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Pre-Build questions from a new (soon to be) builder

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Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and either enjoying building or flying your creations.

I was hoping that there might be some of you that could offer me some advice and clear up some questions that I have prior to commencing building my own baby, I mean ... pride and joy ... I mean Canard Aircraft. Yah, the last one.

So firstly, I guess I should talk about my "mission" and why I want to build.

I want to build for a few reasons. Namely, being cost effective means of both owning an aircraft, and paying for flying hours. Then there is also the freedom of being able to go where ever you want to go when you want to go, instead of asking the local club if it is ok to take the plane for the next 3 days. Having the freedom to build an aircraft that suits me and my personality is also very high on the list. And finally, the fact that I, Me, I did that, I built it.

As for a "mission". Well, there is a couple of things that I want to do with this plane. First, I live on the East Coast of Australia, I have family on the West Coast. This a trip of about 1954 nm without reserves, or allowance for taxi fuel etc. Obviously it would be brilliant to be able to do this trip in an 8 to 10 hour day (maybe 11 if I push myself), as well as taking any future family I may have with me (who knows, I might get married and have kids, then again I may not!). I'd like to do the trip without stopping as well, I know, a big ask, but this leads me into my second part. A flight around the world. The biggest leg of this journey looks to be LA to Hawaii at 2221nm, something that I need to do in a single hop, there's no option with that one. After both of those, it would be little flights here and there, and just having some general fun in my own plane. Hey, why not, it's mine after all right?

I've already been talking to some local builders, and I have been so far convinced that a modified Cozy IV would be the best option for all of this. Speed, Range, Stability, and yes, I do think it looks sexy. Maybe you guys and girls have a different opinion, if you do I'd love to hear it. But if not, then that is probably what I have decided on, I've already asked my local aussie Aircraft Spruce supplier for a quote on the plans and some of the kits, so I'll be ordering at least the plans soon.

So I guess now onto my questions about building, and Wow, I have a few. Please stick with me.

1. The foam that is used in the construction of a Long-EZ/Cozy, is this a structural component? I am assuming that it makes up some of the rigidity because it forms the sandwich structure with the glass? and If it is structural do the plans specify the exact type and manufactured grade to use? I foresee some issues in getting a local supplier, so the more detail I have about the foam the better I can ensure I am getting the exact thing needed.

2. If the foam is structural in terms of providing rigidity to the glass, has anyone known of a good flying example of someone using a lighter material to replace it, like Aluminum or Nomex Honeycomb, in less structurally critical areas? Note, I would not dare to deviate from the plans in places like ... the spar! In trying to achieve my goals with the aircraft, saving weight would be a top priority so that I can have a greater useful load, hence this question, and the next.

3. The (assumingly) official Cozy website lists the "Gross Weight" as 2050 lbs (929.86 Kg).
3.A. Is this the design Max Take Off Weight? or is it Max Ramp Weight? or even something different? I am a little confused. I've been told by the local building organisation that the builder sets their own MTOW for their own craft, however I am cognisant of what the designer has designed the air frame to do including safety, I don't want to eat an engineers safety margin, that's the bit that keeps me safe.
3.B. The listed Empty Weight of 1050 lbs (476.27 Kg), is that including some specific standard engine that it is designed around? (I think the Lycoming O-360, 200hp) (The reason I ask is because of questions 3.C. and 6, but we'll get to that)
3.C. If the "Gross Weight" is the MTOW Design, that would leave me with: assumingly 453.5kg useful load. Take 2 x Pax (assume 80kg each) = 293.5 kg for fuel & baggage. Minus 30 for Baggage (being cautious) leaves 260kg for fuel which = 85 gal, assume 9 gal per hour cruise (based on Continental CD300) at 190 kts, gets me 1790nm no reserves or taxi etc. So the Question. Does anyone know how I could I make the LA to Hawaii flight with this math and MTOW? am I wrong in my assumptions?

4. The reason for question 3 is that I am trying to plan fuel for the round the world trip (and also, East to west coast and return). I know that I'll need some sort of Auxillary tanks, I just need to know how big can I make them, how much raw fuel can I pack into this thing, whilst still having room for me, a round the world partner, and our baggage. I am planning (at the moment, always subject to change) of solving this by adding some (for lack of a better term) "Drop Tanks" or "Conformal Tanks" on the outside either under the wing or along the fuselage. Does anyone have any suggestion about this, which one to use, which one will help keep up a high cruise speed etc.? If you're not sure about "Conformal Tanks" (I wasn't either) here's an OKish Wikipedia article on them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conformal_fuel_tank

5. I've read that the canard of the Long-EZ (which the Cozy is Based) has 2 different designs, the original, and a RONCZ (?) design. The latter being more impervious to things like water droplets or dead bugs. Does anyone know which one the plans of the Cozy say to build?

