Jump to content

Tie Down or hangar? That is the question.


daveb
 Share

Recommended Posts

A long-ez should be in my possession in a few months, one issue is where to put her.

 

My local field is 15 minutes away but annual hangar costs, if you could find a space, are around 20% the cost of the aircraft! My options are tie down there or drive a couple of hours for a remote hangar. The plan is to fly a lot.

 

I’ve never seen snow here and we have just a few days over 100F per year but overall it’s a moderate climate and so far, storm damage is very rare.

 

Two questions if I may.

1. How do these composite aircraft survive in a tie down situation, what are the issues?

2. If this is viable, I’ve seen covers on the net and wonder if anyone knows of these or has an alternative?

http://www.aircraftcovers.com click on"prices" then "low wing single engine" scroll down to "Rutan Longez"

 

Dave

Dave

VH-JZE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How do these composite aircraft survive in a tie down situation, what are the issues?

Fine. I had my COZY tied down for 3.5 years in Massachusetts, with rain, snow, heat, etc. No problems, as long as you haven't painted it with something stupid that deteriorates with UV exposure. These planes do leak like sieves, though, so you do want a cover.

 

2. If this is viable, I’ve seen covers on the net and wonder if anyone knows of these or has an alternative?

I have a full cover (nose to spinner) from Dorothy Dickey, but I don't think she makes them anymore. Get a good quality "Sunbrella" or equivalent cover - it'll last you 3-5 years, easy, and if you've got a good sewing machine, you can fix the small rips/tears/seam issues. You can buy a LOT of covers for the cost of a hangar. Since MA got snow, I made myself some "socks" for the canard, as well, and after doing that, figured that I could have made the whole cover for about $100, buying "Sunbrella" on the web.

 

OTOH, the L.E. covers that Bruce's makes look great, especially with the wing extensions, if you don't mind spending the $$$.

 

I currently have the plane in a hangar in Tehachapi, but that's only because I'm splitting the $275/mo. cost with a co-worker, who's building a plane in the back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had mine outside since 1986 in the Chicago area.

 

Keep a good coat of wax on it at all times. Prefer to have a hangar but not for $400/month or a 2 hour drive. I pay $80/month.

 

Rust is not an issue. Hail would be a problem but in over 20 years I have had only two dents from hail. About the size of a dime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rick-

 

I'm curious more about rain intrusion than winter damage. A light dusting of snow is actually a great insulator from all kinds of things. Every time I drive by 06C on my way to work in the rain, I wonder if there's a puddle under your ballast in the nose :D

 

-dave

This is not a sig. This is a duck. Quack.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Daveb-

 

Lots of folks have EZs that have lived long and happy lives without the protection of a hanger. A cover helps to keep interior temps down and keep the rain out I think, but I don't believe anyone should have any qualms about leaving a well built and properly finished EZ outside.

 

-dave

This is not a sig. This is a duck. Quack.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dave

 

OK I can give you somwe hard data on that. When I parked there the very first year after a very hard rain I found about 8 oz of what had accumulated in the nose. The only entry point would be aorund the edges of the canopy of course. On the original build, l left a small radius line along the edges of the longerons. This kept the water on the outside edges as it runs down toward the front. Becuase of the puddling in the nose I cut in two 1/2 inch drain holes at the most forward point, No water gets into the wing attach holes. I also cut drain hole in the bottom of the cowling. I have the P 51 style. On a really really hard rain blowing directly at the front, I may get about one or two onces of water in the fuel.

 

I had a "Dickey" cover for the complete plane. I found that the wind allows dust to get underneath. 06C was under construction a fuel years ago. With the dust and water and wind underneath, it acted like it wet sanded the Imron finish. since then I stopped using the covers and accepted whatever would come. The only problem is with the sun on the seat covers, I've sewn up three sets and am getting real good at it.

 

About ten years ago I took it back to repaint it. It was a fantastic experience. When the old paint was off, I was looking at the glass like it was the day before I started the original finishing, All the magic marker lines were still under the glass like day one. What I wanted to see the most was arround the wing attach points. This is where fatigue may show up. There was nothing. Not even the snallest crack. Same for the winglet layups-nothing.

 

You can have faded paint or look a little rough on the outside but underneath, these planes are amazing.

 

In retrospeck I think there is even some tricks that will completely secure the canopy from water invasion. That and an inside cockpit cover.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great info - thank-you very much. Its looking like a tie down.

 

I have the option of on the grass or add $55 a month and get a little piece of tarmac with my rego on it. Given that the Long-ez sits on her nose do you think there might be an issue of moisture wicking up from the ground during the cold wet months?

 

Dave

Dave

VH-JZE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello again Dave

 

I have done both. When on the grss I bought some patio blocks. It's not so much the water wicking up it's the weight on the soft ground.

 

Spead the weight a little and you will be OK. Parking in the grss is one thing. Flying off of it is completely different. I have no experience flying off of grass and don't want any.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mark,

Marc

 

$100 bucks and some sweat equity sounds great. How many yards do you think it'll take to make a cover? 6?

Dunno, I'm not a seamstress, but if I were to guess, I'd say 6-10, depending upon how you laid it out. You can get 60" wide Sunbrella for about $20/yd, and you could do the whole fuselage with 6 yards of that. You'd need about $10 worth of snap buckles and straps, so that's what - $130 or so (plus a spool of heavy duty exterior thread).

 

It would be nice if there were some public domain patterns.

Making the pattern is pretty trivial. Carl Denk describes how he made his cover (not sunbrella) in the COZY archives. Go to a show, find someone with a cover, and look at it. Not rocket science.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since the main eracer.org page seems to indicate that the site is more or less shut down, I think it's safe to assume that any information behind it, like Dorothy's page, are out of date. I'm sure that someone at OSH will have a booth out though :D

 

-dave

This is not a sig. This is a duck. Quack.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information