Q-talk 45 - LETTERS

Dear Jim:

Your recent edition arrived today and I just had to take to the keyboard and say howdy. I, like all the rest, enjoy and appreciate your work. What amazed me is the apparent number of decent chaps who seem to insist on re-inventing the dam wheel. Tolerate my findings.

I have, as you know, a Revmaster and I have only done two things to it. Bought the higher horsepower heads and installed an engine primer to help up here in the Northland. Other than that I just fly the dam thing and never have had any problems whatsoever. With the new heads I only check the valve adjustments at annual time and even than there is almost no further adjustments required. I change oil, Pennzoil, at $1.39 per qt. every twenty-five hours and never add between times. 10W30 in winter and 20W50 in summer. I burn between 3.5 and 4 gph and chug along at about 120 kts pulling around 2900 rpm. Maybe I'm just living in a fool's paradise and am about one hour from a complete engine failure, but in the meantime I am having no problems at all. Not even oil temp.

I will add a reflexor next month at annual, and except for the Tri-gear conversion, that is all I have ever done to the plane. I haven't tried to redesign anything. I just fly a couple of hundred hours a year and at age seventy-one I plan to just keep right on until the Doc says to trade it in for a golf cart. If I could locate a 10" spinner I would probably get a Warp Drive prop from those guys who are thirty minutes from Rochester. Can't find a spinner.

If these builder-flyers would just understand the nature of this little beast and get out and fly it without thinking a redesign is needed I think they would have a lot more fun. Couldn't make Sun-N-Fun this year, all tied up with the 50th Anniversary of Normandy. I was there that morning fifty years ago and seem to be a bit busy these past weeks with those activities. I do, however, plan on flying to Oshkosh.

Keep up the good work, Dad. Thought you might be interested in projects underway in our little Chapter 100 here in Rochester. We have about an equal number of various types flying.


Walt Halloran

Greetings Brother Masal,

Enjoyed talking with you earlier this month, Jim, and very much appreciate the info. As always, it was right on the hickey-do! Now whilst I am again furloughed, I've taken this off period to reacquaint myself with my Quickie/Q2 library and noticed no index exists after the noteworthy efforts of Messer's. Whiteside, Rose and Conlin, save for the most recent offer in #44 from Mike Chalmers.

And a most generous offer it is, no doubt, but I am one of those procrastinating people without a computer, so, the option I took is for you to share with the other fans or do with what you will. I retained the same format (issue #19 thru Q-TALK #44) except distinction is made for the later issues of Q-TALK being assigned a preceding Q. Original, huh?

After 12 years there seems to be more input relative to the flight testing and finishing of the Q family than actual building tips. With publication still being offered by your selfless efforts, I find it difficult to account for a mass of airplanes (like mine) still in the building stages or boxed up in storage. The roster Ted Fox maintains only accounts for about half the number of kits sold. What gives?

By count, Jim, there are more guys building than what's got done and flying. I believe there are still some folk who could benefit from an idea I will put to you.

This is what I am prepared to do:

I will supply a copy of original plans for the Quickie and the Q-2/Q-200 with pictorial addendum as supplied by QAC. My intent is to transfer all drawings to Mylar with changes only acknowledged by QAC (ref. QPCs & QBTs). The cost will be minimal - I'm doing this to perpetuate the design, not pad the pocket.

This is what I have:

Untouched Q-2 plans complete with all QPC and QBT items thru original QUICKIE NEWSLETTER #25 (yes, that was the last from QAC).

This is what I need:

Q-200 construction plans and drawings, belly board plans and drawings, reflexor plans and drawings, speed brake plans and drawings, forward hinged canopy plans and drawings and T-tail trim plans and drawings. All Quickie material.

If, by this missive, you'll allow me to acknowledge this thru the newsletter, I will purchase if I can't borrow all the above. If items are borrowed, they must be in A-1 condition with no personal notations. I guarantee the return in the same condition. This will not be a half-assed project.

I recently found a partially completed Quickie locally but with no plans. Since I am still enamored with the design after all these years, I may as well bring two thru at the same time. So, with no more overseas contracts, no more storing or moving, I'm ready to settle into completing these birds for a retirement present to myself. Hope some of the guys still subscribing will help me go one step further.

Keep the blue side up.

