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Q-talk 3 - Q-TIPS

From Allen Kittleson


Although the plans make it sound easy, I haven't had much luck getting a 200" table "straight" enough to satisfy my requirements for a straight wing. You really don't need a level table so long as you get the templates level. Here's what I suggest:

- Make all the templates as per plans. 3/8" plywood works good.

- Make a line parallel to the bottom of the templates (the part the plans say "rest on a level table"). About 5" above the bottom is OK. Also mark the edges of the templates.

- Cut some 1x2"s about 3" longer than the bottom of the templates. Make a pair for each.

- Line up the jigs on the table in about the proper BL positions. Bondo the 1x2's at the outermost positions (i.e. BL 100), with the templates friction fit between them. Hole them in position with 2 "C" clamps per template.

- You should be able to slide the templates between the 1x2's.

- Using a waterline, level the edges of the templates. Check the "levelness" of the length of the template with a carpenter's level. Use these lines you transposed on the templates for this purpose. You might want to drive some nails along this line to rest the level on.

- Stretch some kite string between these 2 BL 100 templates at this new level line to help jig the other templates. Check these level lines again using the waterline.

- Once everything is in position, tighten the C-clamps and draw a heavy line on the templates along the edge of the 1x2's. This will help you see if it gets knocked out of position.


From Will Hubin - Kent, OH

Some time ago I went to a NAPA Auto Parts store and wondered if they might have a spray can of the kind of white used on our Quickie. I discovered that they had the on-site capability of pumping OUR paint into a can and adding thinner and propellant; the charge was reasonable, $4 or so, and having a spray can of your kind of paint is just wonderful.

From Jim Masal - Editor

SPRAYLAT CORPORATION, 716 S. Columbus Ave., Mt. Vernon, NY 10550, (914) 699-3030 has just announced a one-component, ready-to-spray copper metallic coating system which will provide a ground plane for antennas on composite and fabric aircraft. The stuff will air dry thoroughly in 2 hrs. at room temperature. It's available through Wicks.

...and now, more grist for the toe-mill from Fred Wemmering - Fayetteville, NC:

Ref. Q-TALK #2 concerning Duane Swing's comments regarding toe-in on the Q-2. You will recall my problem was a "squirrelly" landing rollout and a ground loop in the blink of an eye. I support the toe-out position and I feel I need to further backup my position. I better understood the science of a ground loop after reading the article: LANDING GEARS: TOE IN OR TOE OUT? by Marvin V. Hoppenworth, printed in EAA's publication AIRCRAFT DESIGN, Vol 3, 1976. I'm not going to get into a spitting contest, all I'm saying is I read this article, applied toe-out to my Q-2, and now I can keep it pointed down the runway.

(ED. NOTE: Excerpts of this article follow. A couple of builders report that they set the toe of their pants after loading weight in the cockpit to approximate a typical takeoff load):

"If you will bear with me, and try to follow my reasoning, I will herewith attempt to show that while toe-in definitely should not be used, there is, in fact, a case for the use of toe-out.

It is assumed that everyone understands what toe-in and toe-out means, but, to be sure we're all speaking the same language, toe-in means that the center points of the wheel, or more properly of the tire treads are closer together in the front than at the rear when we look down upon a pair of wheels. If unrestrained by axles, the wheels would move closer together as they moved forward. Toe-out, of course, is the exact opposite.

My first experience with toe-out was while tinkering with model airplanes. After a nice flight, it was disillusioning to see my rubber-powered models complete their landings with ground loops. I built a small scale model for the purpose of experimenting with landing roll control and from it I found that, when the wheels were given about five degrees of toe-out, the landings were straight and happily realistic.

Somewhat unintentionally, I next had experience with toe-in on an actual aircraft. A J-3 "Cub" had been used for a season of rough ski flying, and that had evidently bent both axles so they had toe-in. When the wheels were put back on in the spring, this reputedly docile little airplane acted more like the proverbial "cat on a hot tine roof." Upon landing, it sort of skipped from one wheel to the other on its way down the runway. If the same axle bending had happened on a bigger and faster plane, the resultant ground looping tendency would have been terrific, and I don't know if anyone could have made corrections fast enough to avoid rolling the wings up.

