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Q-talk 31 - Q2/Q200 LETTERS & TIPS

Dear Jim

One day, some time ago, I was feeling a little depressed so I got out my file of Q-Talks and looked at the pictures of the Editor on the back issues. In no time at all I was feeling much better. Laughter is a good cure for depression!

I did not receive the March/April issue and had sad thoughts that the production had ceased. Perish the thought. I have all of the other issues since the first letter in 1981, and have found them invaluable as an integral part of my hobby. How come no picture of the Editor in the May/June issue of Q-TALK?

I started building my Q2 (The Cloudhopper) in 1981. Maiden flight was in 1985. In the early days I would take off and then worry about the landing the entire flight. It does get a little busy right after touchdown. I now feel comfortable with the landings and consider the small rudder to be sufficient. The main concern is to use it soon enough and with authority. Also, installing the VG's on the canard has contributed to a more controlled landing sequence.

I am in the market for two new tires. Please add my name to the "tire list". I have been searching in vain. After 247 landings I will soon have to replace my originals. They are made in Taiwan and are called CHENG SHIN, size 400x5. Each tire weighs 2 1/4 pounds. The inner tube weighs one pound. I liked your section in the last May/June issue that highlighted the owners who flew to Lakeland Sun 'N Fun.

Flying a real Q2

Jim Loberger

Ed Note: Lack of a photo in May/June was just me in yet another unpredictable moment. Anyway, you're already asking for a black eye by laughing at the other ones.

Dear Jim:

Sorry I'm late with my dues. I must be working on the Q2 too much lately?!? No really the excuse this week has been taxes. On a positive note the Q2 has been on its back for the past couple of months as I add the Mike Peay brake modification you published in an earlier Quicktalk. I lived in Salt Lake City while Mike was building his plane. He sure was doing good work but I have yet to see the finished product. I modified his design a little and will report on the results as soon as I test it out.

Next I will rework the instrument panel as I add a transponder. Has everyone else done this? Am I one of the last holdouts? Anyone have any ideas on a good Loran installation?

I would also like to look at a set of the belly board plans if someone would not mind making a copy for me. I've noticed a nice design on a Glassair and would like to compare. This will need to be next winters project by the way. Maybe even a paint job at the same time. Primer is holding up well in the meantime.

I hope to have the engine reinstalled by May and the plane back to South Dakota for the big pheasant hunt in October. Of course I'll be a married man by then (July 6th) and this could all be up for discussion. Is that the diplomatic way of saying it?

After my 1988 engine failure in the mountains of Nevada (valve spring failure thus sucking a valve) my progress has been paced by the local snail population. Renewed motivation should ensure that the sky would again be visited by 515R. Wish me luck!

Rand Kriech, 1074 Deer Oak Place, Concord, CA 94521

(415) 674-9099

Dear Jim

Just a quick note to let you know Q-2 serial 2324 N525LH got airborne. E. W. was 542 lbs and C.G. was a bit to the front, but a little reflexor took care of that, tail wants to come off first. Taxi time was 6 1/2 hours. Lift off came at around 65. I screwed up on my last landing when I entered down wind too fast. I closed cowl flaps, came back to idle and pulled carb heat. After a long down wind, base and final, all at idle I said to self, "better give it just a little power or you will be behind". I hit the go and no go. I had loaded it up so bad I was sinking like an F-16. I landed six feet from the end of the runway and bounced when my wheels hit the concrete. Came down sideways and chased down a runway light. My prop and the light got together and the result was a cracked prop and a piece of pipe for the light. The darn lens on the light didn't even break after hitting my prop. Anyway that was my stupid for the month, I hope. Got a new Sterba prop and am looking like it will be an honest 160 or 165, good enough for me for now. Thank you for the fine job you do on our newsletter.

Paul Howe

Jim, I have enclosed some pictures that Jerry and Nancy Marstall made while visiting over Christmas. The cowling inlet on top is for cooling air while the lower inlet serves the cooler and the carburetor. If you look closely you can see the fiberglass engine shrouds, which form a plenum over the cylinders and head on each side. So far, the baffling is holding up just fine. I can't see any indication that they will give any trouble over the long haul. Anyway, I'll be watching them closely for any signs of deterioration during the rest of the year.

Phil Haxton

Dear Jim

Yea, yea here you are complaining again to get us all to write in the newsletter. Well, my airplane's flying now so what do I care? Well, I do care, because lots of people helped me get to this point and I am very willing to help others.

