Q-talk 39 - LETTERS
- Category: Q-Talk Articles
- Published: Friday, 30 April 1993 07:11
- Written by Jim Masal
- Hits: 1582
I thought for sure you should know that your newsletter beat all the magazines on the Sun 'n Fun Show, with a news flash.
Besides building a Q-200, I also own a 1946 Ercoupe. At least once a month, I try to explore a new area in the Northwest. Well, I had just come back from Redmond, Oregon, new home of the Lancair & Wheeler Express. In the showroom was the IV with the extra tanks installed. It just didn't click what record it was going for. The Wheeler Express was not to be found, guess they were keeping it under wraps till Sun 'n Fun. Anyway, you get the hot story for the year - an easy month before anyone else. Thanks.
I've owned my partially complete Q-200 now for six months. I'd send pictures, but why send another "in progress" shot? Previous owner developed a major reaction to the epoxy. I must admit after sheetrocking and insulating my garage, I was a little slow to jump into the epoxies. I hated the instant headache I got upon even opening the container.
Lo and behold, a friend who's building a Mini-MAX, told me to order an $11 introductory kit from System Three, phone #800-333-5514. It was shipped that day and I received it the next. This stuff is great - no odor period! The next day I ordered $100 worth, it arrived the next day and I was in business. The kit is worth $11 for the epoxy book that comes with each order. 50 pages that explain all you'd ever want to know about epoxy. If you order, be sure and specify epoxy trial kit (they also sell paints).
My plane is coming along slowly because I'm doing the finish work first. I'm putting the rest off until after I get back from Ottawa in September. Pretty excited about it too! I plan on flying commercial to Kansas City and will wing it from there.
Looking forward to Sept.
Steve Ahler, 1160 Magnolia, Walla Walla, WA 99362
P>S. I've talked with Alan McFarland several times. He's helped me a lot. I've also flown to Twin Falls, Idaho and was given a ride in Bob Gillespie's Q-2. Jeez, it's nice. We even did aileron rolls. What a trip! Also saw a Tri-Q conversion by Harold Drake. He's also installed a ballistic chute. It sure is a nice fraternity I've joined. Hope to see you in Ottawa. By the way, anybody out there have a cowling for an O-200? Call me collect.
ED. NOTE: If you are counting those pennies or if you didn't get in on the Rotax cowlings when they were a hot item, here's proof that a clever builder can eventually modify a stock Onan cowling to fit.
This is my ELT antenna installation. Ground plane is made from screen wire.
Marion Brown, FL
Bob Lane, Docton, WA, sent along some worthwhile info he picked up from CONTACT! Magazine. F.Y.I., the FAA is running a Bulletin Board Service, BBS, for experimental aircraft builders/owners. The system is maintained by Ben Morrow who has hit on this way for builders to share info anonymously, thus avoiding the fear of Big Brother FAA. This BBS has turned out to be very successful.
For those of you with a computer and modem, start by dialing 1-800-426-3814. The BBS will assign you a caller number and welcome you to the system with a message. Simply follow the subsequent prompts to get to menus, which allow you to select aircraft type and/or a particular topic for which you seek a discrepancy report.
Bear in mind that these reports are anonymous, are informational only and have not been confirmed or verified by the FAA.
Note of Interest: The last time I changed the oil in my Tri-Q200 I added a quart of Slick 50. I gained 200 rpm at idle and the engine seemed to run smoother at my usual cruising rpm of 2600.
Greg Zimmerman, Iowa City, IA
I have an interesting problem with our '65 C-172M's Continental O-300. I treated it with Slick 50 and shortly thereafter would hear a loud screech every so often when cranking the engine. Scared me! An expert mechanic said the starter mechanism was slipping. His description: A spring around a drum on the accessory shaft is twisted or rotated by the starter motor. Upon turning the spring, it tightens on the drum as it turns the engine over. When the engine starts, the drum matches or exceeds the rotation speed of the spring and the spring releases. This mechanism is constantly bathed in oil so rides free when the engine is running and the spring is not being rotated by the starter motor. The screech occurred when one particular cylinder came up against compression. I guess it was higher than the rest. We decided the Slick 50 altered the coefficient of friction the system depends on. The screech has diminished recently, but I'm watching it and will keep you posted.
