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Quickie “Quickie”
Single-engine single-seat homebuilt tandem wing aircraft

Archive Photos ¹

Quickie “Quickie” (C-GGLC, c/n 1001, 1983) on display at the Canada Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (John Shupek photo copyright ©: 2003 Skytamer Images)

Quickie Aircraft ²

The Quickie Aircraft Corporation was founded in Mojave, California, in 1978 to market the “Quickie” homebuilt aircraft (models “Quickie”, “Quickie Q2”, and “Quickie Q200” aircraft). The original single-seater “Quickie” was designed by Burt Rutan and founders Gene Sheehan and Tom Jewett. The two-seater “Quickie Q2” and ““Quickie Q200”” were designed by Canadian Garry LeGare, Jewett and Sheehan. While the “Quickie Q2” and “Quickie Q200” were based on the original “Quickie”, the design was completely different. Now defunct, the company sold over 2,000 kits in its lifetime.

Overview ³

  • Quickie and Quickie Q2
  • Role: amateur-built airplane
  • Manufacturer: Quickie Aircraft Corporation
  • Designer: Quickie: Burt Rutan, Tom Jewett; Q2: Garry LeGare, Tom Jewett and Gene Sheehan
  • Status: kit production completed
  • Number built: 2000+

The “Quickie” is a light single seat homebuilt aircraft that was designed by Burt Rutan and Tom Jewett. One of the dozens of unconventional aircraft penned by Rutan for the general aviation market, the original “Quickie” is Model 54 in Rutan's design series.

The “Quickie Q2” is a two seater version in kit form designed by Canadian Garry LeGare and the founders of the Quickie Aircraft Corporation Tom Jewett, and Gene Sheehan. Over 2000 kits were sold before production ended.

Highly efficient, the “Quickie” and “Quickie Q2” are of composite construction. Appearing at first glance to be a modified biplane or canard design, the “Quickie” is a tandem wing aircraft. The forward wing is technically a canard, fitted with elevators, but it provides about 60% of the lift. The aft wing serves as tailplane, although all pitch control comes from the forward canard. The “Quickie” is a taildragger with main wheels in the tips of the forward wing, obviating the need for separate landing gear. However, propeller clearance is limited and the “Quickie” is rather vulnerable to prop-strikes, although the trigear version avoids this danger.

Development ³

The “Quickie” was designed in 1977 by Burt Rutan, with the prototype construction commenced in August of that year. The design was frozen in January 1978. The original aircraft was specified to use an Onan 18 hp industrial 2-cylinder opposed air-cooled engine, but many other engines have been installed, including the Continental O-200, MidWest AE100 and Volkswagen.

The “Quickie” has many novel features to promote efficiency of both construction and operation. The absence of a tailplane both reduces drag and allows the aft fuselage to be slender since it has less to support. The canard layout provides positive lift from both pairs of wings, whereas a conventional tailplane supplies negative lift. Being sited much higher than the canard, the aft wing avoids being affected by its downwash. Combining elevators, ailerons and flaps into just one pair of control surfaces reduces drag, although the control linkages are somewhat complex. The absence of separate landing gear reduces both weight and drag, such aggregated weight savings allowing a smaller engine and a smaller fuel tank.

Rutan hoped that the “Quickie” would make an attractive and an exciting aircraft for a first-time homebuilder. He stated that the design was intended to echo the “X-Wing” of “Star Wars”, adding that the dual-wing with a single rudder layout was not new, having previously been used in aircraft such as the “Flying Flea”.

Kit production commenced in June 1978 and by the late 1990s over 3,000 single and two seater kits had been produced and sold.

Variants ³

  • Rutan Model 49: The original concept design by Burt Rutan.
  • Rutan Model 54: “Quickie” Prototype aircraft produced at the Rutan Aircraft Factory.
  • Quickie: The original model has one seat and is powered by an 18 horsepower (14 kW) engine.
  • Quickie Q2: This two seater has a 64 horsepower (48 kW) Volkswagen air-cooled engine and can be constructed as a “Tri-Q” with tricycle rather than conventional landing gear.
  • TriQ-200 with tricycle gear Q200: This two seater model is faster than the “Q2” with a 105 horsepower (78 kW) Continental O-200 engine and uses a different airfoil for the canard. It can also be constructed as a “Tri-Q” with tricycle rather than conventional landing gear.

Specifications (Rutan/Herron “Quickie”) 4

General Characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Length: 17 ft 4 in
  • Wing Span: 16 ft 8 in
  • Wing Area: 53 ft²
  • Empty Weight: 240 lb
  • Gross Weight: 480 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 8 gallons


  • Takeoff Distance: 660 ft
  • Landing Distance: 835 ft
  • Maximum Speed: 127 mph
  • Cruise Speed: 121 mph
  • Fuel Efficiency (at 100 mph): 85 mpg
  • Range: 550 miles
  • Rate of Climb: 425 ft/min
  • Service Ceiling: 12,300 ft

Specifications (“Quickie Q2”) ³

General Characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 19 ft 10 in (6.05 m)
  • Wingspan: 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m)
  • Height: 4 ft 5 in (1.35 m)
  • Wing area: 67 ft² (6.22 m²)
  • Empty weight: 490 lb (222 kg)
  • Useful load: 510 lb (231 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 1,000 lb (454 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Revmaster 2100-DQ converted auto-engine, 64 hp (47.7 kW) at 3,200 rpm


  • Never exceed speed: 200 mph (322 km/h)
  • Maximum speed: 180 mph (290 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 140 mph (225 km/h)
  • Range: 550 mi (885 km)
  • Rate of climb: 1,200 ft/min (6.10 m/s)


  1. Photos: John A Shupek, copyright © 2001 Skytamer Images
  2. Wikipedia, Quickie Aircraft Corporation
  3. Wikipedia, Rutan Quickie
  4. EAA AirVenture Museum, Rutan/Herron Quickie

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