any spillage. The notches are for 1/16" stainless tubing which is bonded to the fuselage.
The upper tube is the housing for the pivot wire of the gas filler door. The lower tube is the housing for a feed through operated from the cockpit to lock the door.
The final picture shows a simple box made to cover the reflexor. Foam was glassed one side only and cured. The glassed side was used on the inside and the pieces were cut and fitted together in place. After the tack epoxy cured, the outside was glassed. The box is removable by sliding upward and is held in place with 4 screws through the bulkhead. The box has coil inserts held in place with epoxy.
Ed Neister #2836
Letter from Phil Yocum to Scott Swing:
My plane (N585SY) has approximately 80-90 takeoffs and landings behind it and ground handling qualities are GREATLY improved since I converted from taildragger to tricycle gear. I have found takeoff handling to be effortless and touchdowns totally controllable even in various crosswind conditions. I have made touchdowns from 70-110 mph and found ground control to be fantastic. Rudder control is much more effective now and starts at normal taxi speeds...
From Scott Chaney - RE: Tri-Q N82SC
I currently have 31 landings on my aircraft since the conversion to the Tri-Q configuration. The following comments are offered:
Taxiing: Handling qualities on the ground are superior to the taildragger version. Differential braking is easy to use and effective in controlling the aircraft at all ground speeds. Differential brakes made the Tri-Q a more maneuverable airplane.
Takeoff: I haven't measured takeoff distance, but my impression is that the ground roll is slightly longer than before. The taildragger canard was at takeoff angle of attack during the ground roll, but in the Tri-Q it becomes necessary to accelerate to a speed where the canard lift becomes enough to "raise" the canard to the takeoff angle of attack. In practice, this amounts to 70-75 mph, and requires pulling the stick almost full back, at which time the aircraft leaps off the ground. There is nothing difficult about the takeoff, it is simply different than before.
Flying: Drag has increased somewhat, but flying characteristics remain excellent and unchanged from the taildragger. Approach to landing is easier and steeper due to the increased drag. "Stall" speed and behavior remains unchanged.
Landing: The tiger has become a pussycat. Typical of a nosewheel type aircraft, it will forgive all but the most severe of mistakes; where the taildragger version was extremely sensitive, the Tri-Q is extremely stable. Rollout is straight and stable and the braking is effective and easy to control. My landings are much shorter due to decreased float and better braking.
Structure: My nosewheel ruptured (no fault of the Tri-Q conversion kit) on one flight, and the aircraft skidded to a stop on the nosewheel fork assembly. Other than replacing the nosewheel parts that had been ground down during the rollout, there was no structural damage whatsoever to the nosewheel gear, its mounts or the structure to which it is attached. To date, there is no evidence of fatigue in any of the gear structure, parts, mounts, and mounting structure.
I am extremely please with the Tri-Q conversion. This is the way the aircraft should have been designed in the first place.
My time has come to contribute. For those of you, who are planning on purchasing a partially built kit as I did, beware of poor craftsmanship! A project can look perfectly fine until it is jigged on templates, leveled etc. My firewall and bulkheads were off 1/2". Fortunately, composites lend themselves to easy, neat-looking repairs (imagine the trouble I had with the trailerable joint!!). Take someone along who has built one.
Basically mine will be a Tri-C-85, with help from the Swings. For anyone contemplating wing extensions prior to assembling the main wing or LS-1 canard, I have used a slightly different method than Tri-Q. If your main wing foam sections BL0-50 and BL50-100 have not been hot-wired, you can simply make both sections longer (by the same amount to preserve taper) to get the desired extension. Note, however, that these wings will have a slightly longer average chord and hence more area, for a given length, than when add-on extensions are used. As an example, a 116" wing made in this manner will have about the same square footage, as a 21" extension will yield on a pre-built main wing. Caution has been advised by reliable sources regarding the strength of the main wing when extended.
