Login Form

Q-talk 136 - West Coast Tandem Wing Fly-in Brief Report

"When it rains, it pours..." How true that saying is, though not in the sense of precipitation, but rather participation. The weekend of August 21-23 saw beautiful, warm weather with clear, blue skies in Livermore, CA. What did pour was the wealth of knowledge and information exchanged during the 8th Annual West

Coast Tandem Wing Fly-in, held at LVK. The event's co-hosts had been planning for months on making this the best fly-in ever, and the many smiles on the faces of those attending gave evidence that our efforts were successful.

A record number of aircraft were exhibited during the fly-in, totaling 17 this year. One more than last year. We were graced with 8 Q-types including; a Q-2 Jabiru flown in by Paul Spackman from Casper, Wyoming; Mark Summers' Q-200, from Truckee, California; locally-based Q-200's built by Bob Farnam and Jim Patillo; Geoffrey Rutledge and Brad Olsen's Q-200's and Alan Thayer's Q-2 Jabiru and Q-1 with the new carbon fiber spar. This event was heavily advertised to the EZ community, and a good number of EZ type aircraft also showed up. These included the amazingly efficient VariEze built by our featured speaker, Gary Hertzler, who flew in from Arizona; and a gorgeous Cozy-4, flown in from Sacramento. We also welcomed Steve Kearny's locally-based and beautiful VariEze, and Long EZ's built by Ray McCrae, John Meir, and Barry Weber. Dave Dent was also present with his Velocity, and Geoffrey Rutledge taxied over his Glassair II. Finally, Dragonfly builder Terry Adams arrived in his striking Thorpe T-18, the only metal airplane at the fly-in this year. We missed a number of pilots and planes who had actually intended on attending, but for various reasons, couldn't launch, or had to turn back. Among those who had to turn back were none other than Ernest Martin and Jerry Marstall, who were planning the surprise of the century, but had to turn around above Oklahoma, due to an oil leak... and what a surprise indeed that would have been! Hats off to you both for making such a valiant attempt, and that was indeed the best kept secret ever, as none of us out here even had a clue!!

The heart of the Livermore event this year was what we all learned while listening to Gary Hertzler, who held us spellbound during his 2 forums, and during his hands-on inspection of our airframes. Among the multitude of lessons we learned was the fact that a 5.00x5 wheel and tire equates a loss of 2.5hp at 150 knots, and 5.8hp at 200 kts. Similarly, tip strobes each account for a loss of 0.8hp, and 1.8hp, respectively. 2" exhaust pipes, 6" long, account for 1.5hp 3.5hp respectively and %" diameter wire, 1' long will eat up 1.7hp, and 3.9hp, respectively. Amazing!

Gary's VariEze was an amazing showcase of improvements. For example, in 1984 Jeanna Yeager flew Gary's stock VariEze for a closed course World Record. Then, in 1994, Gary flew a much modified VariEze, N99VE for a new record exceeding Jeanna's record by over 100 miles on 10 fewer gallons. N99VE presently flies 30 mph faster at the same fuel flow than in the plans configuration of 29 years ago. Gary says that with attention to detail these planes can indeed be very efficient.

We learned about induced drag, parasitic drag, skin friction drag, gaps and leaks, ducts and baffles, engine cooling drag, wingtip considerations, the importance of the canard/fuselage junction point, and wheel pant improvement... enough to make your head spin. Then we then went out to the tarmac where Gary inspected a number of our planes to illustrate what he had spoken of theoretically. Jon Finley graciously had supplied us prior to the event with some tufting video of his plane to confirm Gary's analyses of what can indeed be observed on our planes. Gary's presentation concluded with a forum on propellers, which he now makes. Propeller making started out as a part-time hobby after his retirement and has turned into a full-time business.

What would a great event be without food? Co-host Sam Kittle's barbecued chicken dinner was even better than ever this year! Those who missed the dinner, missed the best chicken and potato salad anywhere! All in all, what a great weekend for Quickies! Watch for a more detailed report from the Grand Poohbah, Jimmy Masal in an upcoming issue of Q-Talk.

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #136 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.