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The Perfect Long Ez


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I've just collected the required documents to build a LONG EZ and will begin building in Jan. '06. I would like to get input from builders that could save me time, money, and most importantly, increase the safety factor. This is an attempt to try and narrow down the process if possible without reading every thread about every subject. I know this will draw a lot of attention and controversy, but if you were starting over in '06 and were building the PERFECT LONG EZ, what would you do differently?

 

First things first - materials. I know Wicks has a Long EZ building material list and can furnish tried and true materials, but is this the best material for the job? Are there new foam materials, adhesives and fiberglass to use that will out perform this?

 

I understand the plans' building order should not be followed. One builder said to build the canopy before the strakes because it's difficult to work around the strakes. He also said you should keep the winglets off until the wings are about finished because they could get damaged flipping the main wing to work on each side.

 

I like the vacuum bag process, when should this be used?

 

Should carbon fiber material be used on the canard and elevator to reduce the possibility of flutter and increase VNE?

 

It's info like this that I am interested in.

 

I would value any input.

 

Thanks, Ed

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Ed, welcome -- I can practically feel your excitement through the Internet. I'll answer these questions as best I can, and hopefully leave you with some thoughts to consider.

 

...if you were starting over in '06 and were building the PERFECT LONG EZ, what would you do differently?

For one, be sure to get the Dritz electric scissors and Fein cutting tool. They will save you time and money (as well as negate the need to revisit your project at 3:00AM to be able to cut half-cured epoxy). Many EXPERT Long-EZ builders did not have the luxury of these tools.

 

First things first - materials. I know Wicks has a Long EZ building material list and can furnish tried and true materials, but is this the best material for the job?

Short answer, "Yes". Some experiment with some carbon or kevlar here and there, but generally not for wings or control surfaces (generally not at all for that matter). Sticking to the per-plans materials is good advice.

 

Are there new foam materials, adhesives and fiberglass to use that will out perform this?

There are new epoxy systems, notably the MGS 285/335 systems, that have become popular since the plans were published. There are a handful of epoxy choices, but the foam and fiberglass is the same.

 

You *could* use "new and improved" glass weaves, carbon, kevlar, etc., but you'll eventually ask yourself "why bother?" once you come to realize that the plane is a wonderful design as-is. You'll be modding dozens of small things.

 

I understand the plans' building order should not be followed.

That is ONLY someone's opinion, and based on a scenario that may or may not have worked specifically for them, and may or may not apply to you now. Get more opinions.

 

One builder said to build the canopy before the strakes because it's difficult to work around the strakes. He also said you should keep the winglets off until the wings are about finished because they could get damaged flipping the main wing to work on each side.

Opinions are good -- get as many as you can.

 

Speaking of Long-EZ related opinions, I suggest that you subscribe to the Central States Association newsletter as well as the Canard Aviators e-mail list. These are the best places to get opinions like mine, but better. Please do keep us in the loop here -- many of us are new and in similar shoes.

 

I like the vacuum bag process, when should this be used?

I used it for my bulkheads, and it's a handy tool that I hope to use wherever it makes sense. Keep in mind that it's optional for the moldless hand-layup techniques that Burt Rutan has given us.

 

Should carbon fiber material be used on the canard and elevator to reduce the possibility of flutter and increase VNE?

No. Using carbon will not address any issues relating to flutter, or will show flutter differently. I would NOT recommend changing ANY of the per-plans design for control surfaces.

 

Don't get me wrong, I have some carbon fiber and plan to use it, but only for non-critical parts. The procedure is a modular approach, so you'll definitely be able to revisit prior parts if you want to rework or fix something. I would only caution you not to fix something "to death", and seek out as many opinions as you can. Keep your ego locked in the closet, throw your crazy ideas on the table for feedback, and you'll do fine.

 

Congratulations on your milestone!

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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Ed,

 

Myself and my building partner are currently somewhere in the 'last 10%' of our LongEZ. Certainly ours won't be a perfect LongEZ, but we are striving to incorporate as many speed mods and performance improvements as possible. I haven't seen a complete list, I think you'll probably need to go through the CSA newsletters. We have been through most of them, but never made a list of mods.

 

Off the top of my head these are the things we are doing differently (note I don't say better, just our preference):

 

  • Eliminated fuel tank sump bumps under strake
  • Dual fuel tank vents (to prevent 'burping' when tanks are full)
  • Rear seat mounted sump tank
  • Jeffco epoxy inside of fuel tanks like Lancair
  • All antennas are internal including GPS
  • Electric speedbrake actuator
  • Wilhelmson electric nosegear
  • Aluminum instrument panel
  • IFR capable glass cockpit
  • Split front/rear canopies
  • Extended nose
  • IO-360 200HP
  • Downdraft cooling
  • Stand up front mounted brake master cylinders

Anyhow, if you want to follow along on our progress we recently began blogging it at http://www.briansplane.com

 

Keep us posted on your progress!

