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I have been haunting barnstormers, controller, and aerotrader recently, (not to mention eBay and craigslist), and found myself looking at Long EZs and Cozys.  I've been reading the "Sales I've seen" posts and noted the comments on buying a partially completed kit being less expensive these days than starting from scratch.  

I figured I should join your wonderful website and learn all I can before I commit to a course of action.  It is very tempting to just by a set of plans from Aircraft Spruce and just start building but perhaps I will wait it out and see what comes up on the market.

The 2500 hr build time for Cozy's is daunting but I just love the look of the aircraft and the thought of flying with the engine behind the cabin.  A partially completed kit, well-documented and vouched for, would be most welcome to decrease the build time.  Has anyone else gone this route?  If so, what measures did you take to ensure the previous work was well done?



Edited by Duane Robinson
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When you have seen a few under construction, good workmanship is self-evident.  You can see good work on the web.  Sometimes it is too good and builders are being way too concerned with CAD and milimeter-perfection.  

 There is nothing very critical at the bathtub stage—almost any project at that stage wiil be fine. I see a lot of wings and canards that look well-built, too.   

You will generally get all the builder’s labor for free and sometime a 50% discount on the materials.  If I see something questionable in the Sales thread, I usually discuss it.  Most builders are very conscientous and intend to build a nice airplane but life gets in the way. 😞.   

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

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Hi Duane! You've been caught by the canard bug too, huh?

If you can, find some builders or fliers in your area. Besides being fun to meet, you'll learn a lot. Maybe one of the people you meet would be able to assist you in inspecting a potential project purchase, too. For a builder, it is reasonably easy to determine quality, but if you are new to all this, it might be more difficult.

Aerocanard (modified) SN:ACPB-0226 (Chapter 8)

Canardspeed.com (my build log and more; usually lags behind actual progress)
Flight simulator (X-plane) flight model master: X-Aerodynamics


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20 hours ago, Kent Ashton said:

When you have seen a few under construction, good workmanship is self-evident.  You can see good work on the web.

I wish that were true and you would hope that "good workmanship" is self-evident, but that is not the case. I have seen aircraft built by folks that have built multiple canard aircraft that have been average to below average builds and I've seen stuff built by beginners that's phenomenal. I've also seen a lot (wait for it - about half) that are below average builds. Thankfully, even a 5th - 10th percentile quality aircraft will probably be safe, but...

There's no way that someone just LOOKING at a few aircraft under construction will have a clue what they're looking at, much less be a judge of what's "good" or even "good enough". I see a LOT of crap out there, and a lot of stuff that looks good from 20 feet away, that when you get close and know what you're looking at, have a lot of issues.

The way you ensure a quality project, if you're buying one, is to have it examined by someone with the knowledge to do so, and just because someone has built one before doesn't mean they're qualified.

This from someone that does 30 CI's per year, maybe 5 Pre-Buys per year, and has seen over 100 different canards over the past 5 years. Pretty sure that there are fewer than 5 people out there that can say the same, if that.

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Yes a prebuy is a good thing but i’d say most of the projects on my Sales thread i could see buying.  I’d want to see more pics, of course and some i would want to visit and have a closer look but most look decent.  

Anyway, we are talking hypotheticals.  Show me a project and I’ll tell you if I’d buy it.  

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

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I started my plane the same way. I found a fella' in the middle of a divorce with some Aerocad wings. I flew to Florida to look a few other projects in the area. Despite what Marc says, and there's some truth in his post, I agree more with Kent. Marc has seen a lot of builds likely more from the finished stages. There's a lot to do between finished and the tub. A lot of areas for improvements. That goes for all homebuilt aircraft. We're all no expert at everything. So I say yes. Go find that bargain. As a matter of fact if you're not sure what you're looking at there's a builder or flyer in every State. Most of us can spot a light layup or other problem areas.

Many many many years ago I got in touch with "Beagle", David Orr, canardfinder@att.net. He gave me a few tips as well as a couple I found on Barnstormers. I made a fun trip to Florida and found some good an not-so-good work. For example if you go to a guy's house and the wings and fuselage look like good construction but have been under a tarp, full of mold next to the wood pile in the yard...run away. I found many folks excited to tell you how they made the wings, canard, fuse, etc. in detail and will show you the plans. I ended up buying a pair of Aerocad wings. The guy was going through a divorce and threw in a roll of BID, UNI, an epoxy pump, and two sets of plans for less than I could have made them. Little did I know through the years I've made wings anyways - just not mine.  

You and the seller will be happy someone is using all that labor for good. Shipping is a breeze. The seller made a cheap plywood crate for all of it. This was years ago but I found Estes made the shipment to my door for $350 from Florida to Michigan. Call around.

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