QuikR … Excellent Trainer or Cross Country Thoroughbred?
After flying and training in most of the Trikes available in Australia today, I have come to one conclusion, and my students vote with their feet. I have more students wanting to fly the QuikR than any other type of aircraft I have owned or trained in.
So why is the QuikR so popular with the students? It’s very simple, the QuikR is a nice looking aircraft and it has a safety record second to none…, not to mention that the QuikR is very easy to fly with the STARS (Stability Trim And Roll System) taking the hard work out of flying. However, in saying that the QuikR is easy to fly, you still need to do the hard yards with the training if you have never flown before.
The QuikR is more like a standard three axis aircraft to fly, rather than a Trike. Students adapt more quickly to flying the QuikR, due to its speed, range, and stability, especially in the circuit and landing phases. My students often tend to solo quicker and also move through the training syllabus easier, due to the flight parameters of the QuikR. The cockpit is just what you need for a training aircraft. Easy to see instruments in the angled panel is just right. On top of the instrument panel is the perfect space to put your charts, or gloves, or just anything you need to store for use in flight.
So how good is the QuikR for the instructor? Sitting in the rear seat for hours on end is the hardest part for any instructor, and I have really only had two aircraft that have made it easy for me as an instructor. They are the Tanarg and the QuikR. The QuikR is very easy for the instructor to reach the cutoff switches, electric trim, hand throttle, and choke. The training bars are also in just the right position for the instructor. The windscreen design is also perfect as it minimises the wind on the instructor in the rear.
So for me, as the aircraft owner, how does the QuikR stand up to the hard work of being a training aircraft? Of all the Trikes I have used as training aircraft, the QuikR has got to be the most cost effective of all. For one, after flying over four hundred hours and over 700 landings, the tyres still look like new. The QuikR has not had any of the problems that I have had with any of the other aircraft I have ever owned, and used, as training aircraft. The QuikR is also one of the easiest aircraft to work on and maintain. Some of the trainers we have used have had rear tyers wear out within fifty hours, and others have had brake problems, which have not only been expensive to repair but also time consuming to repair. This means the aircraft is off line while all of this has to happen. This really makes the QuikR a truely economic training aircraft.
So how is the QuikR as a cross country aircraft? The QuikR has a speed range to make it not only a great training aircraft but it also makes a fantastic cross country aircraft as well. The QuikR can fly along at a cruise speed of 70 to 80 knots all day. So you can really go places, and fast. It is not uncommon for me to fly a navigation flight at 90kts. It’s quite funny when we pass a Cessna, … (yes, we do get the comments after landing from the other pilots). For students doing their navigation training it is also very cost effective. The student can fly a longer flight and get to more aerodromes for circuits on different types of runways as well as flyover more different types of terrain. The student can plan a real navigation flight and know that they can make it back on a tank of fuel, instead of just doing a small flight around the local area and calling it a navigation flight. It’s not unusual for our students to plan a flight covering three or four different aerodromes and flying over 150 nautical miles. The weather is also less of a problem due to the speed and stability of the QuikR.
At the end of the day, most of our students have made their decision to only fly the QuikR. For Anne and I at Yarrawonga Flight Training, it’s not just a great aircraft to fly in general, it’s a cost effective training aircraft as well.