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  1. #1
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    Howard Engineering - Kwik Fli III – Build

    In February 1968 Model Airplane News published Phil Kraft’s article about his award winning Kwik Fli III design. The design was quickly released as a Top Flite kit and was very, very popular. In fact, even today, when a Top Flite kit is listed on ebay they still generate a lot of interest and aggressive bidding.

    Shortly after the publication of the design a small kit manufacture in Seattle, Washington, Howard Engineering, started production of a fiberglass and foam wing version of the famous Kwik Fli III. The Howard Engineering version has a tapered wing and some modifications to the aileron configuration, thrust line and the stab placement. I purchased one of the kits in the early 70s, built it and really enjoyed its flight characteristics. The kit was very well done with impressive fiberglass work and well thought out design elements.

    My Kwik Fli was powered with then the hot engine of the day, a Webra Black Head and had CAS retracts activated with a Sonic pneumatic system. The radio was the requisite Kraft 6 channel. See images below. The color photo was taken at the 1973 Northwest Symposium showing my orange Kwik Fli and a yellow Kwik-OS. The Kwik-OS is a Kwik Fli with a Kaos wing. The black and white photos of me and the Kwik Fli circa 1973 .

    To be continued..
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  2. #2
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    I liked the Kwik Fli so much I decided to build a second kit in 1974. After I completed the building of the kit but before painting it I got sidetracked with helicopters and ended up trading it to a friend in the mid 70s. I thought of the Kwik Fli occasionally and was recently contacted by my friend and he offered to give me the Kwik Fli back because after all these years he had not completed he paint work. What a wonderful gift from a great friend! He boxed up the aircraft and shipped it via UPS. Unfortunately UPS decided to do some heavy stress testing on the box and crushed it badly. See damage photos below.

    To be continued..
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  3. #3
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    Needless to say I was pretty disappointed but I decided that I would repair the fuselage and build a new wing and tail feathers. I’ll be posting detailed info and images of the fuselage repair and the building of the kit. I am well along with the build but it will take a few days to post all the progress photos and information. Meanwhile you can find more information about the kit on the SPA site at http://www.seniorpattern.com/ and the approved SPA aircraft list at http://www.seniorpattern.com/planes.asp

    I’ve added an image below so you can see how it looks as of today.

    To be continued..
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  4. #4
    8178's Avatar
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    Some images of the fuselage before starting the repair.

    To be continued..
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  5. #5
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    It was setup for Kraft KPS11 servos but I can fix that! Check out the 30 year old black fuel lines.

    To be continued..
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  6. #6
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    Hi

    I always thought that the Kwik Fli was the best looking model ever made. It just looks like a model airplane should look like.

    I have a Top Flite kit in the attic waiting for me to build it. I will probably put an OS 60FSR in it but maybe I will pull my Supertiger 60 off my Headmaster and use it. The Supertiger is a 60's vintage steelcase with a Perry carb. Runs great.

    I also have a real Berkeley Astro Hog up there (eat your heart out) but, as they say in Josie Wales, it's for looking at not building. Have a Top Flight kit for building.

    Nice to reminisce.
    Hank
    AMA 62359
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  7. #7
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    The fuselage was damaged pretty badly, but I decided it would be easer to repair it than buy a new one. The first step was to re-glue the bottom balsa part of the fuselage back on to the fuselage with epoxy. Next I cut part of the balsa bottom away on one side to gain access to the side of the fuselage to repair the stringer that is under the balsa bottom. I made a new stringer, glued it in place and then pulled the fuselage side down and glued it in place on the stringer.

    To be continued..
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  8. #8
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    Next I used spots of CA to glue 1/8” square strips of bass wood on the outside of the fuselage. The idea is to get the broken parts of fiberglass to line back up to the original shape. I pushed the glass pieces outward from inside to fuselage to get them to line up on the hardwood strips. You can see in the angle image that they lined up pretty well but not perfectly.



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  9. #9
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    You could see in the last images that I had to remove the canopy because the fiberglass fillet holding it on the fuselage was damaged. More work to do! I will cover the canopy re-install later.

    To be continued..
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  10. #10
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    The next step was to cut the fiber glass patch to go inside the fuselage. I used some 80 grit on the inside of the fuselage to ruff up the area before putting the cloth in place. This fuselage is made from polyester resin (my preferred fiberglass) so I mixed up some resin and brushed in on the cloth keeping it as dry (light resin) as possible. In these images you can see the trial fitting of the cloth on the outside of the fuse but it is glassed to the inside of the fuse.

    To be continued..
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  11. #11
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    View of the fuselage showing the cloth and resin on the inside. I glued the piece I cutout on the bottom back on while the wood strips were still on the fuse. After the resin setup over night I removed the wood strips from the fuse. The last image shows how the parts lined up and you can see the CA spots on the fuse.


    To be continued..
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  12. #12
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    The next step was to sand the outside of the fuselage along the cracks with 50 grit to make a tapered low area along the cracks about 2” wide so glass could be applied to the outside of the fuse. You do not want to sand all the way through the glass but sand enough to make space for the new glass.

