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LEZ vs Lancair320/360 vs Glasair RT


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Hello Canardians, thought I'd stir things up a little:


Interested in comments on purchase of LEZ vs. other types of exp (Lancair, Glasair) for light IFR for personal transport. Fly about 250 hrs/annual for business currently. I have been thinking about selling my Mooney for a year or so. I have a large family and access to six seat aircraft so 3rd and 4th seats of the Moooney are not a big loss. so far I have the following:



- $40-60k for a nice one

- simplest of the three (lowest op cost)

- best midwest support (EZ Hangar, EAA32)

- 165-170 ktas

- best type club comraderie (rough river et al)

- unusual planform (interesting)

- tandem seating good for form

- light icing might fall into prop

- high landing speeds, 3000' strip or greater



- higher purchase price $80-120K

- retract/controllable prop, retract gear = >$

- side by side (good for wife, pax)

- 180-240 kias? depending on motor

- better panel for panel candy

- look out for small tail 320/360s neg static stable in ldg config

- questionable support on Glasair?



- 155 ktas

- very stable, easy to fly partial panel

- big panel with a/p, wx900, gps, etc etc

- manual gear

- 4 seats

- smooth airstrips down to 1500'

- metal roll cage, good off-field landing history


I am especially interested in comments on builder/owner support and flying qualities on the Glasair/Lancair compared to the LEZ/Cozy. My dad's neighbor built a Glasair in the 80s and flying it with him was a little bit of a disappointment esp considering the time and effort (pitch too light, roll too heavy, not fast as advertised).


If I got a LEZ, the plan would be to build a 2nd one at my leisure to better understand the craft (and because I like building things)


Thanks in advance for comments


Bob Miller

St.Louis, MO:)

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I appreciate your loyalty to the type; just wondering what were the key features that drove you building a COZ/LEZ. Say perhaps it was the price of a plans built kit. If that was not the issue, would you still be building a COZ? Or put another way, something you can post publicly, "top 10 reasons to buy/build a COZ rather than a Lancair/Glasair". I have read the CAFE reports, etc. To stir the pot, I'll try to do a pro-Lancair list:


1. Faster

2. Designed around 6-cyl

3. Possible CS prop allows better util of turbo

4. bigger (wider/taller) cabin?

5. slower landing speed?

6. more preengineered parts

7. side by side seating (Coz also has)

8. higher resale


Again, please forgive my being a devil's advocate here. My top choice at this point is the canard a/c. Also my admiration for the builders....Private replies welcome, make obvious changes to e-mail address.


thanks, Bob



<<Cough... COZY! Cough...>>

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Well, where do we start? There are a lot of parameters that go into this. Mine are:


1. I am large - 6'3", 240#, longish torso

2. Performance is a curcial consideration with me

3. I am retired on a fixed income - which is to say that I do not have more money than I am able to spend wisely (well, maybe just a LITTLE bit ... short wisdom rather than long money ...):)

4. I own a Long-EZ and a Velocity (cause for (3))

5. With the experience I gained flying the Velocity and EZ, I am building a Cozy


I "tried on" a couple of Lancairs (-320, -360) and found I didn't fit well. I wouldn't buy a -IV-P - on principle - even if I won the lottery. As to performance, I don't know that the L-320s and L-360s perform all that much Better than Long-EZ or Cozy.


I found that the early Glasairs were too small as well, and the later ones unaffordable. Again, with equivalent engines, they don't seem to perform a lot better than Cozy or EZ.


I bought the Long-EZ to have something to play with while I built the Cozy. I loved it. Wife hated it.


Bought an (older, FG) Velocity when wife saw the gull wing doors while trying to figure out how to piss away my inheritance:) She LOVES it. I don't.


My feelings, based on my experience so far:

A. The EZ is fun to fly. Those with O-320 perform well. GIB is dead weight cargo (a SERIOUS negative IMO). Not suitable for IFR.

B. I can make the Cozy fit me comfortably. Bigger cockpit is not difficult to do.

C. Affordability has become a crucial issue for me. Cozy, on account of being plans built, is MUCH more affordable than the kit planes, particularly with auto conversion options. A $2000 engine that can be rebuilt for $600 is a GOOD thing. Cruising at over 180 kts at under 10 gph is a GOOD thing.

D. Kits save 30% or 40% of time building airframe, but airframe is only about 30% or 40% of project, so overall saving is only 10% - 15%. Not cost effective IMO.

E. Cozy flies a lot more like EZ. My Velocity is like driving a motor home (The ones with big engines may not be so bad).