6. I've been looking at a few different engines that I could use with this air frame. For a round the world flight I'd prefer a turbine for 3 reasons. 1) Reliability 2) The availability of JET A fuel around the world 3) The smooth running of the engine, a much more comfortable ride. I've found a company here in Australia that is releasing their first turbine engine next year. It is designed specifically for experimental aircraft. So a few question about engines:
6.A. The Turb Aero engine (TA200P) is significantly lighter (about the half the weight) of other pistons of the same hp. How would this affect CoG for a Cozy? And would anyone disagree that this would be a good choice for the air frame? (Engine can be found here: turb.aero). Also, noting that it is lighter, and produces more HP at 75% cruise would that equate to a higher Cruise Speed? I am also assuming lighter means I can cram in more fuel in place of the weight saving?
6.B. If I cant do the TA200P for what ever reason then I would look at maybe one of the engines Diamond are using on their twins (Austro AE 330) or their new single RG (Continental CD300). Would this also suit my needs? If I went for the continental engine increased HP (300hp max, 260hp cruise) provide a higher cruise speed? can the air frame as designed handle a cruise speed of say 200 to 220 Kts (230 to 250 mph) or would I need to make modifications to achieve this?
6.C. The reason I am looking at engines so early on is the calculation of fuel burn and making an educated guess on the cruise speed (question 6.B. allowing). I do want this to be fast, I know that the LA to Hawaii leg of my trip will be very long, there are reasons why pilot operating limits exist and I don't want to be fatigued and have an incident. I know the Turb Aero engine will burn more fuel than the other two I am looking at, but in the opinion of this forum is the reliability, weight saving, smooth ride, and experience of using a turbine worth it?

OK. I guess I should probably leave it there for now, that's all I can think of, and it is a huge amount, maybe the answers here could help someone else looking a building as well. Although I assume a lot of your answers will probably just raise more questions. Hopefully I can get to building soon and maybe meet some of you in the sky!

Thanks in advance for all of your answers! And the Best of Regards,

Phil

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Posted (edited)

Phil, Always nice to meet a person interested in the Cozy but there are many sources for the questions you have.  Most of them have been hashed over many times.  Come back after you have read the topics in this forum, reviewed www.cozybuilders.com, the discussions in the Cozybuilders Googlegroup and reviewed some of the many builder websites listed at Cozybuilders.com   Use google.  For example a search for "Cozy Mk IV turbine engine" brings up EZs that have used turbines and the considerations.   A Google Images search for "foam" or "roncz" will bring up many pictures and lead to many posts.

If I wanted to fly around the world, a Cozy would not be my choice but a builder or two have crossed the Atlantic and it's been done in Long-EZs

I would say my Cozy is good for 1000nm if I go slow and I'm not fighting a headwind.  East to West in Austrailia for 1954 miles with a 30 knot headwind (125 kt ground speed) is a 16 hr trip.   I flew an EZ across the U.S. East to West in the winter and it was a 17 hour trip and 3 gas stops.  Going W. to E. up high in the winter it might be two very long hops.

BTW, there are a fair number of Cozy and EZ builders in OZ.  You can connect via the Cozybuilders Google Group.

Edited by Kent Ashton

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

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16 minutes ago, Kent Ashton said:

reviewed www.cozybuilders.com, the discussions in the Cozybuilders Googlegroup and reviewed some of the many builder websites listed at Cozybuilders.com

www. cozybuilders.org - not .com

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(disclaimer:  I'm not a pilot nor a builder.....yet.  That said, I've been doing a lot of research)

