Q-talk 16 - LETTERS - Q-TIPS
- Category: Q-Talk Articles
- Published: Friday, 30 June 1989 07:11
- Written by Jim Masal
- Hits: 2883
Congrats on the last issue... lots of good stuff! I especially enjoyed Howard Hardy on his Rotax conversion. I have been debating replacing my smooth running but underpowered Konig with a third engine change.
I have had my share of problems lately. My radio failed in flight and I had to land elsewhere then phone my town for permission to come in no-radio. I sent the radio to Memphis for repairs and after waiting a while with no word; I called and was given a $90-100 repair estimate when they got the parts. After 6 weeks I got the radio and a $300 bill. Among other things they had "cleaned, straightened and re-installed the S/N plate."
Cosmetic work at $45 per hour of my money??? I blew my stack and wrote a scathing letter. I got an apology and settled for $180. Lesson: it pays to speak out in situations like this.
Another problem was that my battery gave up the ghost after only 5 yrs. 7 mos. I can't really bitch about that, but combined with the radio expense, it sort of got to me.
Jim, I just got back from my most recent pilgrimage to the great state of Texas (to soak up rays at South Padre Island, frolic in the surf, visit the CAF museum in Harlingen etc.). Along the way I found a gem! On the road to the Atascosa Wildlife Refuge outside Harlingen is a small crop dusting strip housing the Texas Air Museum. When not dusting, they restore old planes. Current project: building up two FW 190's. For a blueprint, they are using an original FW 190 that the Norwegians fished out of the ocean (the pilot was flying air cover for the battleship Tirpitz, had engine trouble and ditched. After 6 weeks hospitalization he was shot down and killed on his next mission). QBAers in that area should drop in for a visit. The price of admission is just right...free.
Robert Godbe, Palo Alto, CA
Q-2 #049 registered as C-GJJO had its first flight Aug. 11, 1986. At 108.6 hrs., on 10-10-88 a forced approach resulted in the aircraft flipping over at 10 mph, damaging the left wing and vertical fin. Problem: do I repair the wing or make a new one?
Do you have any information on Quickie N1V's pop out rollover rod or on load testing the wing?
Jim O'Brien, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
ED. NOTE: I never received details on the pop-out rod. The installation would certainly add weight but would be of doubtful value in a crash on a soft surface (having experienced one). Unless there is strong reason to add weight to these short-winged speed demons, avoid doing it. My information is that a damaged wing can be safely repaired but the exact details on how to repair a specific type of damage may not be easy to come by, and this information is critical. Bob McFarland suffered a fatal, in-flight separation after a main wing repair. This accident is enough to discourage all but the adventurous, but if you are an adventurer, a static load test of the completed repair would be MOST desirable. (Ted Fox and John Groff have both done such tests on fresh wings and perhaps we can get one of them to provide specific details on how they calculated the loads, placement and what they used. Both of these guys have videos of their testing).
I have a Q-2 wreck with a compression crack in the lower main wing skin so I have discussed this fix with knowledgeable people including (briefly) Sheehan. Two broad admonitions emerged from these conversations: 1. Remove bad foam and replace it with a plug of the EXACT same composition, fitted closely to the shape removed and carefully bonded in on all surfaces. 2. Consider that a wing takes both vertical and twisting forces. When repairing damaged fiberglass, restore all layers with same weight materials and with the correct orientation of fibers. Make sure you find ALL the damage (e.g. check shear webs and skins, fittings, control surfaces, etc.)
Best bet: Build a new one.
I have been 6 months hooking up the Lou Ross Mazda rotary to my Q-2. It required custom radiators, custom oil coolers, custom carb induction plumbing. All are now built but no data yet on how well they work. Even the engine mounts were a chore since they had to go where they weren't intended - like into the header tank! I keep telling myself that work will go faster now and that I can hope to taxi this summer.
Meanwhile, I'm committed so I have a Cont. 0-200 to sell (see classifieds).
Jack Soules, Shaker Heights, OH
Arrival of a new family member caused a nine-month interruption in my working schedule, but I will start engine installation in a couple weeks. I still plan on installing a HAPI Magnum 75 hp engine and will report any special difficulties. The first one is that the engine is slightly larger than the Revmaster.
Christian Rheault, Lac-au-Saumon, Quebec
I wrote QAC and then called Gene Sheehan. He gave me some good advice on my 5 degree down elevator at cruise. He said to tweak up the trailing edges on the main wing: cut through the lower layer of glass 2 3/4 inches in front of the trailing edge. Tweak them up 1/8", fly and adjust. I ended up putting the left one back down and boosting the right one up 1/4". This helps with my left roll problem with the down elevator at cruise. Gene seemed happy to help.
I'm getting enormous glass/foam garbage in my fuel filter between the main and header tank. I have to clean it every time I fly. In a couple months I'm going to rip out the old tank and put in another with all the fittings (1" threaded steel squares) glassed in. I'll let you know what the inside of the tank looks like. I suspect bad.
Surprise, surprise!!! I broke a tailspring. I replaced it with a $13.50 Dragonfly spring that works great. I also re-routed the cables to the rudder. I agree that is the way to go. I also used ugly, self-centering springs on the tailwheel. They really help and I'd suggest all novice Quickie drivers use these for the first 50 hours. I finally took mine off and really miss them on roll out in a crosswind. Ugly, but works great eliminating the over-control problem. Time to go play!
