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The cons of plans-building the AeroCanard FG


Jon Matcho

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It was a simple and attractive modification -- widen the rear of the Cozy Mark IV by a measly 3.5". With the AeroCanard FG plans documenting the changes relative to the Cozy Mark IV, how hard could it be?

That's what I thought when I added the AeroCanard FG plans to my Cozy Mark IV plans and set out to plans-build an AeroCanard FG (not from a kit). The areas impacted by these modifications are relatively few:

  • landing gear bulkheads
  • fuselage side forms
  • firewall
  • turtleback

The problem is that the AeroCanard FG plans are insufficient and even outright incorrect in areas. I imagine building an AeroCanard FG (even the kit?) is what it was like building the first few Cozys from plans. It's not an insurmountable challenge, but is more than I bargained for. Having the Cozy Mark IV plans to reference and knowing that hundreds of builders are building from a well-refined set of plans doesn't help either.

Another nagging worry I have about the AeroCanard FG is that with its widened rear, I'm not going to get as good airflow to the prop as those with Cozy Mark IVs do. I wonder if the performance will be noticeably less?

The main issue with building an AeroCanard FG from plans is the plans themselves. If you want the widened rear, then look at the AeroCanard. If you want to build a great plane, have enough rear seat room and/or a ton of storage space, then build a Cozy Mark IV.

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, The Cozy IV is a pretty decent three-person airplane but the canard airplanes are runway hogs and expecting to haul four full-sized persons is asking a lot from the design. Of course, there's a guy in Texas with a Cozy/ 0-320 who didn't hesitate to haul four adults but gosh knows how long the takeoff roll was with that combination! What I'm saying is that it doesn't make much sense to me to widen the rear of the Cozys. I've only put one seat in the rear of mine. However, I'm 325 and my wife is about 180. With three people and half fuel my Cozy flys pretty well. If you are a lightweight, it might make sense to make it a wider four-plance but I don't think you'll find a lot of adults crazy about riding around in the back of a Cozy.

I would guess that a wider fuselage, if it was faired into nearly the same sort of cowl, would probably not have much effect on the prop but the current shape is a nice losenge shape that works pretty well.

-Kent

Cozy IV N13AM

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-Kent
Cozy IV N13AM-750 hrs, Long-EZ-85 hrs and sold

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Kent, you make a couple good points, and made me dig deep to remember why I wanted to do this.

Attached are a couple pics of Ken Laundrie's Cozy Mark IV w/AeroCanard top. I suspect it's a stock Cozy on the bottom, but I may be mistaken. He flew into Osh last year and his passengers seemed quite happy to be there, flying in, etc.

I am light weight, but not a lightweight. :)

Thanks for the feedback. If I had this to do over again, I wouldn't do it. I suppose I can still change my mind; cut the bulkheads down and squeeze the sides to fit, but I'm this far and seems like that would be a waste -- especially since you gave me the vote of confidence on airflow to the prop.

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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 Matcho said:

Attached are a couple pics of Ken Laundrie's Cozy Mark IV w/AeroCanard top. I suspect it's a stock Cozy on the bottom, but I may be mistaken. He flew into Osh last year and his passengers seemed quite happy to be there, flying in, etc.

Yep, Ken's plane has the Cozy bottom and AC top. (He did a great job too!)

Personally, I think the AC top MAY be more aerodynamic than the Cozy. Not so many swoops/bumps for air to go over. I went with it because I couldn't sit in the back seat of a stock Cozy without tilting my head to the side, and to have the option of Velocity-style downdraft cooling at decision time. (Presently, my plan is to use stock cooling, because my engine came set up that way already. And I'm TIRED of being in the 7th year of my 3-5 year project.:mad::o )

"I run with scissors."

Cozy MKIV N85TT

Phase One Testing

http://home.earthlink.net/~jerskip

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Jerry Schneider said:

Personally, I think the AC top MAY be more aerodynamic than the Cozy. Not so many swoops/bumps for air to go over.

Good point. I also just realized that the aftmost (a word?) bumps are around the engine, which you can't do anything more than as you would with a Cozy.

Quote

And I'm TIRED of being in the 7th year of my 3-5 year project.:mad::o )

I'll be happy with a 7-year project!!! At this rate, I'm counting 7 years from today.

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

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