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bmckinney10

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bmckinney10 last won the day on February 23

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About bmckinney10

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    Member

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  • Real Name (Public)
    Brian
  • Location (Public)
    Lakeville, MN

Project/Build Information

  • Plane
    VariEze

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  1. Find an existing VariEze (a flying version just appeared on Barnstormers today for $14.5k), do whatever cleanup/updates are needed and get in the air. I did this last year and have been enjoying every hour of flight. Awesome plane.
  2. Weather was favorable in MN for a flight yesterday!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. I have the cuffs on my VariEze that I started flying in November. I have 25 hours in so far and have no issues. I have never flown one with vortilons, so I have no comparison. Someone posted to me early last year that the cuffs may produce dutch rolls if too slow on touchdown. I have not experienced this condition, but I may touchdown a bit faster at this point as I am still in the learning phase with my VariEze. I always thought they switched to the vortilons because they were easier to install and provided the similar effect as the cuffs, but there is more to it as we have read. Some have indicated you may pick up a few knots with the vortilons over cuffs. Right now the VariEze is fast enough for me. I came from flying Cherokee 140.
  6. My advice is to find an existing VariEze if it fits yours needs. You cannot beat the value. I went through this process last year. I found a good deal on a well-built VariEze with 570 hours on it. It had not flown for 16 years. I put some time and a little money into getting it back into flying condition (mags, carb, hoses, electrical, starter, instrumentation). I learned everything I could about the construction by working through these items. I got checked out in flying canards, had a thorough condition inspection in Covington, TN, and then flew it home to Minnesota in November. MN weather is not very cooperative in the winter, but I have managed to put over 20 hours on it in the last 2 months. I am 5'9" and 175#. I fit just fine, but not a lot of extra space. You have to be organized with your cockpit. I absolutely enjoy flying the VariEze. Here's a story I wrote for Ryszard with RAFE about my VariEze. https://www.rutanaircraftflyingexperience.org/post/an-rafe-christmas-story
  7. Oddly enough, some of the older builders have no idea they can get anywhere near $20K for their canard. I have all the receipts from the builder of my VariEze. His most expensive part was a $3300 Cont. O-200-A in 1978. He likely built the entire plane for under $10k. The tendency for seniors to avoid technology/internet generally inhibits them from knowing the current value. Plus they likely just reference what they put into it 40 years ago for the value, minus depreciation. Many are apprehensive of selling due to liability concerns and also because the plane has sat for so long and they think is it worthless. I believe the elderly builder of my flying VariEze sold it in 2018 for around $5000 to the second owner. The 2nd owner sold it to the 3rd owner within 6 months and made a quick profit. The 3rd owner refinished the paint and interior. I bought it in 2019 for a very affordable price and put it in a quality operating condition for a considerably small amount. Spending time with the Marc Zeitlin, Robert Harris/JetGuys, Ryszard Zadow, and some others is the most valuable education you can get on how to understand the Rutan designs. Paying for their assistance, consultation, or services is a minimal expense if you are really serious about finding and owning a canard. I learn a lot on this forum and other internet sites, but being face-to-face in front of a Rutan design with an experienced builder/owner is priceless.
  8. I've read several posts about people looking for a Vari/Long/Cozy. At any point in time, there are usually a few listed on Barnstormers, Facebook, Craigslist, etc. Aside from Kent's list here and a few other canard forums, there is not an abundant amount of these being advertised. The reality with our canards is that most were likely built in the 80's or 90's, and the original builder was in his 30's, 40's, or 50's when he started/finished. Today in 2021, many of these owners have passed away or are no longer flying, and their plane is sitting in a hangar or garage. A good portion of these completed or close-to-completion planes have never been offered for sale. Some may tossed out for scrap. Many younger pilots today have no idea what they are. I flew my VariEze from TN to MN in November, and at each stop, a minimum of 5 people came out asking what I was flying. They had never seen a canard before. They were all shocked when I told them it was a 40 year-old plane. Over at the EAA forum, someone posted an FAA listing of registered experimentals over the last 9 years (2012-2020): Rutan Long-EZ 482 428 418 416 417 406 379 380 378 Rutan Varieze 423 323 297 286 286 272 243 238 231 From 2012 to 2020, 104 Long-Ez's, and 192 VariEze's have disappeared. Some may have been destroyed, but I would guess many are still sitting in a hangar or garage, collecting dust. When I started my research for a Rutan design in 2019, I used the FAA website and aviationdb.net to find Vari's/Long's that were within a reasonable distance from me. These