 

--Scott

--Scott

 

LongEZ #159

Finishing & Engine install

Blogged at: http://www.briansplane.com

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Scott, that's a great looking project and Web site! You should add the Web site URL to your profile and signature so others can find it by your name. A lot of mods you're doing are appropriate for Cozys as well, and I'll be sure to visit as I move forward myself.

 

I've been thinking to do an aluminum IP as well, or at least a removable setup.

 

Keep up the good work (and blogging!)

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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Jon and Scott,

 

Thank you for the info gentlemen, I value your advise. I've made changes in my building plans.

 

I will:

 

Eliminate fuel tank sump bumps under the strakes

Install dual fuel tank vents (to prevent 'burping' when tanks are full)

Install a rear seat mounted sump tank

Jeffco epoxy inside of fuel tanks like Lancair

Install internal antennas including GPS

Install an electric speedbrake actuator

Install a Wilhelmson electric nosegear with 90 MPH sensor

Extend the nose (Dave Lind style)

Install downdraft cooling

Install a stand up front mounted brake master cylinders

Install a larger canopy

 

Jon, I've sent off my CSA membership last week, joined the Canard Aviators email list and I will purchase the tools you have mentioned. I also intend to use the GMS 200 epoxy system to hold things together.

 

Thanks again,

 

Ed

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You're well on your way. Be sure to pace yourself -- your 'punch list' entails a couple years of work. ;)

 

I also intend to use the GMS 200 epoxy system to hold things together.

I've never heard of that system, and before you choose an off-the-beaten-path epoxy system, you should run it by the community. Are you sure this is the name of the system?

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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Ah, MGS, many of us new builders are using that system. I'm using MGS 285 as well.

 

There's no reason you cannot use another system, or multiple systems provided that the mechanicals of each system are suitable (match/exceed the qualities of the epoxies that were originally recommended).

 

In addition to MGS' specifications, I like it because it has no smell. All epoxies are nasty with prolonged skin contact, so take care not to get any on you. Some go so far as to wear vapor masks...

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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Thanks for the advise Jon. I'll make sure to read the MSDS and wear appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when I work with it. I just want superior adhesion.

 

I've been reading the plans and can't wait to get started in Jan. I need to review the CSA newsletters and CP's to ensure I'm up to date.

 

Ed :cool:

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There's also some good information for Long-EZ builders at the Cozy Builders Web site: http://www.cozybuilders.org/ref_info

 

If you haven't found this site, it's another source of good info: http://www.ez.org/

 

Don't forget to leave time for setting up shop -- something I very much underestimated.

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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Ed,

 

Do you have any idea of how you want to power your LongEZ? Another thing I would like to do is to install retractable main gear. I know that retractable gear is convtroversial, but I personally like the idea of being able to retract the main gear in the event of an emergency off field landing. Doing so significantly lowers the CG of the plane on the ground since it is sliding on it's belly.

 

I would also incorporate a better roll over protection structure than what we currently have in our plane. In the future I expect that we will definetly put in a steel roll over structure, and retracts are a possibility eventually as well. At www.ez.org under the 'older news' section you will find a link to this story: http://www.ez.org/hanson/N220EZ.htm This person survived a roll over and is selling a roll bar. There are some retractable gear available, check out www.iflyez.com for a link to someone who is currently installing some.

--Scott

 

LongEZ #159

Finishing & Engine install

Blogged at: http://www.briansplane.com

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Oh, Swin beat me to the punch, but I would definately have to emphasize to add a steel rollover structure.

 

Also, the vaccum bag technique can be very effectively applied to elevators and (I would presume) ailerons. Nick Ugolini has done this and you can check out his site...http://www.canardzone.com/members/nickugolini/

 

I've been studying the LongEz for a long time and would love to build one. Personally, one mod I would make is to make it a bid wider, say 6 inches wider. I'm 5'9", trim, and 175 pounds, but the extra 3 inches on each side would allow a wider panel, reduce the slight claustrophobic feeling (especially in the winter with coats), and make map folding easier ;-). Building will have to wait for later. In the meanwhile I'll have to buy a completed bird.

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Ditto on the 6" wider. The extra panel space is envious as is the extra room.

The back seater is even more cramped.

