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Q-talk 14 - LETTERS

Dear Jim,

Thank you for publishing my note in Q-TALK #13 and for your inspiring response (Beautiful!) on which I am resetting my goals. I have some surgery scheduled the end of March and will be "laid up" for a time. You have set a new goal for me. I intend to finish it and do the 10 hour taxiing you suggest - the FAA be D__NED!

George (Quickie George...HA HA) Edwards, Saratoga, CA

Dear Jim,

I've no excuse for not renewing sooner unless planning a wedding and moving is a valid one. It's one thing, moving furniture, clothing and power tools, but a partially completed airplane fuselage that's bonded to the basement floor is no festivity. Thank you.

Mike Ziegler, Manchester, MO

ED. NOTE: Excuse granted! Now, I'm waiting for my wedding invite. How did you slide by so long, you rascal?


John Derr sent me a newspaper clipping describing a midair collision near Watkins, CO east of Denver. "Witnesses saw a single engine Cessna 172, with one wing either broken off or folded back, spiraling down into a field...dropping like a wet potato" (Denver Post, 3/9/89). The other aircraft, found later several hundred yards from the Cessna was a light yellow Q-2 N3278C, SN 2709, piloted by 41-year-old Robert Bucy and built in '85 by R. Dean Craven. Bucy had been seen practicing touch and go landings. He and 3 in the Cessna apparently died on impact.

Fellas, these little speedsters are awfully difficult to see in the air no matter the color. Fly defensively!!!!

Dear Jim,

I've finally taken the first step in resurrecting my "Dormant Dodo". My letter to Jinx Hawks requesting info and data went out this morning! As soon as I decide which engine and exhaust system purchase is right for me I'll make the purchase. If I'm not committed to finishing the bird by this move, my Frau will have me committed. Come on, get yours down out of the rafters and let's get 'em flying!

Ray Shapard, Riverdale, MD

Dear Jim,

I began flying my Q-200 (after its repair) on Labor Day weekend and now have 188 hours on it. What a pleasure! I couldn't have done it without the assistance of other QBAers especially Bob Malechek in Lewisville, TX. He spent 2 days letting me get the feel of his Q-200. When I got home I had the confidence to GO FOR IT! What a great guy. I can't think of enough words of praise for his help and consideration. It's people like him that keep the rest of us going.

Enclosed are pictures of my "bird"...one in the air and one parked off the wingtip of a MiG 15. I hope this encourages other builders to stick with it. It really is worth it.

Charles Harris, N275CH, Littleton, CO

P.S. Specs on my Q-200: 8.000' TAS of 188 mph at 5-5.5 gal. of mogas per hour using a Warnke 60x68 prop turning at 2750 rpm. 74mph IAS stall, both touchdown and takeoff at 80 mph. 635 lbs empty weight after repairs.

Dear Jim,

Please include any or all of my comments to encourage QBAers to get the Q-2/200 flying/builder interview video produced by Ted Fox. It's a must for all Q-2/200 check pilots and preferably all builders since they should know that many of the things Bob Malechek and others have tried don't work. I have noted many of the same test flight experiences that Bob relates. I can't think of anything he said that I would question, e.g. original issue glass fuel filter, made of soft metal, should not be used between header tank and engine, changing the fat wheel bearings (they don't last 5 hours) to the original issue bearings, the mid or aft CG caution. All Bob's info is good.

I have sent my video showing several close-up landings to Ted in case he can add it to his video. My only interest is to help someone. Ted must feel the same since $25.00 is nothing for his extremely informative and well done tape.

Dave Naumann, Enterprise, AL

ED. NOTE: Ted Fox, Box 23, Mansfield, OH 44901 (he also still has the Quickie video). Newcomers should note also that Sherman Hanke has a Q-2 construction/flight video as well as plans and Q know how (he is a dealer) in SC. Call 803-586-9225.