Dave Naumann, Enterprise, AL N200DN
Glad to see you again at Springfield. I enjoyed my first ride in a composite homebuilt with Bob Malechek. Sorry it couldn't be a Tri-Q and ours is only 75 HP, but beggars can't be choosers. He has a good performing airplane and I will replay Ted Fox's tape again. Has Ron Whetsten ever given you any info on his ignition system? Making it unnecessary to pull the engine to get at the magnetos on the Revmaster looks like the biggest step forward since the Tri-Gear.
Grant Swartz, Okeechobee, FL
ED. NOTE: As you know from the Flocking, Whetsten has a couple of creative innovations underway. I'm sure when his testing is far enough along he'll tell us his results. The Springfield guys have not been selfish with information.
It is possible that there is a Q-200 builder somewhere who hasn't manufactured the elevators yet. Plans call for fastening the QSM7 elevator pivot assembly into the QCS9 aluminum tube with 3 pop rivets. This works reasonably well on the ailerons, but elevators require a singularly untidy "tunneling" effort for the pop rivet tool. Perhaps a better way to pin everything together might be to:
1. Drill 3 properly spaced #36 holes through fiberglass/foam/QSM9/QSM7.
2. Enlarge hole through glass and foam ONLY to 1/4".
3. Tap 6-32 threads through QSM7 and QSM9, and
4. Screw in 3 short machine screws.
Quent Durham, Orinda, CA
N2AM, Q-200 SN#228 completed its first hour of test flight under Scott Swing's pilotage on 6-29-89. I successfully guided it through 1.3 hours and 2 landings on July 1st.
Many thanks to all who helped me with encouragement, advice, instruction, etc. Special mention is due to Bob Malechek for the 2.5 hrs of right seat touch and go's he gave me at Springfield. It gave me the confidence to fly mine at the first opportunity.
Special thanks also to Sam Hoskins (N202SH) for coming to Louisville and performing a thorough inside out inspection (prone, head into the rudder pedal area and also in the tail cone). Correcting his "to do" list caused Scott to remark that in test flying 15 Q-2 types, N2AM was only the second he'd flown immediately after inspection.
Sam gave my wife Mary a ride in his and she came away anxious for me to get on with mine so we can start traveling.
I am recognized by Bowman Field tower personnel here as the "Ground Looping Ace". This unique skill was developed in over 19 hours of runway taxi and brake testing during which I accumulated 5 ground loops, achieving "ace" status.
LS-1 CANARD LAYUP
Scott Swing says that the layers of cloth called out in the plans are inadequate to prevent buckling on the top surface when the canard is repeatedly flexed from bouncing and/or twist loading when braking or ground looping. Depressions have appeared on my plane recently and were reported by Malechek on his and Russel Cowles planes. They appear near the fuselage at the point where the extra BID used to attach the canard to the fuselage ends. So far as I know, several builders have experienced this but it has never before appeared in print.
Scott Swing believes that air loads on the canard are so light compared to spar strength that no danger exists in flying without repairing these depressions (he test flew mine with some small depressions beginning to appear). It sure makes me sick to think about how easy it would've been to correct this problem BEFORE the filling, sanding and painting!
Art Jewett, Louisville, KY
Sam Hoskins wrote about his pre-flight inspection of Art Jewett's airplane:
Art is one of these intrepid people who has had to build in a Quickie "vacuum" with no nearby Q2 builders to consult. He did quite a nice job, but I did find a couple of discrepancies that I thought you might like to pass on.
This builder now has about 16 taxi hours on his Q-200 and he told me before hand that he had ground looped it 4 times. I didn't think that was terribly unusual for the learning stage, since at times he has had it up to 60 mph. While I'm not terribly interested in test flying another builders airplane, I did consent to taxi it and what I discovered may prove very helpful to other builders.
This particular aircraft had terrible ground handling qualities. While taxiing out to the runway it seemed rather sluggish, but the real thrill came when I opened the throttle and it developed a mind of it's own. It wanted to swerve all over the place! I didn't get any faster than 35 mph when I shut it down and told Art that the taxi test was over.
When we got back to the hangar I found the problem. This aircraft has a dual rudder pedal setup, and the pilot's and passenger's rudder controls are connected to each other with aluminum torque tubes. The left rudder cable is connected to the pilot's left pedal, and the right cable is connected to the passenger's right rudder cable. When the pilot depresses his right rudder pedal, motion is transmitted through a bolt, through the aluminum torque tube, through another bolt, to the passenger's right pedal, and then to the right cable. When all this happens, the torque tube twists and a lot of motion is lost. When taxiing, the pilot has excellent rudder response with the left control, and extremely poor response from the right control. A very unequal situation and it's no wonder that he ground looped it. I found when the aircraft was at rest, if I pushed the right rudder pedal, the cable would barely move!
The fix for this problem will be quite simple. Run the right rudder cable straight through the center of the fuselage and attach it directly to the pilot's right pedal. Now there will be positive motion transmittal to the rudder on both sides. Another alternative would be to convert the torque tubes to steel, although there will still be lost motion through the bolts and bolt holes.
As a result of Dave Norwood's tip in Q-TALK #14, while in Louisville I had my prop/spinner/engine dynamically balanced by Aircraft Specialists (502/241-0971). It cost $130.00 but my engine runs noticeably smoother and is much nicer for long cross-countries. Maybe that was the reason my spinner backplate was cracking all the time.