    To be continued..
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  13. #13
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    After the glass setup overnight the fun part started. I used a sanding block that was about 1.5 feet long and 50 grit paper to sand down the glass cloth on the outside. The long block is important because you want the new glass to blend into the overall shape of the fuselage. Change out to finer grit as you work the glass down. This is a messy job that I usually do out in the backyard. Take your time and keep working it smooth. Using you hand and feeling along the sanded area works better for getting it smooth than looking at it by eye. In the last image you can see that I added one coat of just resin after sanding it smooth. After the new resin setup I sanded it down smooth.

    To be continued..
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  14. #14
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    After the fuselage was repaired I cut out a new horizontal and vertical stabs and control surfaces. I used a combination of light balsa sheet widths to make up the parts and butt joined them together.

    To be continued..
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  15. #15
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    I like to glue bass wood on the trailing edges of the elevators and rudders so they will keep a sharp edge when they are shaped.

    To be continued..
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  16. #16
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    The damaged wing had brand new never used 30 year old Rom-Air retracts and I decided to install them in the new wing. Trike gear for sure always! I made a new gear mount and located the gear position on foam core for fitment. Note the cool 30 year old chrome Du-Bro wheels!

    To be continued..
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  17. #17
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    II cut the mount hole out of the foam with a shaped hot wire on a soldering gun. View of the Kwik Fli with just the foam core in place checking the ground stance.

    To be continued..
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  18. #18
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    After making sure the gear length was correct I cut out the wheel well and a path way for the air lines. I like to glue in a piece of balsa to cover the slot. After the wheel well is ruff cut with the hot wire I sand the foam with sand paper glued to a spray can top to finish.

    To be continued..
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  19. #19
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    I decided that I would use ailerons that are cut out of the foam wing like I had done on the original so I had to add a small balsa strip to the trailing edge of the wing. I also wanted to use the original aileron linkage that I had removed from the damaged wing. The balsa piece was glued to the foam and then shaped and sanded to continue the wing to a sharp edge.

    To be continued..
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  20. #20
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    I didn’t take any photos of the wing covering process. After the trailing edge was completed I sanded the foam lightly with my long sanding block to smooth the surface in preparation for Dave Brown’s Sorghum contact glue. I did the usual butt joining of the 1/16 wing skins, etc. After the wing skins were glued on with the Sorghum I sanded the leading edge and glued on the leading edge ¼” balsa sheet and shaped the leading edge contour into the wing sheeting. Next I sanded the trailing edge and glued on 1/8” square bass wood strip. The wing was then sanded with my long sanding block to shape the bass wood to the wing contour and a nice sharp edge. 2” wide wing tips were cut from light balsa blocks.

    To be continued..
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  21. #21
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    This is a modification to the standard kit but it’s the way I like to do ailerons. First the aileron linkage is made from heavy 1/8” spring steel. There is a brass tube around the wire inside the wing for a bearing. I wanted the ailerons to be 1.5” wide. The wing marked for the width of the aileron plus 1/16”. I use a 3’ long straight edge and an X-acto to cut of the trailing edge of the wing. Do one wing at a time so the parts do not get mixed up. The back of the wing is sanded smooth and a 1/16” sheet of balsa is glued to wing and sanded to the wing contour. The aileron is cut off the trailing edge piece. The remaining piece becomes the part that goes over the linkage. This piece must have 1/16” cut off of the front part and the foam hollowed out for the linkage. The brass bearing of the linkage is glued to the back of the wing with epoxy and then the trailing edge is glued back on the wing. Next the leading edge of the aileron is cut off ¼” plus a little more for the hinge line. A ¼” balsa strip is glued to the front of the aileron. The aileron is trimmed for 1/16” end caps and an end cap added to the end of the center section. Sounds complicated but it’s pretty simple after you work through the process. The aileron is very light but very ridged. See the attached images for detail.

    To be continued..
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  22. #22
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    More aileron images. I remove the foam and insert a length of balsa in the area where the aileron rod enters the aileron I use standard Du-Bro hinges on all control surfaces.

    Hope there are some SPA members on this forum!

    To be continued..

  23. #23
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    I use a table saw to cut the dihedral in the wings because it makes a very smooth cut on the end of the wing. The wing is setup with the equivalent of 1” under each wing tip. Because the wing is close to an equal taper this setting makes the top of the wing almost flat. I glued the wing together with epoxy and held it together with masking tape. The front of the wing must have a small notch to clear the nose wheel. After completing the notch the wing was glassed with glass cloth and epoxy.

    To be continued..
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  24. #24
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    Some images of the old damaged wing with the new wing. I made the ailerons slightly narrower on the new wing, from 2" down to 1 1/2". I also moved the retracts outboard to make the gear position wider.

    To be continued..
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  25. #25
    8178's Avatar
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    RE: Howard Engineering - Qwik Fli III – Build

    View of the wing with the wing tips installed and shaping started. View of nose wheel.

    To be continued..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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