QuickTalk 25 - PILOT PROFILE
- Category: Q-Talk Articles
- Published: Tuesday, 31 December 1985 06:11
- Written by Jim Masal
- Hits: 1030
Quickie builder J. P. Stroud is a former Air Force fighter pilot who flew F-105's in Southeast Asia and served in a variety of flying assignments before retiring from the OV-10 program at Patrick AFB in 1979. Of this service, he simply says, "I let the government buy the fuel for 20 years." J.P. now works for Pan Am World Services as Eastern Test Range Project program manager for the Atlas, Delta and Ariane programs. Of his 3,000 nm trip to Oshkosh this summer, he describes it as "one hell of an adventure".
It was one of the most fun and exciting trips I have ever had. Departing Merritt Island, Florida, the tach read 256.8 and after N406JP returned: 290.2. In those 33.2 hrs, I burned 57 gallons of gasoline and 1/2 pint of oil while flying over 3,000 nautical miles. That little bird didn't miss a beat on the whole trip.
I took care to change oil, plugs, check the 20 hp. head torque, and get the little bird ready in every way. One of the last improvements was to apply the vortex generators per Quickie instructions, except to use ten (10) degrees offset rather than QAC's 17 degrees, (Doug Swanningson suggested it. He had tested 17 degrees and found his Quickie's flight characteristics to be unpleasantly, and in his opinion, unsafely, altered. He tried 10 degrees at Gene Sheehan's suggestion and found it worked well). Essentially, it cost about 5 mph. cruising speed with only a minute pitch down in rain. In DRY conditions, my 10 degree generators lower stall about 5 mph, but the stall occurs much more abruptly (per normal spam can).
Let me digress a bit and relate a recent moderate rain shower experience: I left homedrome to help a friend 30 minutes south who was to complete his first Q-2 flight. The weather was overcast but forecast as little or no rain. I HAD to get back to work in support of a missile launch at the Cape, but on the return trip I was forced to land well short of home to wait out a black wall of water and IFR weather. An hour later I departed after consulting with the weather radar boys who said that the weather was VFR with just a few "showers". I took off in this "no sweat" weather, immediately ran into moderate rain and had to land in it at the homedrome. I made a bad mistake. I used normal airspeeds during approach and flare. The Quickie stalled about 10-15 mph early while I was still 3 ft. up. I went through a wild series of 4 or 5 "sprongs" and was lucky to walk away from an undamaged aircraft. The bottom line is: Yes, vortex generators work, but the advertised lower stall speeds are for a DRY canard. Landing in rain, the stall speed may increase, so add a few knots for safety.
I STRONGLY recommend vortex generators and suggest 10 degrees offset. Without them, my aircraft would scare me in rain, requiring full power and full aft stick to barely maintain level flight; landings are dangerous. (Note: perhaps the QAC recommended angle has been changed as Gene Sheehan does talk about "revising them again" in his last newsletter.) And that brings up one of my super pet peeves about QAC. If a change was made which affects safety, why in -!!#***!! doesn't Gene immediately mail out the update to those who have received the unrevised plans?
Back to the Oshkosh trip: I usually fly with 3-4 gallons fuel and no baggage. On the trip, each takeoff was 32 pounds heavier than normal (20 lbs more fuel, 12 lbs baggage and charts). This made for exciting departures. I deliberately flight planned into airports with at least 5,000' runways, without a slope, and never more than 2,000' elevation.
I left Florida on Tuesday morning and arrived at Oshkosh the following day about noon. The 1250 nm trip was very enjoyable even though the weather was not very good. I had to fly around a lot of rain showers in the Atlanta area and work hard to stay out of poor visibility in the mountains. I used ATC extensively to keep abreast of changing weather enroute.
Oshkosh was one of the finest aviation events I have ever attended. I won't go into details except to echo everyone's praise about the excitement the Concord generated and the large attendance that first weekend.
The QBA forum was also well attended. I had the feeling that there would be fewer people due to the problems QAC has had. Not so. If anything, I feel more people are showing up as we (not QAC) must continue to stick together and pass on our ideas and experiences to keep our little birds flying safely. I have always wondered why a QAC representative, or Gene himself, hasn't shown up to a QBA meeting. If they have, I'm unaware of it and I feel that is a shame. Who else has the real knowledge to say, "Don't try that. It doesn't work because we (or 17 builders) have not had any luck trying it." However, as we learn, each of us has the moral obligation to pass the good and bad on to other Quickie builders and owners. What better place do we have than the QBA newsletter? Let's make a pact to be bone honest with each other as we share tips and findings.
I am sorry that so few Quickies made it to Oshkosh this year. May I suggest that the "GETO Campaign" was not in vain, and do try it again this year. I had a ball during the trip. Weather was a challenge and the Quickie won! Doug Swanningson and I had planned to go together but he had LORAN problems and as he delayed to fix it, a hurricane came in and he had to drive to OSH (in very heavy rain).
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