Hank Hurd, Belleville, IL
Didn't make Sun 'N Fun. Patching up the BLUE ANGEL. She had another hard landing. The canard broke inboard, the right wheelpant broke off the canard and the prop supplied me with two year's worth of toothpicks.
Al (Blue) Angel, SN 2411
I purchased a part built Q-2 some while ago with the intention of replacing the canard with the LS type, converting to a TRI and fitting an O-200 engine.
I've found Q-TALK a great help in making me aware of problem areas, reassuring me in other areas, and generally giving me a burst of enthusiasm on reading other comments on flying the Quickie. Keep up the good work.
Derek Clarke, Doncaster, England
For about 5 years I have been working with Bram Waters of New Zealand to perfect a constant speed electric prop for our small planes. I had one of his first models and it ran on a test stand on the Mazda rotary. Lou Ross didn't like it ... claimed it was going to fly apart. Lou was right ... it was good for about 60 hours.
Waters went back to the drawing board and now claims to have a 3-blade undergoing certification tests on a C-150. Blades are wood, TBO is 900 hrs. and weight is half that of a solid aluminum prop. He is taking orders at $3750 and he apparently wants to vibration test every new installation. Contact him: Bram Waters, 1 Cracroft St., Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand
Jack A. Soules
I sold my Onan powered Quickie to a fellow in Fayetteville, NC after flying it 10 full years. I hated to see my baby go but I really couldn't justify two single-seat Quickies since I bought Norm Howell's Rotax Quickie.
I had an engine failure with the Rotax though. I was downwind when it sputtered and quit. I got it back on the ground with a broken prop and left wheel pant. Upon inspection I found no fuel in either float bowl but plenty in the tank. I have since replaced the fuel pump and filter, completed the glass and paint work and am waiting for my new Prince 52/53 prop. I also plan to install an electric boost pump, which I will use for takeoffs and landings.
I have also installed hydraulic toe brakes. The original equipment cables run out the canard and are hooked mechanically to the actuating arm (plunger) on the hydraulic system. I used a set of wheels and disc brakes as purchased from Ken Brock who uses them on the front of his Gyros.
Jerry Homsley, AR
Dear Jim and Builders,
Me and my 65 hp Q-2 are doing fine. 78 hrs and no ground loops or any other serious problems.
158 at 3300 rpm
110 at 2500
120 at 2650
Climb is 800 fpm solo and all speeds are at 50' above water. 48 pitch prop. I cannot see anyone getting 170 mph like some advertise.
I changed my original TRW two-piece valves from Revmaster to 1-piece carbon valves. I tried to get all stainless valves but my shop said they only sold them if they were oversize.
I advise all VW owners to check their valves with a magnet. Two-piece valves have a nasty record of popping their heads off. It will lock your engine. I set my valves at 6 and 8, engine timing 27.5 degrees. I set my valves every 12 hours.
I changed to Mobil 1 auto oil; I cannot see any change in oil or CHT temps. Keep your CHT at 350 or less in cruise or no more than 400 in climb to keep from cracking your heads. Don Short cracked his heads while climbing out at around 450 CHT.
My engine runs a little rough sometimes. I think my mags are running hot. I need to check them with melting temperature pellets. Max mag temp should be 225 degrees.
David McConahy, Bixby, OK
Bill Bertrand's flying scale RC model of his real plane. Guess he just couldn't wait to fly SOMEthing, eh?
Q2, G-BMVG is in the process of being re-engined with an O-200, but work is slow due to other pressures. Expected to be back airborne sometime in 1994.
Q1, G-BMVG is flying well. TT is now 65 hrs. Have done 25 hours in the past three months. Expect to do a lot more this summer. The Rotax 503 is a delightful little engine, and lifts my bulk uphill at about 1400'/min. The only gremlins that I've had so far are radio problems, and I'm on my third spinner (it flies just as well without, but looks better with one).
I've got some lovely air-to-air pictures to send to you. This year I intend to set some world records with the Q1 (after getting the bug for this kind of activity with the Q2). The time-to-climb record to 3,000 meters is 13.75 minutes; that looks like a first to go for, and I've already started to set it up with the FAI and Boscombe Down military airfield through the Royal Aero Club. Have just finished the Voyager book; now I know why Jeana Yeager appears so much in the Cla record category. The Quickie gets at least a brief mention in the book.