F. O-360 Cozy performs pretty much like O-320 EZ.

G. Cozy/EZ can be customized. I intend to have retractable main gear (another 15 kts, etc).


With kits, you can only "customize" the engine and upholstery (and engine is sometimes difficult). Lacair cowl is packed pretty tight with design engine - difficult to upgrade. Glasair has more room under cowl. Velocity you can put ANYTHING in (as has already been done).


And then, of course, there are the "intangibles" ....

...Destiny's Plaything...

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Thanks Jim. Since we have some thoughts in common can we focus on LEZ versus COZY? It seems most of that comes down to whether the spouse is comfortable flying in the backseat?


<<Wife hated it.>>


<<Not suitable for IFR>> Because of lack of room and lack of support by GIB?. Or are there other reasons? Why - most of my XC is IFR


<<Cruising at over 180 kts at under 10 gph is a GOOD thing.>> 180 ktas on Fixed prop, 66% fixed gear, no flaps, 4-banger normally aspirated engine - amen


Thanks again,

Bob Miller

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<... Because of lack of room and lack of support by GIB?. Or are there other reasons? ...>


Yes, yes, yes


<... Why - most of my XC is IFR ...>


Just on principle, I believe hard IFR in a SE GA airplane is a bad idea and will get me into a whole lot more trouble than it gets me out of. Even if I wanted to, I would never have enough opportunity to get the actual instrument time it takes to stay as sharp as I feel I need to be. I'm OK punching up through overcast, flying VFR on top or in and out or between layers, and shooting an approach at destination If I really need to get there ... and there are NO fronts or squall lines or ice ANYWHERE NEAR my route.


Side by side has lots of panel space and allows wife unit to help with radios and maps and all and enjoy the scenery. Also has lots more storage. In an EZ you don't have the panel space and you've got the entire workload. And there's not nearly enough storage for the stuff I need for X-C of more than one leg. Rooting through all that crap trying to find an intersection or frequency or approach plate and still fly and navigate is begging for trouble. I tried it and I didn't like it AT ALL.


As for performance, I don't think there's all that much difference in performance between an O-320 Long-EZ and an O-360 Cozy IV. Certainly not enough to give up all the benefits described above. If you're still considering an EZ for a lot (200-300 hrs/yr), strap your wife in the back seat of one for 4 or 5 hours before you commit to anything.


But that's just me .... YMMV .... Jim S.

...Destiny's Plaything...

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The Long and Cozy are fine in IFR. This doesn’t mean it's fun, or safe, or smart. But there as good as any and better than most. There is a weather related government agency that uses a slightly modified LEZ for weather research. Of course you have hard icing issues, but they reported ice was not a big deal. Can’t find the address. Had all the specs and the POH on line, and some pireps. Perhaps someone else will have it handy.


To go through your list.


...pro-Lancair list:

1. Faster

Cozy is faster or as fast.


EDIT: The above is incorrect. Retraction posted below.


2. Designed around 6-cyl

Your Point? dust is putting a 6 in his COZY.


3. Possible CS prop allows better util of turbo

Cs on Cozy. Tie


4. bigger (wider/taller) cabin?

Can do on the COZY, if you want/need. Tie


5. slower landing speed?

Doubt it.


6. more preengineered parts

All the COZY parts are "preengineered".


7. side by side seating (Coz also has)

Tie. Side by side is a lot more fun for the GIB. Handy to have a second set of everything (i.e. hands, eyes, brains etc.) to do stuff if needed.


8. higher resale

I have no data on this.


You can build a cozy for 35-50K in the same time or less than anything else (sometimes much less) mentioned. Performance will be as good or better. There is a HUGE body of people to ( help/critique/show etc.) you do whatever you (imagine/worry/dream/want etc.) with a COZY/LEZ. and you will.

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I agree with Jim and Largeprime,

With identical engine/prop the Cozy will equal or better the performance of the others, even to the point where it might beat an IVP, but no ones built one with a TIO 540 yet.

In the EZ Cozy IFR battle, both are equaly capable, but the side by side Cozy must win hands down over the EZ for operation of an IFR panel, especialy two crew.


The Coconut King

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Originally posted by No4

With identical engine/prop the Cozy will equal or better the performance of the others, even to the point where it might beat an IVP, but no ones built one with a TIO 540 yet.





if you really believe that. I was torched by Lancair 320's and 360's (even the slow ones) and in MY class was torched by two Glasair TD's and a Glasair II. I was truing out at about 212 mph (right, Wayne?) so I could have been a BIT faster, but even 220 mph TAS wouldn't have put me in any of those plane's leagues.


