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CAFE 400  

     This year’s CAFE 400 race was very interesting because of several changes, first was the change of the scoring formulae from: speed (MPH) X MPG x Payload (200 lbs./SeatMax) to: (MPH)^1.25 X MPG X (Payload)^.75. Second, the course had a number of hard climbs and descents.
     The formulae change was supposed to reward the faster airplanes slightly. The emphasis on climbs and descents should help the high aspect ratio aircraft such as Longezes and aircraft with constant speed props such as the Glasair. In reality what happens is that the event becomes more like a sports car rally than a race, this is because with constantly changing power settings and density altitudes the pilot is put to the test and not the airplane. Two identical aircraft can have very different scores. For example, by changing from our standard mixture control to a precise vernior control between the 1983 and the 1984 events we saw over 10% improvement in our scores. In the real world of flying the standard control is more than adequate.
     In preparation for the races this year we built up a special 0-200. It featured, among other things, adjustable ignition timing, teflon coated connecting rails and crankshaft for less hydraulic friction, ceramic coated pistons for less heat transfer to the oil and greater efficiency, and some things we can’t even talk about yet. All that is the good news - the bad news is that the engine wasn’t ready for either race. Maybe next year.
     We competed in the CAFE 400 race with N81QA in virtually the same configuration as in 1984. The result? N81QA came in 2nd overall with a score of 2,094,819. We flew 175.5 mph while averaging 36.66 MPG and carrying 400 lbs. of non-fuel payload. This is slightly faster than in 1984 and slightly worse fuel economy. Richard Wailnath flew his brand new Q200 (only signed off for cross country a couple of days prior to the race) and finished 4th overall in spite of the fact that his fuel flow meter and EGT failed before the race making accurate test flying impossible. Richard, by the way, is no stranger to the CAFE race, he also owns a Varieze which in 1984 had the highest score ever for a stock 0-200 powered eze. He says his Q200 is about 20 mph laster than his eze .

    For the second year in a row no aircraft has ever gone faster on less fuel. In fact, every aircraft which went faster than N81QA burned at least 49% more fuel. Only three aircraft used less fuel and they all went slower - a lot slower.


    Vic Turner's Quickie easily won the single seat experimental class by a score of 1,306,790. This was over 40% above the best of the competition, and RV3. Vic went 129.4 mph and averaged 56.31 MPG with a payload of 200 lbs.
    Vic’s performance was so superior that he also won the Chevron efficiency award of $2500.00. Vic has now won as much prize money as he paid for his kit!
    For a complete report of this year’s CAFE 400, see the September issue of Sport Aviation.

John Hick's Quickie N401JH

John Hick's Quickie N401JH: The more John flys it, the better he likes it.