In short, these experiences taught me that toe-in can cause marked instability, and that toe-out can, when wisely used, add to stability. I can explain it best with diagrams. In Figs. 1, 2 and 3 are shown typical small bi-planes of the kind known to be a little hot to handle on landings. I would point out, first of all, that when an airplane turns or swerves on its landing run, the tire and shock absorber on the outside of the turn compress and the plane leans to that side. This is because, in the actual airplane, the center of gravity is an appreciable distance above the point of contract between wheels and runway. This, of course, puts a greater percentage of the plane's weight onto the outside wheel. In Fig. 1 the plane is rolling straight and there is equal weight and therefore equal friction on each tire.

But as soon as there is a swerve, however slight it may be, the plane's momentum is great enough to work on the high CG and create a leaning force as indicated by the arrows on the CG marks in Figs. 2 and 3. Also note the plus and minus signs, denoting increase and decrease of tire-to-runway pressure. The wheel with the most weight on it must obviously have the most effect upon the direction in which the plane will go.

With toe-out, Fig. 2, the airplane is caused to move in such a direction that the tendency is to minimize the centrifugal force applied to the CG by a swerve, and the reason is that the left hand wheel has the greater load and pulls away from the incipient swerve to the right. The tendency for this layout is to pull the plane back to straight, stable course.

But when there is toe-in, Fig. 3, the effect of greater weight on the outboard wheel is to make the swerve become tighter. Even when there is no swerve, it is possible to touch down on one wheel first, rather than on both at the same instant. If the plane in Fig. 3 touched down on its left wheel first, that wheel would immediately impart a force tending to drift the ship to the right. The high CG would then go right to work to make the ship lean to the left, further increasing pressure on the left wheel. The forces triggered by landing on one wheel can amplify so quickly that it would be a lucky and highly skilled pilot that was able to stop it quickly enough to prevent a bad ground loop.

With toe-out, corrective force for small tendencies to swerve are automatically fed into the force system as soon as they appear, and the corrective effort tends to amplify itself such as to give the pilot time to make appropriate control movements. In swift, jumpy little airplanes, even a fraction of a second leeway can make the difference between an uneventful landing and a severe ground loop.

In the accompanying sketches, the amount of toe-out has been exaggerated for clarity. My suggestions for practical application of the toe-in, toe-out lessons imparted by this article is to check and double-check the completed, installed landing gear on your airplane to make sure there is no treacherous toe-in. It would do no harm to represent a good compromise, for too much toe-out would, in spite of affording a very stable landing roll, introduce the disadvantages of excess tire wear and slight drag on the take-off run."

By Marvin V. Hoppenworth, EAA 2519

P. O. Box 824, Cedar Rapids, IA


I can reproduce 99.99% accurate blue line copies (24"x36" max) of all QAC drawings and have most of the Q200 drawings that I can offer to a builder with a serial no. who has lost or never gotten a particular drawing.

I got an epoxy rash on my hand, which lasted 6 mo. I called my doctor, a GP, and told him that others had gotten a cortisone-based cream, which cleared it up. He wrote me a prescription free of charge and the rash was cleared up in a week.

Tip - I use a 3M brand 5" diameter X 1" wide drum sanding wheel that fits a 3/8 drill motor. It works well for rough sanding edges and bumps. 3M makes sticky-back paper in 1"x15".

Mitch Strong - Batavia, NY

Fred Wemmering:

An inexpensive device to protect your ram air vents: use vinyl tubing with the same ID as your vent OD and a wooden dowel with the same OD as the vinyl tube ID. Stick the dowel in one end of the vinyl, tie a red ribbon around it then slip the other end of the vinyl tube over your pitot or vent tube.

From Al Jolliffe - Picton, Ontario, CANADA

I have very good results when I clean up with D-L hand cleaner all epoxy resin covered tools. Always use Ply-9 on your hands and the end of your nose if you're like me and normally have to scratch partway through a layup. You'll find acetone is no longer necessary.

ED. NOTE: Al, where do you get D-L or who manufactures it? Also, Hexcell makes REZACLEAN for Safe-T-Poxy. I got mine from Alpha Plastics here in TX.


by Terry Hall (Quickie #196)

After the initial flight testing of my Quickie (N196XQ), I decided to design and install a trim system with continuous trim rather than trying to match RPM to notch position in a hacksaw blade. Several people have asked me to draw it up for QUICKTALK, so, here it is.