With respect to the Lancair IVP, I can't even imagine why that plane is mentioned in the same sentence as the COZY MKIV. Bob Wolstenholme's first leg was 112 mph faster than mine, and even with a 350 HP Continental, I'm not going that fast. These are very different planes with very different missions and capabilities.


You want to get an idea of what a COZY with a 540 might do, look at Charlie Bracken's #'s for his berkut, and then subtract 20 mph.


Remember, all these speeds are GS and we had a headwind most of the way. Look at the relative times/speeds, not the absolute #'s (plus, they calculated the average speeds incorrectly. The times are right, and the leg speeds are right, but the total average speed is wrong).

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Thanks very much for the input.


I should clarify a few things, 90% of my IFR is over the forgiving Midwest, I don't plan IFR out over the rocks or cold water. The other thing is that with 4 kids, it would be really "Cozy" for my whole family (and we are in the process of getting a dog). So we are really looking at a bigger plane (partnership) for family and frankly for business I doubt many of my colleagues will want to get in something that looks like a surfboard.


I didn't realize that there were many Cozies that had more than a Lyc 4-banger, although that would actually be my preference. I have a hangar neighbor who will be selling a IVP (it is gorgeous) but I don't have the means to maintain something like that. Thus the IVP is not really even in my long range plan unless we are talking lottery, etc.


For me, a little pocket rocket for the 60% of biz trips that are solo would be nice. I would imagine that the IFR chart management in a LEZ is pretty analagous to what we did in the TA-4J in the Navy. I temper my wx minimums with the type of environment we are in, here in the midwest it's pretty much fire it up and go direct, farms and large lots are available for the forced landing.


<<weather related government agency that uses a slightly modified LEZ for weather research>> Isn't that the LEZ that went down when the pilot had a stroke?


Again, I have a lot of respect for you guys who make time to build. For me work, 4-kids, grad school at night, is plenty. I went down to the airport yesterday to put my oil cooler blocker plate on the Mooney for the winter but never even got to it, after I flew the I was out of time for the day. I was lucky enough to air up the tires and sweep the hangar.




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Watching the Lancair's do their flyby presentation at Airventure 2003 (Look John, I didn't call it Oshkosh this time!!!) was a sight to behold. Especially at the end where that IV turbine gliding by ripping through the air like silk. Composite? 4 Place? Kit? I had to check it out... $495,000. Okay, I made the right choice. I can't justify spending that much on something I may use 150 hours a year.


Greg Richter is putting a jet engine in his Cozy... I wonder what that sucker will do. :D

This ain't rocket surgery!

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<... I would imagine that the IFR chart management in a LEZ is pretty analagous to what we did in the TA-4J in the Navy ...>


I spent a lot of time in scooters too (-Cs and -Es). My Long-EZ is NOTHING like that. In the tinker toy, I went all over the country with a High Altitude chart, an approach plate book and a knee board (the other Hi- chart and (3) approach books and one airport directory were stashed waaaay back on the console). The worst case scenario for one leg (maybe 1200 mi or so) was both Hi-charts and two approach books (one of each out of harm's way on the glare shield with my apple). Ahhhh! Them was the days :) :)


In the EZ I need as many as 4 or 5 sectionals, a foot square x inch thick book of IFR charts (that I defy ANYONE to get from where the route leaves one page to where it enters some other page - and still fly the airplane - much less navigate and negotiate with center), a couple of airport directories, an approach plate book for every state I overfly, an E-6, etc. etc. It's hideous. I might try it if I had a BMA EFIS so I didn't need any paper at all, but side by side crew is much better better all the way around.


<... Greg Richter is putting a jet engine in his Cozy ... I wonder what that sucker will do ...>


One thing I would guess it WON'T do is fly from Kitty Hawk to Dayton in one leg :)

Remember the F-104? Went like stink ... for maybe 6 or 7 minutes ... :)

...Destiny's Plaything...

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In my canard exploration I stopped by the EZH last fall on a biz trip. Talking to Rob, my understanding was that the missions of the jets were recreational, not for serious travel. I think they said the idea was they would be a lot more expensive than an L-39 (300K?) but much cheaper to operate. Although I was concerned about how overpowered they would be I was impressed with the thought he had put into safety features like throttle horns (a la AB stop in a mil a/c) to help the operator from getting too fast. I think it was designed so the plane would not go faster than about 200 indicated - level - without going around the 2nd horn


<<Greg Richter is putting a jet engine in his Cozy>>


Bob Miller

St Louis, MO

...looking at EZ's

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