Buzz Flye, 2978 Nantucket Ave., Charleston, SC 29420

20 May 1994


1. The roster that Ted Fox maintains was originally done by me in my youth when I was full of pee and vinegar. It's probably 8 years ago now and was a difficult chore. People being what they are, the data just didn't fall into my lap just because I asked for it. This was a flying roster only. Ted gets additional info piecemeal only when a new flyer reports it in the newsletter and Ted has to pay close attention to the letters or he'll miss it. Originally I provided a survey postcard stapled into an edition of the newsletter and that worked pretty well. But it's costly. It really would be a good thing to mount another effort to update the roster and recently Gary Wilson offered to help with the cost. Tell you what, if you make the extra effort to transfer plans to Mylar just for the sake of preserving the design, I can make an extra effort to compile operational stats for posterity. However:

2. Your effort, while substantial, is going to require a little bit of extra effort from our buddies in builder land to share plans, etc. with you. My effort will require 5 minutes to fill out the card and a 29-cent stamp. I'm not sure we still have enough guys who will give us that support. After all, the reason you're not seeing builder tips is because builders aren't sending them in. Of course in the case of a survey from me, I can resort to threats, which usually bump up the percentage of participation. You can't. However, I have talked to guys who do want to somehow preserve this design for the future and now is the time, with a willing volunteer at hand, for them to talk the talk and walk the walk with you. Please do guys, before Buzz figures out what he's getting into.


Sorry for the delay but keep my subscription coming. The birth of my twin daughters has slowed everything. Three in diapers now, do I need to say more. Being a father is great but sure is hard on the flying priorities. I'll keep plugging away to get the old Q2 into the air this summer but I'm past the point of promises. Keep up the good work your newsletter sends the chill of guilt down my back every time an issue comes in.

Rand Kriech, Concord, CA

(510) 685-9735

(Also from the DBFNewsletter, just in case Kim didn't report these numbers earlier here.)

Hi Spud

I'm hoping my schedule will allow me to attend Oshkosh or Ottawa this year. I have about 75 hours on the Q-115 (Q-2 + Lycoming O-235 powered) and I'm still thrilled with the results of my efforts.

I spent about 1800 hours building it as a Q-2 and flew it for about 2 1/2 years. I had numerous engine problems with the Revmaster and than in 1987 the case cracked while on a cross-country trip. Fortunately it kept running and I landed at a nearby airport.

Since then I have made several modifications including designing and building a new flat canard (Dragonfly style) using an LS1 air foil similar to the Q-200. I designed the new canard structure using basically the Dragonfly type of layups with carbon fiber spar caps and E-glass shear webs. Strength was calculated using Martin Hollmann's book on composite design, and I designed the structure for +8G's, -4G's. As you can see I'm using a Dragonfly Mark II landing gear. I installed a Lycoming O-235 rated at 115 hp. My new gross weight is 1150 lbs.

Performance is excellent, top speed being just over 200 mph TAS at 6000 ft., I cruise at 175 to 180 mph. IAS, solo during the cool weather. At gross it seems to be around 1500 FPM. Landings are a pleasure with the Dragonfly Mark II gear. I have learned to keep the tire pressure below 18 PSI to reduce bouncing off the runway irregularities on roll out. I guess I'm using the tire as somewhat of a shock absorber.

I hope to see everyone at this year's fly-in at Ottawa, Kansas (if my house construction proceeds smoothly).

Yours truly

Kimbull McAndrew

DeWinton, Alberta, Canada

Dear Jim,

On February 19, 1994, I destroyed my Tri-Q200, SN 2790, N827Q and permanently changed the looks and functioning of my right arm and hand. The events leading up to this tragedy are worthy of a story so I guess that is what this is going to be.

Last spring I decided to build an RG Velocity and put the Tri-Q up for sale. An individual who had previously flown in the plane with me and by himself offered to buy half interest in it. At the time that sounded good since he had hangar space at the same airport and what I really needed was the hangar space, not the money. He signed a sales contract for the plane and then took it on a long cross-country flight. When he returned from the trip he had nothing good to say about the plane. One specific complaint was that it was hard to get it to rotate on take off and that pitch control in flight was poor. He said it was nose heavy and needed weight in the tail. He also said it would not rim up right in flight nor go as fast as it should.

After listening to his complaints for several days, I told him to forget the contract. I wouldn't want him to buy something he didn't feel good about. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was believing what he said about the weight and balance problem. A short time later I got an honest offer for the plane and I set out to correct the weight and balance.

I had the plane weighed at the local Vo-Tech Aviation School using the same scales I had used for the original W&B in 1987. To my surprise, the plane had gained 55 lbs. I could account for 30 lbs of fuel in the header tank and another 3 lbs with the remote oil filter's oil. Where the other 22 lbs came from I don't know for sure, but I did change the foam in the seats and upholstery so that may be where. I do know that the scales had been calibrated both times.

I took the new weights and decided to compute the W&B using a computer program I obtained from someone I met at the 1990 Sun 'n Fun Quickie meeting. Here is where things start to get confusing. The first W&B was based on the instructions in Scott Swing's Tri-Q conversion instructions and the datum was at the front engine prop mount. The datum for the computer program was at 14 inches forward of the firewall which hits on the rear of the left front cylinder cover. This changed the arm of the main wheels, nose wheel and oil, moving them all forward.

After making numerous W&B's using different pilot and co-pilot, baggage and fuel weights, I convinced myself I needed to add 25 lbs of weight at station 175 to have a mid range CG. That was my third and fatal mistake. Looking back, I don't know how I could have ever accepted that. Hell, when I wanted to work on the nose gear, I would put two 25 lb bags of lead on top of Station 175 and it would hold the nose of the plane off the ground.

