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QuickTalk 17 - Sep/Oct 1984 - index

SEP/OCT 1984



by Jim Masal

OSHKOSH this year was what Oshkosh is every year - an event difficult to capture in words no matter how much space you have. All the popular aviation magazines will have their own impressions to relate over the next few months and still the total scope won't be captured. We won't try. Only a few things stand out: the weather was quite nice for the entire show - no mud slogging this year, and although the crowds did not feel elbow to elbow as in the past, they definitely hit and ransacked the parts vendors in the fly market early in the week.


The Voyager HAS to be seen to be appreciated. What Rutan is making composites do is absolutely stunning. To see it sitting on the flight line covering such a large chunk of real estate with its wings gently oscillating in a light breeze is to experience awe.


OSHKOSH FLIGHT LINE. The flight line was a comparative gold mine for Q-2 builders this year. If you looked carefully, you could find numerous creative details to stimulate your thinking (We'll have a photo page showing some of these in a future issue.). It was a good year, but it wasn't a great year--10 Q-2's and only 3 Quickies. In his forum, Gene Sheehan had the answer to the lack of Quickies: You can't hold your maps in the cockpit and the flight activity inbound to Oshkosh is intimidating, but we are still baffled as to why more Q-2's don't show up. Thankfully, the builders of those that did show spent lots of time around their aircraft proudly and patiently answering hundreds of questions over and over and over.


Two items of striking interest to us on the flight line included Scott Swing's canard with a full span arrangement of tiny vortex generators, which, though Super-Glued on, were slowly being picked off by curious "touchers". We heard that with these installed climb is improved, the airfoil is less affected by rain and bugs, stall speed is reduced slightly and cruise speed drops by 3 mph. The other item of interest was the Dragonfly's new inboard gear legs. QAC will tell you that there are no directional control problems in a properly built Q-2. (If memory serves, they also said a Quickie had no trouble flying in rain, or no overheating Onans if properly built and likely they'll tell us all the tailsprings breaking are our own fault, at $23 a whack.) How'd I get off on that...anyway, if there IS a lot of improper building going on, a new gear arrangement may save the day. We'll see.


A reputable firm, TASK Research, is building both a standard and tri-gear for the Dragonfly. The tri-gear might be adaptable to our airframes if the idea proves out over the next year or so (see photo page).


The Q-200 prototype had changes in the engine inlet "nostrils", changed tailwheel geometry, and a spiffy pair of narrower wheel pants housing a new braking system (see photos). Sheehan said the brakes fade much faster and he's not yet satisfied with them. These narrow pants were modified to accept a lightweight "throwaway" wheel cover, which fits tightly around the wheel for better race performance. These might easily be damaged in a hard landing. The Q-200 also had a nice belly flap under evaluation. It fit under the fuel tank area, could be deployed up to 100 mph, slows the bird down much faster in the pattern and changes the deck angle for a better approach.


Missing on the flight line was an expected Quickie with the new carbon spar airfoil. We have since heard that initial flight testing did not go well - reportedly any airspeed higher than 85 mph caused the ship to pitch sharply down. We heard that a 2 and a half degree incidence change improved that. Late news is that the new canard is priced (pricey?) and now available.


QAC FORUMS. We heard a number of worthwhile tidbits.

1. The T-tail is still not approved.

2. In the fatal San Diego accident last year, it was found that there was no cable guard on a pulley that took a control cable to a huge rear stabilator.

3. In the Oshkosh race, the Q-200 averaged 189 mph in extreme turbulence while registering 32 mpg flying a 500' AGL course - not your optimum conditions. Speed was 11 mph faster than last year. Swing's Q-2 cleared the 5' high string 1400' down the runway but had some engine problems and dropped out.

4. Sheehan said he expected to be flying a Quickie with vortex generators a couple of weeks after Oshkosh (we've heard this stuff before...we won't hold our breaths.)

5. Sheehan is concerned about possible adverse stall spin problems on a Quickie if someone installs a reflexor with the travel like that on a Q-2. The Q-2 canard is more heavily loaded.

6. The new carbon ONAN head gaskets have solved the heating and loss of compression, but Sheehan advises buying a new block if the engine has been overheated substantially. The old block will change temper, leading to pulled studs, etc. By the way, we know where you can buy an entire engine for $350 or so.