My system is spring balanced (per original design) but the cable makes a loop rather than fixed at both ends (see drawing 1). The forward pulley is located at approximately 1/4 canard chord position, but neither pulley position nor diameter are critical. My trim wheel is made of 1/8" phenolic stock and is epoxied onto a 1-2 inch O.D. stainless steel tube (see drawing). An old Cessna trim wheel would have worked great but I couldn't find one at the time. Since my wheel is rather thin, I epoxied a 1/2" phenolic spacer/support to the wheel and axle to sturdy up the structure; the spacer/support also allows easier access to the friction lock knob.

The friction lock is a simple clamp mechanism made from a block of 1/2" phenolic with a 1/2" hole drilled for the axle. The block is slotted so that it can clamp onto the axle. Clamping action is accomplished via a small threaded knob atop a 3/16" bolt through the jaws of the clamp block. The head of the bolt is fitted tightly and floxed to the clamp block so that is will not turn. The entire friction lock is riveted to the removable mount so that it will not rotate with the trim wheel.

I made part of the mount assembly movable to provide an easy way to align and install the wheel assembly. To the left of the trim wheel, I epoxied a cable spindle (drilled 3/4" wood dowel) to decrease the amount of wheel travel required to trim my airplane. You should experiment with spindle diameter to determine your own travel preference.

The trim assembly is mated to the fuselage side via a 1/8" phenolic adapter (with a 1/2"hole) epoxied to the wall. The rear spring cable comes up to, over and around the spindle twice, through a cable-sized hole through the spindle/axle, twice more around the spindle then forward to be connected to the pulley cable. Temporarily connect the two cables until you are sure you have everything right.


This great adventure, as do most, had its beginning in rather mundane sorrowings. Three of us were having lunch in a southern Bar-B-Q joint. We were talking flying as usual. One of us, I don't remember who, noted that there was only one Grape left in atmospheric flight. To fly all the way Around the City Limits Without Refueling. At first I thought that it was the beer talking. One MUST consume a great quantity of beer while eating-up on Bar-B-Q. It's the Law Of The South.

The more we discussed it, the more it intrigued us. Could we, normal ordinary people, grass roots and all that really attempt a record-breaking flight? After another round or two, I wiped the grease off my mouth and started to sketch the design of the record-breaking aircraft. As the napkin was saturated with pork grease, the ballpoint pen and I gave up simultaneously. After another round to ponder the matter, I decided to lay out the basic design of the aircraft on the table with pork bones. From my vast aeronautical knowledge, I knew that the longer the wingspan, the better it flew, but the harder it was to get into the hangar.

As we all know, aircraft design is a series of compromises. One of them forced itself upon us early in the conceptual stages of the design. Fat Annie, the petite manager of the Bar-B-Q-and-Beer establishment was intrigued with our quest. When she stopped by the table to bring us another round she said, "OK you bums, keep dem bones on duh napkin." (The self-preservation instinct motivates one toward instant compliance with Fat Annie's slightest whim). As the aspect ratio of the napkin was rather limited, we moved the outer wing bones to a position behind the inner wing bones. Furthermore, since the trade-off between bones and beer had been made quite some time before, there were not enough bones left for a horizontal stabilizer! As we sat there, staring down at the record-setting pile of bones, someone looked up from the side of the table and said, "You know, that looks a little bit like a Quickie."

A Quickie??? Why not? After all, ***HE*** also designed the Quickie. Now, where could we get a Quickie? About then, someone looked down at me and said, "YOU have a Quickie." After another round, and a bit of thought, it came to me that I do, in fact, have a Quickie. If I can remember where I left it, we will apply for TWO records. Around The City Non-Stop and Around The City Without An Engine Failure. That will drive those Frenchmen nuts!

Before we could get to the point of actually attempting the Around The City Flight, we found that we must create an organization. At first we thought that funding the project would pose no serious problem. We begged breweries and distilleries all over the nation for support. The universal reply was, "In an Onan powered Quickie? You must be out of your mind. Furthermore, you people are walking examples of Product Liability." So, it was us against them. We assembled a small team determined to prove the booze guys wrong. If it could be done, by gum, we would do it. And besides, who can walk? Let's drink to that!