I saw Ismari's plea for help in #13. I too found that knobby tires were a one-off purchase and it is virtually impossible to find them in the Western Hemisphere. I substituted Cheng Shin 11.400 x 5 two-ply tires. They are like Lamb tires but are not quite as fat (Lambs have 6 or 8 plies). These should fit and best of all they are found on many ultralights so are plentiful and cheap ($11.25 ea. in latest LEAF catalog).

Norm Howell, Germany

Dear Jim,

I've been watching some of the talk about Custom Composites and I thought I'd put in my 2 cents. We visited them last April and received a cordial welcome and a factory tour. We have ordered both the Tri-Q and 0-200 conversion kits from them, and while these have been expensive, it is very nice to have someone else worry about getting everything together. They have been very responsive to questions and I think they provide a valuable service. My advice to those folks who don't like the prices is, "Go elsewhere". As far as we're concerned though, they are worth the money.

Pete and Nona Mapes, Oscoda, MI

(also Amelia, Virginia, Lorre the dog, and Susiebelle. The Tri-Q doesn't get named until it gets born!)

Dear Jim:

I am sending a photo of our Q-2 just to show you that we are doing something up here. This is Oct. '88, but I've been too busy/lazy (which do you believe?) to write into Q-TALK. Since the photo, we've started filling and sanding for a change of pace (!!??-ED.). Once I've worked out all the bugs, I hope to send you the details of our canopy latch system which will allow easy access from the inside or outside.

Has anyone installed a HAPI engine in a Q-2? We're thinking about using the 82 HP Magnum Plus. After attending Rex Taylor's forum at Oshkosh, I was impressed with the product support provided by HAPI, and to date I haven't heard anything bad from anyone with regards to the company or their products. We'd like to hear more opinions before committing.

Perry Kotelko, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA

ED. NOTE: 1. I believe lazy. But isn't that just what you'd expect from me? 2. After the last 7 years, I will never again swallow the story coming from the mouth of a sportplane or engine seller. That is the WORST information on which you can base a purchase in this industry. That is a fact well known by a wide cross-section of kitplane builders. Be only impressed with satisfied customers, so continue asking around. Don't read this as a slam against Taylor as I've only heard a pretty evenly distributed batch of pro's and con's (which ain't a bad sign).

Dear Jim,

Please inform other builders to be very leery of individuals(s) advertising smoking deals on 0-200 engines contained in or extracted from old ground power or ground air conditioning units. Some of these are not 0-200's to start with, but aberrations of other Continental engines (0-470 in this instance) and built specifically for ground unit applications.

According to John Black, the Technical Services engineer, I talked to at Continental, these engines were not built to the same quality standards as aircraft engines and were not intended for that use. There is an uninformed individual in southern California trying to pass these things off. I won't tell you what it cost me to come by this gem of wisdom, but I definitely don't want to see someone else make the same mistake. There are no free (or even cheap) lunches.

Gene Cash, Thousand Oaks, CA

Continental's phone number in Mobile, AL is 205/438-3411.

Dear Jim,

I saw Bob LaRue's brakes (drawings in QT #11) at Oshkosh. I was impressed and took some pictures. The problem with the QAC setup is that the brake brackets are prone to twisting, causing chattering and uneven wear. Bob's system is a real good fix.

By the way, Bob nearly bit the big one departing OSH. I was watching arrivals and departures with a couple of friends and things were pretty hairy out on runway 18. Bob got a takeoff wave from the FAA guy with the paddles, but there was a conflict with a biplane right in front of him (I'm not sure if it was landing or taking off). It happened fast and I'm not sure of the problem, but it looked like Bob caught the biplane's wake and he suddenly rolled 90 degrees to the right. As soon as he got right side up he was tossed about 90 degrees to the left...all of this about 10 feet from the ground! We all thought we were witnessing a fatality. I'll bet Bob and his passenger had to clean their shorts at their first gas stop!

