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Cozy MKIV - Flight Test Preparation

Getting Ready for the First Flight!!!!

Start Date: July 1, 2002

So after finishing the finishing and upholstery, I started re-assembling everything.   The engine and all the engine compartment stuff went back on, getting tightened and adjusted and tested all along the way.

chXX_truck1.jpg (19950 bytes)All the instrument panel stuff, the vacuum system, the electrical system, the taxi/landing lights, the battery, the covers, armrests, blah, blah, blah.  All back in.  All checked.  I took the plane out of the garage and completely assembled it for the first time in the driveway - both wings, canard, propeller, cowlings, everything.  I even started the engine for the first time, after checking for oil pressure and tying it down.  Started right up, after four years of sitting and doing nothing.  I was pretty impressed.  I hooked up all the control systems, torque tubes and pushrods and adjusted and rigged everything.  Once I was sure everything was in the right place and working, I arranged for the guys you see above to show up one Saturday with a tow truck to drag the thing to the airport (sans wings and canard, of course).  This is the plane just as it's arriving at Fitchburg Municipal Airport, in beautiful and well appointed Fitchburg, MA.  We did some slight damage to the nose worm gear in dragging the thing up onto the truck, but I was able to fix it by the standard routine of rotating the gear 180 degrees so it can break again before I need a new one.


chXX_plane1.jpg (17043 bytes)Here's my most wonderful wife Deanie standing next to the plane at the best tie-down spot in Fitchburg - #61.  I received the cover from Dorothymarie Dickey a couple of days later, and the plane is now fully protected.

The next Saturday my friends Joe and Claude assisted me in bringing the wings to the airport and attaching them. We discovered that the wing bolts were a bit short, so I replaced them the next weekend.  After  doing lots of little adjustments and installing the vortilons on the main wing, I had the Weight and Balance performed at Leibfried Aviation at FIT.  The weight wasn't too bad at 1155 Lb., but the CG was at 112.4 In. - about 2 inches further back than I would have liked.  This meant that I had to either put a ton of ballast in the nose, or else move the battery from the top of the main spar to the co-pilot side of the nose in front of the rudder pedals.  I chose the latter.  Since the ground bus was already located up front and connected to the rear with #4 cable, I only had to run one #2 wire from the front to the rear to hook up the battery.  I had to glass a new battery tray in place, but that wasn't a big deal.

I re-connected the EGT/CHT so that it matched the wiring diagram on the instructions, and lo and behold, it now worked.  I taxied around at about 10 mph with Zachary (my son) in the plane for about 20 minutes.  The next Saturday I taxied on the taxiway and runway up to about 40 mph.  Sunday, I got up to 60 mph, testing the brakes and rudder authority, as well as crosswind taxiing.

I installed the data plate and some more velcro for the seats and just kept cranking through the little finishing stuff like swinging the compass and greasing the nose gear.

On July 25th, I had a familiarization flight with Bob Misterka in his COZY III.   He let me fly from the right seat for 1.5 hours and 3 take-offs and landings.   I was surprised at how easy it was to fly. While the take offs and landings were different from the C-172's and Warriors that I've been flying for the past 3 years, they weren't so different that it was difficult.  Bob said I did a decent job, and I don't think he was just being kind.

chXX_john.jpg (16473 bytes)On August 1st, I had the FAA inspection.  It actually went very well, and the two FAA guys seemed genuinely impressed and happy with the plane.  I got the pink airworthiness certificate, and I had a legal airplane.  They (at my request) gave me a pretty large restricted area, so I shouldn't get too bored.  John Vermeylen came up from N.J. in his COZY MKIV to do two things - first, to check out my plane and give me any feedback and advice that he could, and secondly to give me a familiarization flight in his aircraft (the very nice plane you see here with Fidel Castro - no, wait, that's ME - standing near it). He did find that I had installed the rudder belhorns backwards, and I had to spend a bit of time reversing that embarrassing error the next Saturday.

The flight went extremely well.  John was nice enough to let me fly from the left seat, and I don't think that he touched the controls once through the one hour and three takeoffs and landings that we did.  He gave me a ton of great advice and talked me through slow flight and the landings and takeoffs.  It was extremely good preparation for my own first flight. John wouldn't even let me pay for his gas, and he gave me a COZY hat that his wife had embroidered.

All in all, an excellent day.

chXX_zeitlin.jpg (13898 bytes)Here you see Fidel (sorry, me again) standing next to my plane (no trim colors - just plain white). All the covers and doors are still removed from the FAA inspection - I put them back on later, after John had left.

So, I spent Saturday fixing the last few bits - installing the GPS mount, installing the clock, reversing the rudder belhorn cranks (and driving home twice due to forgetting some parts), getting a checkout flight in a Cessna 310 from my EAA Flight Advisor and collecting 30 lbs. of lead weight ballast in an old epoxy can.  I figured I was ready to fly.....

chXX_complete.jpg (8040 bytes)This pictures shows the finished plane, and I've sent this picture into Kitplanes and Sport Aviation for their "what people are building" sections - maybe we'll see it there eventually.

chXX_inst_panel.jpg (8602 bytes)This next picture shows the current state of the instrument panel.  Somewhat non-standard, but close.  The vacuum system gauge is all the way on the left, under the parking brake (red knob) and retractable step (black/silver knob).

The VSI is top left, with the T&B underneath.  Then, the AI, with the DG underneath.  Next, the Airspeed Indicator, wiht the Altimeter underneath.  The GPS mount bolts into the 3 1/8" hole next to the Airspeed indicator, and the Navaid Autopilot is behind the GPS (it's a little hard to get at, but you don't really need to SEE it).

Under the retract handle is the clock, with 4 timers (count up or count down).   The UPSAT SL-40 COM radio and the ancient NARCO AT-50 transponder live in the radio stack, with a Radio Shack dual temp gauge (inside on the left, OAT on the right) velcro'ed to the panel underneath the transponder, along with a pen and pencil.  Further over, you can barely see the knobs for the Flightcom 4-place intercom, and next to that the rotary knob for the EGT/CHT gauge.

Underneath those are the Tachometer, Dual EGT/CHT gauge, Dual Oil Temperature/Oil Pressure Gauge, Dual Fuel Gauge, and Dual Ammeter/Voltmeter.  The vertical card compass is centered, on top of the glare shield (I don't like it there, but it'll stay there until I can figure out a better place that doesn't get screwed up by the E and B-fields from the electrical system.

The top row includes all the electrical switches - GPS couple all the way on the left, then the alarm light/disable button, Essential Bus, Split Master Switch, fuel pump/primer, magneto/start switch, autopilot, strobe, nav, taxi/landing light, and dimmer knob.

At this point, I consider the building log done - there are still many things that I'd like to do to the plane - electric noselift, wheelpants, etc., but they're not really in the scope of "building".  The first flight is done, the plane works, and 7.5 years of work has culminated in a success.

Here's a full First Flight Report.

Thanks for reading!!  The continuing documents will be flight test reports/logs/plans during the Phase I restricted period.

End Date: August 4, 2002


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