Weight reduction was the first order of business. All non-essential systems must go. The trim system was removed; the external VOR antenna had to go; the autopilot and ILS systems were sacrificed on the altars of weight reduction. The stereo system was removed. Even the beer cooler was in question until the weight reduction program was tempered with reason. Even I, natural leader of men, Quickie owner, and adventurer, was forced to place myself on a diet of (Ugh) light beer.

The Quickie is not the ideal aircraft for such a long flight. The propeller, for example, as provided in the kit was about as efficient as the toothpick that represented it in the early design phase. We needed a new prop! One day a young man walked into hangar 7 1/2 and introduced himself as John Swantz. He said that he would design and build a record-breaking propeller for us. With that kind of grass roots, down-to-earth, good ol' boy, red neck support how can you lose? John turned out to be a genius with wood. He constructed us a humidity-controlled, variable-balance WOODEN propeller. The fact that one blade was nine inches longer than the other must have contributed to the optimum vortex distribution without mutual interaction. However, a wooden prop further constrained the window for our flight. We must make the attempt before the rainy season starts, but after the annual flying termite migration.

Even Fat Annie came through for us. She provided us space for a Command post next to the Men's Room and very near the Tap. We were also blessed with the addition of a weather Guru. This young man had once done a weather show for a local cable TV channel. He advised us that the best time to attempt a clockwise flight around the city was when a high-pressure center was directly over City Hall. We asked about a counter-clockwise flight, and he said that he would look that one up!

We had it all...Command Post, weather man, airplane, some gas, and the determination to go all the way! The moment pressed itself upon us almost without notice. Three days after the last termite had fallen from the sky, the day dawned bright and clear. There was not a raindrop to be seen. This was THE DAY! The first unexpected delay occurred shortly after moving the Quickie from the hangar. The 7,856 birds that inhabit our hangar must have been feasting on a green glue tree! Frost would have been a blessing! After an hour or so of sanding one wonders how a bird can deposit his little message BELOW the first layer of fiberglass. Although we were going to be flying VFR all the way, we thought it appropriate to call the local FAA office and advise them of our plans. They were so helpful that we told them we were a red bi-plane and that the flight was scheduled for the next month.

Pre-flight OK, all 8 gallons of fuel on board, aligned with the runway, Onan running? One last worry...would we drag OUR wingtips? No way, ***HE***, with the insight of deja vu, had placed wheels at the ends of OUR wingtips. GO FOR IT! I rapidly advanced the throttle. Then I got out, restarted the engine and gently advanced the throttle. Astonishingly slow acceleration, horrible directional stability, bouncing translation to semi-flight, impossibly slow rate of climb; will we clear the trees...? Will we...? Will we...? We did...! I was relieved to find it was a normal Quickie takeoff.

As with any Quickie flight, anything after the takeoff is anticlimactic. Except the landing. I turned slowly left after takeoff and started a counter-clockwise flight around the city. No, there was not a low-pressure area over City Hall. Shortly before takeoff, I had called our weather man and the Command Post for a final update and he mumbled something about, "Red sky in the morning..." What the hell, we all like to turn left, the oil temperature had just passed the second red line and the cylinder head temperature was unspeakable. I was forced to reduce power and thread my way through the redwood forest of smokestacks! Somehow I made it through that maze and settled down for a long and, hopefully, uneventful flight. Oh, how soon one's fragile hopes are dashed against the pillars of science.

Unknowingly, I had wandered over a field, freshly fertilized with very, very new cow manure. The thermal effects were devastating! Full aileron inputs had very little effect. I knew that if I ever became completely inverted, there was no way to save the beer! Just when things were getting totally out of control, I noticed a small sparrow passing me just off the left wing. HE seemed to be in clear air. I applied full power and attempted to keep up with the bird. Sure enough, he led me out of the danger zone. However, he did leave a small present on the leading edge of my left wing that forced me to hold right aileron throughout the rest of the flight.

