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Q-talk 57 - LETTERS

Dear Jim,

I finally got my tiny canard plane painted and thought you might be interested in the methods and results I had. I used a method published in the Central States Newsletter that was authored by Ken Miller who produced an award winning Long-Eze with it. I received permission from Ken Miller and Terry Schubert the editor, to use it in our newsletter. I am very pleased with the finish I have and have a few things to add to his stuff to answer some questions I had that others might wonder about.

One suggestion I have is that while you are building, when you finish a layup, Peel-Ply any areas that you will be bonding to later. Then, after the glue has set for about an hour or so spread microballoons on the layup with your brush. Work at spreading them around for a while until the surface is covered. Don't do this when the layup is real wet or you might wick out some of the epoxy from the layup and make it too dry. Chances of this are nil after the stuff starts to get thick. This will give you a start on the filling and makes an easily sanded surface to bond dry micro to when you do "The Big Fill". (Ever try to get a shiny layup sanded completely dull? This helps.) Another suggestion is that when you do that big fill, you mix your micro real dry and then mix a little alcohol with it to make it wet enough to work. The alcohol will flash off as you work so just add a little more. We're talking amounts in the tablespoon range here. This is an old idea but a good one. Dry micro is nasty stuff. This allows you to spread drier micro which sands more easily. Another suggestion. When you have sanded the surface and are ready to apply dry micro, don't squeegee straight epoxy onto the surface and then rub it off with a paper towel. This is a mess. Just mix some medium micro, spread it and squeegee it off as much as possible. All you are trying to do is completely wet the surface to get a good bond for the dry micro. I used Safe-T-Poxy for all filling. I guess I just did it because I'm familiar with the stuff.

SANDING. Bad word for most of us compost builders. I actually would much rather sand than spread dry micro. I hate that job. Buy primo sandpaper. "Sanding Catalog at 1-800-228-0000 has everything at reasonable prices. (Ed. Note: Sam Hoskins has also written in and recommended this catalog) I used their shop rolls 6" x 10 yds. in 50 grit on a couple of wood sanding blocks I made. They were 12" and 24" by 4" wide and attached the stuff with a staple gun on the sides. Two rolls should about do the whole plane, but change the paper often. It's cheap compared to sanding with dull paper. Just for sport try one of their planer belts on your block. They are death to micro and last a long time.

PRIMING. I used a Croix gun with a 2.0 nozzle to shoot the primer and it worked well. I think you save a little paint by using a HVLP gun to apply it and at the price of this paint it is a factor. I used the PPG K-200 and loved it. The stuff sands great and adheres well. It took about two and a half gallons plus hardener and solvent to shoot my Vari-Eze the four times called for in this method. By the way, this is a catalyzed urethane so don't scrimp on breathing protection. Get serious and use a supplied air hood. I used a Wilson hood with a shop vac. and garden hose for air supply and it worked fine. Hobby air makes a good system too. With this method you will shoot two coats of micro primer and two coats without micro. After each coat, mix your catalyzed paint that is left in the gun with microballoons to make a paste and hunt for and fill pinholes. You'll find some after every coat that you missed the last time. Clean your gun right away because this stuff cures pretty fast. Also, I had to use a little reducer in every application to get the stuff to flow properly with the low pressure gun but this is okay, just get a good heavy coat on so you can convert it to dust. The wet sanding of the last coat is the fun part of this. The plane will look so nice you won't want to paint it.

PAINTING. My paint shop guy told me to shoot a coat of sealer so I did. I used a PPG epoxy primer called DP50. It's a light gray and doesn't take much. Just get a nice even cover to bond the topcoat. I used one and a half quarts plus hardener and solvent to paint the whole thing. You let this stuff cure for at least an hour, but less than two days before shooting the topcoat. No problem, just clean the gun and start shooting the white. (You are painting your plane white, right?) I used PPG Deltron acrylic urethane for my topcoat and was happy with it. Again I used the Croix gun with a 1.2 nozzle and was happy with the job it did. I might try the 1.4 nozzle next time. I used one gallon of paint plus hardener and solvent and it was barely enough. You might want an extra quart just to be safe. I shot three coats on everything but the control surfaces and baggage pods and pants. (Those last two things are foreign to Q guy.) They make a couple of other types of urethane, but I have no experience with them. I'm not too excited about the basecoat clearcoat system that the car guys are so crazy about. They don't care what a car weights with that extra coat of paint, but I do. I've also heard some horror stories about trying to make repairs on this type of paint job.