 

With an electric front gear, there would be room to angle the fuel valve to make it reachable. Now with the seat belts tight, you have to have gorilla arms to reach down between your legs.

 

I love my Long, but am due to retire soon and would love to build a two place Cozy just for that reason. Having four seats is ok but not a real priority.

That would be a big cash outlay so keeping the Long up is probably more sensable.

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I guess my interpretation to the perfect Long EZ is the Limo EZ. Sam Kriedel pretty much addressed all of the short comings. The Berkut evolved from that as Sam gave Dave the loftings. But other inovations are a result of ideas from builders built and tested over time. Builders choose these mods based on the mission of their particular desired A/C. The Canard Pushers and the CSA newsletters capture this data well. The use of carbon in these A/Cs should be limited to actual need of the part to be lighter and stiffer ie ailerons and aileron wells. I think the future for the EZ type is the Stagger EZ as it addresses the CG issue for large pilots and front seat load limits.

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Even though I am new to this forum I have studied the Long EZ for the past two years and understand what everyone is saying about making it better.

 

Swinn - I'm contemplating several power options. I would like a 320 but feel it is outdated. Too many moving parts. The 235, I feel even though light would be underpowered, I'm 6'1", 245. Besides I hear they have problems with the crankshaft.

 

I've had an on and off mood about the Rotary because they're hard to keep cool. I may have found an answer to the cooling problem with a two stage radiator system. I'm awaiting a reply from Paul Lamar who is currently evaluating it. The most important factors about the Rotary is there are only three moving parts and the high power to weight ratio. A 13B rotary normally will produce about 160 hp but will put out as much as 200 hp with a little tweaking. The weight (including the re drive) is a little more than what a 320 would weigh. The new Renesis rotary (improved 13B) found in the RX8 sports car will put out 240 hp with normal aspiration and has a 40% increase in fuel economy over the old 13B. I would like to see around 140 to 160 hp in the Long EZ.

 

On the retracts, I've seen several retract options for the Long EZ but there's one that stands out. It was built exactly like the Velocity retract system but for a Long EZ and was around 4500.00. The reason I liked this was it didn't attach to the SPAR which eliminates landing loads to a critical part. I found it last year and have searched recently but can't find it. They may have been discontinued. If anyone finds it please let me know.

 

On the rollover structure: I did read the newsletter put out by RAF, and like what they have designed, but I feel a steel structure would be simpler and as safe as the RAF design. There's a good example here http://www.ez.org/feature/F0411-1/F0411-1.htm with Wayne Blackner's beautiful Long EZ. He has many options I would like to attempt.

 

Radioflyer - Nick has a great website and I have read much of his material and the COZY GIRRLS site as well. I like their building techniques and will follow much of their examples, including the Low Vac method of vacuum bagging. I understand how this technique can save as much as 20% of the epoxy weight of an aircraft. I know weight is the key to an outstanding aircraft performance. I intend to build as light as possible.

 

On building wider - Because of my size I'm a big advocate of widening and stretching the Long EZ that many have already done. I have a friend that is currently building his long EZ 4" wider at the pilot's seat and 2" wider at the passenger's seat. He's also stretching it 6" longer between the two seats. I like this idea and am seriously considering doing the same.

 

LIMO EZ - As usual, you hit the nail on the head. Do you know if or when the Stagger EZ will put out a set of plans? I like the design as well; it incorporates much of what we are trying to design here. I would like to start with the Long EZ to develop proficiency and when the time is right sell it to one of my sons and build either a Stagger EZ or Velocity.

 

These comments are what I'm looking for and I'll have everyone to thank for what I hope will make the Perfect LONG EZ.

 

Thanks again. Ed

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All of the Stagger EZ efforts I know of two were a result of the indidvidual doing the engineering probably starting with a set of Long EZ plans or even Cozy plans. You might try to write Steve Wright and ask him particulars about the build. The fuselage was built with molds. You don't have to do it the exact way so long as you arive at the same destination.

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Ed,

 

Waynes plane is a work of art, I can only dream of building a plane that nice! His roll over looks like it would work really well.

 

On the engine choice, I'm a big fan of auto conversions and engine experimenting. However I am not brave enough to experiment with them on Canard types, the landing speeds & lengths are just too high and off field landings are a big no-no. While the Lycomings have their problems at least they are known problems. The modes of failure for these engines are well understood and a proper maintenance and inspection schedule (oil analysis, 100 hr inspections, etc...) can prevent most in-flight stoppage. With conversions, most all of them are one-off installs and knowing what to look for or what to types of failures to expect is part of the problem. Eventually I plan to build a plane with a lower landing speed and a 400 foot or less landing distance to experiment with auto engines on.

