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Long-EZ flying characteristics?


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Greetings all,


I'm a relatively new pilot, got my PPL about 5 weeks ago at 45 hours and now have a bit over 70. I've got a rather broad range of experience for a limited number of hours, ranging from the 172 I took my check ride in to a Navajo, including time in a Comanche 180, Mooney M20F, and some others. I'm starting my instrument rating next week. People tend to have positive things to say about my flying, and generally comment that I am well ahead of where most are given my number of hours.


I am looking into planes to buy and have thought about potentially trying to pick up a Long-EZ that someone else has built. I am attracted to the high speed with low fuel burn, and for most of my missions it would be plenty acceptable since all I need to carry is myself and a few small bags. I am looking for an IFR plane that I can take on long trips (like from PA to CA, for example). I'd be looking to buy one that someone else has built, as I do not have the time to build a plane myself. I have a few questions.


1) I'm 6'2" 155 lbs (very thin). Am I too big?


2) How easy or difficult is this plane to fly? I have time flying at 170 kts, but all in certified aircraft that are relatively docile. Is the Long-EZ a real handful, and difficult to fly, or something that may have a few quirks but can generally be learned to handle well?


3) Anything else in general I should know?


Thanks for your help!



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Just to add to Waiters already very nice words on the subject...


Military pilots transitioning to Longez IFR will find no problems. Civ spam can drivers tranitioning to Longez IFR will be more challenged at first due to the Longez not being as "stable" as a IFR platform as a spamcan. But---just as anything else, you will get used to it.

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I see the emphasis "do not allowing the canard to go above the horizon". Is this solely to prevent a prop strike, or is there some aerodynamic reason for that mantra?


Lets say I have climbed to 50 or 100 feet, can I then raise the cannard above that position to perhaps clear an obstacle?

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Keep the canard below the horizon is strictly to keep from hitting the prop.


When I perform a maximum rate climb. After I'm clear of the runway (20-50ft) I pull the stick back and the canard is well above the horizon. (I look under the canard for for traffic)


As Drew said, Single pilot IFR in an EZ is not EZ. I spent about two hours on the guages (FL210) when my EZ was fairly new. The next day I ordered a Nav Systems Autopilot. The EZ is not a nice stable IFR platform.



F16 performance on a Piper Cub budget

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

visit: www.iflyez.com

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  • 4 weeks later...

The EZ is not a nice stable IFR platform.



I'm surprised to hear this. I flew in the backseat of a long-ez back in the 90's and at one point the pilot told me he hadn't touched the controls for over five minutes. We weren't IFR but is sure seemed stable to me.

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That kind of stability would be a surprise to me. How long can you go on instruments without touching the controls and without an autopilot/wingleveler? The spam can I am used to can't go longer than a minute----and the cozy/longez were way less. Then again, maybe I can't trim an airplane.


Don't get me wrong----both a long and a cozy fly very nice----but they are not great aerobatic airplanes, nor good grass strip planes, nor great short runway airplanes, etc. I love them for efficient, fast, crosscountry airplanes. If worried about flying hard IFR, just install either a wingleveler/autopilot.

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Last September I bought my Long-Ez. Over the last 3 years or so I had been actively looking for a suitable plane and was fortunate enough to fly several arrangements. (With vs without wing pods, O-235’s vs O-320’s, heavy vs light). And Drew was kind enough to come down and let me get an hour in his Cozy.


The day I bought my bird I had perhaps ~80 hours in the logbooks. Now with that said I must confess that I have been around flying since I was a teenager and received plenty of “unofficial” flight training from friends and whatnot and I had aircrew training in the Navy. When I took my check ride I had 41 hours in the logs and passed with flying colors.


That all said I will give you my impressions of transitioning over to a Long-Ez.


First, these planes are slick! They will gain speed in a hurry if you do not manage your attitude and motor closely. The first real noticeable experience was when I was coming home from my first long cross country trip and has up at 11.5k. I had flown what was a normal decent for me in the Piper. When I arrived at my airport I still had 6000’ of altitude to get rid of. Lesson learned: Start descents WAY farther out. :rolleyes:


Second, since these birds are so quick things happen a lot faster so cockpit management is a no longer an etiquette, it’s a law! Know what you are going to do at 5000’ and 30 minutes into the flight before you even leave the ground. Drew shared some great ideas with me on simple things like just pre-folding a sectional. (Your not going to do well trying to do it in the cockpit with the lid shut.) Lesson learned: Think ahead and be prepared. I miss having a back seat that I can just turn around and retrieve things from. <sigh> Organizational skills are a must.


Third, landings take some relearning. You don’t really flare these in the same fashion that you know. You really fly them all the way to the ground. Which in turn means that since they are so bloody slick you will become a guru at speed and attitude management, or you will learn to land looooooooooooooong. :o


Finally, all of the backseat time in the world cannot prepare you for your first flight from the pointy end! The view is amazing and the plane almost becomes an extension of your hand. You don’t get into these planes, you wear them.


Moving into one of these planes would be much like getting a driver’s license in a nice comfortable sedan, and then buying a 1000cc sport bike. Although the same road rules apply the vehicles are fundamentally different. Can it be done? Certainly. Remember that Dick Rutan gave check rides in the first Long-Ez to Oshkosh visitors who had zero previous canard time. But before you go down that path you need to do some personal risk analysis.


Bottom line is that these planes are only as safe as the pilot. The biggest differences I have found to be the comparatively high speeds to what I had been flying and a new style of landing.


Good luck!

Long-Ez N701DS

O-320 160hp


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Nicely written Allan!

I live in my own little world! but its OK, they know me here!

Chris Van Hoof, Johannesburg, South Africa operate from FASY (Baragwanath)

Cozy Mk IV, ZU-CZZ, IO-360 (200hp) 70x80 prop

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