I give my thanks to you and all the builders who make the newsletter, and especially to Bob Malechek who generously gives his time assisting other builders in many ways.

My first flight was on Sept. 9, 1988. Some friends took a video of my first flight, and I'm sure glad because I haven't made such a perfect landing since then. As a matter of fact, I had some difficulty with some take off and landing problems which Bob helped me solve.

You printed a letter from a builder doing taxi tests and being afraid of his squirrelly tail dragger and he went back to work to make a Tri-Q-200. Some builders feel that the Tri-Q is the best option for them, but I have a hard time with the idea of going back to work on an airplane that is ready to fly. (Even though I felt that the airplane was real squirrelly early in my taxi testing too.) I've done a ground loop because of inattention on a landing and am still afraid of crosswinds because of lack of experience, but I'm hoping that Bob Malechek is correct in saying that the airplane can be handled. I did tons of high-speed taxi work and found out that at 55-60 mph things get better, the rudder starts to work and handling gets much better. Once I discovered that, I felt much better about flying my airplane for the first time..(about 45-55 mph seems to be the squirrelly speed for me.)

My biggest concern prior to my first flight was about bouncing on landing. But I did as advised and held the airplane inches above the runway and let the speed bleed off setting the plane down very softly. It turned out that my biggest problem was on later flights, trying to lift the airplane off the ground before it was ready to fly, and letting it settle on the ground with the speed too high. On my first flight I trimmed some down elevator (back pressure on the stick) to make sure I took off with part back stick as is suggested, but on my second and third flights I didn't trim enough in and the result was that my main wing started to fly. It felt to me that the plane was starting to fly and I pulled back on the stick more to get it off the runway. It came off the runway and ballooned up, but wasn't ready to fly and started to come back down. Luckily I continued to gain speed and I gained enough flying speed before turn time, but don't want to do it that way again.

It seems that back pressure on the stick or the lack of it creates a sort of teeter-totter effect and makes the tailwheel stay on the ground or lets the main wing fly. Backpressure on the stick sort of lifts the nose and makes the main wing work more before lifting the tail off the ground. I suppose this could also be adjusted with the aileron reflexor but I haven't experimented with it much yet.

I have 10 hours on my Q-200. Haven't flown it since December. It got really cold here in Jan. and Feb. I want to fix a bad toe-out problem before I fly it again.

Sorry I don't have accurate flight data but here are a few close approximations. Touchdown is about 65 mph (bleeding off every bit of speed I can). Top speed: 170 mph indicated at 6000 feet on a cold day; 160 mph indicated at 8000 feet on a cold day. I have not calibrated my airspeed with another plane or ground markers, so this may be off. Bob says they tend to read high with the pitot placement shown in the plans. I'll get more info as soon as I'm flying again.

Mike Peay #2699

Jim - I'm real pleased to report the first flight of C-GJWH. I just want to acknowledge your and QBA members contribution over the 10+ years (exact number embarrassing - with kit #15, I probably hold the longest build time record). I used many tips, methods and mods suggested by members, and would have been one of 90% who would not have finished without you guys. I am rewarded with an airplane that the test pilot said was the nicest flying homebuilt he has been in! It is however going to be a bitch to land.

