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How many Cozy IVs are flying and are they safe?


nmunn
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I have read several stats, but none of them are consistent on the number of Cozy IVs are in the air. Anyone know the real number of active birds?

 

Also, I am starting to get concerned about the safety of the design. I started out looking at the Cozy for its canard design and ease of construction. But if it is not going to be safe, then I will look elsewhere.

 

I have read about the CG issues and how ‘delicate’ the design is related to CG. I have also read about the accelerated stall issues.

 

I am not a high time pilot and have no interest in a design that puts you in harms way. Is this bird for a more experienced pilot? Should I buy a Cherokee and get a few hundred hours under my belt?

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Wow. I can't speak to the number of Cozys flying as I'm building a Velocity (and the factory doesn't even track their own numbers), so I'll leave that for others.

 

As for safety, all of the canard designs are safe in a general sense, and probably more safe than a lot of "conventional' aircraft in one sense. However, if you consider other factors, there are some watchouts too. Let me try to explain.

 

The canard design is very safe from the standpoint of the most common accident type, the stall/spin. On any demo flight, the pilot will most likely show you how the canard stalls well before the main wing, and it's self-correcting. The nose will drop, the aircraft will accelerate, and the canard will begin flying again. Note that while the canard is stalled, the rudders and alierons are still effective, and the aircraft is completely stable. In my flight we slowed down, pulled the stick full aft, and did turns and the like with the canard stalled, but the coolest part was pushing the throttle in and getting 1,000 fpm climb rate with the canard stalled, demonstrating that even on approach, if you get the power on, the plane will go up, even if you don't release back pressure (which, obviously, you should).

 

Now, having said that, these planes don't have flaps, so the landing speeds are a bit faster and the approach angles are more shallow, and you fly them to the runway - you don't stall them onto the pavement. From that standpoint, I think you will want to build some hours in faster planes, and get some quality transition training to make sure your're ready to fly your new canard. Also, most experimental aircraft are more sensitive to W&B than, say, a Cessna. That's not really "dangerous" per se, at least to me, because you should do a W&B before any flight, and any plane improperly loaded is going to be a handful. Also, experimentals tend to respond to the controls more quickly, which is a good thing, but again you're going to want to make sure you're up to it.

 

So, take away from it what you will, I think that's pretty balanced information. I think these planes are very safe, but I do plan to do a lot of transition work myself to make sure *I'm* safe before I fly her. I think you have to decide for yourself what you think you're ready to fly, but if you get a ride in one (maybe at Rough River?), I think it'll set your mind at ease.

 

Brett

---

Brett Ferrell

Velocity XL/FG

Cincinnati, OH

http://www.velocityxl.com

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I have read several stats, but none of them are consistent on the number of Cozy IVs are in the air. Anyone know the real number of active birds?

Its pretty hard to get an exact number of flying Cozys, but there are quit a few of them out there. Not as many as RVs.

 

One other thing to remember is a number of canard designs are based on Burt Rutan's Vari/LongEZ designs. While they are different birds, they are somewhat alike for comparison purposes.

Also, I am starting to get concerned about the safety of the design. I started out looking at the Cozy for its canard design and ease of construction. But if it is not going to be safe, then I will look elsewhere.

The nice thing about these planes are that the plans have been around for over decade. The Cozy is a popular canard aircraft and many of the bugs have been worked out. Be aware that there has not been an inflight structural failure of a properly built aircraft. The design is forgiving of some errors, but if you build it bad enough then you can break it.

 

There are Cozys with thousands of flight hours. It speaks well of the design.

I have read about the CG issues and how ‘delicate’ the design is related to CG. I have also read about the accelerated stall issues.

Flying any a/c outside of CG range invites problems or death. I don't think the Cozy is any more 'delicate' to CG than any other aircraft. What I do think makes pilots jumpy is the thought of being 'locked in' a stall condition. But if you think about it what happens to tractor a/c at aft CG? Is that condition any less deadly? I think not.

 

Marc Zeitlen may chime in here, but the Cozy is one of the few aircraft that has been tested in its CG range. The problems I have read about since the CG testing of several years ago, are of pilots who have been flying outside the CG range or never established the proper CG range of the aircraft in the first place.

 

I think one of the reasons you read about it, is that pilots transitioning from 172s or Warriors aren't usually adding ballast to keep these ships in trim. So this is a somewhat unusual thing for these pilots to do. How many pilots do you know that just jump in the airplane after doing the most cursory of preflights?

 

Another thing some pilots have done is acrobatic flight. This is a real no-no. The aircraft was built to be a cross country bullet. It does that job quite well. While the airframe is very strong, the aircraft is not designed for inverted flight and inverted flight can get you into some real trouble.

I am not a high time pilot and have no interest in a design that puts you in harms way. Is this bird for a more experienced pilot? Should I buy a Cherokee and get a few hundred hours under my belt?

I think the hours you build the better. How much time is required to be good Cozy pilot, I would not hazard a guess. I read that a number of pilots recommend getting some high speed approach time before flight testing. The Cozy lands a lot faster than a 150, 172, or Warrior.

 

The plane is certainly not for everybody. You may as well know it now, but you have to stay ahead of the plane. If you are flying along at 170+ knots you will be knocking off about 3 miles/minute. So that is about 1.5 minutes to cross the average airspace around a number of GA airports? Geeze that's cool! But that means you have to stay on your toes less you intrude into airspace that could land you in the evening news! But this is true of not just Cozys, but any other fast ship too.

 

Still remember this plane will take a few years to build. During that time you will get more exposure to the Cozy. You will also probably get some Cozy time as other pilots in the this kith will probably take pity upon you and help you learn to fly this beast well. All Cozy pilots want the Cozy safety record to continue.

Nathan Gifford

Tickfaw, LA USA

Cozy Mk IV Plans Set 1330

Better still --> Now at CH 9

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