sites do not list phone numbers, but do have the mailing address of whoever registered it last. I sent out several letters by mail to research the non-active models. I had at least an 80% return of an email or phone call from my list. In some cases, they no longer had the plane, selling off as parts or having destroyed it. Some still had the parts and were still planning on some building activity, and some had a complete non-flying plane, sitting in a hangar. In all cases, I met a person who was once involved in Rutan designs, were still excited about them, and in many cases gave me another contact of someone they knew who may have one or had other contacts. In today's world, we tend to think we can find everything on the internet. I was guilty of that concept as I have been working in a technical field for 30+ years. What I found was that old-fashioned USPS mail was the key to finding information that led me to owning a very nice VariEze for a great price. It takes time, but I learned more in the process. As a side note, you never know what you will find at your local airport. Get to know as many people as you can and ask about other tenants. I have been at my local airport for 12 years. It has roughly 90 hangars. I have never seen a Rutan design on the field. In recent months, I learned that the hanger directly next to me had a Long-Ez in it up until 2018. I never saw it, but it was sold and is now located in Missouri. I learned of several other hangars on the field that once had some sort of Rutan design in it. The number of "available" canards will be growing each year. Keep digging and keep these great designs flying! EDIT: As a side note, it is good to see that the Cozy is holding strong! Cozy 164 158 160 164 165 163 151 151 156
  9. Is there a known drop in "available" RC servo for the roll trim to replace the original (obsolete) KPI-15ii servo? I had the long half of the control horn snap off and cannot get the small center screw on the horn to come out. I moved the control rod to the short side, but cannot get enough throw. I assume I will break the horn completely and have to then cut the old servo out. At that point, I would plan to replace it with a comparable, available servo and hardware.
  10. 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...
  11. My son is graduating in May with an Aerospace Engineering degree and he worked as an intern at Scaled Composites this past summer. He really enjoyed the experience designing and working with the composite projects while there. This is a perfect project Ez we can go through and refurbish. It is a flying Long-Ez with 1200 hours. The previous owner has helped a friend build a Long-Ez in the 80's. He decided to start one as well, but decided getting it in the air was more important than the fine details of bodywork. We will work though it as I did with the VariEze to clean it up and update as needed. My son has his pilot's license too, so I am sure he will claim one of them eventually. 🙂
  12. Just two weeks after the completion of the restoration and flying of my VariEze (N40LC), I decided I needed to find another canard. I brought this Long-Ez home yesterday and will begin sanding for a restoration this weekend. It had been flown 1200 hours and has many desirable extras. I'll post updates as I get into it.
  13. I received this from the seller. Seems like a great VariEze for the price! Yellow Varieze N650LB $21,500 Cash 1368.0 hrs on Airframe with current annual 394.1 hrs on Lycoming 0-235 L2C since major overhaul by Premier Aircraft in Troutdale OR (I have paper work for overhaul) 994.4 hrs on cylinders since new 211.4 hrs on Catto prop (2700 on climb out) 949.5 hrs on Hertzler prop (cruise prop 164 mph true @ 2500) 2500 on climb out 207.1 hrs run on Older wooden climb prop which I ran for test hours and first hrs on plane Last flown on Oct 30, 2020 I have had the plane to 206 mph straight and level, and 240 mph in a descent. Trio Auto pilot - wing leveler AND altitude hold, climb, and descend also. Icom A200 radio with internal intercom Two light speed headsets. One never used. Transponder - Garmin GTX327 Heat muff on right exhaust. Heats pilot area fairly well. Not sure on back seat heat. Rear stick not currently in plane but slips on for passenger use. Landing light Position lights Electric Primer - use boost pumps to prime for 4 seconds Electric starter Mags on engine 394.1 hrs Impulse mag 4371 SN - 13090222 Right mag 4370 SN - 13071730 EGT gauge sticks at zero - need to tap it and then works fine Fresh oil change Compression check - all in the 70’s / 80 Brakes are ok Tires are ok Oxygen tank holder is on back of pilot seat Garmin 196 runs the autopilot Auxiliary fuel tank with new aux fuel pump. Easy removal. Seat belt holds it in. Plugs into cig lighter socket for power to boost pump & fuel gauge. Aux tank holds 23 gallon, special shape to keep correct CG empty or full. I usually run premium no alcohol auto gas in it. Oxygen system with two canulas, oxygen bottles, and filler hose. Folding bicycle that fits in the back seat when the aux tank or passenger is not in there. Seat belt holds it in place. Mag timer & compression tester Two stands that go under wings to support plane when working on brakes, tires, bearings, etc. Back up mags that work fine. Hours unknown. Impulse mag 4371 SN - 05041437 Right mag 4370 SN - 04060242
  14. 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.
  15. And a landing. Not great, but down safely and no parts fell off. This was my 5th solo landing. landing.mp4

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