FIXING THE BOO-BOOS. I had a major brain fart and didn't wet down the floor when I painted the finish coat. Well it didn't matter with the primer since I sanded it mostly off. Duh! I got some dirt crap, STUFF in my nice final paint job. Off to my friendly paint guy with the sad story. He hands me a little box of sandpaper and says you need to sand it. Just what I wanted to hear, more sanding. After a week of whining, crying and complaining while I waited for the paint to get good and cured, I tried it. I wet sanded my shiny paint with an air powered dual action sander with Velcro 1500 grit paper on it. Boy, does that show off your orange peel, chunky paint job. Hang tough here. Don't sand too much. DO NOT sand any corners. You will get to look at your sealer coat again (it's not white). Now get out the buffer with the wool mop. I used a polish called 3M Perfect-It II. Don't run the buffer over about 1200 rpm or you may damage the paint. Buff an area well until the compound starts to dry out and you can see the shine. Wipe off the area with a soft clean cloth and look it over. It will be better, but may not be real shiny. Do the process again and pretty soon it will shine up nicely. It's amazing. I made a silk purse out of my sow's ear with this stuff. The trick here is to get a lot of paint on so you can buff it out without going through it.

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I painted my own plane just because I wanted to do everything myself. It's done and it looks nice. I guess pride of building is worth something. I hope between Ken Miller's excellent article and my little additions this will help some guys through the traumatic paint wars.

Robert Bounds, White Plane, Nebraska

Dear Jim,

The airplane is working well and so are the hydraulic lifters. We have 45 hours since we installed them in the Revmaster. No problems and no valve adjustments.

Jerry Kennedy, Sioux Falls, SD


I'm working on the engine plumbing now. The engine is on an engine stand in my basement. I've worked out a 2x4 arrangement to hold the instrument panel in a way that it will rotate if I rotate the engine. I added a Masonite firewall and instrument panel so I can figure out where the holes should go before I do it on the real thing. Lots of help so far. Sure beats working in my unheated garage here in Ohio. I can send pics if there is any interest.

Dave Richardson, Stow, OH

Ed. Note: This business of fretting over where to drill the firewall holes got to me too. Yours is an excellent solution to the problem.

Dear Jim,

In the #53 issue, page 4, bent axle troubles. I have fitted the 5/8" O.D. steel axle tubes with inside reducers made from 1/2" aluminum bar. Center drilled to take the 1/4" axle bolt, and turned to slip into the axle tubes. I got this idea from the KR2 people.

John Dunn, Kapiti, New Zealand

Dear Jim,

After approval by Revmaster, I've completed replacement of the exhaust system with four straight (more or less) pipes, to eliminate the heat contribution to the engine and oil cooler. Now I must modify the baffling which doesn't look too bad.

Don Coughlin, San Ramon, CA

Ed. Note: I'm sure Don will be sending pictures shortly.

Dear Jim,

My Tri Q, N337L, has about 22 hours on it and is presently not flying until I replace the nose gear and the prop. I bounced on the landing and the nose came down hard. It's a great flying aircraft so I'm looking forward to getting the time flown off and greater horizons. The cruise speed with the Revmaster engine is 143 indicated. It climbs about 750 fpm on a warm day. The CHT runs about 400 during climb and 350 at cruise. EGT varies between 1200 and 1400 oil temperature 190-200. Ground handling is great. Take-off run is straight and easily controllable by just the rudder above 40 mph. The aircraft trims out very well and flies hands off. No trim adjustment was required during the first flight except for the normal pitch trim adjustment for various airspeeds.

I was reluctant to submit any builder's hints until I had the opportunity to find out if they were worthwhile. So far everything works as expected so I will start sending you some grist for mill. In many cases, the comments and suggestions appearing in Q-TALK have served to generate some action on my part so thank you again for your effort.

The following is a list of items that may be of interest to others:

Canopy - in-flight release system (haven't tried this)
- external latch releases
Header tank - automatic fill system as a backup
Roll trim
Battery mounted on rails to vary CG
Alternate air source and drain for static system
Pitch trim indicator
Engine mounting bolt arrangement
Reflexer control
Carburetor heat indicator
Low cost instrument lighting system
Rudder/brake pedal mountings

Many of the above items will require only a brief explanation, but some will require drawings/photos which I haven't made yet so I will get with it and hopefully provide something in return for all of the information I have garnered from Q-TALK.

Robert K. Lockwood, El Cajon, CA

Dear Jim,

Progress on Quickie #545 is glacial, but I've finally finished turning my carport into a one care garage/workshop and I'm actually making building-related goodies like work tables and hot-wire bows. Another five years of this and I might have a foam core or even an aluminum part or two.