 

The 320 is a popular engine and a well built 320 can generate 160+ HP. Ours is getting the 200 HP 360 which is just a bit heavier than the 320. We are hoping for a very good climb rate.

--Scott

 

LongEZ #159

Finishing & Engine install

Blogged at: http://www.briansplane.com

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Scott,

 

Thanks for the help. I've not committed to an engine yet but will keep your advise in mind. I like the 320 and feel it's a good engine but I'll be flying over mountainous and wooded terrain through two states on a regular basis for work. Picking the correct engine is critical.

 

I have a background in mechanics and understand the ROTARY's reliability and performance, I currently feel it's safer than the 320. The only concern I have is the canard cooling system. I haven't been able to find anyone that is currently running a rotary in a LEZ. The the reason may be the LEZ has a smaller cowling and would limit the radiator configuration needed to properly cool the engine. I have a friend that submitted a two stage radiator system to Paul Lamar that may work in the LEZ. If this fails, I'll definitely install a 320. The subject then changes to how to eliminate known stoppages of the 320 and what is the best engine modifications.

 

If I were building a Velocity or COZY with larger cowlings the RENISIS 240 hp ROTARY would be the only way to go. Check out John Slades COZY http://www.canardaviation.com/cozy/chap23.htm as an example. If you're building a short field aircraft you may want to keep up with the developments by Tracy Cook' RV rotary http://www.rotaryaviation.com/.

 

I want to build a "Perfect Long EZ" (or close to perfect as I can get) through the use of modern materials, equipment, techniques and engine.

 

I visit your site regularly and feel you are doing an outstanding job with your LEZ and plan to incorporate many of your options. I value your opinion and hope you continue to write.

 

Thanks for taking the time.

 

Ed :cool:

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Ed,

 

I have followed Johns project closely for years. I really miss his frequent updates. I like the rotary very well, there is a gentleman locally who has a 13B in his Velocity. I don't think he has flown yet.

 

There are some LongEZ's flying with Rotarys. Mick Duckt's long EZ used to be Rotary Ducted Fan powered, but has been converted to standard rotary PSRU prop plane. A bit of information can be found at:

 

http://www.bridgingworlds.com/DUCKT.HTM

 

A gentleman named George Graham put a 13B in an eRacer (I believe). Some details of his insatllation are found in a back issue of Contact! magazine. The eRacer should be quite similar to the LongEZ although I have never seen one. I have not read the articles so I don't know what they contain. Look for issue #49, #62, #78 at:

http://www.contactmagazine.com/backissu.html

 

I think there should be plenty of space inside the cowling for radiators, as long as they can be mounted below the engine.

 

After the LongEZ is done and flying I am currently thinking that my next plane will be an RV-10. I would love to have a Cozy, but the build time is very long. I'm thinking of a Renesis or some other auto conversion for it. I've already got Cozy plans, but I think they will have to wait, maybe a third plane.

 

I really want a four place plane fairly quickly and I think I can get an RV-10 done in two years. I expect the Cozy would take me 5-7 years unless I bought a fairly complete unfinished project which is also a possibility.

--Scott

 

LongEZ #159

Finishing & Engine install

Blogged at: http://www.briansplane.com

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Scott,

 

Thanks for the info. I'll look into how the Duckt has his cooling set up, it may be something that I'll want to duplicate. I'd love to have a Velocity with a Renesis mounted. Hopefully when I'm finished with the LEZ one of my sons will want it and I'll build a Velocity for the rest of the family.

 

The cooling issue that concerns me is the long taxi's that pass little air over the radiator. I thought about mounting an electric fan but was told it could cause an air dam at 150 to 200 mph.

 

Let me ask you guys about the two stage cooling and get your input.

 

I was wondering why we couldn't use a two stage radiator system. Mount a radiator in the air flow beneath the plane without an electric fan. Mount a second radiator beneath the engine and out of the airflow with an electric fan mounted on it. Both radiators would be smaller but equivalent or larger to the area of one radiator needed to properly cool the engine. They would be hosed together in succession, from the engine to the electric radiator to the airflow radiator and back to the engine. The radiator system should be a closed pressurized system with at least a 16 lbs radiator cap. It will also need an overflow tank mounted on the firewall. A closed system is needed because for every pound of pressure in the radiator system you reduce the boiling point by 10 degrees. This is why modern radiators are so much smaller now and not the size found in my '51 Chevy truck.