This method was not used on the canard extensions as I didn't think of it at the time but could be if the BL48.8 and BL 100 templates were modified as to the radius that comes in contact with the carbon spar at the further out BL positions. Since the carbon spar will be too short, a "phantom" spar could be poured in place with X-40 foam. If taper preservation is important, a ratio analysis should be done for the extended foam pieces. Instead of doing this, I added on extensions, which included a "phantom" foam spar as the canard base unit (the carbon fiber spar forward) could be glassed normally also. (ED. NOTE: John sent template drawings; space requirements preclude printing them). Note: this strategy may not be applicable for main wing extensions as the shear web maintains the same thickness from BL00 to BL100. See Tri-Q Development for their adaptation.)
I have questions: What other ways exist to tack on an alternator besides the expensive 10-amp conversion? Can a small automobile starter be adapted to a C-85-12? Has anyone used armrests as gas tank additions? What is involved in using engine vacuum to power gyros?
John Groff #2627, 10 Bunker Hill Rd., Vincentown, NJ 08088 (609) 654-9187
I came across #20 page 6 where Mike Sullivan suggests that the elevator at slow approach speeds functions like a flap (adding lift) that would be very dangerous to reduce by changing it or reducing it at the flare point. He suggests using power instead. That seems to make a lot of sense since most people would NOT yank up their flaps at the flare in a conventional aircraft. Treating this aircraft as conventional is to deny that it has some very radical differences. Due to all the sad high-speed landing experiences, it seems if people would add 10 mph above the pitch buck speed downwind and add power when needed instead of moving their elevator/flap at dangerous times, it seems they would have an easier, safer, cheaper landing. What does it take to prove that we have something here that is not conventional and requires adjusting our technique to suit?
Steve Kuhns, Kansas City
N82YL is the number of my Q2 it has been flying since '82 and now has 149.5 hours on the engine and airframe. When I bought the plane it had 35 hours on it in '83 and at that time it was very temperamental on landings.
The angle on the water line was about 9.5 degrees. This caused the loss of tail wheel control down to about 45 mph. The rudder lost effect at about 65 mph. We had poor ground handling problems. At that time we were unaware the 7.5 degrees was the correct angle and did not have an aileron deflector. We next added the aileron deflector, which made some improvement. It was not until we corrected the angle on the water line to 7.5 degrees, straightened the axles alignment to parallel, and continued to use the aileron deflector on landing that we "Took all the fun out of landing the Q2".
Another problem we had was axles. The aluminum ones sent with the kit bent and caused the first mishap. The left axle bent forcing the wheel against the wheel pant on landing causing the aircraft to pull off the runway into soft dirt then the plane flipped over on its back. The prop was gone, the canopy cracked and the vertical fin damaged. The pilot was cut on the forehead and got 3 stitches. I now have built much stronger axles. The new axles are made of Chrome Moly steel tubing .187" thick each wall. I find that these too can be bent by hard landings but are much better than any of the lighter ones. I check these by jacking up the wheel pant and turning the axle to see if the wheel moves up and down. Check and replace bent axles and save yourself some grief.
I found a Digital Photoelectric tach at a model airplane store for $35.00. I used it to check my tach and found the tach reading 100 to 150 rpm faster than the digital tach at 3250 rpm. To make the photoelectric tach work from the cockpit fly the plane towards the sun, point the tach at the sun from in the cockpit and get a true rpm. Speed runs at 3500', 45 degrees, 3250 rpm give indicated air speeds of 145 mph. Climb performance with one person same day at 100 mph indicated 800' per min. from 1000' msl to 3000' msl. Stall speed (power idle) is 72 or 73 mph indicated with the new canard but in tests on the same day as above indicated that at 2500 rpm stall is 67 mph indicated at 3000' msl.
Something I found that was odd about my 64 hp Revmaster engine was that with a 4 cylinder EGT probe I found the number 1 cylinder to be the leanest not #3 as indicated by Revmaster.