Anyhow, the individual who planned to purchase the plane (Mark) made several high speed taxi runs with me and then I decided to check him out in it. Since he had thousands of hours in all types and was ATP rated, I let him take the left seat. It would not have mattered who was in the left seat. Chuck Yeager himself could not have flown that plane. We were so far behind aft-CG that on rotation at 90 mph it was all over. The nose pitched up to 10-15 degrees and it rolled right. The pilot brought the nose down and it started to swing left. I yelled "reflexors forward" and took the controls. I guess I was thinking he was over controlling. The nose went up and made an oscillation to the right. I pushed it down and we rolled left inverted and struck the runway at about 130 mph. I remember seeing the canopy disintegrate and felt my head hit the runway. I threw my right arm down to keep my head off and as a result did some major damage to it. The plane slid for about 140 ft. on across the concrete runway and another 210 ft. in soft dirt before stopping. I think we both said, "Turn off the master!" and reached for it at the same time. There was no fire. I could not see very well because of the blood and dirt in my eyes, but I was able to release my seat belt and then crawl out my side. I remember thinking the broken canopy is cutting into my back, but did not feel it. After I was out and stood up, I heard Mark say he could not get out, so I went to the end of the wing and lifted the plane until he was able to crawl out. It was about then I lost the rest of my vision due to the blood from the top of my head filling up my eyes.

Mark was not hurt. I have not seen him since the crash, but he said he only had a small cut or scratch on his hand. Thank God. It will be several months before I regain use of my right hand and I will have some permanent scarring on it and the arm. Besides the arm, I had cuts on the top of my head, which would have been worse if my headset hadn't been on. The top piece of the headset was ground away. I had cuts and bruises behind the left ear and cuts on my back.

I feel very lucky to be alive. If the same had happened in a metal plane I'm sure both of us would have been killed or seriously injured. The Tri-Q is one tough plane.

Both rear wings were broken but still attached. The left canard was broken off 10 inches out from the fuselage. The tail assembly didn't get a scratch. The landing gear never touched the ground - neither nose nor mains. The prop broke off at the hub, and I fear the engine may be shot. The cowling is full of holes where it was ground away on the runway, however, the fuselage and firewall does not appear to be damaged.

I have decided to rebuild it after I finish the Velocity. To do so I will need to purchase or build a new canard and main wing, so if anyone reading this has the templates or a LS(1) canard and main wing for sale, please get in touch with me.

I think there are several morals to this story:

First, never trust a car salesman when he tells you your car OR your airplane is a dog even if he is an old friend. He is just trying to get the price down.

Second, don't fix something that is not broken. This plane had been flying perfectly for seven years.

Third, always have someone you have no influence over and who is qualified validate your weight and balance calculations.

Fourth, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER attempt to fly with aft CG.

Bob Noble, No. Little Rock, AR

ED. NOTE: I'm sure some of you can add a couple more morals to this story on your own. I saw Bob at Sun 'n Fun and while the arm and body show the effects of this nasty event, he's walking around just fine and is as upbeat as ever. Mark has written, still looking for a Q to buy so his confidence in the airframe is not shaken.

This airplane has been to Oshkosh and Ottawa. It was a fine example of top craftsmanship. With such attention to detail from a builder, one would not imagine that something of major consequence could be wrong with a thoroughly tested airplane, yet the builder himself came to believe it.

All pilots are drilled as to the potentially serious consequences of improper CG. I have seen some pilots not pay it much mind. Most occasionally struggle through the numbers in the operations manual on a heavily loaded flight without knowing much about the theory. We get by. But when I was about to put my hand-built Quickie on the scales for the first time I got real serious. I saw an A&P mechanic who I was hoping to rely on screw up the process right in front of me. How could I understand it better than he did? He was in the wrenching business, not me. Perhaps it is deceptively simple. I did what the plans said to do. The plans agreed with what I'd heard from other successful builders. But because we sense the possible zinger in a mistake and because we are dealing with some goofy math (moment arms, pound-inches (???) times 1,000), we can get to hyperventilating over this stuff. Furthermore, this ain't a normal aircraft where the CG is somewhere around the quarter chord of the wing (it's more likely along the crease in your butt). I'm not surprised at the confusion. And when that happens, bringing some consultants in (as Bob suggests) helps.

And so I ask any of you guys in the know to please enlighten us on the theory of CG in general and on canard aircraft in particular. We probably won't know what the math gyrations were that caused Bob to incorrectly calculate his CG, but I want to thank him very much for not writing a letter that just went: "I crashed my plane. Anybody got a canard and wing for sale?" Instead he took the time necessary to describe the events in vivid detail. If we are to learn the kind of lesson that will save our skins this is the kind of detail that will stop us in our tracks and make us think. Thanks, Bob, we are indebted to you.

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