Cylinder head temps too high on your Q-200? Make sure you have an intercylinder baffle installed on the CYLINDER HEADS, not just on the cylinder barrels. Go look at a Cessna 150 and see how they do it.
I've been flying my Q-200 over two years and have accumulated over 320 hours, and I recently did the annual inspection. I worked up a 3 page inspection checklist, which contains over 100 individual items, and it proved very helpful. If anyone would like a copy, send $1.00 and a SASE and I'll send one right out to you. This would also be very helpful for pre-test flight inspections on all Q-aircraft.
Sam Hoskins 618/549-3023, Rt. 2, Box 515, Murphysboro, IL 62966
ED. NOTE: I agree! This looks like a very thorough and therefore useful inspection checklist...and the price is right.
Dear Old What's His Name,
I could not figure out why I've been missing my newsletters. Today I found this check on my nice, clean desk. I'll send it as is. I should get several newsletters all at once...better than Christmas.
Enclosed is a photo of my new tailspring. It's made out of spring steel stock, which I will bend to get the ground angle of attack set before I have it tempered. It ought to work.
Joe Underwood, Guthrie, OK
ED. NOTE: It's a puzzle to me how anyone could forget Q-TALK. Ain't it the best in the world??? Oh, I get it now...you're an OKIE. Take a lesson from a brilliant Georgia Rebel who really understands great writing:
SEND MORE BACK ISSUES! The first 10 issues were received the same day as Sport Aviation. The magazine was not opened until a few days later.
All Quickie builders with the LS-1 mod canard should not miss the opportunity for the cooling air exit from the cowl. The leading edge of the new canard mounts higher on the firewall giving about 2 inches of unused area. I made 2 cutouts about 8 in. wide on each side of the centerline, tapering the firewall to make a smooth transition for the fiberglass plies which now run up the forward face of the firewall.
I added an extra ply to compensate for the discontinuity introduced by the tabs for the lower cowling mounts. The tabs have a nut plate mounted to the back side of each to secure the cowling flange. Foam was faired in behind the tabs and glassed.
On the safety front: a Q-2/Factory built mid-air collision was mentioned an issue or two back. How about this? My friend owns a Swift. He always monitors airport communications when in the vicinity (a good thing to do, right?), but when he hears that another pilot can't see his Swift he hits his smoke system switch. Within seconds he hears that, yes, the other pilot now sees his trail of smoke. Might be useful on our Q's.
Dennis Clark, Newman, GA
GARY E. WILSON
Composite Aircraft Components, Inc.
401 College, Bruceton, TN 38317
Rotax cowls for Quickie in 447 and 503 versions
Spinner for above (Kevlar or Graphite)
Quickie and Q200 carbon spars
Q2/Q200 spinner (Kevlar or Graphite)
Q200 induction parts
Most weldments for Q2/Q200/Quickie
At last I'm writing to report on my Global powered Quickie. I'm sure you and others have given up on me, since I've taken so long in completing the conversion. But finally, I have an engine and installation that seems to be working very well. As of this morning, I have 18.1 hours on the airplane and I'm having a ball. So, on with the facts.
I fell in love with the Quickie, like so many others, when it was introduced at Oshkosh '78. I decided to build the airplane exactly as Quickie Aircraft had intended it to be built, but to be an absolute perfectionist in its construction. The first block of foam was cut in August of 1979. Construction progressed slowly because any part that did not come out perfectly went directly to the trash can. By the time my airframe was complete, needing only the Onan installation, my trash can contained a vertical stabilizer, rudder, a full set of ailerons and elevators, all fuselage bulkheads, fuel tank, and a canard! At this point, I was three years into the project and the horror stories were beginning to surface on all the problems with the Onan. I was getting more and more depressed as I read each one. I was not about to trust my beautiful airplane to a piece of junk with that many problems. So, the search began for an alternative.
This search did not last long. While walking through the display area at Sun 'N Fun, I saw a CGS Hawk ultralight with the neatest little motor sitting on it. The name on the case was Global, and for the next two days I discussed the feasibility of using this engine on the Quickie with the designers. They agreed that this would be a perfect combination of powerplant and airframe. So, money changed hands and a few months later a Global engine appeared on my doorstep, production engine No. 3.
Now I had an engine, an airframe, and no idea how to put the two together. My first step was to throw the Quickie plans in the trash can, I was now on my own.
My original intention was to use a welded tubular mount, similar to a Cub or a Champ. The problem was that the mounting points on the engine and the structural hard points on the firewall would necessitate moving the engine nearly 12 inches forward to get the proper angle on the tubing for good strength. This was a no go because I wanted to trailer the airplane to the airport and this would put the width over 8 feet. Also, by moving the engine forward, I would throw the C.G. out of whack, requiring lead in the tail. I eventually decided to use a combination of the Quickie and Q2 mounts. I welded up standoff mounts almost identical to the Q2 mounts and attached a 2024 aluminum plate, 1/4" thick, to these mounts. Through bolts run from the backside of the firewall, through the standoffs, and hold the plate in place. In the plate itself I mounted steel fixtures, which hold the rubber bushings for vibration isolation. (See Photo.) This method has worked well, but it is extremely heavy (8 1/4" lbs.), and it gives me only limited access to the mag and engine probes in the rear of the case. In retrospect, I should have gone with a tubular mount.