I now have almost 100 hrs in type in a Q2 and when I started I had about 80 hrs TT. I had 25 hours in ultra light aircraft and 12 of the last 80 hours in Cessna 140 to get tail dragger experience. It was quite an adjustment to transition from Cessna's to the Q2. My advice to you builders is to build as close to the plans as you can then have a test pilot check out your bird first then go up with a flight instructor for the first few hours until you feel comfortable with the Q2. Things happen faster in the Q2 than in a Cessna 150 and the controls are much more sensitive. My first problems were over control of the center stick and that on landings things happen much faster. I have really enjoyed my Q2 and feel it has almost spoiled me for flying less responsive aircraft. Good luck to you fellow Q2 builders and flyers. Done right the Q2 is a super airplane.
I'm still flying my Q-2 - no real long flights - lots of 50-100 mile trips. Some problems: Q-2's just don't do well in hot weather on dirt strips less than 3,000' long!!! That's on BOTH ends, landing and taking off. In my case, it keeps me out of the fun assemblies where the Cessna 150's and others go for Sundays in the country. Add 50-80' pine trees at each end and the flat approach needed for the Q-2 on hot days, and the associated higher ground speed and you just don't have much turf left when touching down. In that environment, the departure causes one to perspire profusely from the armpits!
Fred Wemmering, Fayetteville, NC
Perhaps your ultimatum will flush out some more QBAers like me, who have intended to communicate with you for many months - even years - but who find it easier to come to grips with some construction problem than to sit down and write. I surely hope so.
The story of Q2 #2446 will have a very familiar ring to many of your readers. It contains nothing new, but I write with the hope that it might find some answers for me as well as for any other builders with some of the same problems.
My partner, Hal Grove, and I began our Q2 construction in October of 1981 with more enthusiasm and optimism than we had wisdom or practical knowledge.
The Q2 ads showed up just as I was having more time and financing available. Suddenly, here was a chance to own a new airplane for 10 Grand and have a ball building it! Besides, those specs were unbelievable but believe them I did. I swallowed the whole bait in one gulp - hook included. The sinker would come later.
We started work in an unused chicken house which Hal converted into a shop for the project - still enthusiastic - still optimistic. We joined E.A.A. and discovered what we had been missing in fellowship with kindred souls. We also discovered that there were other home-built kits on the market - some of them pretty good. We also found that some people were having problems. Nevertheless, we continued to build, feeling that our problems with back-ordered parts - changes in design - sketchy, even vague, gaps in the plans - lousy sequencing of building steps - were all somewhat minor annoyances that really didn't dampen our spirits too much. We persevered and took on the problems one at a time, each of us checking on the other to be sure every detail was precisely according to plans (you see, we didn't want Mr. Sheehan to be able to say "you didn't really build a Q2!"). Meanwhile, our log of man-hours was really building up! At 490, it didn't seem likely that #2446 would fly in just 10 more hours - nor at 990, or 1490. At somewhat over 2000 hours, we just stopped counting (that was quite awhile ago).
Well along the way we got a real jolt, considerably slowing our steady progress. A judge by the name of Greene screwed up the best and most efficient telephone system in the world and Hal was forced to move to Washington, D.C. with the restructuring - a distance of some 200 miles from our project. When he sold his house and his chicken coop/shop, I had to build a new home for #2446 and begin to do a lot of the work on my own, even though he returned to help as many weekends and vacation days as was possible. Finally, in September of 1986, we felt the bird was ready for inspection and hopefully for flying. By October a trailer had been built, and the great day arrived when she was hauled off to her new home at the airport.
At this point, the uninitiated (read naive) envisions unloading the plane, filling the tanks, cranking up the engine, and flying off into the wild blue! Don't we wish! First there was an engine oil leak at the seam in the rear of the block. The corrective procedure required pulling the engine, during which, we somehow got a mag messed up. To find that problem required much trial and error, and required, of course, pulling the engine again to correct. After the mag, there was a fuel leak to track down and fix, and it became apparent that in cool weather the canopy was going to fog like crazy unless we arranged to direct an air stream over the inside. Still, just minor problems and major optimism.
