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slowflyer5

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About slowflyer5

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Personal Information

  • Real Name (Public)
    Larry
  • Location (Public)
    Bangkok, Thailand

Project/Build Information

  • Plane
    Cozy Mark IV

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  1. So now that I've gotten a chance to "get my hands on the real thing" (even if it doesn't fly), I have a few questions to ask you guys about moving forwards with a Cozy project of my own... 1. I'm guessing the plane I sat in was built to Asian body sizes, because everyone I was with fit perfectly. But my legs barely fit through the hole in the front panel to reach the rudder peddles, and once through, the peddles were probably a good 4-6 inches too close to comfortably fly. (I'm about 6'3" tall.) These spacings are adjustable at build time, correct? (Maybe move the front seat back and sacrifice leg room in the back? Or might the peddles have a few inches to move forwards?) 2. When I tried to close the canopy while I was in the pilot seat, it hit me in the head. :) With the help of others, we found that the canopy was about 4" from fully closed when I could feel the top start to touch my hair. The seats are fairly low to begin with, although I can see way over the top of the dashboard. (My eyeline is a little over a foot above the top of the dashboard... is that normal?) I do have access to custom acrylic shops that can produce a custom canopy, but does changing the shape of the canopy cause any significant aerodynamic concerns? Are there other people in the 6'+ height range that have been able to sit comfortably in a Cozy MkIV? What did you guys do? 3. The professors at the university seemed like they regretted that no one ever took an interest in trying to certify the plane for airworthiness. They sort of asked me if I was interested enough to partner with the university to get the plane to the airworthy stage. At this point, it has been sitting in storage for a few years, so it has quite a bit of dust, and a few linkage issues, etc. (The ailerons seemed to move freely when adjusting the flight controls, but the elevator didn't feel connected at all.) All the wiring was in place behind the control panel but I didn't try to turn it on. The engine hasn't been started in a few years (and then I think it was only started once or twice and run up a few times while the plane was parked) so it presumably needs an overhaul. But this plane has a fully equipped brand new Garmin glass cockpit, a brand new engine and propeller, brand new landing gear and brakes, Insight strike finder lightning detection, etc. Since I was thinking to build a Cozy from scratch, I'm wondering whether this might be a reasonable "smaller project". Although I'm not sure what would be involved in restoring a derelict brand-new plane built by a bunch of students. If I were willing to take the plane completely apart and evaluate the entire thing piece-by-piece to evaluate the build quality of each individual piece and connection and repair what needs repairing, rebuild what needs rebuilding, and put the plane back together... is this a project that would be less or more work than building a new Cozy from scratch?
  2. I mentioned previously that I serendipitously stumbled across what is almost certainly the only Cozy MkIV built in Thailand. It was high-school student built under supervision by university engineering professors, and it was never certified to fly after completion. It is now sitting in a workshop at a university in Bangkok. So last week I managed to get an appointment and go down there to check it out. Here are some pictures I took around the plane:
  3. Just a quick update: I've spent the past few weeks working my contacts and I've gotten in touch with someone that invited me to come by and look at the plane sometime in November. I'll try to post some pictures here. If the cockpit feels like it fits, then it might be time for me to order the plans. 😁 Side question: from a casual observer standpoint (i.e. not taking the plans apart and looking inside), are there any points on the plane I can look at to get a sense of the quality of construction of this plane? Are there any connections that are hard to get to line up perfectly, or lines hard to get straight that would give me a very rough sense of how much care they put into building it?
  4. It is good to hear from someone in a similar situation that internet support is enough for this kind of project. Thanks for sharing your experience. As I've been researching home built aircraft here in Thailand, I just found out that there is in fact a completed Cozy MkIV in Thailand. Sort of. 🤨 It turns out that a number of years ago, an engineering professor started a program to teach high school kids about engineering by building an airplane. Which plane? A Cozy MkIV. It took 7 years and had some contribution from over 3000 students. After completing the plane, they didn't even test fly it, though. (If 3000 high school kids built my plane, I'd be afraid to test fly it too. Not sure how you'd sufficiently QC everyone's work.) They donated it to the National Science and Technology Development Agency for display. Here is a link: https://www.nstda.or.th/th/news/5238-201760508-cozy-mark-iv Text is in Thai, but there are a handful of pictures. I actually have a number of contacts in this organization, so I'm going to see if I can take a look at the plane and hopefully sit in it to see how it feels. On the ground.