Next problem to solve was the cowling. I built up urethane foam blocks around the engine, carved them to shape, coated it with micro, sanded it smooth, applied silicone RTV for a release agent, and laid up the cowl with Kevlar. Sounds pretty easy, eh, it took a total of 6 months. If you ever have the opportunity to work with Kevlar, avoid it! The stuff doesn't cut, drill or sand. It simply turns into fuzz. Now, I know why it works so well in bullet proof vests.
With the cowling out of the way, I turned my attention toward my systems, fuel delivery, oil, etc. and the finish work. I spent nearly a year getting a glass smooth surface for the paint. As I was getting ready to shoot the color, I received a call from Global. Jim Gill, the then president of Global, told me of at least a dozen improvements to the engine. They sounded so great; I loaded up my engine and off to Hendersonville, NC I went. The engine was torn down, a new case was supplied with all the new goodies, and it was test run in their test cell. The engine ran well, but I thought the vibration level was a bit high. I was assured this was due to poor mounts on their test stand.
When I returned home, I got to work on the painting, final installation of the engine, and all the million and one items that need to be done before flight.
Finally the big day arrived. Rollout, photo session, and first start of the engine. This was January 1987. The rollout went fine, the photo session was great, but it all went downhill from there. On engine start, I immediately knew I had the world's sexiest looking cocktail shaker. It really wasn't that bad, but it vibrated much more than I would have liked. As the engine warmed up, another problem presented itself. The oil pressure would go from approx. 50 lbs. down to zero. This was later traced to the oil pump pickup tube being to close to the rotating crankshaft causing cavitations. As I was working to solve these problems, more bad news started to arrive. Several engines had broken off mounting lugs in the upper attach area. The soft magnesium case could not handle the vibration of the engine. Also, a few engines had the rocker shaft attach break, causing the loss of one cylinder and obviously a lot of power.
Depression was once again setting in. Had I made the wrong decision in selecting the Global? I was doing a lot of soul searching when some good news finally came. Global was purchased by Warren Mosler who had nearly unlimited funds to invest in this engine. A complete re-design of the engine was in order. The magnesium case was dropped in favor of a heat-treated aluminum one. This case has a deep sump to avoid the cavitation problems, beefed up mounting lugs, re-designed oil passages and other improvements. The heads were changed to a design by Scat Enterprises of CA, known for their VW racing components. The heads have stainless steel valves, 30% larger than the old ones, and a support system for the rocker shaft that is indestructible.
Again, off to Hendersonville for a rebuild. All of the internal components of my engine were checked and then installed in the new case. I elected not to go with the new heads because it would necessitate a new exhaust system and baffling, a ton of work. (Bad decision as you will see).
The engine was installed again, fired up and Mr. Vibration reared its ugly head once more. I decided to live with it and go on. After more ground running, other problems started to show up. The oil pressure relief piston would continually stick in its bore, leaving me with no oil pressure. (Later traced to machining flash in the top of the bore). I changed the oil and inspected the filter element. It was packed with metal, ferrous metal!
This was certainly the lowest point of the entire project. If it hadn't been for a friend showing up at that moment, and bringing me back to sanity, I would have no doubt, chain sawed the Quickie into little pieces. He insisted I walk away from it for one week, cool down, and think.
This proved to be the best advice I'd received. I came back to the airplane fresh and with a plan. I would tear down the engine, find out what's wrong, and re-assemble it like a Swiss watch. But first, I had to learn everything I could about VW engines, VW aero engines, and this engine in particular. I read four different VW manuals, memorized Rex Taylor's How to Build a Reliable VW Aero Engine, and studied what I found to be the best of the lot, a book called, How to Hot Rod VW Engines.
The engine was torn down and one thing became evident immediately, the ferrous metal was coming from the lifters. I found that they were made in Brazil, and not heat-treated properly. They were replaced with W. German made lifters and no more problems have occurred. The oil pressure relief piston bore was loaded with machine flash which was cleaned out. These problems were identified by Mosler at about the same time I discovered them and they have been corrected. My case was one of the first Mosler production cases.
Now for the great news. Morry Hummel of Hummel Bird fame, discovered how to properly balance this engine for smooth operation. It involves welding a large counterbalance to the rear of the crankshaft, and attached a smaller one to the prop hub. The entire assembly is then spun on a balance machine to fine tune. I was told by the balance shop that this engine will now run "as smooth as a Rolex", and indeed it is.
The rest of the engine assembly went smoothly, with attention to detail second to none. The moment of truth soon arrived. Will it run, will it run smoothly, will it eat itself again? These questions were quickly answered, I finally had a winner!
OFF TO THE AIRPORT. I'd been waiting 9 1/2 years to say those words. The time had finally come. Jan. 22, Super Bowl Sunday was selected for the day to make the move. I decided we would roll at dawn, which didn't make my helpers very happy. The trip was uneventful, the Quickie towed beautifully on Phil Haxton's Q2 trailer. The only damage was to my nerves.
The ground testing proceeded very quickly, with no problems at all. My speeds were rapidly approaching what I thought to be flying speed, so a date was picked to go for it. Feb. 12, 1989. The wind was absolutely calm, the people who had followed the project from the beginning were there, my will had been written. No backing out now.
The takeoff roll seemed normal to about the maximum speed I had attained during testing. Then all acceleration seemed to stop. Just as I hit my abort point, we became airborne. The Quickie climbed up to about 12 feet in ground effect but would go no higher. I lowered the nose slightly to try and build speed. No way, the Quickie would just settle back to the runway. After flying the entire length of the runway it was time to abort. I tried to ease the power back slowly, realizing I was hanging on the prop, but I dropped it on anyway. After taxiing back, red-faced, humiliated, but safe, it was time to figure out why it wouldn't climb. This airplane should have had an abundance of excess horsepower.