At long last, late one afternoon, we were ready for taxi testing (no. F.A.A. inspector has shown up yet). I made two round trips on the runway and found the Q2 to live up to her reputation - very squirrelly - mostly when the power is pulled off and the slowdown is attempted. But optimism and enthusiasm still abound. Hal arrived late the next Friday night and Saturday early we made tracks for the airport. All was ready for another go at fast taxiing, and Hal made the first few runs nice and easy. Then he watched while I made two more with no problems - still nice and easy. The third time, I firewalled the throttle like for a takeoff and all was lovely down the white line until I saw the airspeed needle start to move (it bottoms at 40) and pulled off the power. That is when #2446 decided it wants to run tail end foremost, and every time I corrected she went a little further the opposite direction. First one side and then the other until the left wheel ran off the runway. The normally grassy area alongside the runway had recently been graded, and was now soupy mud which pulled the bird all the way off the pavement and did a pretty good job of slowing her down - so good that she stood right up on her nose - teetered for a moment - and then slammed back down on her tail.
The damage to #2446 might be called minor - one broken prop, a demolished spinner, a cowling somewhat messed up, scarred up and mud packed wheel pants, and a fuselage broken just forward of the vertical fin. But the damage to self-confidence and pride is major. As for optimism and enthusiasm - ZILCH - gone in a few seconds. But the big question is why?
Question #1/Pilot error? I learned flying the Army Air Corps way: Fairchild PT19, Vultee BT13, N. American AT6, AT10, with post-war time in Stearmans, Aeroncas, J-23's, and Cessna 140. I was never in a tri-gear plane until scheduled into my first B-24. Recent time? Not really. Bob McFarland was due to check me out in his Q2, but his tragic accident eliminated that opportunity for time in type. So, maybe I've lost my touch, or as for Q2's, maybe I never had it.
Question #2/Brakes? I took a suggestion from QBA News and installed two master cylinders for left-hand operation because I never did like the idea of not having separate brakes for a tight turn while taxiing, but now I am sure it is a mistake to use the same hand for throttle and brake. I am definitely going to switch to toe brakes with a 3-way valve to provide the option of one cylinder controlling both brakes for takeoff and landing and separate brakes for taxiing. It is suspected that my differential hand brakes aggravated my control problem instead of helping it.
Question #3/Directional control? We had long ago beefed up the tail wheel spring and modified the hinge pin angle to remove the tendency for the tail wheel to caster to the side when under load. But I had always been bothered by the rudder cables being attached to the tail wheel bell crank and the rudder itself being activated by the short cables. I just discovered that when there is weight on the tail wheel these short cables go slack, allowing the moves. I have changed it so that the pedal cables go directly to the rudder bell crank, with the short cables controlling the tail wheel. Right or wrong??
Question #4/Wheel alignment? Our plans call for straight through bore sighting of wheel axle holes. I have read of 1-degree toe-in, and from Fred Wemmering (Nov/Dec) a 1-degree toe-out. Which one is correct?
Repairs to our crippled bird are about half finished and will be completed by the time Pennsylvania Spring weather is conducive to flying, but .....
Question #5/How does one get a new supply of the optimism that must go with anyone building an airplane? How does one restore the self-confidence that one must have to fly that airplane? I will gladly supply several SASE's to anyone with those answers.
Jerry Barker, Q2 #2446, Williamsburg, PA 16693
From M. Moreau - Pointe-Claire, Quebec, CANADA
QUICKTALK has been a very useful source of information for us (R. Dimond, M. Moreau, J. Parnigoni, Q-2 #2020) although we must confess we didn't contribute.
After exactly 5 years and some 3,000 hours of work, C-GQTU finally took off on a beautiful day of Sept. '86. What a day! Some experiences to share:
Prior to even start taxiing we already had broken one tailspring by accidentally dropping the tail from no more than a couple of feet. It had been reinforced according to plans, 3 layers of BID. We replaced it by a new one reinforced by wrapping it in a triangular piece of BID that gave us 14 layers by the fuselage and 5 at the wheel for more flexibility.