Sam Hoskins, Murphysboro, IL

Dear Jim:

The major steps remaining for #2652 are exterior finish work; engine installation and plumbing; exterior finish work; instrument panel and electrical wiring; and exterior finish work. (Did I mention it was hot at Oshkosh?) I hope to have everything completed by summer (maybe fall) of 1989..we'll see.

One interesting note, while working on my instrument panel layout, I found a software package that runs on an IBM PC called Auto Sketch. It's a $70 CAD package that allowed me to design my panel on my PC and then print it full size to check my layout for placement and clearances. After dozens of revisions and 5 cardboard mock-ups, I finally found one I liked, so I printed it one more time, glued it to my plywood panel, and just cut along the lines! The initial design was time consuming, but the changes were a snap! If anyone is interested, I'll send them a diskette of the layout I came up with, at least it would be a place to start.

Paul A. Fisher, Taylor Ridge, Illinois

Dear Jim:

Our little Quickie hasn't flown since October 31, 1987, when its annual ran out. My partner has been somewhat busy with the Long-EZ but basically is too lazy to work on the machine since he hasn't flown it in many years. He first gave the excuse that the propeller had potential problems but Great American did a beautiful $150 job of refinishing and rebalancing it and it still sits on the shelf. By now the engine is probably badly rusted. It needed a day of tender care, especially a little valve work to improve the compression, but it was flying very well without any airframe problems at all. Fortunately, the machine is now sharing a hangar with the Long-EZ and I've removed the insurance, so it isn't costing much of anything in direct costs. What should be done with the little machine? Right now the Long-EZ is down for a scheduled engine overhaul and I'd love to have the little machine available for fun flying.

Partnership has been the only way I could get the chance to participate in the building and flying of experimental aircraft but the emotional and financial cost make it a very dubious investment; I don't recommend it. The Long-EZ isn't really finished, either, since it still has masking tape for fuel marks and no upholstery, and may never be finished at the rate things are going.

The stated requirement for my position at Kent State University was a significant level of absentmindedness. I was able to demonstrate abundant competence in that area and have been here over 20 years now. However, a new and even surer sign of senility has recently appeared. A vicious attack of nostalgia inspired me to order audiotapes of previous Oshkosh forums! (Available for mostly $6 each from Dave Yeoman, 3410 St. Peters Road, Marion, Iowa 52302.) The first tape I chose to listen to was the BD-5 Micro Flight Test Program in Oshkosh 1972. It is scary! Burt began by discussing the flight test program and how good the flight characteristics were and how the engine problems (including specifically cooling problems) had been solved. The flight test pilot reported on how easy the machine was to fly and how even a good student pilot could fly it. And Jim Bede added his emphatic endorsement to the brilliance of the design. I would probably have run right down to the bank and gotten a loan if I hadn't been able to convince myself that this was really old news. (Burt left Bede in an amiable departure later in the year, I believe, perhaps partly because he wasn't in favor of attempting to certificate the design.) The very real enthusiasm and earnestness of its salespeople somehow didn't translate into large-scale success. Aviation Consumer recently reported on the history of the BD-5 from a perspective of a decade after bankruptcy. One principal in Micro Aviation was quoted a saying that one-third of first flights were fatal! The estimated fatality rate was estimated at 480 per 100,000 hours for the BD-5 compared to a low of 1.3 per 100,000 hours for the C-150. Yet two of the magazine's editors flew factory prototypes in the early 1970's and loved the flying characteristics, finding it stable and reasonably forgiving. Certainly the engine is the primary villain in the BD-5 accidents; when the intended engine wasn't available, builders put in much heavier engines, which drove up the approach and landing speeds. It appears that certain aspects of the airplane (wing leading edge, stabilator, cg) were very sensitive to builder errors. The 300-hour TBO jet engine wasn't wonderfully reliable, either. The typical fatal accident was an engine failure on take-off, a stall and hard contact with the ground with the airframe providing negligible protection for the pilot.

