Aside from the social aspects, people generally come to Oshkosh for two reasons -- to see the airplanes and attend the workshops and forums. Bill Chomo's workshop area was a beehive of activity this year, as always. The Woodworking and Synthetics Workshops were standing room only as a result of the Wicks Aircraft participation. They brought materials and Jigs to build a KR-2 during the week and came darn close to getting a fuselage and tail surfaces completed. In addition, some real life field repair added to the interest. The Wicks KR-2 (March 1975 SPORT AVIATION cover) had been packed aboard the company's semi for transport to Oshkosh and during a panic stop on the way was jerked loose from its moorings, ripping the tailwheel right out of the fuselage. The KR-2 became the Woodworking Workshop's guinea pig and in a couple of days (and nights) of work, which included the splicing in of about 3 feet of aft lower longeron, the damage was repaired and the plane was flying again.
What can one expect to hear at a forum? The writer, like all the rest of you, was not able to attend all forums. The few I did manage to squeeze in seemed to be chosen more for reasons of the particular time they were scheduled rather than what they concerned or what I might have had preference for (although I would have enjoyed them all). At any rate, just as a sampling of the fare, let me share my notes taken at a couple of forums. First, Ken Rand's KR-1-2 session:
* Engines -- The bigger VW's (1834cc and up) burn 5 gallons per hour at full throttle on the KR prototypes, 4 gph at cruise.
* The firewall of the KR-1 needs a beef-up if the larger engines are used.
* Ken Rand prefers single ignition.
* Main gear legs -- If a KR-2 grosses over 800 pounds, Ken recommends moving the gear legs in one inch on the spring legs. This is also recommended if rough field operation is contemplated.
* Ken does not recommend other types of gear springs -- thinks the type shown in the plans is simplest and lightest possible.
* New castings (for the gear legs) have been developed. The castings are designed to fail before pitching the aircraft over on its back. Several gear legs have been broken but most have been repaired by the owners.
* New Wings -- Two KR-2s in California now have wet wings with a total fuel capacity of 70 gallons. The wet wings are actually stronger than the standard units because the sealing of the interior with resin to hold fuel constitutes internal bracing. Fuel vent for wet wings is on the bottom of the panel so as to be in a high pressure area.
* A rumored long wing has not yet been built, mainly due to the need for spoilers.
* Flight characteristics -- Ken feels spoilers would be desirable on both the KR-1 and KR-2. Best location would be on inboard section of wings. Spoilers have not yet been built because of the desired to keep the aircraft light and simple. Ken feels slipping the KRs is just as effective as spoilers on final approach ... and a lot cheaper.
* In the prototype KR-2 the best glide speed is 70 mph with one aboard. 85 with two. Glide ratio is about 15 to 1.
* Miscellaneous -- All control surfaces on the KRs should have 30° plus or minus deflection.
* 4130 hinges for the rudder and elevator would be a better choice than the aluminum hinges called out in KR plans. Hinges on the prototype KR-I had to be bushed after about 200 hours.
* About 150 KR-ls have flown and 15 KR-2s. There have been several crashes, almost all the result of engine failure.
* The aircraft radio project is dead. Too costly -- in time and money. Work already done has delayed KR-3.
* Air comes in the cabin from the wheel wells on the KR-2, so air vents have not been installed. (*!$% Southern Californians! Try that in Wisconsin in winter! -- Editor)
* Only about 5% of plans buyers have actually built an airplane.
* A KR newsletter is now being printed. Write Ernest Koppe, 6141 Choctaw, Westminster, California 92683.