After what seemed to be an eternity, the airport appeared between the trees ahead. One final check. Fuel OK, but the beer was getting dangerously low. I hate to sweat beer! I made a low pass over the field (missed approach) and was surprised to see no one at all. The high-speed bird chase had caused me to arrive well ahead of schedule. The team must still be at the Command Post. The landing was uneventful (for a Quickie); I bought only ONE more runway light. As I taxied in, the media coverage was minimal to say the least. One small boy attempted to take my picture with his Disk Camera before his father swatted him about the head and shoulders for wasting film.

I let the boy sit in the cockpit for a quarter. I used the quarter to call the Command Post to tell them that the record had been broken. I then let the small boy's father sit in the cockpit in exchange for a ride to the Command Post. Along the way, he fished out a cold beer. "You saved my life," I said. The entire team celebrated well into the night. The small boy's father as well. The small boy was never seen, or heard from again!

Now of this really happened. And if you will look at the date of this article you will know why. But, if the truth be known, I wish it had!!!

Harry Buskey - Liberty, NC

Dear Jim:

I need some sound advice. Some information about me. I am 29 years old, married for almost 2 years with virtually no time in the air, but did score 94 on the private pilot written. I service small systems for IBM.

In July 1984, just before a price increase, I ordered a Q-200 kit from Mr. Hanke, the dealer in SC. My wife and I have worked on the project off and on for almost 3 years now. An optimistic estimate of completion would be 30%. Hanke's son Tim has helped me, but most help has a charge. The canard is not attached so I am considering a conversion to a Tri-Q but in the meantime I have listed the kit for sale in Trade-a-Plane for $1,500 less that I have in it ($12,000). I got NO response from the ad. My wife has been a big help to me, but after reading QUICKTALK is apprehensive of the airworthiness of the plane. My attitude is, what will I have after all those hours of effort?

Jerry Harvey - Florence, SC

ED. NOTE: Many wonder why I kick QAC in the shins so often. Here's why. Here's the kind of situation that all the distorted advertising crap promotes when not tempered with reality.

WARNING: For my critics, here IT comes, so skip to the next letter now.

Thrilling daydreams of an exciting aircraft followed shortly by a $12,000 check written for the kit is much like making a 3 foot jump over a 10 foot chasm...it ain't enough to get you where you want to be.

WHY BUILD? - Don't even THINK of building a plane yourself if your only motivation is to go a thousand miles an hour with your hair on fire in a sexy airplane. You must at least be attracted 50% by the craftsmanship and building process itself. REMEMBER: You will spend far more time building it than you will ever spend flying it. Planes most often go together s-l-o-w-l-y. If your motivation is wrong, SELL IT RIGHT NOW!

PILOT SKILLS - Certainly intelligence is a plus, but judgment, actual aircraft handling skills and experience (time in equipment) win the day. That's why a written test is followed by a performance test in autos as well as planes. A low experience pilot will not jump into a 200 mph quirky with high odds for a successful outcome (and you'll be betting a $20,000 airplane). However, if you can't get more time, you CAN get enough experience by paying the $ for the necessary training from a good instructor. Or...you can be especially lucky. I wish I could explain to you the difference in thinking at 200 mph compared to 110. If you don't have the experience and won't get the training, SELL it now.

WIFE - Flying is a somewhat mysteriously special activity to a pilot. It ain't fun for a pilot to have a wife who dislikes it. It is a constantly nagging disappointment to a pilot (and it ain't fun for the wife to get periodically nagged TO fly, either). It's not unusual for this sort of thing to precipitate a divorce either. My first date with my wife was in an airplane, so that base was covered real fast, but woe to the husband who takes up flying later in life. Jerry, you seem to be fortunate in having an aerial helpmate (but unfortunate in having a QUICKTALK reading partner). It won't be fun if she isn't confident enough to fly in the finished airplane with you, but if she's involved in the project closely her confidence can be won.

COSTS - There isn't a "complete kit" yet devised by man that includes absolutely everything in the selling price. In your case, the paint, battery, sandpaper, costly required tools, lumber, solvents, instruments and radios, outside labor services, extra epoxy and hardware, etc., etc., etc., even cost of transport to the airport will keep adding up. These costs come out silently in "nickels and dimes" but by the end of the project will be worth the cost of a nice vacation to Europe you can be sure. You gotta be happy with the hobby itself.

