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My VariEze - N40LC


bmckinney10
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I started my trip back to MN today.  Flew from Covington, TN (M04) to Washington, MO (KFYG) to Ames, IA (KAMW). Visiting my son tonight, then headed to KLVN in the morning.

These are unbelievable flying machines.  It will be tough to get back into my Cherokee 140.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I have had my VariEze N40LC home now for a month and have put another 10 hours on. Weather was difficult for the first few weeks, but has been much better the last two.  The hard winter will set in soon so the flying days will be limited in the next 2-3 months.

This thing is a joy to fly!  Thanks to everyone who helped along the way to get N40LC back in the air.  

For anyone out there desiring a VariEze, Long-Ez, Cozy, etc.  Do not be afraid to find a completed/flying plane or one that has sat for awhile and get it back in the air.  There are plenty of knowledgeable people on here that can help you make good decisions.  I was lucky to find a well-built VariEze that had not flown for 16 years.  Structurally, it was exceptional.  I put the time and effort into ensuring the engine and electrical were cleaned up and reliable. New mags, carb, fuel lines, plugs, harness, starter, etc.  It is running really well.

Many people helped along the way to make decisions:  I met Marc Zeitlin in CA and he provided great background and insight as to what to pay attention to on a VariEze.  While there I met Mike Melvill and he shared all kinds of stories of the first flights in Rutan designed aircraft.  He was happy to hear I had bought an "antique".   Robert Harris and his crew at JetGuys were phenomenal with advice and working through my condition inspection and some upgrades.  They can truly do ANYTHING you need with a canard.  Ryszard Zadow provided exceptional transition training for me and the test flight of N40LC.  Several on this board provided various items of advice and suggestions.  There are many people who more than willing to help you make your choices.

The resources and planes are out there.  Some are really low cost.  Go find one and get to it!  I am glad I jumped on my instinct to purchase N40LC.  I am hoping for a few more flights before we get snowed in for the winter.

As a side note, after about 20 hours in the VariEze, I took my Cherokee 140 up for a flight this past weekend.  I literally felt like I was hovering on approach and landing, as if almost in a STOL competition.  Quite a difference... 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi Brian,

what is to length of your canard? I know, I know, awkward for one dude to ask another dude a length question......lol!

 

I recently read in an issue of CP, cutting them down from the plans length of 150” down to 142” due to a CG issue.  I am looking at a local Vari and in looking at the most recent W&B, it’s a little portly at 738 pounds.  I am still trying to understand the W&B tables in the manual.

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Hello!  Mine is at the 142" length.  The original builder modified it when the CP came out.  I also have the cuffs on the wings.  Flies great!

My VariEze was repainted before I bought it, but the original paint was not removed.  I added a starter and oil filter adapter to the O-200, and a few pounds in new wiring for the starter, etc.   

My empty weight (with oil in the engine) is at 712# with nose ballast for balance.  I have only flown solo and it is quick to get off the ground and I can land short if needed.

I am excited for spring to come to get more hours in each week.  We have been in the teens and below in MN for the last 3-4 weeks.  I don't have heat and the feet freeze up quick.

 

 

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Hello,

 

Regarding the original gear level, does the lever or lever end interfere in any way with the pilot in normal seated position when the gear is retracted? 

I'm not seeing this properly perhaps in the two photos I have been able to locate regarding that lever.

Thanks,

f

 

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The original version (which I had) did interfere with my right leg.  The rod pulled back about 8"-10", and then you would slide it over to the right side into a locked position.  This would dig into my right thigh.  A later revision (see CP14, page 7), introduced a spring loaded lock that eliminated the need to slide it to the right.  This would be a good update if you are keeping the pushrod.  I ended up installed the hand-crank worm-gear drive when I was at Covington in November.  I had a brand new worm-gear unit still in the box, and it was a quick swap.

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  • 2 months later...

I had to remove my roll trim servo.  The long side of the control horn broke off and I couldn't get enough throw from the short side.  The center attaching screw would not come out.  It just kept spinning and spinning.  I had to split the control horn to remove it with the hopes that I would be able to use pliers to put some downward pressure on the screw while rotating.  No luck.

The servo was working great.  It had been in place for 40+ years.

