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.
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.
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.
Specifications (Rutan/Herron “Quickie”) 4
Specifications (“Quickie Q2”) ³
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