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Starter Questions - Cozy / Long-EZ


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A little about me: I'm a pilot with 400 hours in a Cessna 172 I sold a couple of years ago and I've kept current via rentals.


I met and spoke with Nat Puffer some years back at Sun-N-Fun and was "this close" to ordering Cozy plans because I was tired of how slow my 172 was.


Later, convinced by a local RV-6 owner, I opted instead for an RV-7. I bought the rudder parts and never completed a single part before losing interest in aluminum construction.


Now I'm at a point in life to be serious about building again and I'm looking seriously at the Cozy or Long-EZ (again).


Thanks in advance for reading / answering my questions. Here they are.



1. Over the long term, does fiber-glass and foam stand up to the elements? What about moisture? UV? Paint? What problems are there being seen in the field? What is there to watch out for? How do you mitigate long-term exposure issues?


2. Is there a danger of the epoxy in the cabin melting or becoming soft if you park it in the sun with the top down?


3. How to you keep the cabin cool when the plane is secured?


4. How would you know if a part has weakened or softened due to heat?


5. Would you ever buy a Long-EZ someone else built?


6. What about lightning strikes?



1. Not interested in stirring up a canard vs. conventional debate, but this an honest question: Is there a conventional, 4-seat design that has the same fuel economy, speed, and range as the Cozy? If so, what is it?


2. What are some draw-backs of the canard design vs. conventional?


Engine and Prop

1. Should I go with a constant speed prop? Variable pitch? I'm thinking I want maximum thrust for take-off and good economy for cruise. Is it worth the weight?


2. How would you know if you had a fire in the engine compartment?



1. I've seen Cozy builders on video (http://www.pursuitofflight.com/ ) say the plane is pitch sensitive and approaches are pretty fast relative to conventional designs. True or not? Is it an issue in practice?


2. Can you land this thing safely in a field or on grass? If you loose an engine what's your plan?


3. What is the likelihood of slamming the nose down on landing? How strong is the nose gear?


4. How do you steer during Taxi? Is is just differential braking and the nose "free-wheels"?


Thanks for your time.


Potential Cozy Builder,

Bruce Shankle

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Building an EZ from scratch will take many hours (years). If I were doing this again, I would first look for a project that someone lost interest in. Assuming the quality is acceptable, this will provide two advantages; 1) You'll get a jump start with the items that are already built, 2) The purchase price will most likely be equal to or less than what the seller has tied up in parts.



These answers are kind of short, but to the point. Each question you asked could be a topic for lengthy discussion.




1) A visit to the "bone-yard" in Tuscon will reveal fiberglass/epoxy components (radomes, antenna covers, etc) from as far back as WWII are still in good condition.


Many of the early Rutan birds, VariEZ, LongEZ date back to the early 1980's, are still in good shape.


If you properly protect glass/epoxy with primer and paint, your good to go for a long, long time.


2) In Very hot places, I open up a Sectional chart and lay it on the seat. If I know its not going to rain, I leave the canopy open a crack. Close the latches, then rest the canopy on the latch; DON'T do this if you have the plans built canopy stay, Wind may get under it and slam the canopy open.


If you have a dark tinted canopy, don't use any of those "shiny reflective" heat covers inside the cockpit. I seen an EZ several years ago that had an optical imperfection in the canopy (looked like it was melted) I asked the owner, he said evidently the reflective heat screen he used inside the cockpit when he parked had focused the sun on a spot of the canopy and softened it.


3, 4) No problem. Once the epoxies are cured, they are solid and secure.


NOTE: Post cure all items. (don't post cure the cowling's)


An early phenomena known as "creep" was observed in the finish of some planes, especially those built in colder climates. If you looked straight down the spar of the wings, you could see a slight waviness, where years before, it was absolutely straight. The epoxy will take on a set at the highest temperature it is exposed to. If during build and finishing, the highest temperature was 85, then later, the plane is exposed to 120, the epoxy will re-cure at the new higher temperature.


Generally, a post cure to 120 or 140 before the finishing totally eliminates this phenomena.


5) Yes, but perform a very close pre-purchase inspection. A couple hundred dollars to reimburse someone to look at the plane is worth it. DO NOT MAKE AN EMOTIONAL PURCHASE DECISION, YOU'LL BE SORRY.


6) Every lightening strike will be different with different results. This is a very, very rare event. There is a recorded incident of lightning strike on an EZ. Minor damage at the exit point. Major damage to the underwear.





1) Try AeroCanard, Velocity.


2) There are no "Pros / Cons"; This would be the same as comparing "Pros / Cons" between an 18 Wheeler and our Corvette;


Yup, a big negative is, you can't haul 20 tons of stuff in the Corvette.


If I have tundra tires on my SuperCub, I can land on the river bank. You can probably land your EZ on the riverbank, but I'll put down a weeks pay that your going to need a truck to get it out.



Engine and Prop


1) I have an MT constant speed. Compared to my fixed prop, I loose about 5 kts off the top end speed. I gain significant low end performance, and the ability to cruise at 2300 rpm instead of 2900 rpm. Yes, its worth every penny, and the extra weight (my opinion)


2) You wouldn't, unless the fire is in conjunction with other difficulties. You could easily install a simple heat detection circuit, some builders have.




1) Compared to what. A Cozy is more pitch sensitive than a Cessna 150, its also faster on final. Like comparing an 18 wheeler with a Corvette. None issue. If you are competent in a Cessna or Cherokee, You'll be able to transition into an EZ. Its mission is different, its operational envelope is different. Generally, EZs have no "quirks" or wierd behavior.


Know your plane, know the envelope, stay inside the envelope.


2) I perform routine operations on soft fields, Only after I've inspected the fields. In an emergency, put it down where you can.


3) If you have an extremely high rate of descent and no attempt at flaring, you may slam the nose. I think with this scenario, the mains may also suffer damage because of the high rate of descent. I think this would be termed as a crash by the NTSB.


4) Your correct, differential braking. Takes about 5 seconds to get used to it, then you'll wonder why everyone doesn't do it this way!.



F16 performance on a Piper Cub budget

LongEZ, 160hp, MT CS Prop, Downdraft cooling, Full retract

visit: www.iflyez.com

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Great!! Its so much fun having a project like this to work on instead of sitting in front of the TV every night! Just don't spen ALL your time on the project... lets all remember our families too!

Andrew Anunson

I work underground and I play in the sky... no problem

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