During preliminary taxi testing the aluminum wheel axles bent and we replaced them with steel.
I had no difficulty flying the plane (I have 450 hrs; 25 taildraggers). It took 70 mph and 600-800' with elevator halfway down for liftoff. I immediately had a left wing low tendency, probably due to pilot weight. BE PREPARED. We have now lowered the left elevator 3 degrees. Has anyone got a lateral trim mechanism?
After 20 min. and 2 runway passes, I approached at 95 mph, 1500 rpm and landed. No bounce, no hovering, touchdown at 65 to 70 mph tailwheel first. Ecstatic!
During subsequent flights, we developed problems with the air intake flap going past its open position and closing itself backwards. It could not be reopened in flight causing a loss of power. A cotter pin thru the air intake pipe now prevents it from going past full open.
We had spark plug fouling and did not enjoy reaching for the lower plugs a couple of times! Only leaded gas is available here. The mixture control has to be used constantly.
Finally after only 6 short flights, having built up confidence (too much!), taxiing too fast to the threshold for my 7th flight, I pulled too hard on the brakes, the tail went up, I lost one inch on both ends of the prop, and when it came down the tailspring broke again!!
During this long Canadian winter we are making the tailspring removable as suggested in QUICKTALK and reinforcing it with BID and UNI.
From Dennis Rose - Aromas, CA
A safety item on the forward hinged canopy: I didn't like the single latch so I made one for the other side too. I mentioned this to another builder and he said he did the same thing after Mr. Sheehan said it was a necessity on this installation.
This is written about 20% out of the wish to be helpful and 80% out of pure guilt! Boy! That is some trip you've been laying on us lately.
It was very pleasant visiting with you at Lakeland, and we would truly be remiss if we didn't add our expression of appreciation for the dandy (and sometimes thankless) job you do on the newsletter. We think Professor Ray was a bit hard on you (March/April '87) and really, we couldn't care less about your deep, dark motivation; just keep up the good work.
Like so many others, we hesitate to get on the stump with our ideas before our airplane (and any innovative ideas we might have) has/have been proven by experience. However, with that caveat firmly in place just behind our gluteus maximi, here are a few slightly non-standard aspects of our Q-Something project.
First, we're using a C-85 -- so we really can't call it a Q-200. We're thinking of calling it a Q-190 (from the approximate engine displacement) or maybe a Q-Krait, which is phonetically catchy and evokes a deadly, treacherous serpent, which by all accounts, it may turn out to be. We'll start out with the adaptation of the late George Meade's ("Adventure") "up" cooling system, and an Ellison Throttle Body Injector for carburetion. No header tank (redundant fuel pumps), but a 5-gallon reserve tank tucked up under the main wing. We've been very favorably impressed with the support provided by Ellison, but their injector wouldn't work worth a darn against the 5-1/2 psi provided by our fuel pumps. We solved the problem with a $16 automotive regulator which seems to work well at .5 psi (approximating gravity flow).
We're using our own variation on the LS 4017 airfoil with a conventionally located carbon fiber spar (no "flagpoles"). We looked up the NASA report on the airfoil and lofted it up ourselves. The airfoil and plan form are identical to the Q-200 plans, except the elevators are 10% thicker. Jim Bede of (mostly) unlamented memory says this cuts down gap drag. Comparative load tests with an old style GU canard indicate ours is substantially stiffer. The wheels have a half-degree toe-out, and we've added a cute "cheek" to the outside of the wheelpant for appearance sake. We use circular pop-out disks to hide the axle ends and tire inflation ports (electricians call 'em knockout closures and plumbers say cock hole covers - really!) Also, sheet aluminum "mud scrapers" close up the bottom pant opening, hopefully reducing drag. The tailwheel will use a removable Dragonfly (s'cuse!) spring and we've also made our own fork/swivel with a glass fairing. While we're back there, we also added a short dorsal fin to the vertical stabilizer for mostly structural reasons -- we've seen a couple of "broken back" accidents.