After talking to Bob Giles about his Global powered Quickie, he thought a change to my back-up prop, a Sterba 48x30, would do the trick. The change was made, an acceleration run felt good, time to give it another go. This time we were airborne in just under 1000 feet. Out of ground effect and still climbing, FANTASTIC! Up to pattern altitude to feel it out, GREAT! Now up to 2500 feet to examine the slow flight characteristics. Pitch-buck would occur at 50 MPH power on, 55 MPH power off, with no tendency to loose aileron control either way. Bob and Paul Wright had both experienced a form of aileron lockout, thought to be caused by their large cowlings interfering with the airflow to the inboard section of the wing. My cheek cowls seem to do the trick in smoothing out the airflow for positive control at any speed or power setting. Now for the landing, 80 MPH in the pattern, 70 on final, slight power on to decrease my rate of descent and roll it on. No problem.
The next few days were sort of foggy. During the post flight celebration, I was told I consumed a full bottle of champagne, about a half dozen tequila shooters, and an untold number of beers. This, along with my Quickie flight impersonations, off the bar top, had me under the weather for a few days. What the heck, after 9 1/2 years, I deserved a blowout.
Now it was back to work, to get any bugs out, and measure the kind of performance I was getting. I took off with a stopwatch in hand to measure my rate of climb. What! 220 feet per minute, something's not right here. That's Onan performance. I went through the engine with a fine-tooth comb and couldn't find anything wrong. I eventually decided to open the lower blister on the cowl to provide a slight ram air effect. This did help a little, boosting my climb to 250 FPM, but not what you would expect from a 35 HP Quickie.
I decided to take the plunge and order a set of the new Mosler heads. I had them send the heads directly to Fumio Fukaya, supposedly the best cylinder head man in the country for porting, polishing, and bench flow checking. I thought that if this guy can make a VW beetle turn a 11 sec. 1/4 mile, he should be able to make these heads really perform. While I waited for the heads to arrive, the engine was pulled from the airplane and moved to my shop in preparation for the head swap. The change to the new heads went very smoothly, the cc volume was double checked, new pushrods were fabricated, and the deck height was reset to get a compression ratio of exactly 9:1. Even the building of new exhaust system went well, taking only a few days. Then I hit the wall, I began to build the new pressure plenums to cool the cylinders. The idea here is to take all the incoming air, compress it, and ram it through the fins at a very high velocity. This way you can get away with very small air inlets and still have sufficient cooling. The problem is building these things to an airtight fit, using no rubber strips or RTV silicone. Two weeks later, working 12 to 14 hours per day, they were finished.
The engine was now a 100% Mosler engine, with the only exception being the cylinder head work. The engine was re-installed and given a run-up check. I had hoped for an increase in static RPM on the order of 300-400 RPM, but all I got was 150. After a couple hours running time, I decided to try it in the air. That 150 RPM increase yielded exactly a 150 FPM increase in rate of climb. I was now climbing at 400 FPM, better, but not yet where I thought it could be.
I believe that at this point, the engine is at its optimum, and the prop is the only thing holding it back. During a discussion with Ed Sterba, he recommended I change the prop to his so-called racing profile. This involves tapering the leading edge of the prop back to obtain a thinner tip with a shorter chord width at the tip. He said this should give me an increase of 100-110 RPM. After carefully following his instructions, I picked up exactly 100 RPM. Flight-testing showed that I apparently killed the efficiency of the prop. Rate of climb was now 300 FPM and I lost 6-8 MPH in top speed. On well, it was worth the try. I also became aware that with my cowling removed, the RPM would pick up by 100 RPM. Ed explained that the prop I was now using was cut with a full size VW blank, with a very thick hub. This hub will carry a more effective pitch close in to the cowling, building up a dam of air causing the RPM drop. He is now building me a prop with the standard tip size and a hub thickness considerably less than what I have now.
I should be receiving the prop any day.
The week after Sun 'N Fun, I talked to Bob Counts, the president of Mosler Engines. I had called him to give an update on how my engine was doing. During our conversation, he mentioned a problem that was discovered at Lakeland with the factory two-place N3 Pup. For two weeks prior to the show, the Pup didn't seem to have the performance he had expected. The decision was made to fly to Sun 'N Fun anyway, even though the top end performance was not as it should have been. During a meeting with their dealers, one had confessed to having had the same problem with a customer's airplane. After trying everything imaginable, they swapped magnetos. Presto, instant power increase. This lit a fire under Bob; he took the mag off their display engine and installed it in the Pup. Presto again, the airplane would leap off the ground. He said he'd ship me a new one to try in the Quickie.
The mag arrived, was installed and tested. Static RPM remained unchanged, but the EGT temp had dropped by 100 degrees. This allowed me to lean the mixture to again get the best power setting of 1200 degrees EGT. This gave an RPM increase of approximately 75 RPM. Well worth the effort. Rate of climb went up to 350 FPM, even though I'm still flying with the butchered up prop. I called Fairbanks Morse to try and get an explanation for the difference between the two mags. They recommended I first check the breaker point setting, it should be somewhere between .018" and .022". Upon examination of my mag, it was found to be .013", what a ridiculously simple solution. The mag had been factory set this way, and I assumed, wrongly, that all was well.