With regards to range and fuel efficiency, here are a few thoughts:
1) In general, lower speed = longer range at the expense of time.  According to cozyaircraft.com, running at 40% power and 185MPH instead of 75% power and 220MPH will net you a whopping 30% increase in range (from 1,000 miles to 1,300), assuming no head or tail winds
2) In general, higher altitude = higher speed, at the expense of oxygen, cold temperatures, and reduced engine power (unless turbocharged)
3) Turbines are thirsty, thirsty engines.  Fast, sure, but very, very thirsty.  In a plane the size of a Cozy, you want piston power.
4) Aircraft diesel engines are promising, but also very, very expensive at this time.  ac-aero has their Falcon FL200 that's supposedly 75KG and 210(!) HP, but its BFSC of >.39 will probably erase all the range advantages of a diesel.  Continental has a whole lineup of diesel engines, but again, $$$$, and they're heavy.
5) Further on the diesel engines, the CD-300 weighs a whopping 550 lbs dry, and would push your empty weight to 1300lbs.  That leaves you only 340kg for passengers, bags, and fuel.  The stock fuel tanks hold 150kg.  If you, your passenger, and your bags consume another 170kg, you'll end up with only 20kg of extra fuel before you hit Max Gross.  Fast is nice, but you pay for it three times:  first when you buy the engine, second when you can't carry as much fuel because of the engine weight, and third with the higher fuel consumption to go faster.

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Phil, welcome to the forum.

Here are some additional responses to the numbered items in your mega-question 🙂:

1) Foam. The plans specify the foam to use.

2) Alternates to foams. Not worth the consideration in my opinion. I wouldn't even consider changing the foam material as the cost/effort-benefit would not be worth it.

3) MTOW vs Max Ramp Weight (and Max Taxi Weight). I just learned something trying to figure out what these two new MRW and MTW terms were. Most (all?) small airplanes only care about MTOW as the maximum weight the aircraft can be, whether in the hangar, or about to take off. I have never seen someone thinking about subtracting the 1 pound of fuel they might have burned from the hangar to the runway. 

4) Round the World. Nobody is going to give you meaningful and specific advice on how to plan a round-the-world trip in a public forum, so expect that. Be prepared to deploy all your cash reserves here. Get in touch with Damon Meyer who was planning to do the same in his flying Cozy III, which he had fitted with a huge fuel tank occupying his entire back seat. After years of planning, campaigning, and real work, he has not been able to get off the ground though. It's a massive undertaking.

5) The Cozy plans include the Roncz canard plans (modified for the Cozy).

6) Engines... round-the-world... diesels... turbines... oh my. Build a Cozy IV with a Lycoming 360-type, take yourself to some places, and then your family when you trust everything. It's massive accomplishment considering the success rate of those intending to build and fly vs. those that actually do it. Once you've built and flown in standard configuration, look at your plane and revisit whether it's the one to fly around the world. At that point you will know enough to answer your own questions here.

Your first step is to buy the plans.


Jon Matcho :busy:
Canard Zone Member & Administrator
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Building a Cozy Mark IV

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I did not build from plans; it still took close to a millium to finish.

There are some considerations that you did not mention:   (1) your age and previous work with fiberglass, etc. - some people can do a lot in a year; I took years.

(2) Where do you live and what is the weather ?   Working in Minnesota or Phoenix are quite a bit different.   My wife HAD A HANGAR when I met her and it still took years.

(3) Where do you plan to do the work?    My wife's hangar was warmed by two electric heaters and was a tiny space.   Now I have the Longeze in a hangar in Olympia, WA.   I cannot work there much of the year because the hangar is too cold for much of the work;  I cannot warm that big thing with the electricity that they will allow.   I can get about 3 degrees above the outside air.    There is NOT AS SINGLE DAY in the year when Aeropoxy will set properly inside that hangar.    There are other epoxies that are structural at the temperature that you will work but you should find one before you start this enormous project.

 

 

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Hey again Everyone, I've been a little busy lately, I'll try and go from top to bottom.

On 4/8/2021 at 12:18 AM, Kent Ashton said:

Always nice to meet a person interested in the Cozy

Thanks!!!! Nice to Meet you too.

On 4/8/2021 at 12:18 AM, Kent Ashton said:

there are many sources for the questions you have

Sorry for repeating questions. My GoogleFu has been a little off lately. I have been trying to research this as best I can, there are just somethings I haven't been able to find.

On 4/8/2021 at 12:18 AM, Kent Ashton said:

If I wanted to fly around the world, a Cozy would not be my choice

Can I please ask what would be your choice and why? I am genuinely interested in everyone's opinion as to what is the best base air frame to start from and build up to accomplish this task. If you could tell the reasons for your choice even better. Is it a space thing? Speed? Range? Ease of Build? Looks?