I have the LS mod canard/Revmaster combination with the wheel at the "normal" outboard position. My empty weight is 632 lbs with oil and unusable fuel and a sparse panel. I paid close attention to wing angle of incidence, and incorporated all of the mods to tame ground handling (hydraulic differential toe brakes (C150), toe in, neg. castor on tailwheel and bungee cord snugger on rudder connect, and reflexor. Other than that it is a stock machine. Under the hood, I built a four pipe stainless exhaust from stock 90 and 180 bends, and put in an extra "smile" for the oil cooler. The oil cooler is "boxed in" with silicone and aluminum to ensure air goes through and not around. Baffling is siliconed to the tips of the cylinder fins. Cooling is good and temps have never been in the red, and in flight cooling is powerful (test pilot warned me about opening the cowl flap to fast because temps dropped like a rock, and he sees a lot of cracked heads from this (usually the web between the valves). The mixture was set rich, and the engine sputtered at any coordinated turn over 60 degrees (approx. 2 g's). I've backed off, but am going to look at the possibility of a fuel pressure regulator. My spring on the oil dipstick inspection door was not strong enough and it partially opened, letting a small oil mist out onto the canopy and cut the first flight short just in case. It flew left wing low and required a hefty 10 lbs side stick for straight and level, with little or no yaw. The idle was too high and the end of the flight - 1200-rpm vs. 800 at takeoff, and the mixture control snagged on the cowl flap lever, and jamming rich. The test pilot shut the engine down to reduce the float, another good reason to hire a test pilot, guys. I couldn't have done this while doing the Q-bird tap dance down the runway on a precautionary landing with a "hot" approach just in case the engine quit from the unknown oil leak that was smudging up the canopy. If you read this Terry, "THANKS"! I did not appreciate how much engine movement there might be from "g" forces and/or vibration. The mixture cable end jammed between the cowl flap actuator arm and the oil cooler. It was easily corrected and I now have a good inch separating everything. (Note: I didn't realize how close they were because you can't see it with the cowl flaps closed, have a look for this one.) The fast idle was also caused by engine carb movement. I had the cable set so that the cable bottomed out at the same time as the carb idle screw bottomed out. With the flexing and twisting, the cable bottomed out before the idle screw. I now have a 1/4" reserve in the cable travel to ensure that the idle speed set screw bottoms out.

With the kit supplied wood prop, I got 146 knots indicated at (oops) 3750 rpm. I bought a Warp Drive ground adjustable carbon composite prop and set it at the same tip angle (13 deg) as the wood prop and it redlined at about 3/4 throttle! I reset the tip angle to 18 degrees and got 31-3200 static in the 90's). If I don't have a big pitot/static error, I just might have the fastest Revmaster Q-bird on the block. I plan to adjust for 3500 RPM WOT, and just might see the 180 mph that was in the glossies. The Warp Drive prop is very obviously much more efficient than the wood club. It even sounds a lot different. It is heavier than the undersized wood one, and I'm going to have to move the battery, but the idle is very noticeably smoother. I can run it at 700 rpm without stalling instead of 800-900 for the wood. I'm hoping it will windmill at approach speeds, instead of stopping dead like the wood one (safer for in-flight idle and restart).

I did more work on vapor lock. It helped a lot to redo the lines in 3/8" aluminum with better downward slope, and insulate the lines in the cowl. I still get a sag on the first full power application that is probably vapor lock, and will insulate and air cool the gascolator also. However, I have found something else that QBAers should be aware of. Basically our gas tanks are like solar heated Styrofoam beer coolers. It slows down, but does not stop the heat transfer. At 8 a.m. I measured the fuel temperature in the main/header at 68/72F. I returned at about 8 p.m. after a good sunny day. The main was only at 88F, but the header was almost an unbelievable 119F (i.e. boiling in the tank!!!). I re-did this test on the day of the first flight, when the canopy was left open all day with OAT 90+. The main was a cool 82F at high noon, and the header was 86F.

The main stays cooler probably because of the sun heated top surface is insulated by the seat cushion and is exposed to the vapor in the tank top (inefficient heat transfer). The bottom main where the liquid is faces away from the sun (maybe a cool shaded grass). The header is heated by the hot air in the cockpit when the canopy is closed (140+ F). Remedies: Keep fuel pump on prior to flight to mix fuel, reflective sunshade for cockpit, solar power exhaust fan, keep canopy open. I have purchased a 12V Radio Shack computer type fan that only draws about 100ma, and can be runoff a small 4x8" solar cell set. I am going to leave this plugged in to keep the air temp down, and get a reflective cover for the rest of the canopy. This plus the extra insulation around the gascolator should finally eliminate the vapor lock.

Note: My vapor lock originally appeared as a low static RPM in high speed taxi testing. Any of you who have had things like doggy hot weather performance, unsteady RPM's or RPM sags, real hard hot starting, strong fuel odors should check this out. I wonder how many "lost power on climbout" incident are due to this?

Safe flying and see you at Oshkosh!

Bob Falkiner Q2 - #2015

Dear Jim

My nemesis sits in the basement, still in pieces and I am in the meantime fully occupied with a zillion of other things. This sounds like a poor excuse, but some things had to be done first after moving into my new home. The basement is now insulated in preparation for the continuation of the Q2 work and I plan to spend regular time down there in the future.