HELP BUILDING - MY BIGGEST worry as I plunked down my money for my Quickie kit was where I would find a friend, just one friend, who would help me with the large wing layups. Silly me. I now have about a hundred new friends in my local area alone. But just as you observed, "help has a charge," and you can't fault the Hanke's, or anyone else for placing a value on their labor. However, the cost is not necessarily cash and it is very often gladly paid. In my case, I made it my business to find the EAA chapters in my area and meet builders of anything and offer my help while admitting I needed help. It cost me my time, but I was given time in return. It cost me the effort to be friendly and share my knowledge and skill, but I got friendship, knowledge and skill in return. If you're unwilling to make such a personal investment then the only other alternative is cold, hard cash. Help HAS a charge.

AIRWORTHINESS - It is not airworthiness that should make your wife apprehensive. When built according to plans, these airplanes are sound and very crashworthy. She has surely seen the photos. The vast majority of accidents in this plane and indeed ALL airplanes are due to faulty pilot judgment and skill. Convince your wife that you are committed to being a good, safe pilot by periodic competency training - not just a BFR to meet minimums - and she (and you too) will be confident in whatever cockpit you climb into.

RESALE VALUE - With QAC out of business, the value of a QAC kit is understandably dropping. Not like a rock yet, but there are some real bargains out there. I can now buy a COMPLETED Q-2 for the original price of the kit itself ($9-11,000), and partially built Q-2's for the original price of my Quickie kit (about $5,000). My guess is that you have to discount your kit at least 25% to generate any interest. The foolish fellows who believe at QAC's shrill insistence that they can open a box and in 10 forty-hour weeks they will spray paint and go flying have backed away from the market for the most part, but there are still some realists with money for a bargain, and these kits are still changing hands regularly. Cut your losses now if you don't have the will to continue.

SUMMARY - There is a helluva lot more to this homebuilt aircraft hobby than a finished piece of flying hardware. The, shall we say, spiritual and social development that we experience is far more rewarding than one would ever imagine as an outsider looking in, and the price of my kit was a mere pittance to pay for it. We are a reminder of early America when survival depended not on how much money you had, but how well people could work together. Trouble is, our present-day obsession with the "bottom line" has obscured our co-operative instincts...but aircraft homebuilders haven't lost them...and ain't it FUN?!

So...if all you expect from this is a no-pain, cheaper, airplane, you got on the wrong boat. Sell the kit and buy a spam can. If, however, you can enjoy the ride, keep the bird and start making friends and sharing yourself.


Several letters have reached me that say, loosely translated: "I have stopped work on my (Quickie/Q-2/200) for the last x (months/years) while I wait for the development of a better (engine/wing/gear/etc., etc.)." Now there are plenty of good reasons to stop building, but this one seems to be just an excuse. I urge you guys in this fix to FINISH THE DAMN AIRPLANE. Why?

1. Adding a new mod to a finished airplane is NOT going to be as difficult as you probably think. Meanwhile, you just may decide to experience the job of flight as is...AND IT WILL BE WONDERFUL!

2. AT LEAST when the mod comes along, the ONLY thing you'll have left to do is the mod itself. That means you'll be in the air quicker.

3. The longer a pile of parts sits around untouched, the more danger there is that it never WILL BE touched again.

4. Until you have an actual airplane, you have virtually nothing but a garage sculpture and a collection of junk. Once it's an airplane, you have something of much more value...to you or a new owner.

5. If you didn't buy your airplane to learn and educate yourself, you made a BIG mistake. If you did, then get on out there and continue your education. The challenge, mental stimulation and things you learn about yourself (your persistence, your ingenuity, depression, elation, your trepidation and even your chicken-heartedness) are worth the time even if it never flies at all.

A whiz of a college dean once taught me an important management dictum: BETTER IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD. Meaning, the manager with good information who delays a decision in the hope of making a better decision may never get anything accomplished at all. Likewise, a builder of a good sport airplane delaying construction in hopes of a better sport airplane may never have an airplane at all.

Finally, if you honest-to-god aren't going to finish it (and don't kid yourself), it's time for SPRING CLEANING. Get it out from underfoot (you probably need the space), pack it up and send me a FOR SALE ad. Try to get something out of it and move on with your life (to include watching television with less guilt).

You can order a PDF or printed copy of Q-talk #3 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.