As you probably wondered by now, I have given no top speed information on my Quickie. This is because I've not had a chance to check my air speed calibration, and I'm flying with the spinner cone removed. The spinner backplate is installed, 9" diameter, 63 sq. in. of flat plate area, and probably creating more drag than the entire airplane. As soon as the new Ed Sterba blade arrives and I can install the spinner, I'll give some info on the speeds obtained. I expect to see a top speed in the neighborhood of 120-125 MPH, with a rate of climb in excess of 500 FPM.
For those of you considering a Rotax 503 installation, more power to you. A Mosler Quickie will never touch the 1200 FPM, 150 plus MPH, performance of the Rotax. But, I believe there is nothing more enjoyable than sitting behind a well-balanced, smooth running four-stroke. To borrow Mosler's advertising slogan "Wouldn't You Really Rather Have a Four-Stroke", I would certainly agree.
In closing, I'll try to answer the three most asked questions by people who have followed the project. (1) Was it worth it? Not yet. Ask me again after 10 years and a thousand hours of flying time. (2) Would you do it again? NEVER. (3) Are you glad you did it? YOU BET!
Tom Solan, 3879 Easy Circle, Marietta, GA 30066 (404) 926-3174
From Dick Barbour, Rogers, AR
Having retired after 35 years as an aerospace design engineer beginning with the F-86E and concluding with configuration concepts for the space station, I was impressed with Marc Waddelow's wing analysis and modified cap layup schedule. The only problem I have with it is, like all analyses, they assume 100% efficiency of all the numerous laminations. A mistake in that assumption could be fatal.
In Marc's analysis he presented 2 columns that stipulated a theoretical width of a single lamination for each BL of the wing for a given flight load factor. Then the "width of this theoretical single lamination" is "sliced" into strips of various widths and lengths and laminated on top of each other to accommodate the actual wing. The flight load factors he used were +4.4, -3.0 (the 4.3/3.0 ratio is the same ratio of the tension/compression allowables for the cap materials). Here now is the interesting part of Marc's analysis. In his comparison of the weight of the wing upper spar caps for the QAC schedule (which he concluded was good for only + - 2.2Gs load factor) with that of his revised schedule (ref. Q-TALK Jul/Aug, '86 p. 10) they were: 2.76 lb vs. 3.37 lb for his. For the lower spar cap they were 2.15 lb vs. 2.27. As stated earlier, both load factor computations assume 100% efficiency. The problem I have with this assumption is that there is no practical way for the homebuilder to inspect the integrity of the assembled wing.
I revised Marc's analysis and came up with a cap schedule that provides theoretically +8, -6 load factors with corresponding weights of 4.12 lb for the upper caps and 3.14 lb for the lower. Assuming the average completed QAC wing weighs approximately 36 lb, Marc's concept adds .73 lb (2%) for a double in the theoretical load factor capability and my revision adds 2.35 lb (6.5%) to theoretically quadruple the load factor. Since most Tri-Q 200's seem to be nose heavy, I think this is a very efficient place and way to add "ballast". As we already know, the LS-1 canard is theoretically capable of sustaining 35 Gs flight loads only.
ED. NOTE: Permit me to chime in here with an opinion. It in no way is intended to diminish or put down any other opinion and especially one that has a wealth of aeronautical engineering behind it. It is just food for thought and perhaps a spirited discussion to keep the brain cells from atrophy.
Here we have an airplane of which 200 examples are flying. I don't believe there has ever been a case of an in-flight failure of wing or canard that hasn't been traced to a goofy builder error (leaky over-wing aux fuel tank, improper repair of a crack from a previous brakes-locked flip over, improper bonding of cores). What IS this obsession with fixing areas that ain't broke...and quadrupling their unbreakability at that. When a 40+ year old pot-bellied, out-of-shape pilot takes on only a very few Gs he will black out. It will be of no consolation to know, as he is playing his harp, that his airplane arrived intact at the imminent point of impact.
It is epidemic among sportplane builders (and engineers especially) to make SOMEthing, ANYthing, EVERYthing stronger than intended. At something over half a pound, Marc's layup seems most economical to me. But then as you might say, if you're gonna hafta put lead in the tail why not put it in the wing layup? Maybe I'm sensitive to this incessant "beefing it up" because I work on a Glasair with a concrete architect and he is forever trying to make it strong (and consequently, heavier) than Stoddard-Hamilton. Sometimes I think the ultimate aircraft material for an engineer is welded plate steel.
OK, I'm gonna lighten up now with this story from my local Chapter 168 newsletter. It points up some of the summer hazards of sportplane building:
As deep summer nears, in the unscreened garage, the last of the June bugs are still with us. Thanks to the never ending rains of last month we have more than our fair share of these crunchy creatures.
Club members working on the ugly airplane have found many ways to scrunch these little brown bombers with every tool in the shop. But I'm here to tell you that near panic ensued a fortnight ago when one of these avid aviators (June bugs) joined a builder in his own shirt.
The builder, as it would be, was etching a straight line with a four-foot rule and a razor sharp scribe. As the plot thickened, the bug flew a perfect approach down the collar of the soon-to-be born again Olympic gym star. As the bug touched down, action started. Our fellow pilot, within whose shirt the bug was now hangared, bolted straight up from his place of ardent work and attempted to lay waste to the invader. As he did so, he came within an inch of shortening the overall height of his valiant assistant on the other end of the rule (who gave new meaning to the work..."DUCK!!!!".
