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bmckinney10

My VariEze - N40LC

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I have purchased N40LC, originally built by Lynn Coltharp from Oklahoma.  Lynn finished the VE in 1980 and put 569 hours on it over the next 29 years. He flew it out of his airpark home with a 2500' runway.  He sold it in November of 2018, and it was resold again earlier in this year (2019).  The last owner repainted it and added a nice interior.  He decided he would not be able to finish his PPL anytime soon and did not want the VE to sit idle for several years.  I started looking for a VE/LE in August and came across N40LC on Barnstormers. I inspected it in October.  Everything seemed tight and clean, and the O-200 ran smooth.  I bought it and picked it up (by trailer) two weekends ago.

Lynn, the original builder,  (now 79 yrs old) was the last to fly it and I had a lengthy discussion with him last month, going over his build process and experiences with N40LC.  I was able to get all of his build logs, pictures, receipts, and documentation.  It appears to have been meticulously built and well maintained.  It was well kept during its years of non-flying.  It needs some updating and small changes that I have started to work on.  I will provide updates along the way as I progress.  Here are some of the tasks I will be doing:

- Re-balance all control surfaces
- Change springs on elev. trim system and rudders
- Add a starter
- Add a an oil filter adapter (maybe)
- Replace most of the wiring
- Remove Garmin 250XL
- New comm radio
- ADS-B out (uAvionix)
- New tires/tubes
- Swap out pushrod nose gear with wormgear
- New canopy seals
- New ELT
- Rewrap exhaust
- New W&B

I attached a picture of it when it was new in 1980, and a few recent pictures of it after I acquired it.  I had two of my daughters help put the wings back on this past weekend.  Note that it has the wing cuffs, not the vortilons, which was the initial suggested wing improvement from the CP's.

I appreciate all of the knowledge on this site and the help I have received so far.  I am looking forward to being a VariEze owner!

 

ve_old.jpg

ve_panel.jpg

ve_today.jpg

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That looks nice!  I have never seen that pushrod gear mechanism--weird.

The usual elevator trim springs on the EZs are a poor design IMO.  It takes high friction to hold a trim setting which makes it hard to move the trim and one spring is pulling against the other .  You might like the idea in this picture.   It uses a "Davenport" fiberglass trim spring and the lever adjustment.  https://www.canardzone.com/forums/topic/18661-kents-long-ez-project/?do=findComment&comment=61752

Starter:  When I see people start those Varis, it looks like all it takes is a casual flip or two and they're going.  If you install a starter (heavy) you might need heavy cables from a battery in the nose to the starter and extra relay.   One of the attractions of the Vari is the ease of hand-propping.  I hand propped my O-320 Cozy for a while and finally installed a starter when all I really needed was a primer mounted on the baffles so I could give it a shot or two of prime and flip it (I had a pumper carb at that time--not a good priming method).  Plus it looks cool.  :-)

 


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

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Oh, the "Ferrari!" It was interesting that he originally posted a $25k price, then removed the price entirely. I'm guessing you got a good deal. Removing the Ferrari logos would have been near the top of my to-do list, too! Congrats!

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18 hours ago, bmckinney10 said:

I inspected it in October...  Note that it has the wing cuffs, not the vortilons, which was the initial suggested wing improvement from the CP's.

 

Who did the pre-buy examination, and how much does it weigh as-is?

Are you going to switch from cuffs to vortilons?

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12 hours ago, Kent Ashton said:

That looks nice!  I have never seen that pushrod gear mechanism--weird.

The usual elevator trim springs on the EZs are a poor design IMO.  It takes high friction to hold a trim setting which makes it hard to move the trim and one spring is pulling against the other .  You might like the idea in this picture.   It uses a "Davenport" fiberglass trim spring and the lever adjustment.  https://www.canardzone.com/forums/topic/18661-kents-long-ez-project/?do=findComment&comment=61752

Starter:  When I see people start those Varis, it looks like all it takes is a casual flip or two and they're going.  If you install a starter (heavy) you might need heavy cables from a battery in the nose to the starter and extra relay.   One of the attractions of the Vari is the ease of hand-propping.  I hand propped my O-320 Cozy for a while and finally installed a starter when all I really needed was a primer mounted on the baffles so I could give it a shot or two of prime and flip it (I had a pumper carb at that time--not a good priming method).  Plus it looks cool.  :-)

 

The pushrod was the original design in the plans.  The builder had planned to install the worm gear, but decided it was fine.

I am 50/50 on the starter.  I already have a Skytec for the O-200.  I’ll try the hand prop and see.

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10 hours ago, 2High2Fast said:

Oh, the "Ferrari!" It was interesting that he originally posted a $25k price, then removed the price entirely. I'm guessing you got a good deal. Removing the Ferrari logos would have been near the top of my to-do list, too! Congrats!

The emblems popped right off with a few seconds of heat gun.  

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6 hours ago, Marc Zeitlin said:

Who did the pre-buy examination, and how much does it weigh as-is?

Are you going to switch from cuffs to vortilons?

Me :)   Rough weight was 690.  Not many accessories..  

Not planning to switch.  Builder had no concerns during his flight time and kept the cuffs.

 

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21 hours ago, Kent Ashton said:

That looks nice!  I have never seen that pushrod gear mechanism--weird.

