Good points, Vern. The only person that is still somewhat “available” to talk about what it was like in that QAC shop way back when is Scott Swing. It would be fun to get him to write a little retrospective from the QAC manufacturing side of the fence, at least as much as he can recall. It would be a good companion series to what our own Jim Masal produced from the perspective of the builder side of the fence.
As all know, for registration with the FAA it isn't super critical about the serial numbers anyway since there is no such thing
as Service Bulletin or Airworthiness Directive issued to our machines.
For me it is interesting in the question as to how many Q birds were actually released, because the fabrication of the
shells and spars alone would have been an involved manufacturing line. Tooling for sure! Supply chain of the non layup parts
another big challenge. The FAA registry is of no particular help on numbers either. My project for instance..can't by
rights call it a Q2 OR a Dragonfly.
On my wifes airplane.. the Capella XS2.. the supply chain fails is what took the program into the Court system! Not quite
as bad as the BD5 fiasco ended up being, but there was a lot of angst on the part of John Reid Howell Jr in Austin Texas.
It's a nice airplane and kinda reminds me of Deputy Dog, well engineered and has good STOL performance but he was still
Events like this aught be a warning to others that intend on aircraft factory startups which are really difficult to
achieve even in the most favorable of Markets (cubic Dollars for one). You can have the best design from any other but
get hammered from all nature of problems surrounding the build.
A major part of the Manufacturing Engineering world as I did (do sometimes now also) is work around the supply chain
fails to meet the delivery day. Chasing down snafu's and doing design review sign offs to hopefully keep the bugs out before
they hit the Shop. Globalization has BIG TIME magnified the problems, and the bean counters whining about raw material
storage taxes and payrolls is what took us to our knees.
The suits killed off the "in house build" and in doing that we ended up with zero safety net to protect the schedule. Then they
wrote up and signed into stupid contracts. The Lazy B is now in a hurt partly because JIT went to hell in a handbasket.
China Offset and others like that one bit them in the ass, just as the old timers in my world told them would happen.
It is a tribute that the Q factory did accomplish these kits, guys. It was a major task and still would be, and for what they had to work
with I am amazed at the the quality details they produced. Its why completing the project IS worthwhile, if for no other reason
than the efforts these folks went through to fabricate and ship the kits. I know it might sound corny but the folks doing the layups
were not thinking only of the paycheck. In some corner of their thoughts that knew they were making something
that fulfilled someones dream. As Bruce says "Git Er Done!"
I suspect that my kit may be one of the last full kits out the door at QAC. I received the last of my shipments in late 1984.
FYI, my Q200 kit was sn 2841.
On Fri, Feb 25, 2022, 8:44 PM Jay Scheevel <jay@...> wrote:
Like many kit manufacturers, the leading digit(s) represent the model. So the 2000’s indicate Q2, where the Q1’s had no leading digit (I think).
Found this little tidbit in Q-talk #17, anyone know of it's true?
Regarding serial number trivia, my recollection is that 2000-2009 were QAC factory reserved and 2010-2019 were reserved for the Canadian LeGare "factory" or vice versa. Mojave factory production units reportedly started at 2020 or so.
I am preparing again to complete my project. I finally got to talk to Gene Sheehan who was helpful and enthusiastic but has been heavily involved in a consulting job and hasn't been available at Mojave.
I also talked to Gordon Olsen at Cowley, Inc. (805) 824-2368 Mojave airport, who still has an oversized Q-2 canopy available.
Ben O'Brien, Redondo Beach, CA
Quicktalk 13 mentions Q1 serial numbers not going above 550.
In my case, that would mean I have the 807th Q2 kit QAC sold, not the almost 3-thousandth. That's still a big number but Jay's comment about sub kits getting S/N's is something I never thought about before. There may be a whole lot less fully complete kits out in the wild than I had originally thought?...
#2827 (still thinking about planning on visualizing how to finish building)