This year I am racing the Q1 in 9 air races including the Schneider and the Kings Cup. I came first in the Kings Cup last year with an average speed over a closed circuit of 146 mph from a standing start! Needless to say, I was well over VNE (150) on the run-in to the finish. I got disqualified for going TOO QUICKLY; the handicappers did not believe my declared speed after the 'book' Onan figure.
I'm also flying to the Jersey and Alderney Air Rallys. I won 5 trophies 4 years ago in the Q2, thanks to the superb work on the airplane by Don Johnson. I intend to do a trip to Scotland to rattle Martin Burns' cage so that he'll finish his 447 powered Quickie for the PFA Rally this year.
Now, fuel leaks. I've had a small but persistent leak, which I cannot locate (about 1 ltr/month). I've spoken to four different people and had 4 different remedies from using talc powder to locate, and epoxy on the outside to fix, to cutting a hole in the top of the tank, liberally using epoxy, and sealing the hole with silicone in case the hole is needed again. Any more suggestions? I suspect there is no easy answer.
I really enjoy my Quicktalk arriving even if I don't write back that often.
Paul M. Wright, Cambridge, England
Here are some photos of the basic Hirth 2703 installation with a Northwest Services Planetary drive at 2.2:1 reduction. You may recognize the old Kevlar mount.
Hirth has a far longer (but less popularized) track record in aviation than Rotax. This, combined with the most current design technology and supposed operating/maintenance efficiency seemed like the best choice for me.
Lance Wheeler at NSI says that his drive eliminates all torsional vibrations. Ivoprop wants to put their electric variable pitch prop on it all ... and so do I! I know that 65 hp is overkill but now it seems certain that the controls surfaces will have to be balanced.
It all sounds great so we'll see how it all meshes on a Quickie that has never flown before.
Hope to be taxi testing by June.
Hirth and NSI drive Info: Tom Hammel (414) 797-8440
Here is some recent information, which some of our builders may be interested in. Scott Horowitz is currently a Test Pilot at Edwards and a member of EAA Chapter 1000. He will be leaving us soon for Astronaut training in Houston. He has related the following to me:
REPORT ON S. HOROWITZ TRI-Q-200
Description: Engine is a flow balanced O-200 with a B&C alternator, Bendix mags, Marvel carb, and no starter. Aircraft cowling is homebuilt and tight with several bumps for spark plugs. The cowling has a smile type air inlet (The pilot reports excellent cooling in climb as well as cruise). Prior to the Tri-Q configuration, the aircraft was set up with tricycle retractable landing gear, but was reconfigured due to technical problems.
The aircraft was originally damaged on first flight attempt during an engine power loss and PIO after lift off. The aircraft at this time was fitted with dual Ellison throttle body injectors on a common manifold. Damage required 1 years worth of work. The pilot admits he flew before the aircraft was ready in an attempt to make his own schedule.
Initial flight test - Pilot reported surprise at the initial rate and angle of climb. He remarked that the nearest comparison in handling was an A-37. He also reported that the aircraft wants to fly left wing down (due to single seat operation). No roll trim is available and this is a high fatigue issue.
3rd flight test - The pilot performed higher speed work at altitude. One sparrow strainer was lost at 180 mph resulting in a 2 g pitch down. Recovery was initiated with 20 lbs of backpressure on the stick and landing was made without mishap. The sparrow strainers had not been glassed as per plan. Scott had lost his plans several years ago and continued to build in a vacuum. Scott rebuilt the sparrow strainers with proper glass reinforcement and also installed hardwood dowels along the elevator in order to minimize elevator torque tube/foam core flexure.
At 30 hours total time on the aircraft, the pilot reports that his Tri-Q-200 is unlike any aircraft he has flown. His aircraft exhibits neutral stability. Modifications have been made to the pitch trim in order to enable hands off flight. Phugoid and Short Period response is unremarkable. Level indicated speed at 8000 feet is reported to be 158 KIAS.
The pilot suggests that a major shortcoming in handling qualities of his aircraft is the lack of effective aileron trim.
The pilot comments that the rudder is very powerful.
Roll maneuvers while flown single seat are somewhat strange as the Tri-Q rolls like an egg instead of like a ball.