In comparison to the BD-5, the Quickie and Q-2 and Q-200 represent marvelous improvements! We've not had the engine failure problem, we certainly haven't had the stall-spin problem, and the airframe has protected us amazingly well for such a small machine. The similarities are that both aircraft were developed on big runways with plenty of space around for emergency landings and both the Quickie and the BD-5 are single seaters.

I also listened to the first two Quickie forums. The first began with Burt Rutan, once again, discussing the design and development of the airframe, followed by Tom Jewett and Gene Sheehan. Boy, what an airplane! Unstallable, unspinnable, docile ground handling far better than the typical taildragger, performance better than the Grumman Trainer chase plane, only 400 hours of building time, and all for only $3995 complete! Again, the airplane proved susceptible to weight growth and to other builder variations. It is probably no coincidence that most of the successfully flying BD-5s and Quickies are in California or other places with wide open spaces and long runways.

Dear Jim:

Bob Noble and I had a great return flight from Oshkosh in his beautiful tri-Q200. We made it within 35 mi. of home and ran into a solid wall of thunderstorms. We sat of the ground at Heber Springs til almost dark then finally picked our way home. With one small exception, the airplane performed flawlessly. On our last landing the nosewheel began shimmying and flopping. It came all the way around and hit the prop, doing minor damage to it, and destroying the wheel pant. We have since installed a stop to limit nose wheel travel.

Jerry Homsley Cabot, AR


My Tri-Q also broke a prop on landing due to excessive nosewheel shimmy. I had put the 3/16 bolt stop recommended by Scott, but while in a shared hangar, some "helpful" people were pushing the plane back, felt some resistance then pushed harder, breaking the bolt. I delayed the fix and it cost me a prop. NOW I have a 1/4" stop-bolt and a safety wire on the bolt that controls shimmy.

Mike Conlin, Conroe, TX

Dear Jim,

Thank you for publishing Q-TALK! Without it, owners and builders would REALLY be on their own. Oh, sure, someone else could do it - but they aren't, and perhaps wouldn't. (However, lest you get the big head, I'll point out that NO ONE is indispensable, and that includes thee and me.) Of course one of the losses if someone else did it would be the Jim Masal caustic comments. A bit much at times, perhaps, and a bit out of order once in a while (according to my feelings), but that's YOU and that gives the newsletter character. Wouldn't life be boring if we all had the same likes, the same temperament, wanted to build the same airplane - and wanted to marry the same woman? Folks (yes, all of us) need a kick in the rear once in a while to jar us loose. And you have the ability to do it. All things considered, I suspect you've done far more good to the Q-movement than either of us would dare to imagine. Keep up the good work.

Keith Williams, Cedar Rapids, IA

ED. NOTE: Keith, you should be a syndicated newsletter editor critic because you have certainly laid it out just as clean and clear as it could ever be. I'm floored and agree with your insight.

I would never have lasted 7 years at this work if I thought I was working for a bunch of deadheads. My friends would tell you that I'm a natural born provoker of reactions. That shows up in Q-TALK. The good Lord gave me a broad range of emotions and I use 'em all on a regular basis. Thank goodness you don't like everything I do, but more importantly, thank goodness you say so.

Let me tell you a favorite experience with this newsletter. One year, I reacted very hotly in print to 2 letters of criticism. Now what you read in QUICKTALK/Q-TALK ain't nearly as volatile as I can get in a personal letter of indeterminate length (especially if I'm sure of my facts). That same year, as I left the QAC forum tent at Oshkosh, Fred Klein and Ray Isherwood, the objects of my ire, converged on me...not to rip my head out by the roots, but to clarify their thoughts and opinions. We talked enthusiastically and ended friends. I have never forgotten these 2 guys and I am proud to write for them. To this day, Ray and I talk by phone every couple of months and I have profited from his friendship. While I disagreed with Ray and Fred's reactions, I very much appreciated that they made the effort to do so. And now I have reason to appreciate and remember you.

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