  5. Thanks so much for the information. It is good to know that I'm not going to be too out there building this far away from others. I'm just curious whether you find that you get enough support via questions in forums and pictures, or do you often find the lack of a human being that can come by and discuss issues with a real limiting factor? I have a very limited amount of experience in composites on a small boat project I built recently. I'm actually thinking about reordering my next two projects and doing a larger composite sailboat first before the Cozy. It looks like a significantly easier project, would get my hands dirty so to speak with composites, and would probably complete around the time that international travel restrictions start to lift and I could try to get some practice flights in a Cozy somewhere around the time I'd begin building the Cozy. I'll definitely check out your build log online. Thanks again and good luck on building!
  6. You've given me quite a bit to think about. Much of the materials on that list looks sourcable here. The brakes, nose gear and other airplane specific stuff, probably not. (But I'll check anyway.) I will look into this a bit, as well as looking into hiring a freight forwarder to simply take all the kits at once, load them onto a shipping container, and I'll deal with customs and delivery at the port of Bangkok. But you've also gotten me thinking about building vs buying. I'm a builder at heart, but I also need a "point in". And maybe more importantly, I assume I will need training in flying an already flight tested plane before I begin dealing with flight testing my own build. And maybe that training would be helpful prior to build, too? And not having a community here for in person support (at least in the beginning) sounds like it might be a problem. If I could request some advice: Would it make more sense to wait the year or two before international travel gets back to something resembling normal, and then make the trip to the USA (where it looks like most of the Cozy's are), and spend a week or two training with someone there? Even if I could get a basic set of kits imported here, given the difficulty in shipping replacement parts, spares, accessories, missing pieces, etc... would it really make more sense to buy an inspected, well built complete plane and just ship that over? I'm assuming I'll still be struggling with replacement parts, etc, but at least I'd be starting with all the pieces. I'm looking forward to building about as much as I'm looking forward to flying. But at the same time, it might make sense to have experience with the plane before building. I know these are newbie questions, as much for me to figure out myself as to ask advice from anyone else. But any opinions, judgments, thoughts, advice or suggestions on the matter would be quite welcome.
  7. Also, with regards to the chapter specific kits referenced above, how much of these kits contain generally sourceable materials and how much of it is specific "Cozy" stuff? I understand that the canopy and landing gear parts will almost certainly need to be imported, but I can source polystyrene foam at various densities here in Thailand (many of the factories that make the stuff are within a few miles of here), as well as various types of resins, fiberglass fabric, and plywood in any grade. It just seems like a wasted round trip to source materials from the US, dealing with shipping and customs, when the materials may actually be manufactured locally here and in many cases exported to the US. (I laughed at myself pretty hard when I imported several high end computer monitors from the USA almost 20 years back because my trusted brand was hard to find in Thailand, when I saw the "made in Thailand" sticker on the back. Turns out, they just sold them under a different brand name here.)
  8. Hi Kent, Thanks so much for the pictures and the advice. I'm so tempted to just buy the plans and begin watching the videos and building test parts. It looks like an incredible project with a lot for me to begin learning. As for winter in Bangkok...🙄 We have something called "winter" here, but I'm not sure it means the same thing here. As a friend of mine sometimes calls it "come and experience the blazing heat of a Bangkok winter". In the past decade, I do remember 1, maybe 2 nights where the coldest temperature in the wee hours of the morning got down to about 60F (for an hour or two). I'm not sure if I've experienced a day where the afternoon temps weren't at least 80F. I enjoyed this quote from the following link: https://en.climate-data.org/asia/thailand/bangkok/bangkok-6313/#temperature-graph "December is the coldest month, with temperatures averaging 78.1 °F." This average includes overnight lows. The average daily afternoon highs in December is 89F. And if you're ever planning on visiting Bangkok, I would recommend avoiding April (summer). 🥵 In some ways, Bangkok is itself a giant hot box. But on a more serious note, do you think overnight temperatures never below about 78F for 9 months of the year (and never dropping below 70F for the whole 12 months except a few days at the most) warrants a hotbox? If so, I'll trust your greater experience and judgment.