7. QAC is getting out of the prop business and will only recommend suppliers in the future.

8. Plans for a "smile" cooling inlet will be available after Oshkosh for (you guessed it!) a nominal charge of $5. (We hope they don't charge more than a nickel apiece extra for the staples. Are you believing this?)

9. QAC will not sell BEL-RAY oil, a highly recommended synthetic. (Maybe this is why MOBILE ONE didn't get such a hot review.)

10. QAC has been losing money on spar kits for the builders sake, but they have a price increase planned after Oshkosh.


Notable Quickies on the flight line included Quickie N1V, which was the subject aircraft for all the testing that culminated in the terrific Anderson/Little articles that are still getting rave reviews. No praise is too much, fellas. Many were puzzled by the red emergency pull ring in the area of the pilot's right shoulder. When pulled, this activates a rod that pops out just behind the seatback near the pilot's head. It prevents the canopy from being obstructed by the ground in a rollover accident. These are particularly nasty accidents to witness. I've seen two - both just in front of the Oshkosh show line.


High time Quickie honors (600++ hrs.) must surely go to Doug Swanningson's flag-sided bird. Here is a man who must positively spit in the face of fear, although he admitted that this year he made a couple of 100 mile backtracking deviations to avoid weather problems. Doug used to be a local boy (Kenosha, WI), but for several years now has flown his Quickie in from Florida. If you ever get a chance to meet him and hear some tales, don't pass it up!


We enjoyed the ultralight area very much this year. They have progressed from the spindly wire and tube contraptions to aircraft look-alikes. This is exciting because this is where the successor to the ONAN is likely to come from. The GLOBALS are accumulating more time but the EIPPER LOTUS is, like last year, "available soon". We ought to designate SOON as the 13th month on a homebuilder's calendar.


QBA FORUM> About 300 people showed up, down from last year, and we had a good and lively exchange of opinions. We still ran a bit long on gripes but again, down from last year. One fellow seemed to want to organize an armed march on Mojave right then and there, but the uprising was quelled (lack of interest). We understand the feelings that generate such heat. Unlike purchasing a toaster, a homebuilt kit is an emotional experience and QAC advertising takes full advantage of us on that score. Did you ever try to talk a guy out of being in love? It's only much later that he wants a divorce if it turns out bad. Love of flight may not conquer all, but it overcomes a hellova lot, at least based on letter we receive.


More discussion this year centered around the importance of airfoil angle of incidence. One builder who works with that problem at his job promised to write us an article on the subject.


An excellent suggestion was made that our forum spend the first hour on general subjects followed by a breakup into groups of Quickie and Q-2 enthusiasts for discussion of more specific areas of interest. We'll try to arrange an adjoining tent for that. When we adjourned, a fair number of folks formed their own groups and continued discussions for a couple more hours, we heard.


QBA PARTY. 80 people showed, again down from last year. But as last year, a very valuable get-together was enjoyed and friendships made and renewed. It's nice to meet the spouses who have to live through our building traumas. Following up on the forum suggestion, we marked some tables for Quickie and some for Q-2 builders so like minds could get together. This seemed to work out well, and though we took a direct hit in the wallet, the active and animated discussions made us feel the event is worth continuing.


We enjoyed our trip once again, and we enjoyed meeting you. It is constantly amazing to hear and see the creative ideas and experiences that you have to share. We take pride in putting them in print for all of us to enjoy and learn from.




Effective November 1, 1984, QBA membership rates (which includes QUICKTALK), will increase as follows:

$10.00 USA and Canada

$15.00 Overseas

We work hard for your bucks and will continue to do so.

"The proof is in the pudding'--6 times each year.

Other Articles In This Issue

LETTERS - by Jim Masal
Q-TIPS - by Jim Masal
Q2 HINTS - by Jim Masal
QUICKIE HINTS - by Jim Masal
PILOT REPORT - by Bruce Patten, #298
CLASSIFIEDS - by Jim Masal
ACCIDENT REPORTS - by Ron Thornton (1014)


You can order a PDF or printed copy of QuickTalk #17 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.