As this newly created sword-swinging samurai was ascending (Note: This leap would have made a Ninja green with envy), the scribe in his other hand was freed at last (he dropped it). In its own free fall, the scribe neatly alighted on what some say was the #3 blade of the shop fan (I believe it was the #2 blade, it is of little consequence). The fan, not to be outdone, launched the scribe on a trajectory but one foot above the worktable on a course that would carry it the entire length of the workshop. The arc traveled by the scribe neatly scattered the remaining 4 working troops in rapid fashion, most fearing loss of life and limb.
Ah, by this time, our newly knighted Ninja-by-default and descent ended this adventure by falling backwards and in doing so brought to an end the short life of the beastly bug by smashing it between his hurtling body and the floor.
We have concluded two things: 1. June bugs can be a hazard to a plane builders' health, and 2. Plane builders, seemingly slow in a number of respects, can move faster than greased lightening when being attacked by a madman with a rabid June bug down his collar.
Sorry I didn't get to meet you this year at Sun N Fun but my 0-200A engine has been acting up as late. I had been getting an intermittent vibration, (not severe, but easily noticeable) from the Cont 0-200A. I have 60 hours since top overhaul, 500 hours SMOH, and found that one mag was messed up with oil and the other just grimy inside. The Q-200 was ready to go to Sun N Fun the last day (Sunday) but then it was IFR at the homedrome, so I drove... I am preparing to IFR equip the Q-200 with ADF, Loran, full ILS, but not night. I've missed too many trips and taken too many chances with VRF flying.
Last weekend my wife, Liz and I flew down to Eleuthera Bahamas for the second year in a row. The trip is 460 miles 75% of the time over water. I filled up with 12.2 gal on arrival, and guess what...The lineman and FBO people remembered the Quickie...surprise. 4 other friend's airplanes (Piper Arrow's...) went there the same day, they left at 6:30 am, I left at 8:10 am and beat them there. You could say that my confidence in the Q-200 is restored. Last year we went to the Bahamas a total of 5 times, this year we have planned the same number of trips. Love to snorkel.
In reference to QBA #14 1989, article by Alan McFarland. I think all test fliers should read what he wrote. My Q-200 flies exactly the same as Alan stated in the article. I have 500 hours on the plane. The only difference in operating procedures between McFarland and I is that I use neutral reflexer for 2 place, and 1/4" up for single place and I put 20 lb of lead in the baggage compartment when flying single place (My weight is 140 lb). I use full reflexer, on the ground only after I've landed and am sure of not needing to go around. Too much reflexer up and you'll land tail first and then slam the mains down. Too little reflexer and you'll squirrel around on the ground. I have zero degrees incidence between both wings.
Alan asked about cross winds. Don't try them until you have a good feel for the plane. The most I'll do is 20 knots @90 degrees from the right and 10+ knots from the left. You wonder what's the difference, well I sit on the left and when there's a wind from the right I crab to the right and then can see out the left side of the windshield. Even with no wind, I crab to the right for better visibility, watch a Pitts land sometime and you'll understand. My average landing is 1800 feet. Our homedrome is only 2800' with a sea wall at each end. I haven't had to swim away yet! Approach at 85 single place, or 90 two place and don't flare until 5 feet above runway. If you flare too high the elevator will get real light when the canard stalls and your going to hit hard. Full power is the only choice.
Radio problems? Ask a ham radio operator to test your setup with an "SWR Meter". This meter measures the quality of your antenna and coax. A reading of 1:1.3 is fine. The meter will also give you an indication of effective transmitted power if you compare it to another radio.
In reference to QBA #15 1989, article by Fred Wemmering. I've used auto fuel exclusively for 4 years and 500 hours in my Q-200 powered by a standard Cont 0-200A and for 100 hours in a LYC 0-290D2 with no problem with my epoxy tanks or anything else. I've also never had a problem with aviation fuel, but I like the price of auto fuel.
In reference to a number of individuals who I won't name. I would like everyone, without experience, to stop bad-mouthing the taildragger design, especially the ones who have never flown a tail dragger Q-200. If you've driven your tail dragger off the runway, OK let us know, otherwise SHUT UP until you know what you're talking about. There is no question that a Q-200 is no Cessna 150 when it comes to landing, but an Aeronca, Taylorcraft, Porterfield, Volmer Sportsman, or any other tail dragger will eat your lunch if YOU let it get away. I'll bet that many of the people that smashed up their Quickies due to ground control problems would have smashed up their Aeroncas also. I had 70 Cessna nose dragger hours and 10 tail wheel hours before flying the Q-200. In retrospect I had much to little experience for the Q-200 but I was very careful in building my experience level, and I was lucky. At about 50 hours I was somewhat safe. I now have well over 500 hours tail dragger time and am still very careful. The Q-200 is easier to land than the other tail draggers I've mentioned above, and I've flown all the above-mentioned taildraggers. I know a current taildragger pilot that bent a Q-200 due to CG errors (Too little weight in the tail, single place) and then he went out and ground looped an Aeronca due to too much weight in the tail. I also saw a Cessna 172 skid off the end of the 2200' runway that I'd just landed the Q-200 on. Maybe a drag parachute would help reduce Cessna 172 landing rolls. In summary, I'll keep the tail wheel and my 30 mph speed advantage, thank you. You all be careful now ya hear.