As usual, if I come across anything else, I'll let you know. By the way, I painted my Q-200 last month. Now I have control surface, rigging, wiring, and engine building to finish.
Brian M. Martinez (805) 943-5379
ED. NOTE: Na Na, Na Na Na, I've been telling you guys about that rudder area, and now I have confirmation by an astronaut. Our rudders are plenty effective. DON'T change the rudder just because you won't improve your pilot technique, Mr. Hard Head!
I thought that I'd better get my dues to you along with an update on my project.
I finally have gotten my Q200 out of the Rec. room and into the garage. Getting the main wing and the canard mounted finally made the project look like an airplane. I sure get a lot of comments from guests concerning the "Star War" design. Mounting the control surfaces and getting them to the point that they may be controlled from within the cockpit made me feel that the project was becoming more of an airplane. Now that the instrument panel is fitted with instruments and the uncovered seat cushions can be put in place, I can really get an idea of how the cockpit will feel. The Continental ground power unit that I plan to use is now in my shop for the completion of the swing out mount that I've tack welded together. Hopefully, I will be mounting the engine sometime this Spring or Summer.
I am making no predictions as to completion date. I have several major projects under way and the Q200 more or less is fit between the others. Also, it is difficult to give up a great ski flying day with LD-1 to stay inside and work on any of the projects I have going.
Lance Talcott, 4840 Lower Shore Dr., Harbor Springs, MI 49740
The tire problems for Q-2's will continue (Ref. 4.00 x 5 Cheng Shins). The local dealers selling Cheng Shin tires and who have the current catalogs don't have a listing for this tire!! I ordered a set of tires and tubes from WICKSs (Catalog #TRB 100-055). They are 4.10 x 3.50 x 5--4 ply. A critical point is that they are 4 ply. The 2 ply tires sold in Go-Cart stores have a max inflate pressure of 30 psi, which is not enough. I carry 32 psi in my tires. These WICKs tires are a flat tread but I have not experienced any ground handling problems. However, they are lower profile, which may be a problem if your wheel covers provide limited ground clearance. This lower profile may cause a slight change in the ground angle of attack for the canard and main wing, but I felt that fell in the category of warts on a gnat's gluteus maximus.
To Manny Lewis - the persistent oil leak from your 2100DQ is probably one of those mysteries that will bug you until hell freezes over! I have the same problem, had it from hour one and it remains now at 220 hours. Recommend you keep a close check on your oil level and carry a wipe rag at all times. I would like some of you VW engine experts to write in some comments and/or tips on this persistent gremlin.
Looking forward to another year of Q-TALK. Hang in there JIM, we need you!!!
Fred Wemmering, 5317 Maryland Dr., Fayetteville, NC 28311
An update on Q2 N162P and then a message from my Glasair TD for all aircraft owners ...
After all the sanding and a new paint job, new upholstery, etc., in February it was Annual time. After two years of inactivity, the new REL38B plugs had rusted slightly and when I went to back them out, the aluminum threads came too. So I took the heads to a head shop here for Helicoils. Revmaster now tells me that the problem with the threads was probably caused by not having thick enough plug washers (too much plug in the cylinder). Next the old exhaust system was rusted out and I replaced with four curved pipes a la Schnackel. Sure enough this solved the overheating problem! The summer consulting workload hit hard and the project had to be shelved until October. Started flying again in October, but engine seemed rough. After an hour - several takeoffs and landings it got real rough. Inspection of the engine revealed three plugs wobbling around loose in the heads! Contacted Revmaster about that and a persistent oil leak at the back of the engine and they agreed to repair everything for $375 if the heads are repairable. It will cost $300.00 for freight so that will have to wait until after Christmas due to a shortfall in operating capital.
In early October I flew the Glasair to Manhattan, KS to see my grandson play football. Weather was good, so tied the airplane down outside and went to the game. Arriving at the airport next day the place was swarming with police. A chock was dangling from the leading edge of the wing and the window in the right hand gullwing had been broken out. The door latch cover was destroyed along with the ignition switch. Enroute charts and plates along with a Loran owner's manual were taken. Worst of all a Ziploc freezer bag containing my registration and airworthiness certificates along with engine and aircraft logbooks were taken!! I contacted the FAA about the airworthiness certificate and they recommended pulling the data plate off the engine!