I have to re-align the wheelpants to account for the sagging and bending of the tubular spar. In 1984 when I was attaching the pants it was not known what axle hole position (as viewed on the opposite wheelpant) will offset the bending of the canard and I built in a 2" toe out and added arbitrarily 2" offset for the bending. Tough luck. According to a recent Q-Talk, 10" are required or poor handling and high tire wear will follow. The wheel fit into the pants so tightly that I cannot simply reposition one axle hole, but have to cut the pants off. Once this is out of the way, I will fit the canard/fuel tanks/wing etc. into the fuselage and just the view of something vaguely resembling the final product should spur me on to completion.

The Q-Talk really makes me hang in there for the time being otherwise the dream might have died by now. For a bunch of forgotten and God forsaken fellows, we have a first rate platform for exchanging ideas, or just moaning.

Igor Mokrys


I've got 18.1 hours on my Tri Q-200. I've been indicating 163 mph without the wheel pants and 178 mph with. Flies like the guys say it should. Hope to make "SUN 'N Fun".

Bill Varga

Hi Jim

Along with my dues, a few words about my Q-2. I'm about to get at it again, but in a different direction. I sold my Revmaster and am installing a 0-200 instead. An A&P friend of mind has offered me a rebuildable 0-200 for just $1500 that I just can't pass up. Here are my plans. Since I still have the original canard, I want to shave weight firewall forward so I have decided to eliminate the starter and the generator. I also believe in the KISS principle and this should eliminate some maintenance as well. I will still put a battery aft for lights and balance. I would appreciate any advice from any of you Q-folks who have put an 0-200 in a non-carbon bird.

I also want to split my canopy bubble so that I will end up with a fixed windshield and a sliding canopy behind that. We have some very strong winds here and some of our homebuilders have trouble with their bubbles being blown off in an unexpected gust. Any suggestions on this venture would also be graciously accepted.

Preston North, 1422 14th St. S., Fargo, ND 58103

(701) 293-9010

Dear Jim

I have not begun finishing the partially completed Q2 I bought from Roger Palmer in April of '91. It has taken a while to read and absorb all of the information in all the back issues of Q-Talk. I have sold the Revmaster engine that came with the kit, and purchased a Subaru engine, which Lou Ross is converting.

The information from you and other builders in your newsletter has been invaluable for answering questions about the design problems and offering possible solutions. I intend changing the tail wheel and spring, rudder, checking the angle of incidence, and toe-in, in response, as well as having changed engines.

Keep up the good work; you are providing a necessary, much appreciated service to the members. Thank you.

Gordon Warrick

Don Short (in his youth)

Dear Jim

My Q-200 project is now at the engine "put in" stage, and another Q-200 is coming together in a garage about a 1/2-mile away at a slightly more advanced stage - so we are pushing each other along. Finally just a couple of thoughts about those elevator torque tubes assemblies - namely the aluminum thin walled elevator torque tube CS16 over the more robust steel Q2CSA8 via the slotted aluminum spacer. My point is that if we are relying solely on the accuracy of the bolt holes through these items to locate and hold the elevators rigid in relation to the control stick, our aircraft are not going to stay airborne for long. Probably due to rapid elongation of the holes through the CS16 tubes.

Clearly, the bolts must be tight to obtain the pinching action of the slotted spacer onto the Q2CSA8 and hence rigidity in the connection. The importance of this bolt tightness has not been stressed enough.

John Cartledge


N8135 (SN-2087) just flew on November 22, 1991 by new owner Mike Krause of Van Nuys, CA. He did a terrific job of piloting and the plane performed very well with only a roll trim problem to work out. Even after spending eight years of time on the construction, I didn't mind at all seeing someone else take her up for the first time.

Gordon Myers

Dear Jim

I haven't touched my project for over a year now (except to oil the engine). I'm having enough trouble keeping up with a new job and new kid.

This dog will fly someday though, even if it means just throwing it off a cliff ....

Phil Bryan #2768

Quickie Tri-Q200 87TQ now has about 225 hours and is flying as often as I get time. Changed the brake pads this year and also had to drill out the elevator attach bolt holes to correct the elongated holes. Also, the nose gear axle shaft is wearing. As always, rides are available to anyone in the area.

Dennis Rose, 18850 Rea Ave., Aromas, CA 95004


Well, God help me, I've done it!

Bought a stalled project hanging in Barry Weber's hangar.

The ad you ran for me last fall found it for me ....


John Loram

You can order a PDF or printed copy of Q-talk #31 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.