  9. On a random side note, I would like to ask about the "hot box" for setting the resin. Being in Thailand, the temperatures are quite a bit warmer than you all might be used to. I just measured the temperature at very closer to 95F in the shade outside at 10AM in late September (definitely closer to cool season than hot season), and last night it was about 85F at 10PM in my bedroom with decent ventilation. From this link: http://cozy.caf.org/epoxy-hot-box/index.shtml He mentions that setting to 90F worked best for him. Am I correct that I should skip the hot box here?
  10. Hi Kent, Thanks so much for your response. I've been to the EAA Thai chapter house and talked to Jim, the chapter vice president (who does some amazing airplane restoration work). I haven't yet met with any plane builders, though, but I see listings for home built planes here in Thailand, so I'll find a way to meet some. I've actually been thinking to buy a second hand pre-built plane to fly in while I'm building my own plane, which is why (for now) I'm figuring I can really look forward to building the kind of plane I want to build and fly someday (the Cozy) while I fly the kind of plane that I can fly now. (There are a surprising number of CH-750's around Thailand, some for sale, and these seem like gentle, easy to fly planes for a less experienced pilot like myself to get experience in.) But there is a really good GA community here in Thailand, and I've found everyone to be extremely supportive of newcomers. The laws and regulations are based on the USA so much that the textbook my school gave me to study for the theory exam was actually the USA Jeppeson book. (Other than filing flight plans and the restricted areas around Washington DC, everything else was applicable here.) If I start building the Cozy to see how I like it, maybe once the international travel restrictions lift, I can check out the Cozy community in Australia. Any Australian Cozy builders/flyers open to a visitor from Thailand?
  11. Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of building the Long EZ. I'm in my forties now, living in Thailand, and I'll be testing for my PPL next month. I've spent the last 10 years building everything from wooden houses to rowboats to a backhoe (welded from scratch) to a CNC machine that can cut 8'x4' plywood sheets. I finally have the time and resources to build a plane, and I've been thinking about starting with a traditional kit (Kitfox, Zenair) as a first plane to accumulate some hours on, but my heart keeps coming back to the canard designs, with the Cozy IV looking like a great fit for the kind of building I'd like to do. Since most people on this forum have more flying experience and Cozy IV experience than I do, I was hoping to ask a few questions to help me get started: 1. The Cozy IV seems like a good plane for the kind of flying I'd like to do (cross country around Thailand with my wife and sometimes a 3rd passenger), and the airfield near my home has a nice paved 3000' runway. But my concern is whether my flying experience level is a problem. I figure that by the time the plane is built, I will likely have about 300-500hrs of flight time. What kind of plane is the Cozy to fly, and are there any pilot skill level requirements that you'd recommend? I may go simple with fixed landing gear at first and any other variations that might sacrifice a bit of performance for simplicity, but I was hoping those with better insight on the matter could offer suggestions. 2. I am a slender 6'3" tall. From what I've read, this plane is a good fit for taller folks. But given the current COVID-19 situation and restrictions on international travel, unless any of you know of a Cozy in Thailand (do any of you know of one in Thailand?), I likely won't be able to travel to sit in one before I intend to start building. Is this a bad idea? How important is it to sit in a completed plane before deciding to build? As I am looking forward to the build even more than the flying, I'd like to begin and figured from what I've read that minor adjustments in the seating position, etc can accommodate me well enough. 3. I have access to a fair amount of computer controlled machine shop tools. Are the plans available in any digital format, ideally ones designed for CNC cutting? Or will I likely have to start with paper plans and do any of the computer drafting myself? I know that my post is a little general, but I'm just getting started and am trying to get over the "should I do it" hump and on to the "how to do it" phase. 😁

The Canard Zone

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