Burt Rutan’s name has become synonymous with innovative, unconventional aircraft designs built with efficiency and safety in mind. Types like the Varieze, Varviggen, and the Voyager all shared a common platform utilizing a canard or small wing ahead of the main wing. Wanting the promote safety, the principal behind the canard was the forward smaller wing would stall before the larger rear wing protecting the pilot from loss of control during the critical takeoff and landing phases of flight. The construction of these designs incorporated a composite structure of a foam core wrapped in fiberglass. This structure was not only strong but it was very aerodynamically clean. These designs could attain cruise speeds faster than most production designs with a fraction of the horsepower. That brings us to the subject of this review. The Quickie was built around an 18 hp Onan engine. Rutan along with Tom Jewett and Gene Sheenan wanted to build a low cost, low power single seat design. With a wingspan of 16 ft 8 in and length of 17 ft 4 in, the Quickie is tiny. Weighing in at 245 lb empty and 485 lb loaded the Quickie easily qualifies for the Light Sport Aircraft category. For efficiency, how about 115 mph cruise and a max speed of 126 mph on 18 hp!
Brengun has really done a great job on this kit. This is a full resin kit with photoetch details and a vacuform canopy. A small instruction sheet and tiny decal sheet are also included. There is not much at first glance but what’s there builds into a really cool little model. Did I say little? The full size aircraft is small making this 1/72 version tiny. If you have old eyes like I do, you will need some magnification to build this one. Most impressive is the photoetch instrument panel with a clear backing that mounts on a resin piece to duplicate the instrument cases. There is even a tiny magnetic compass done in photoetch. The seat comes complete with photoetch cushion and belts. Probably the hardest part of this build is carefully sizing the vacuformed canopy part to the cockpit opening. You need to take your time with it since you only get one shot at it. The colors are basic, grey, blue, black, wood, silver and overall white. The decals have a lot carrier film so trim them close.
This is an awesome little kit of a really interesting subject you will get nowhere else. If you’ve never worked with photoetch or vacuform, this might not be for you given the size of the parts. I had the opportunity to a Long Eze build when I was a teenager (Be nice if Brengun kitted that) and this project brought me back in time. I can almost still smell the fiberglass resin.
Thank You Brengun for doing this Rutan design justice and to IPMS for sending it my way.