On 4/12/2021 at 3:21 AM, Jon Matcho said:

Phil, welcome to the forum

Hi Jon, Thanks alot.

On 4/12/2021 at 3:21 AM, Jon Matcho said:

1) Foam. The plans specify the foam to use.

PERFECT! Thank you.

On 4/12/2021 at 3:21 AM, Jon Matcho said:

3) MTOW vs Max Ramp Weight

I was only asking this because it isn't listed explicitly somewhere as MTOW, only Gross. Which by definition are two very different things. I was always taught to take your taxi, run up, and idle fuel into account when planning. This ensures that you "Should" never run out of fuel on longer journeys. It is actually very important when you start to get into commercial aviation/turbines/bigger than a 4 seater.

On 4/12/2021 at 3:21 AM, Jon Matcho said:

Damon Meyer who was planning to do the same in his flying Cozy III, which he had fitted with a huge fuel tank occupying his entire back seat.

I think I've come across the posts about it. It looks promising, just not the way I want to do it, but I guess that's the beauty of experimental aviation right?

On 4/12/2021 at 3:21 AM, Jon Matcho said:

5) The Cozy plans include the Roncz canard plans (modified for the Cozy).

Again, PERFECT! Thank You.

On 4/12/2021 at 3:21 AM, Jon Matcho said:

Your first step is to buy the plans.

MY Order Is IN!!! I Can't Wait

On 4/12/2021 at 11:14 AM, A Bruce Hughes said:

(1) your age and previous work with fiberglass, etc

Hi Bruce. I'm 31. I've had some experience, mostly with chopp strand, I hated that the fiber's would get everywhere and itch, but I know that proper woven fibers are different. I'm taking about 6 months ish (maybe more maybe less) away from large work commitments which will give me a lot of time and I'm going to work on this almost every day (I know there will be days that I won't feel like doing it, and those will be the day's where mistakes are made, so no work on those days).

On 4/12/2021 at 11:14 AM, A Bruce Hughes said:

(2) Where do you live and what is the weather ? 

I'm In New South Wales, Australia. Weather: http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/northernrivers.shtml something along those lines. It can get cold in the winter (coming up now, can go down to 0 degrees C in some parts), and rather hot in the summer (32 degrees C)

On 4/12/2021 at 11:14 AM, A Bruce Hughes said:

(3) Where do you plan to do the work?   There are other epoxies that are structural at the temperature that you will work but you should find one before you start this enormous project.

At First, In my Garage, Eventually moving to a hangar for the finishing. A mate of mine has a workshop that I could use, its not suitable for composite work, but I could build the composites in my garage and move them there to finish. Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to look into what others are using here in Aus.

 

Thanks for all the tips and advice guys, I appreciate all the input. For those that have made the comment re turbines being super thirsty I would very strongly encourage you to check out the TA-200P from Turb Aero (url: turb.aero). Yes it does use more fuel. It uses 43L per hour i think, compared to about 35L or 33L per hour of an equivalent piston.

Thanks again guys, I plan on making some video's about my experience. Hopefully you can check some of them out in due course.

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If you haven't tried this, here is another good source of info including info on epoxies (among other tons of things).

http://cozybuilders.org/

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My choice to fly around the world would be a Bonanza  but I might try it in a Bearhawk or a Vans RV.  Better still, in the cabin of a Boeing.  You know that Experimental airplanes must have permission from each country to fly in that country's airspace, right?  I would say to crawl before you walk.  Keep in mind that the 80% (or so) of Cozy plans buyers bought them with big dreams but never finished them.   If flying around the world is your mission, examine airplanes that are doing it now.    Here is one  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_YMUUbonlfzhah0HW4xGGg

If you like the Cozy design, build one to plans.  If you finish that one and want to build one with a turbine.  Sell the first one and try another.  This is no harder and less expensive than what you're suggesting and it will give you experience along the way.  You may very well decide that your Cozy was fine for some things but not the right airplane for others.    Or your tastes change, babies come along, etc.

43L per hour goes pretty fast when you can only carry 196 liters and to get that fuel flow you have to be on oxygen at 25000 feet and it takes 45 minutes to descend back to landing altitude.  My Cozy averages 30 L/hr.  OK, so you install your turbine + extra tanks and you have a $150,000 airplane trying to perform a mission it was never designed for, flying in all sorts of weather it was not designed to fly in. 

Happy to assist you to build a Cozy to plans though.  🙂


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

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