One thing we're especially proud of is our trim systems. We have elevator and aileron trim, both driven with a small-geared DC motor (a little larger than a D-size dry cell) that puts out 60 rpm to a 3/16" shaft (Colman Motor Products*, FYQR 63300-11). We use the same motor on our own design reflexer. If it turns out we need a cowl flap (on the top cowl) we'll use another one for that. *(Originally Barber-Colman)
One feature we aren't real sure of yet is our 80 sq. in. belly brake. It's a hinged at the rear (why not?) and operated with a simple hook-er-over-a-cleat nylon rope running in a quarter-inch aluminum tube housing. With a little help from a starter compression spring, the air loads will deploy it, so we don't need any hard linkage.
Our third canopy arrangement is front-hinged with two short gas springs for a mid-lift balance. This works swell, but severely limits the space available for radios in the center panel. You know, it ain't too sexy, but the original right-side hinge is probably the most practical.
Although the foregoing is general in nature and may not be of much help to other builders, we truly have appreciated the contributions of all the other good guys who have taken the trouble to send you their comments "for the good of the order." We have, for one thing, gotten over the macho hang up of doing our own test flight and will avail ourselves of the services of our mutual friend, that all-American boy, Norm Howell, in that capacity if he can fit it into his schedule.
That's about it. We hope to fly this summer and be able to show you the airplane next spring at Lakeland.
From Bernie Pohl - Pine Bush, NY
My kit was delivered in late '81 but I didn't start construction until Feb. '86. I was concerned about the viability of the Safe-T-Poxy and did the following: I ordered 1 kit of fresh Safe-T-Poxy II. I heated and stirred the old stuff parts A and B and got rid of the precipitate in part A. Part B required vigorous stirring to get rid of the brown glop (about half the container). I then mixed as follows:
Old A and B
Old A and new B
New A and old B
New A and new B
Results? All cups hardened properly. Good scratch test. Cup 1 hardened slightly before the others and cups 1 and 3 were very dark (like chocolate). Since I'm not THAT cheap, I threw out all the old part B and am using only old part A, and Safe-T-Poxy II part B works great.
ED. NOTE: My understanding from Alpha Plastics is that the resin portion of Safe-T-Poxy is always the same while there are 4 hardeners, which change the cure speeds. 2184 is thinner and a little faster and is used in STP II. While the hardeners are interchangeable, product age is another matter. Certainly due to the threat of liability, a manufacturer is going to be VERY conservative in setting shelf life. On the other hand, due to the threat of running out of cash, a sport plane builder is going to be very liberal in his interpretation of shelf-life limits. Excuse me for being crude here, but I must make a point very strongly: It is your ass that you're laying on the line when you cut corners and you can save as much money as you think yours is worth. If you miscalculate, your doctor or your passenger's lawyer will get those savings and more. A simple scratch test is an EXTREMELY CRUDE test of a cured epoxy's viability. Only a tension test of a cured layup sample would suit me.
I am not singling Bernie out here, he has only given me an opening for a sermon that has long been stuck in my craw. We are ALL tempted to cut a corner to save a buck, BUT I have personally seen some folks cut far too deeply. I'd like to see us compare the possible savings from our decisions with the possible costs of a long hospitalization or permanent disability. McFarland sure found a short cut to fixing his cracked wing didn't he? Didn't cost as much as building a new one...or did it?
From Bob Falkiner
The builder tip to mount fuselage on a separate sheet of plywood, which sits on a flat jig table, is well worth it, especially if you're cramped for space as I am in a single car garage. It allows you to slide back and forth to work on main and canard installation without having to re-jig fuselage for level. Jig table was put in center of garage with about three feet clearance on each end to the side walls of the garage.
You can order a PDF or printed copy of Q-talk #3 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.