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Quickie Aircraft Quickie


In 1974, Tom Jewett and Gene Sheehan began designing an airplane that would provide "more flying enjoyment for less money" than other homebuilt aircraft designs. Burt Rutan assisted Jewett and Sheehan in the design work and the first Quickie was finished, tested in flight, and ready for a public introduction by April 1978.

Developed around a heavy but durable modified industrial engine, the prototype was designed and built in less than three months and returns incredible performance figures for its minimal power: 201 kph (125 mph) cruise speed and 145 km (90 miles) on a single gallon of fuel. It has no tail surface, just a pair of sharply staggered wings with wheels set into the tips of the lower wing.

The original aircraft was awarded "Outstanding New Design" by the Experimental Aircraft Association in 1978. The aircraft is technically a canard design, however the nearly equal size of each wing makes it appear to be a biplane.

This revolutionary design incorporated state of the art materials, and proved to be highly efficient and forgiving. Sold in kit form for production by amateurs in 400 hours, the full kit (in 1977) cost only $6,395 (Cdn), about one-third the cost of a basic 2-seat factory production aircraft at the time. The Onan engine is a modified two cylinder, air-cooled industrial engine.

Basic to the Quickie’s economy is the 16-hp Onan flat, horizontally opposed, four-stroke engine commonly used to power lawn mowers and RV generators, modified to produce 22 hp. The wide canard of the Quickie carries the main landing wheels at each end, and a tiny tailwheel at the rear end is covered with a small rudder. Complete kits include engine, prefabricated cowling, canopy, all machined parts, all welded parts and some of the tools in an effort to limit building time for the inexperienced builder. Construction is from composite materials, and the cockpit is suitable for one pilot up to 210 pounds.

Price 1982:  $4,995 (excludes paint and battery). Units delivered  to June 1981: 550.


Engine Onan two-cylinder, 22-hp
MTOW: 820 lb
Empty Wt: 240 lb (109 kg)
Fuel cap: 8 USG
Wingspan 16’8”
Length 17 ft 4 in (5.3 m)
Wing area: 55 sq.ft
Height 4 ft 6 in (1.4 m)
Top speed: 140mph
Cruise: 130 mph (210 km/h)
Stall: 52mph
Climb rate 550 fpm
Ceiling: 14,800 ft
Takeoff run: 660 ft
Land-ing roll: 838 ft
Range 525 miles
Seats: 1


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