The usual elevator trim springs on the EZs are a poor design IMO.  It takes high friction to hold a trim setting which makes it hard to move the trim and one spring is pulling against the other .  You might like the idea in this picture.   It uses a "Davenport" fiberglass trim spring and the lever adjustment.  https://www.canardzone.com/forums/topic/18661-kents-long-ez-project/?do=findComment&comment=61752

Starter:  When I see people start those Varis, it looks like all it takes is a casual flip or two and they're going.  If you install a starter (heavy) you might need heavy cables from a battery in the nose to the starter and extra relay.   One of the attractions of the Vari is the ease of hand-propping.  I hand propped my O-320 Cozy for a while and finally installed a starter when all I really needed was a primer mounted on the baffles so I could give it a shot or two of prime and flip it (I had a pumper carb at that time--not a good priming method).  Plus it looks cool. 🙂

 

Here's the clip from the manual for the original nose gear control.  Simple system, but the pushrod is a bit uncomfortable against your right leg when retracted.  The graphic shows the pushrod in the extended position, but shows the gear retracted.  In reality, when the gear is retracted, it is sticking out about 12" into the seating area (see picture above).

 

 

ve_original_nose_control.jpg

Edited by bmckinney10

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Good 'ol Burt.  You couldn't get a much lighter mechanism that that.

Here are some Variezes being propped.   Personally, I would put the primer back on the baffles.  Electronic ignition also helps.  I had an airplane that primed via an accelerator pump in the carb but it was problematic and can cause an engine fire if the engine backfires.  A dedicated 2-cylinder primer is better.    Have fun!

https://youtu.be/okakTWbYPV4

https://youtu.be/r5mrYjWEVEA

 


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

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Mine was modified with a spring-loaded locking mechanism so that the rod didn't have to be swung to the right and interfere with your right leg, as shown below.

 

IMG_3228.thumb.JPG.5f5f35f132f36ce4e3337ae98d758be0.JPG

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On 12/17/2019 at 9:21 PM, bmckinney10 said:

Me :)   Rough weight was 690.  Not many accessories..  

Not planning to switch.  Builder had no concerns during his flight time and kept the cuffs.

 

VariEze N111JK (built by Joe Kendrick, Grand Junction, CO) weighed 695 when we bought it in 2004. It's a little heavier now, with Becker COM & XPDR, nicer seat cushions & wheel pants.

What approach and landing speeds did the original builder mention? One Juliet Kilo also still had the LE Cuffs, and it would dutch roll on approach at less than 100 MPH. Adding the LE Vortilons and TE Fences were great and very worthwhile additions.

VariEze N111JK "Dreamland" at Yankton, SD 2017; And "Dreamland" at home base Longmont, CO just last week, preparing for ADS-B qualification flight:

Dreamland_2017.jpg

Longmont_2019.jpg

Edited by vezePilot

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On 12/16/2019 at 8:27 PM, bmckinney10 said:

I have purchased N40LC, originally built by Lynn Coltharp from Oklahoma. 

...

I appreciate all of the knowledge on this site and the help I have received so far.  I am looking forward to being a VariEze owner!

I plan to update the flight models for canard homebuilts for the X-Plane flight simulator. Our VariEze in X-Plane was extremely helpful when my wife and I each did our first Solo flights. Our very first approaches resulted in good landings, after flying the plane in the simulator. We felt familiar with and comfortable, flying the plane for the first time.

Legacy flight models for X-Plane v9 and v10 are available (free) here:

http://vigilanceaero.com/X-Plane/Flight_Models/Flight_Models.html

And updates for X-Plane version 11 are planned for the next few months.

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Very nice Curt! He didn't mention anything negative in regards to the handling with the cuffs.  He put almost 600 hours on it in this configuration.  He lived on a 2500' airpark strip and said he regularly flew himself and a neighbor (near/at) max gross.  I am planning to visit the RAFE guys in TN at some point to get canard training time prior to flying my VE.  I will look into the X-Plane sims.  Thanks!

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Self-inflicted fuselage damage...

We were working through the re-wiring job today and noticed that we have a crack on the left side just under the canard area.  I believe this was due to our ratchet strap being tightened a bit too much during shipping and causing an inward flex on the thinner part.  The inside shows no cracks, but the outside has the crack and flex that should not be there.  Noticed that that the right side seems a bit thicker in this same area.  We will have to strip off the paint a see what is behind it.  It sounds from tapping to be roughly a 6" x 6" area heading down and aft that was affected.

 

 

crack_outside.jpg

crack_inside.jpg

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The canard lift tabs bolt to the F22 (in an EZ).  IMO, if all your layups around the F22 and inside the fuselage that tie the F22 to the fuselage seem undamaged it is probably just a matter of repairing the filling on the outside and repainting.  Yeah, you probably flexed the side of the fuselage inward with your straps but if it did not distort the fuselage it is probably OK.  I have a crack in the leading edge of my Cozy strake where I bumped against a hangar support.  Never fixed it.  I think the filler is rather brittle and will crack before there is much other damage.  When you tear the fiberglass, that's when it's a big repair.


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

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Everything around F22 is good and solid.  It is just the outside layer/filler.  It would bug me if I left it, so it'll be repairing it.

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What seat harness have most used for the Varieze?  Mine still has the 4-point  EON E8000 which was suggested in a CP to be replaced due to inadvertent opening with the latch system.

 

 

eon8000.jpg

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