Q-talk 52 - Jul/Aug 1995 - index
- Category: Q-Talk Index
- Published: Thursday, 31 August 1995 07:11
- Written by Tom Moore
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ISSUE NUMBER 52
QUICKIE BUILDERS ASSOCIATION
by Jim Masal
GEEEEEEzzzzis, I hope I'm not mellowing in my old age! I'm sure I'll have things to bellyache and moan about later here, but on Thursday, July 27, at straight up noon in Oshkosh, I was laying in the shade of a Chinese Mig 15, head propped up against the nosewheel, while on a platform not 20 feet away sat famed WWII war aces Chuck Yeager and Bud Anderson talking about knocking down German ME-262's during the war. I was thinking, "Now just where else in the world is it possible or likely that something like this might occur EXCEPT at Oshkosh? Like me, some others bitch and moan about having to walk all over hell's half-acre, wearing those goofy wristbands, taking showers with our hineys showing, sweltering in the heat, rubbing up against a sea of sweating humanity on opening weekend, picking our way thru an arrival sky throbbing with aircraft, and what could be a much longer litany of gripes ... but where else on earth could we have the surprising and satisfying experiences offered at Oshkosh EXCEPT at the hands of the seething, bubbling, ever expanding, dollar-eating organism we know as the EAA?
Let's face it, bigger audiences cause better actors and playwrights flock to Broadway than to the local high school's Christmas pageant. So if Oshkosh weren't huge beyond huge, there wouldn't be as quite an astonishing variety of airplanes being restored/built/saved from the scrap pile of history nor the variety of products and services being hawked to us, the little (but mighty) guys and gals of aviation. But I must confess, all this stuff doesn't run through your mind just after a careless civilian drops a lawn chair on your canard (After all, she paid a pretty hefty ticket price to be admitted to the flight line and so she's entitled to a little careless irresponsibility).
But I digress. It was a good Oshkosh. The weather was bright, if very humid, and the two rains we had held off until the evenings. Every year a plane or two gets rolled up into a wad trying to get to Oshkosh, and this year it was one of our guys. Every year "best plane" awards are handed out, and this year it was one of our guys. But I'm rushing the story. First, a good pile of our pilots showed up:
* Landing Speed - This is a query included on the prop card that pilots must put on their planes at OSH. I thought I'd report it for the first time, but remember that all this data is not test-pilot accurate but just a builder report.
You will note, as usual, that most of these guys are repeaters (air show regulars). Lacking information on the QAC prototype, these guys lead the way for us by flying regularly, racking up the flight hours and being the first guys to notice any wear or frailties of the design due to high time. AND, they are usually where we can see the plane and talk to the driver about it. They only think they are coming to an airshow, but they are damned important to us and I thank them for their regular participation.
New attendees this year include Fontenot, who was camped so far down the south runway that my sneakers blew out before I could get there to snap a photo (When I hit the ultralight area and still saw a half-mile of parked planes stretched before me, I quit). Gunn, from Utah, is second owner of a Q-2 by Gary Jones, a sometime writer for KITPLANES magazine. Jones, who has written several articles about the bird in KITPLANES, flew it many hours before converting it to a Q-200.
The last, but very much more than least first-timer was Crouch. As chronicled in a recent Q-TALK, Terry first flew N14TC this year. It took him an ungodly long time to finish this Quickie and now we know why. It was magnificent. And ... Terry was awarded Reserve Grand Champion is the plans built category. Hubba, hubba, hubba and Yippppeeeee. We will see him at Ottawa to hoist him on our shoulders and carry him up and down our flightline. Not only is he a meticulous builder, but also I have heard several handfuls of comments from guys who have called him for advice over the years and have received it unselfishly. That's the best kind of builder there is! As an apt description of his plane, I would be forced to use that crass expression "It sparkles like a diamond in a goat's as-!
QBA ACTION - THE BANQUET. I thought I had single-handedly sabotaged the Hilton banquet by absentmindedly failing to mention it would be held on Thursday night. An odd night to hold it, but the best we were able to do. We had a full room - 78 folks - and it was a good time to be had. The rubber chicken was excellent as was the rest of the food. The crowd was about evenly divided into QBAers and DFers, and we could be as loud as we wanted to because the room was all ours.
THE FORUM - About 120 guys showed up for the Friday evening forum which for the first time was a joint venture - Q's and DF's. I was skeptical when Spud offered to share his tent with me but it seemed to work very well. I hadn't scheduled a forum otherwise except at the Homebuilders Corner. I think we talked for nigh on to 2 and a half hours until officials came to pull the mic and speakers. While Spud put the finishing touches on the forum, I was able to drag all the Q-1 guys to a back corner and spend 20 minutes of uninterrupted time with them.
HOMEBUILDERS CORNER - This launched at 9 am Saturday while I was caught in a hellacious snarl of traffic at the main intersection leading into the convention. 3 blue haired old ladies were in a broken down car right where two inbound lanes merged into one. They must've been poopin' their pants with embarrassment. And, none of the smart homebuilders thought to stop, push them off to the shoulder and free up the lane.
Anyway, I arrived 20 minutes late to see that Walt Halloran had picked up the ball and started things going until I could finish up. Looked like about 25 folks were there to report on their progress and ask burning questions. It was only an hour and I see that we need two.
OTHER SHOW MEMORIES - This one was BIG, BIG, BIG. For the first time I'm thinking it's too big for me. Two new and huge exhibit barns have been built across the road from the FAA and EAA.
Merchandise buildings. They accommodate 300 additional vendors and add another 2 1/2 miles of walking to your days. This shift to the West pulled part of the flightline that way too, consequently our Q/DF line started 100 yds east of those buildings in the area previous reserved for antiques. It was a blessing in one way in that we were away from the hordes traversing the old flightline/airshow line and perhaps avoided some aircraft damage.
This is a year celebrating the end of WWII, so you can believe the field and air was choked with warbirds ... 41 AT-6's/SNJ's in formation, 17 P-51's, gobs of T-28's and T-34's, 3 B-17's, a B-24, several B-25's ... the list goes on. Lots of surplus 3rd world jets, plus a couple Sabres and a Panther from Korea. At one finale the warbirds all converged on the field simultaneously flying at 4 or 5 different altitudes and directions. Spectacular.
Several 30's racer replicas were on hand to chase each other around some mock pylons, and that was fun to watch. Two different GEE BEE models were in the pack.
I didn't see (maybe I didn't look hard enough) any really new designs to write home about. Yes, there are still new things going on with the ultralights and there are some nice things happening at the $100,000 kit (?) level, but there's not much going on where we live, say, below $20,000. It was nice to see about 180 EZ's parked near us, because that shows the foam and fiberglass technology is tried and true.
And as I have told many, you can save the cost of your trip to Oshkosh by the deals on parts, pieces and instruments you can make with the exhibitors and in the fly market.
OOOppppss, I almost forgot to tie up a loose end. Bill Varga rolled his TriQ up into a ball on takeoff for Oshkosh, as I understand it. He got scratched up and did make it to OSH by other means, but I haven't been able to talk to him about it yet. I've heard, though, that he was starting a formation takeoff with another plane when his got caught in the prop wash and/or tip vortex which caused some control gyrations which didn't get under control until after a couple of double back flips on the ground. I'm after the first person report as we speak.
On another subject, some of you guys amaze me with your dogged memories. At OSH, those that asked about my hangar progress got this long, sad story about my concrete. Wonder of wonders, it was finally poured on Aug. 4. Now all y'all can fly on down and help me celebrate my Aug. 22 birthday like all the EZ's do for Burt. Naw, just meet me at Ottawa!
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