I would have felt bad about being tied down outside, but Manhattan has a control tower, chain link fences, a lot of par 135 operations and scheduled airline service. I had flown in there a dozen times before and if ever a place looked secure - this was it. However, the vandals also trashed several other aircraft on the ramp, including an Aero Commander, which they left parked off the taxiway in the mud. Then they broke into two locked metal hangars where they wrecked a KR2 by jumping up and down on the turtle deck until they broke it. The owner was in tears when I got there. I guess we are all still in a state of shock. Then they partially opened the doors and tried to take a pressurized 411 out - tipped both props and hung the tail on the door. I'd guess $80,000 damage there alone. FBO here estimates I have lost 25% of the value of my airplane just due to the loss of the log books.
We were able to put a large aluminum patch on the airplane and fly it home, albeit with restricted visibility to the right. Three weeks after this event the same vandals broke into another airport 10 miles away - stole more logbooks and a Turbo Arrow. The weather was bad (ice) and the wreckage was found 20 miles away on the Ft. Riley military reservation. The pilot was one of the soldiers. Police, FBI, etc. are still looking for the second individual - he wasn't in the plane.
Thought for the day - don't ever fail to keep a photocopy version of every logbook in a bank safety deposit box.
Donald N. Baker, Starkville, MS
Well another year has passed and I have a few more hours on the bird. I am up over 170 hours total. I had an alternator problem coming back from the flocking at Ottawa, Kansas, which prompted me to pull my engine again to check the alternator. I found that the armature was shorted and of no further use. Since this was a custom alternator unit that I had built I was not going to spend 40-50 hours to build a new one. I decided to find somewhere else to put one of the small units. Since the engine was off I decided now was the time to increase the angle of attack on the canard (I was flying with my ailerons constantly reflexed up about 1/2"). I cut the canard loose at the fuselage and at the firewall but there are small bulkhead reinforcements that also hold the canard to the fuselage and these were much harder to get to and saw through. I had to use one of the small Dremel tools and grind my way through. I wanted to check all the "cutting" I had done so I just cut the rest of the way around and took the canard completely off. Well there were further "improvements" that were needed to the now liberated canard. So now I set off grinding down the hump in the center between the left and right side, changing the shape of the wing pants, making the airfoil shape right ... So here is my bit of wisdom that came the hard way. I was using a belt sander to grind away at the fiberglass on the wheel pants and it was working great so I started using it to take off the layers of paint that I have on my wing. Well after about 10 minutes of grinding I felt the wing and it felt spongy. Boy that stopped me fast! What's going on? I felt the other side and it felt firm. I cut out a 3" square section of material just to check. The fiberglass had completely delaminated from the foam core! I really don't know exactly why but I think the heat of sanding caused the delamination. It could have been the unequal expansion of the fiberglass and foam or the high temperature caused the foam at the foam/fiberglass junction to melt the foam. I just know I ruined the left side of my canard. I don't know what to do but build a new canard. The trouble is that I don't have the plans for building the canard. So here is my plea! Does anyone have the plans to build the LS (1) 407 Mod canard and would they lend them to me so that I could copy them? Someone at the Ottawa, KS flocking also got the report on the Ls (1) 407 Mod airfoil. I would like to get a copy of the report. If I could get them to call I sure would appreciate the information on how to get that report.
Well anyway, that's how I stand now on my airplane. Keep up the good work on the newsletter!
Larry Koutz, Valdosta, GA
Couple notes to hit everyone with. I used an electric orbital sander on my controls and tail to get the paint off and it worked real well but I really kept it moving to avoid the problem that Larry Koutz has had (see Larry's letter elsewhere in this issue - ED.). Once I got all the paint off I found that I had several hollow spots in my elevators. I mean big hollow spots that ran half the length of the elevator. The point is that with polyurethane paint on, the tapping sounded fine. With the paint off it was obvious that it didn't sound right. Be careful while doing your tap tests!