As most know, the servo is embedded in the foam between the top and bottom skin layers.  There is no quick way to remove/replace it.  I had to perform some surgery to extract the servo.  I have it out now.  I am going to stick with the RC servo design, but I am going to make a removable cover to access it.    I will post my update when completed.

servo_remove.jpg

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  • 9 months later...

It's been awhile since I last posted on my VariEze in this thread.  I have put over 90 hours on it in about 14 months.  I enjoy it.  I have only made a few changes/fixes to it since I got it back in the air. 

- I completed the roll trim servo change.
- Flew it to Oshkosh and showed it off for 8 days.
- At the CI in November, the compression on #1 was low.  The exhaust valve guide was worn badly the inspection of the cylinder showed it needed to be replaced.  New cylinder is installed.
- I pulled the TailBeacon out of the nose and replaced it with a Trig transponder/ADSB unit that came with my Long-Ez project.
- Changed my elevator down trim-spring to a little stiffer version.  At cruise, the spring was not enough and it just keeps climbing, needing a little wrist pressure.

It has been a rough winter here in MN.  I have only had it up twice in the last 2 months.  I am looking forward to some warmer weather.

My Long-Ez project (see below) is slowly coming along.  I have gutted everything and have to wait for decent weather to roll it outside to continue sanding.  I am going to flip it upside down to redo the main landing gear brackets/hardware.

Soon I will create a new topic on here for my Cozy 3 that I acquired last fall.  It is in immaculate condition both interior and exterior, but it has not flown for 22 years.  The engine is coming off for a rebuild.  Hoping to have that back in the air by late summer.

vez_cozy.thumb.jpg.c1d956ab037fc8f6c6416d02c805c741.jpg

 

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  • 5 months later...

My VariEze made to Oshkosh again.  I arrived Thursday, 7/21 and parked it in the HBP area on EZ Street.  There were more EZs/Canards there this year than last with 12-14 on EZ Street in HBP, about 12 in HBC, 6-7 in front of the Homebuilt registration building on the flight line, 5-6 in the AVC race area, and others scattered in the North and South 40.  A few were stuck in Fond Du Lac, Appleton, and Stevens Point.  Kyle Fowler was there flying the airshows in his Long-Ez.

A few highlights were 4 Defiants onsite, the only known flying VariViggen there for the 50th anniversary, and Ken Swain's VariEze for its 45th consecutive year.  EAA completed an air-to-air photoshoot with the Viggen that should be in next months magazine.  The Viggen (Ryszard Zadow), a VariEze (Leif Johnson), a Long-Ez (Dave Adams), and a Cozy 3 (Jim Springer) completed a Friday morning formation flight.  It was a very cool sight to see them break for landing from the ground.  Here's a Viggen cockpit video from Ryszard.  https://www.facebook.com/ryszard.zadow/videos/371728898453881

I tried to spend a few hours each day at my VariEze talking to people and answering questions.  There was a lot of interest.  Several are still working on builds or rebuilds.  I pointed many to this forum and the Open-Ez project if they were considering starting a new project.  There seems to be a a growing interest in the EZ's.  Let's hope people can keep finding projects to resurrect or start new.

ve_osh_2022_2.jpg

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I suspect a lot of folks consider the Vari and EZ to be dead designs.   Think about taking a sign to display with your airplane saying "You can [still] build this airplane.  Ask me how."  I think there is going to be increased interest in fast, thrifty airplanes like the Vari that can be built from scratch in a couple of years.  🙂

Edited by Kent Ashton

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

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10 hours ago, Kent Ashton said:

I suspect a lot of folks consider the Vari and EZ to be dead designs.   Think about taking a sign to display with your airplane saying "You can [still] build this airplane.  Ask me how."  I think there is going to be increased interest in fast, thrifty airplanes like the Vari that can be built from scratch in a couple of years.  🙂

A good number of people had no idea what it was and were shocked when I told them mine was 42 years old.  They thought it was a brand new design.  Of course I spent quite a bit of time explaining why they parked on their nose, etc.  

I agree with you on the last comment.  There may be hope with the resurgence of the Vari/Long as all other options are so expensive.

I love the VariEze.  So simple, fast, and efficient.  It would be great to see it get legs again.  I fly mine every chance I get.

On a side note, Eureka CNC (wing cores) was recently purchased by Curtis Porter in Utah and he is working to get the machine running again.  Hopefully that helps people make the choice for LongEz build.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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