Actually, I've managed to make some engine mounting parts and do an engine overhaul. Maybe one of these days I'll send a detailed report. Guys like Terry Crouch and Dennis Clark keep me inspired, way to go, guys! Many thanks, also, to Bill Archer, Larry Koutz and especially Dave Chalmers for their invaluable indexes.

I've sent what Q2/Q200 stuff I had that Buzz Flye said he needed to complete his "archiving" project of converting all to vellum, but haven't heard "boo" from him since. I called and wrote to no avail. Buzz, if you're out there, there's no rush to return the stuff but a heads up on your progress would sure help to let me know that I haven't been forgotten or ripped off.

Well, I've got to sign off now, Jim. Thanks for keeping this organization going.


David Gall, Vero Beach, FL

To Whom This May Concern,

I'm a new owner of an old Quickie, (Q1), that was started back in 1981 but was never finished. I have yet to complete the tail cut, install the engine, instruments, interior, finish the exterior surfacing, glass the edges of the canopy, move the control stick forward 3", glass in the main wing cover, I'm sure you can see exactly where I am in the construction!!

I bought the plane from a guy who knows nothing about it because the person he sold it for has vanished and that tells me that there might be something wrong with the plane and nobody wants to tell me. I can't find but one mistake, but I don't think it's serious. Anyway, the Quickie came with a 22.5 Onan, a 42x30 prop and the Kevlar engine mount. I'm missing the prop extension, you know, the whole assembly that connects the prop to the engine shaft. In the plans it's referred to as ES1 and ES6. Are these parts still available somewhere? Also, I need the rubber shock mounts for the engine. I've managed to find everything else in the AIRCRAFT SPRUCE & SPECIALTY catalog, I hope! I need your help! Any help or useful information would be greatly appreciated.

Tim Lewis, Jemison, AL

(205) 646-2968

Ed. Note: If any of you guys have info for Tim or spare parts, he could use a hand.

Hey Jim!

Look at what I got! An AIRPLANE - not just some pile of alien space wreckage. Bill Mitchell (local tailwheel/test pilot ace) took N4251F aloft for the first time in 9 years on 7/26/95 at 6:45 a.m. The size of his grin was eclipsed only by my own 45 minutes later. I only have 1.5 hours so far, but here's what I know:

Empty weight - 316 lbs

Stall speed - 55 mph

Max. speed (so far) 120 mph

The IVO three blade prop works great. 115 to 125 lbs. static thrust at 5200 rpm. 51F flies straight as an arrow! Hands off handling at all explored speeds. All engine gauges read normal. The reflexer works great, the aileron trailing edges trail 1/4" down and 1/2" up from trail and this produces about 15-20 degrees of pitch attitude variation. Landings are easier than high speed taxiing. I did about 15 hours in a Super Cub after the BFR. Then I taxied the Q1 8-10 hours more, long enough to fry the first set of rubber brake pads.

I don't think I can make Ottawa, there's a chance, but I WILL NOT rush this flight test program.

Ian Huss, Boulder, CO

Dear Jim:

The O-200 engine has been subject to starter problems since introduction of the Sprague clutch in 1961. Some of our builders may be considering use of the new starter being marketed by B&C Specialty Products of Newton, KS. It was discussed in the August issue of Sport Aviation.

It looks like a good product but the cost and effort of conversion will be significant. The starter, installation kit, and rental of the required bearing removal tool comes to a total of $785.

One of the engine mounts will require redesign and the magneto box will require enlargement to accept the starter solenoid as indicated in the enclosed rear view of the starter assembly.

Al Medley, Tulsa, OK

Dear Jim,

I tried to start my Revmaster and it only popped. So I checked the valves and found one exhaust valve was so far back in the rocker arm that I could not adjust it. I pulled the heads and removed some valves and found the valves and the seats were pitted and corroded. I called Revmaster and they suggested I send the heads and they would replace the seats and valves.

I would suggest that if any builders find the resistance in the prop is fading they had better check the valves and the seats.

I received a letter from a builder inquiring if I had any newsletters that had the plans changes. (Quickie newsletters) I do have newsletters #11 dated Jan. 81 that had plans change Q-2 #1 - Quickie #32 thru newsletter #24, Summer 84. If anyone wants to order them the price is $1.00 each plus peerage.

I read in the Q-Talk where these new builders are having trouble landing their aircraft. Time and again we have written that they only way to land either the conventional or the Tri gear is to fly the bird on to the runway. Using power of a thousand RPM is what I use. I won't let it stall and go into pitch buck.

