Builder/design owner : Stan Montgomery
Type: four-seat canard pusher sportsplane
Powerplant: 1 x 200 hp 4-cylinder Lycoming IO-360-C1A piston engine
Significant date: 1997
Initially referred to as the Speed Queen SQ2000, the SQ2000 was a new design following the lines of the Velocity etc., but with more rounded fuselage lines. The SQ2000 was designed by Stan Montgomery, and the prototype (which had the undercarriage of an Infinity) made its first flight in 1997 under the power of one 200hp Lycoming IO-360-C1A engine. The basic SQ2000 could be completed as a 2-seater with as very large baggage compartment or as a 4-seater. Several examples had been completed and flown by 2005, including one by Mr. Paul Lee with one 200 hp Franklin 6A-350-C2 engine and one by Mr. David Kanson with one 200 hp Lycoming IO-360 engine. SQ2000 aircraft were observed with Velocity style undercarriage (retracting into the fuselage) and with a KLS-developed undercarriage, which had straight undercarriage members retracting inwards into the wings.
One particular SQ2000 was christened the Rotor-EZ by its builder, Paul Conner, who fitted one Mazda 13B rotary engine instead of the typical Lycoming, and a one-piece wooden propeller. The aircraft made its first flight on 11 December 2004, but was sadly lost in a fatal accident in May of the following year.
Several models were planned for amateur construction and available from Glassic Composites, LLC, which planned various models : the SQ2000 XP, similar to the SQ2000, but with lower empty weight and suited for 150-200hp engines such as one Lycoming O-320 or Lycoming O-360 series (one example seems to have been built but probably not completed); the SQ2001, a three-seater with a passenger in the rear of the cabin; and the SQ2002, a so called 2+2 version with children’s seats. Yet none of these variants was built, and when Glassic Composites ceased its activities and as of 1999, these were taken over by KLS Composites, a company formed by SQ2000 builders Messrs. Keith Register and Stan Montgomery.
What advantage is there to built an SQ2000 over its most similar competitor, the Velocity? Owner Joel Conard comments: "Well, it flew as well as, or better than the Velocity. It may not have been a fair comparison since I flew the Velocity 173, which is their big wing version with a lower wing loading, but the SQ2000 was much more sporty. With it's higher wing loading, plus the lack of flaps (like most low-end canard aircraft), it has a much higher landing speed as well, but I'm sure I can adjust to that without too much worry. Although the overall cabin height of the SQ2000 is about 1" less than the Velocity, I found I had more headroom since the seats are mounted lower. Since I'm 6'2", headroom was a prime concern. The SQ2000 is also a couple inches wider, which is nice. I also didn't really like the Velocity center stick. As the pilot sitting in the left seat, having a center control stick forces you to use your right hand to control the aircraft. To change radio or transponder settings, therefore, I would have to let go of the stick. Another big plus that swayed me to choose the SQ2000 was the lower construction time. The kit is much more complete than the Velocity since it uses molded wings and canards. The Velocity uses moldless construction which means I would be doing major fiberglass layups of the flying surfaces followed by countless hours of sanding and surface preparation. To top it all off, the SQ2000-XP kit cost the same as a Velocity 173 RG Elite kit.".
Despite these convincing arguments, despite its attractive lines and safe behavior, the SQ2000 is quite a rare variation on the Long-EZ concept, with less than a dozen aircraft either completed or in construction in 12 years, and only eight so far on the US civil register. One reason probably lies in Glassic's lack of credentials and the subsequent takeovers of the company's assets. Indeed, even KLS Composites itself was eventually succeeded in 2005 by Advanced Composite Design or ACD, with Mr. Stan Montgomery acting as chief designer. When choosing a kitbuilt airplane, the longevity and reputation of a company are most decisive factors. Besides, when an experienced pilot kills himself in a crash involving one of the very first frames, it certainly cannot add to an aircraft's power of attraction, even though the type's qualities do not seem to be put in question.
Population: approximately 9 completed
Specifications (typical) :
Additional specifications (Paul Lee's N416):
Many thanks to Walter van Tilborg for providing the basis for this article.