Got my Rotax Quickie all apart. Built a new rudder, it's similar to a Dragonfly's (upside down L shape)) so I can balance it. No more bearing slop now. Also strengthened the tail spring (so it can really explode instead of just flex!), glassed in COM antenna, better cable guides/exits, and smoothed the tail section, just need to paint it now. Have the engine off and am reinforcing the firewall as per Jinx/Brock's suggestions and remounting engine. Have Jinx's old cowling coming so will be putting that on as well. I am going to experiment with turning the carb (Rotax 503SC) about 60 degrees to the rear to minimize the bump in the cowl. If anyone has tried this let me know if it works or not. Also have the canopy off and reinforcing the frame, smoothing it, and installing better hinge. Hope to get a new fuel tank in and increase cockpit comfort a little while I have epoxy on every shirt and pair of pants I own. VG's and spinner are on the list as well!
This is just another quick note to follow up the note I sent you with my renewal. I thought of another useful tidbit I came up with. As you know, the finish on my prop cracked and peeled along the trailing edge when it sat out all night in that swamp called Kansas. I flew it home with no further problems but I needed to do something with the finish. I called Prince (the manufacturer) and he said, "Sometimes they do that". Two dollars an inch to refinish the prop. I decided I couldn't do worse than him since his finish failed so I tried it myself. I sanded (not stripped) the finish off to bare wood and started from there. I put on one coat of Saf-T-Poxy to seal the wood. This was sanded almost completely off when the epoxy set up. I then sprayed on several coats of Black Baron primer. After this set up it was sanded smooth and cleaned up. I finished with gloss white Black Baron paint. Black Baron is a brand name of "epoxy" paint used by modelers. It's common in most hobby shops and it puts on a tough beautiful finish. The only problem is that it takes about two weeks to really cure completely. Also, it's not really an epoxy since you add no catalyst. Sure makes a nice finish though. I balanced the prop by painting the light blade until it balanced. I got a really nice finish that seems to be very durable. I've been flying it some and it seems very durable. The paint is pretty solvent resistant and tough. It must have a little flex agent in it. Anyway, I like it and white props look flashy. In Prince's defense, he said they use a different finish now that is more durable. Thanks for all your work for us Quickie drivers and keep it up.
Robert Bounds, Somewhere in Nebraska
Hi Ya, Jim -
How do you like my new word processor? It sure beats having to read my "doctor's prescription" handwriting! Not only a new word processor, but also a new address (see above). No, I haven't moved, but 911 has finally reached far enough out in the pucker brush to require a real street address, so the only thing that has changed is the mailbox. Since I have included my renewal the day after receiving Q-TALK, I hope that you will enter my new address as promptly (just kidding, keep calm).
In Q-TALK, there are several letters that all have a very common thread. And that is engine out in Rotax powered planes. For the past several years I have been associated with T.E.A.M. aircraft, where I will be fulltime as of January 1, so I have much experience with Rotax, both personally and through Mini-MAX owners/builders. I have been down three times, once inverting the plane in an uncut hayfield (no damage), but operating out of my own 500' usable airstrip at the house (power lines within 100 yards of preferred approach) has made me become capable of precision short approaches. How about all you Q-drivers, are you current and competent in calm, precise airmanship in a forced approach? No, I realize that you aren't but PRACTICE NOW!!!! for there are only two types of Rotax operators -- those who have had an engine out and THOSE THAT WILL! Practice now, guys, or regret it later. Bear in mind that a forced landing in a Q-bird will be much more entertaining than in a 275 lb. Mini-MAX at 25 mph.
As for Rotax engines with breaker point ignition, do a top at no more than 50 hours, or 100 hours with electronic ignition. Pull the manifolds, heads and jugs, and carefully do a very thorough de-carbon job. Inspect everything very closely, especially the ring freedom, reassemble with new gaskets, and torque to specs. While some folks are putting down Beatty at Airscrew, try to remember how you fared with Quickie Aircraft and the Onan. Or, for that matter, all the crap that you got from the Rotax factory authorized dealers. If you want a real eye-opener get Beatty to send you a list of the some TWO DOZEN Rotax engine models that are available, but not through "factory authorized aircraft engine reps". Remember, Beatty is only one man trying to make a living in this Rotax la-la land, so give him a chance, and he will give you as good a deal as you are likely to get. Anyhow, except trying to do it yourself you have no options.
Jim, that's about all the wisdom that I can generate for now, so keep up the great job at Q-TALK, and we'll see you at Sun 'n Fun. Just look for the Mini-MAX area, we plan to have the largest type contingent on the field, just like we did this year (22), but more!
You can order a PDF or printed copy of Q-talk #39 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.