 

When taxiing on a runway the electric fan radiator thermal switch would switch on the fan keeping the temp reduced. It may not totally keep the temp at 180F but below boiling. When in the air the second airflow radiator would kick in keeping the temp at 180F and allowing the thermal switch to kick off the electric fan radiator. Keeping the electric fan out of the airflow would eliminate the air dam issue.

 

Please let me know what you think.

 

Ed

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Ed,

 

I'm afraid I'm no expert on Liquid cooling on aircraft. I know people have put radiators in the airstream on other designs and haven't had much luck with it. The air tends to flow around the radiator instead of through it. You need a scoop to pick up the air, an expansion area to slow it down, and a way to re-enter the output air into the airstream (speed it back up). There was a fairly long WWII article on cooling liquid cooled aircraft engines, I don't remember the source though.

 

You might look at some of the exhaust augmentation systems that are being used on the aircooled craft. I don't see why a similar scheme couldn't be used on a liquid cooled aircraft. The exhaust augmentation uses the exhaust of the engine to create a venturi type effect that sucks air through your cooling system. This might work really well on a rotary since the exhaust exits the engine at a higher velocity than a piston engine. It might also provide some benefit of cooling the exhaust output since the cooling air mixes with the exhaust.

 

You might look at Bill James articles on www.ez.org if you haven't already, he has a pretty extreme augmentation system (on an air cooled engine), it took me quite a while of staring at the photos to realize that the exhaust is IN the fiberglass ducting. I am thinking that on our LongEZ we will be using exhaust augmentation to help pull the air through the cooling system during ground operations. I am looking at having an exhaust system built out of stainless steel that will include a facility for augmentation, I'm not so sure about building it into the fiberglass. We also do not plan to have a 'presurrized' cowl. We will use internal plenums to maintain airflow around the cylinders & cooling areas so we get a better seal. The folks that seem to have the best success with cooling don't are not using the cowl to direct the airflow. I think it is really hard to get a good seal on it all the way around.

--Scott

 

LongEZ #159

Finishing & Engine install

Blogged at: http://www.briansplane.com

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Scott,

 

I understand your point and believe John Slade has a similar cooling system setup on his COZY.

 

I've just received a Contact newsletter issue 62 from GRAHAM (Rotary E-Racer) where he details his 13B rotary cooling setup. He's posting 150F on the ground even during long taxi's and full run ups. A 180 to 190F cooling temp no matter what his engine rpm or aircraft speed in the air. He learned this cooling technique from a Mazda auto racer who reviewed his aircraft cooling system. He's also managing 7 gph at 180 mph with ground speed often over 200 mph.

 

It's enough to give me hope and to proceed with my rotary plans.

 

I'd like to install a Renesis rotary in the LEZ for dependability and a 40% increase in fuel efficiency over the old 13B. The renesis is Mazda's crown jewel. At 240 hp though, I'm afraid it would over power the LEZ and possibly push the aircraft past the safe zone and into a destructive flutter.

 

What would you say is the maximum safe speed of the Long EZ? Do you know the maximum speed ever achieved? I heard Mike Melvil has pushed the envelope a little.

 

Ed :cool:

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...

I'd like to install a Renesis rotary in the LEZ for dependability and a 40% increase in fuel efficiency over the old 13B. The renesis is Mazda's crown jewel. At 240 hp though, I'm afraid it would over power the LEZ and possibly push the aircraft past the safe zone and into a destructive flutter.

...

 

Ed,

 

Two things: [A] if you're expecting a 40% improvement in fuel efficiency, I'm afraid you'll come away very much disappointed. Mazda isn't getting the additional HP for free. The 240 mark occurs at 8000+ RPM. More RPM == more air == more fuel.

 

I don't have the link handy, but the horsepower curves for the original 13B and the Renesis 13B are very similar at the RPM that we'll operate (5000 - 7000 RPM), especially after all the smog equipment is removed. Unless you have some radical porting done, you can expect to get about 180-200 HP from your

NA Renesis at ~6300 RPM (~2890 Prop RPM).

 

Dale R.

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Ed,

 

I have looked around a bit for a Vne for the LongEZ. The only one I have found online so far is 195 knots (224 mph) indicated. (NOAA research plane). I know there is a testing protocol for determining Vne that involved testing the aircraft to a certain percentage above your determiend Vne. Thats a link I'm going to need to dig up for our own testing.

 

All of the speeds and testing protocols are things I need to find too for our upcoming testing. We are still months away, but hopefully sooner rather than later!

--Scott

 

LongEZ #159

Finishing & Engine install

Blogged at: http://www.briansplane.com

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