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I am John Caulkins and I purchased a very heavy Long-EZ. My original plan was to identify where the extra "weight" was located and reduce it. With guidance from several very fine folks like Terry Schubert, I have come to see the folly of my dreams. I am an A&P (retired) and determined to fly my own Long-EZ....someday. I am familiar with the stellar reputations of folks like Marc Zeitlin and others herein and accept their written guidance as gospel. Hopefully, I will find a workable solution to my problem, but in reading several of the posts here, I am sure contacts here will be very valuable.

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2 hours ago, John Caulkins said:

... My original plan was to identify where the extra "weight" was located and reduce it. ... I have come to see the folly of my dreams....

Welcome, John. I don't want to pick on you (because I've seen many cases where someone purchased an airplane thinking they would be able to mold it into what they wanted and weren't able to do so), but this is where I'll throw in my plug for a reputable Pre-Buy examination from one of a number of canard experts who have seen, worked on and inspected many canard aircraft - not just the one they built. It can save you (the generic you) a lot of heartache down the road.

Particularly with weight - it's almost impossible to take weight out of a plane unless there's something very obvious, like big metal accessories that aren't required, or that can be substantially reduced in size.

2 hours ago, John Caulkins said:

... I am an A&P (retired) and determined to fly my own Long-EZ....someday....

And you can. Even a heavy Long-EZ may be a fine plane, as long as you don't want to carry another person and much fuel at the same time. Depending upon engine, many Long-EZ's use 1600 lb as the MGW, rather than the book value of 1325 lb. This reduces the size of the V-N diagram and maximum "G" load (as well as maximum landing vertical velocity), but hardly makes the plane a basket case or unusable. Depending upon your engine and empty weight, this might still be a perfectly useful plane for 90% of your missions.

2 hours ago, John Caulkins said:

... and accept their written guidance as gospel....

Yeah, well, all I can say to that is that even the Pope is only infallible in a very specific set of circumstances. No one's written (or oral) guidance should be accepted as divine truth, least of all mine. Are some folks right most of the time? Sure. But verification and validation, or at least asking for explanations of WHY someone holds the position they do, is necessary.

Let's figure out how to make your plane as usable as possible.

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I'd be interested to know what is "too heavy" and why you think your dream is a folly.  Probably most modern EZs are lots heavier than Rutan envisioned.  It does not seem to be much of a limitation except the main gear mounts and engine mounts need beefing up.  The one I built was 993 empty.  With me (225#), a 200# pax and 30 gallons it was 1598#.   It flew just fine on an O-320 and I wouldn't have hesitated to fly it with full fuel if I had the runway and was not going to horse it around.  I did beef up the gear/engine mounts.  I think Marc will agree that many EZ/Cozy builders do not load their airplanes to the full gross weight and go out and pull 4.4 or 3.8G.   4G is a lot and unless you're going to do aerobatics in your EZ, you may never hit 4G.  On the other hand, you might get in some turbulence at hit 5G or pull out of the clouds with spacial disorientation with 8G but probably not with full fuel and your 200# passenger.

I can't say how close this comes to a failure point but there appear to be a lot of folks flying them with baggage pods, full fuel and two people even with unimproved landing gear mounts.  Marc would have more knowledge of that than me but I was never concerned with the wings or canard coming off.   Dick Rutan set a record at 1900#   http://v2.ez.org/cp23-p3.htm   and Dick and Mike Melville flew their EZs around the world starting at some huge gross weights.  A search did not bring it the numbers.

I think history supports that the design is stronger than necessary.  AFAIK, no EZ that was built right has every come apart.  Rutan did some dramatic tests of canard strength and the european builders have done full load tests to satisfy their aviation authorities.   BTW,  I have never seen my canard  flex more than 1/2". 

Canardtest copy.jpg

Edited by Kent Ashton

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

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Marc and Kent, Thanx for your kind words of encouragement.

So, Aerobatics. Not happening here. But I do recognize G-load risks in the circumstances Kent mentioned. Unequivocally, I state here: I am not interested in aerobatics (except unanticipated maneuvers that may save my life/airplane and then I want to be competent in their performance).

"Heavy Long-EZ": Empty weight at 1135 in April. I will be re-weighing after I re-install the wings and canard (removed for ground transportation - don't ask....long story). I would not say my dream was/is a "folly", but rather the idea of just reducing the weight of an all-composite aircraft.