Marvin T. Getten, Plymouth, MN

Dear Jim,

Thought I'd give an update on my Quickie. It has been a while since I have written. In my last letter I mentioned some modifications that had been done to the Onan, dual ignition, larger carburetor, hotter cam profile, oil filter and revised cooling system.

I wanted dual ignition for easier starting and reliability. The easier starting comes from the mechanical ignition advance allowing firing the added plugs at top dead center rather than 21 degrees advanced like the original ignition. In other words no kickback. The 60,000 volts will light almost any mixture. The governor has been rigged to act as a mechanical advance to 30 degrees. It is linked to a disk that is bolted to the front of the crankcase around the crankshaft. This disk is slotted so that it can rotate the 30 degrees needed. As the RPM builds the governor rotates the disk, which carries the ignition pick up to advance the timing. Another disk is solidly attached to the crankshaft, fixed to this disk is a magnet that triggers the pick up. The ignition system is produced by MSD, it is used by many race cars and street rods. It looks a lot like the system that Klaus Savier, the Vari EZ driver, sells.

The dual ignition has helped already. During a preflight engine run up I found that the original system was not firing. When it failed I don't know, but the flight prior to that was uneventful. In the air at cruise there is an RPM drop when the new system is shut down. (Just for testing.) This shows that the Onan benefits from the advance timing.

The larger carburetor is the standard Mikuni conversion. This gets rid of the cowl bump. The air is filtered and is direct from the cooling air inlet (slightly pressurized).

The camshaft was modified by a local racing cam manufacturer. This single cam was not a high priority for them so it took a while. I was not going for all out horsepower so it is only mildly modified.

The first few Quickies came with an oil filter on the engine. Mine did not. The mechanic in me could not allow this, so the block was disassembled and drilled for oil lines. Now she gets only filtered oil. Makes ME feel better.

The cooling system is very different from anything else that I've seen on Quickies. The engine from the Onan factory is cooled exhaust side first. I think they got it right. With a bit of complicated fiberglass ductwork I routed the air around the oil sump, up behind the cylinders and forward cooling the hottest part of the engine first. If you look at a diagram of airflow in a factory built aircraft, you can see that my system only requires an extra 90-degree turn for the cooling air. There is a baffle that is 3/8 of an inch from the lower surface of the oil sump. This encloses the sump on three sides and the bottom. Openings of about 4 sq. inches allow cooling air to flow over the sump. The area around the oil temp sensor is insulated with expanding foam to allow for accurate readings. Except for the smile inlet there is no other forward opening in the cowl (unless you count the small prop shaft hole).

So, what does all this do?

1. The electronic ignition is very worthwhile. Starting is easy. Yesterday, 39 degrees, 4 blades to run, the choke on the Mikuni must be given some credit for this too. The engine had not been run for over a week. And as I stated earlier it may have saved me from a dead stick landing.

The one thing I don't like is the poor plug location. Only the electronic ignition will work in this new hole. Too much turbulence in this area I suppose. I may relocate it one day.

2. The relocated carb does offer a smoother cowl. And may help produce more power. It seems to have a bit more tolerance for trash in the float bowl, considering what I have read about the standard carb. I do my best to keep it clean any way.

3. The cam shaft? I don't really know. The engine turns about 3400 static but I cannot say how much the cam regrind contributed, compared to the other mods. This engine was never run in the stock configuration.

4. The oil filter is a necessary item in my opinion. Some say the oil won't get that dirty in 20 hours or so. But I think about that small metallic piece that breaks off and gets into the oil immediately after the oil change and goes round and round until the next oil change.

5. The cooling system. This is the one best thing I did to the Quickie. Almost too good. During my first flight the ground crew requested status report. I gave air speed, alt, oil temp, CHT and general impressions. I told them that my CHT was obviously defective, reading only 225 degrees with an OAT of 83 degrees. Oil temp was 200 degrees. With time I found that the studs on the CHT indicator were slightly corroded. I cleaned them but still got only 325 degrees during climb out. CHT dropped to 275 in cruise. Still not believing this was possible I borrowed another new, not installed, indicator and sending unit. The new unit and mine read within a few degrees. Opening up the sump cooling holes have dropped the oil temp to about 175.

With only 45 hrs, it is probably too soon to say how long it will last, but it's doing well now. I have built one of the heavier Onan Quickies so my climb rate is low. So I might be going for more horsepower later. If exploited fully the Onan could be made to put out 30 hp but the reduction in reliability is too great. So another engine may be in the picture.

Dennis Clark, Newnan, GA

Glenn Watt's "Louisiana/Texas Commuter"

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