Mike Dwyer, #2841, 813-527-1653, St. Petersburg, FL
At Springfield, Bob Malechek alerted us to two occurrences of rudder flutter in Q-2 types. The experience was attention getting and was traced to slackness in rudder cables. Keep those babies taut. Bob uses adjustable, light, turnbuckles ($5 each). Quickie guys have used springs between the cables or wrapped a bungee cord around the two cables.
QUICKIE ALTERNATOR ALERT
Several builders have experienced problems with loose alternator magnets - EVEN ON NEW ALTERNATOR JUST OUT OF THE BOX! Check yours for security and for broken magnets.
Q-2, Q-200, TRI-Q ACCIDENT DATA
By Art Jewett
At Oshkosh '88 I attended an FAA seminar called "Flight Testing Homebuilts," since I was approaching that stage. The feds displayed a 3" thick computer printout of accident data taken from only homebuilt accidents. I tried picking out Q-2 data but it was like finding needles in a haystack. In May '89 I met Ailene Keating an Aviation Safety Inspector newly assigned to the Louisville FAA-GADO. She was interested in my idea to assemble Q-2 data and put me in touch with the right people at the FAA National Safety Data Branch, Information Management Section in Oklahoma City.
The FAA has assigned "Quickie" and "Quickie 2" homebuilt type classifications. I ordered listings of both types on all accidents, incidents and service difficulties in their records kept from Jan. 1, 1983 through June 1, 1989. In June I received 10 pages of 120 accident/incident listings and one page of 8 service difficulties (also a bill for $24.89. Wonders never cease!).
Some of the entries were suspicious, i.e. Quickie accidents with 2 injured people. Discussing this with Jim Masal led me to contact Ted Fox who maintains the Q-2/200/Tri-Q Flying Roster for the QBA. Ted sent me the latest printout, which I cross-referenced with the FAA data to eliminate FAA type classification errors, duplicates and to supplement missing or incomplete data. I found 62 planes on the QBA data not on the FAA printout. 32 of these reported major damage, 30 minor. I combined these data sources and ended up with 152 "events".
FAA data showed all events were in VFR conditions, in daylight with good visibility and dry runways or data was unknown. The only possible adverse contributing factor was crosswinds on a few "lost runway directional control" events. 15 of the 90 events reported by the FAA happened during high speed taxi tests (5) or first flight tests (10)...a very sobering statistic for someone entering that phase.
Here is my attempt to summarize the data. I'm willing to discuss methods with anyone interested at (502) 426-0442. The FAA has promised me some "National Database" info to be used for comparison with Quickie-type data. When available, I'll send it along.
FAA DATA ONLY
Certification of pilot
Number of events
NUMBER OF EVENTS
|Damage only||Personal only||Fatality||Total|
|Hard landing, broke something||58||3||-||61|
|Lost runway directional control||38||7||-||45|
|Construction component defect||12||1||3||16|
|Landing with parking brake on||3||1||-||4|
|Other pilot errors||-||1||3||4|
|Number of people involved||25||12|
|NUMBER OF FAA REPORTED EVENTS|
|PILOT HOURS AT EVENT||IN TYPE||TOTAL|
ED. NOTE: In QT #15 Dennis Colomb related his difficulty in getting a timely refund of $2,100 from HAPI Engines after he cancelled his order for a kit engine. My suspicion had been that HAPI might've taken a financial punch in the belly as a result of the action I report in QT #11 i.e. one of HAPI's Magnum Plus engines suffered a crankshaft failure and Taylor quickly notified 13 customers to return the engines for a no-cost new prop hub and necessary machine work. I admired Taylor's unusual, quick and responsible action to protect his customers. The problem with taking an honorable course of action sometimes is that it can hurt - bad. That's, after all, what makes evil so appealing. I wrote to Rex but he wouldn't comment for publication. Meantime, via Q-TALK, Dennis found a KR-2 builder suffering the same lack of refund. On July 11, Dennis gave me the rest of the story:
I GOT MY CHECK!!!! (from HAPI) less the $200 cancellation fee. I guess that's not bad. They explained that they are going through reorganization and are getting a transfusion of capital. Rumor has it that they are being bought out by Mosler...the N-3 Pup people.
I also got a call from Hart Jewell (KR-2) and he got back all of his money so he feels good.
Enclosed are pictures of Tri-Q and Q-200 seen at the Watsonville Fly-in. The Q-200 is Barry Weber's out of Livermore and it is beautiful.
Dennis Colomb, Suison City, CA
ED. NOTE: HAPI scores point for eventually coming through, but the patience required of you was unnerving. No points to Barry Weber, a former QBAer who conveniently dropped out before he had to write a report on his success. Tellim I think his grandmother wears Army boots.
Q-2 #2827 continues its' slow but steady progress toward completion. Engine (75 hp Revmaster) has been hung and removed. I gave a call to Hesperia recently on a storage question; they're alive and well out there, despite rumors to the contrary.
I'd appreciate anything you can print on engine storage. Since '84, I've shot my plug openings with LPS-3 inhibitor, kept oil in it and rotated it several times monthly. Attempts to find 14 mm dehydrator plugs were unsuccessful.
While visiting the Bay Area I was fortunate enough to be among the first passengers after Barry Weber's 40 hr. fly off on his Q-200. It was my first ride in a Q and I was not disappointed. Handling and performance truly indicated the bird flies as good as it looks.
Jim Porter, Austin, TX
You can order a PDF or printed copy of Q-talk #16 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.