"Reputable pre-buy inspection": Marc, thanx for making that point and I endorse your comments wholeheartedly. I did not do the pre-buy. What happened? Earlier, I bid on another aircraft online, talking with the owner, only to have it snatched away before I could act. Then, I found a nicely priced Cherokee 235 in decent condition by all appearances several weeks later at Indy Aircraft Sales. I submitted a full asking price offer with a pre-buy contingency, only to lose this aircraft to another bid (the Broker reported to me that I lost out to someone who withdrew their pre-buy contingency). Then, three days later, I found my Long-EZ on Barnstormers. On my first phone call, the Seller informed me that he had been contacted by a buyer in Texas with a partial asking price offer and that he was inclined to accept that offer. I asked some questions over the phone and established with the Seller that if I placed a full-asking offer immediately, he would decline the Texas Buyer. I did so and now own a very heavy Long-EZ with accident history and not so complete log books.

In fairness to my Seller, I believe he was/is an honest and honorable man and he did reveal the accident history - and subsequent corrective actions - to me.  I am responsible for this purchase. I remember asking myself what were the odds that a Long-EZ that had been flying since 2016 would be "unacceptable". I spent too many years working on airplanes to be fooled by a paint job, but it happened. I had spent months researching Rutan, canards, and the Long-EZ in particular, with contacts like David Orr (Beagle) and others, but failed to ask about the aircraft EW and EWCG. I knew that Gary Hertzler's Silver Bullet prop on my airplane was probably the finest available. I knew that while an O-320 was usually more than enough power, my O-360-A4A at 180 hp was going to get me up and out of some "tight" airports. I am not after speed - just gave up a GP-4 Project (75% complete) that could easily compete with the Falco and even some Lancairs in that category. But then came the 95 kt approach and all of a sudden I owned an airplane that would be very challenged getting into my 3000' strip with trees in Ohio.

I do not seek sympathy. I know I took a chance and it became a mistake. As a Private Pilot, I am currently grounded until I can get my 3rd Class again, but the ATP who ferried it up to Ohio from Florida for me as well as the Seller all commented on how nice the airplane flies.....with one person onboard, only. And yes, it is fast. You can probably hear my wife in the background, "WHAT!! You spent all that money on an airplane that you have not seen in person and now it cannot even land at our airport?". I bought her a new puppy a couple of days ago, and now have some renewed hope for my marriage!

Currently, and quite by luck, I am doing the most intelligent thing possible (for me) right now. I made contact with Terry Schubert whose 34 year old Long-EZ is parked less than 10 miles from mine, and I am listening to him. Under his guidance, I will correct some minor safety stuff (fuel cap retainer chain; nose wheel bracket attach method; etc.), redo some placards (including installing a compass correction card and the airworthiness certificate plastic pocket), and rework some wiring that just is not up to my personal standards. At that point, I plan to offer it for sale. Marc, your comment about this aircraft's usefulness for someone intending to fly solo without full tanks is supported by similar comments from Terry, and I just hope both of you are correct.

As far as "gospel", well.....that's another long tome...for another day. But suffice it to say that someone who has been through my experience can easily be forgiven for having more than a passing interest in carbon fiber construction. The clear admonishment against throwing CF at a Long-EZ which several members have posted here is an example of accepted "gospel" for me. It is not blind faith, but informed inspiration supported by reason.


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1135 with a -360 in the back doesn't sound so bad.

If you're willing to share some photos of the bird, plenty of people (such as myself) are always interested to see.

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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On 8/23/2020 at 1:03 PM, John Caulkins said:

Currently, and quite by luck, I am doing the most intelligent thing possible (for me) right now. I made contact with Terry Schubert whose 34 year old Long-EZ is parked less than 10 miles from mine, and I am listening to him.

That is quite a bit of luck. You have quite the source of valuable canard information in Terry.

Welcome to the forum!

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, jridge said:

Nice looking bird!  What are the two antennas mounted on either side of the fuselage at the back of the strakes?

Vertical antennae are either COM or ELT. ( or very poorly installed VOR). No reason for external COM antennae on a Long-EZ.

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  • 3 weeks later...
What"s a "VOR"? 

Responding to a rhetorical question ... that's the box I put in my airplane to give it a legitimate IFR capability.  The VAL NAV2000 is "only" $1300 at Aircraft Spruce and gives me an ILS (using my Dynon SkyView) at the nearby towered field when I need it. 

Some people spend that much every couple of years on the "Garmin tax" (database updates for their GTNs, GDLs, and other TLAs* for LRUs** I don't need or want).

* TLA == Three Letter Acronym

** LRU == Line Replaceable Unit

Joe Dubner

Long-EZ, RV-8A

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1 minute ago, Kent Ashton said:

You didn’t answer his question.  🙂.  

Thanx, Kent! I love it when someone comes to my support!

"Very high frequency Omni-directional Range".......sort of like where the cows graze (on the "range"), ehh? I suppose I will be caught making fun of VOR's on the forum when the GPS goes to crap nationwide as we bring on "a new phone service" and all we are left with is the few VOR's still ticking.

John Caulkins

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  • 1 year later...

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