Published quarterly (Jan, April, July, Oct.) by
Co-Z Development Corp.
2046 No. 63rd Place
Mesa, AZ 85205
The following prices are in effect:
US OVERSEAS Information kit.......... $9.00 $10.00* Newsletter per year..... 5.00 6.00 Plans& Constr. Manuals.. 230.00 260.00* Owner's Manual........... 15.00 18.00* Extra set A drawings. ... 15.00 18.00* *Order from Co-Z Europe
It is mandatory for all builders to subscribe to the Cozy Newsletter. Please review instructions in past newsletters for requesting information or help by telephone or mail. Review also instructions about the license agreement, checking plans, and updating any changes. The list of authorized suppliers printed in Newsletter #15 is still current. You deal with all other suppliers at your own risk.
Co-Z Europe was established by Uli and Linda Wolter to help and support builders overseas:
Co-Z Europe (Uli and Linda Wolter)
Ahorn Str. 10A
D-8901 Ried, West Germany
Co-Z Europe has information kits, plans, and owner's manuals in stock so they can provide faster delivery of those items. Overseas customers should place their orders with them. They will provide builder support on request and are thinking of publishing their own newsletter.
Uli and Linda are very active in the EAA in Europe. They are attending every fly-in they can, and have booked all of their weekends. The Cozy is getting to be the most popular design in France. Linda writes: "The people over here just love the Cozy. They just drool all over it (HA!)."
On the subject of liability, she also writes: "We talked to the French builders about liability. They think the Americans are crazy! They said you don't have to worry about that over here. They know what they are doing when they buy plans for an experimental airplane, that there is always a risk, and they accept that risk." The French magazine "Experimental" likes the Wolters and their Cozy, and is giving them excellent coverage.
We knew that they were entering their Cozy in the European CAFE 540 on June 11th. We got a very excited telephone call from them saying that they had won all of the prizes. They "blew away" all of the other airplanes. They have promised us a more detailed account and think it will be reported in the U.S.
Incidentally, Uli's account of flying the Atlantic in their Cozy was published in July "Kitplanes." It was very well done. If you haven't seen a copy, you should try to get one. Keep up the good work, Uli and Linda!
We have planned a trip to Europe in September, after Oshkosh, to visit them, to meet some of our builders and inspect their projects, and to see first hand how homebuilding is done overseas. We will be in England Sept. 1-5, and traveling around Europe from then to the 30th, when we return. There will be someone here, Ms. Lee Parlee, to answer the phone and the mail while we are gone.
WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING
The past few months have been very busy for us, running our business and trying to build another airplane. We have had a constant stream of visitors, telephone calls, and mail. The Mark IV is now in the early stages of finishing, but the engine hasn't been installed nor have the cowlings been made. No wiring or instruments have been installed yet.
When it became apparent that there was no way we could finish for Oshkosh, I decided to drop everything, annual our Cozy, get my physical renewed, become current again (I hadn't flown for 6 mos. because of my broken wrist--its better now, thank you!) and get ready to take a biennial, which is almost due. We also planned a trip back to Minnesota, to celebrate the graduation of our youngest son (from dental school), the graduation of our son-in-law (from law school) and our 40th wedding anniversary. Not bad, huh? It was a welcome little vacation.
We have been wanting to sit down and make some future plans, and we also took some time to do that. As you know, we are retired. Shirley likes to paint, and I like to fly, but we haven't had much time to do either lately. Of course, we both enjoy our involvement in sport aviation, and all of the nice people we get to meet. But we can foresee the day when we will be running out of our supply of Cozy plans, and need to decide whether to print more, and if so, how many. The minimum economical quantity would be enough to last for several more years, and we have an obligation to provide homebuilder support at least a few years beyond that. So we would really be committing ourselves quite a few years down the road. Most of the retired people we know play golf and travel. We have been feeling pretty tied down.
Of course the Mark IV is a big part of that decision, because it still isn't finished and tested, and then there is all of the work of preparing plans and information kits and advertising. It would also commit us to several more years of promoting not one airplane, but two, and we would have a much larger builder base to support. We really needed to give some thought to whether this would be best for us.
There has been much interest expressed in the Mark IV. We get telephone calls, letters, and quite a few people stopping in to see what we are doing. Some people want to start building one right now--if you can imagine--before ours is even finished and tested. Some of our Cozy builders say they are going to stop and wait for the Mark IV. It looks like it would be a very popular airplane. It's not too difficult to figure out why. The cost of high performance factory builts is completely out of sight.
We jumped into the Mark IV because we had pioneered in the idea of a side-by-side Long EZ, because our Cozy turned out so well, because others built on our idea and introduced 4-place canards, and because we thought that with our experience we could design one which was prettier, faster, and had better performance. It was a challenge I couldn't resist.
But perhaps I should have resisted. We have started to think more and more about where this might be leading us. For example, I called up our insurance carrier. We have the Cozy insured as a 2-place. I asked about the insurability of a 4-place homebuilt.
I was told that very few people inquire about insurance until after they buy or build an airplane. I was told that our carrier wouldn't insure more than 2 seats in a homebuilt, and because of the current trend in liability litigation, it could be very difficult to insure a new 4-place design.
So then I was curious about 4-place factory builts. I was told by someone at Beech that 4-place airplanes result in a lot more lawsuits against the manufacturer that do 2-place, because the passengers in a 4-place outnumber the pilots by 3 to 1, passengers are rarely the cause of accidents, and almost always look for someone to sue. The pilot rarely has adequate insurance (in the eyes of lawyers), so the manufacturer is also sued. Manufacturers can try to cover this cost in the price of their product--that's the reason a Bonanza costs $131,750 today. In the case of a homebuilt, however, the pilot and the manufacturer are usually the same person, so who is the next logical choice. The designer? How could he possibly cover this risk, when all he sells is planes?
We have another concern, which is starting to bother us more and more, and that is the number of builders who don't follow plans or recommendations, who are making changes and taking risks, perhaps without realizing what they might be getting into. We seem unable to influence them and worry increasingly about what might happen.
We live in a free country. We probably have more freedom than anywhere else in the world. We can build any kind of an airplane that we want, and if we are persistent enough, we can get permission from the FAA to fly it. We can buy a set of plans, change the design, and still get it approved. After all, that is exactly what we did. We bought a set of Long EZ plans and changed the design into the Cozy. You can, if you choose, even ignore the operating limits the designer has placed on his design. There are builders who have done both. This is a truly free country, and I, for one, wouldn't want it any other way. But freedom has its price.
There is another freedom we have, which lawyers are trying not only to protect, but to expand upon by trying to set precedents in case law. That freedom is called the right to sue anyone for anything. Personal liability litigation is probably the most profitable and fastest growing area of legal practice. There are some pretty expensive ads on TV these days in which lawyers argue very persuasively that you shouldn't accept the responsibility for what you have done, or what has happened to you, but you should come and see them, and there will be no charge. What they are really saying is, "let us try to find someone else with deep pockets whom we can blame for your accident, and, if we can pick a sympathetic jury, maybe we can collect a lot of money for you (and ourselves). Even if the accused isn't at fault, maybe we can cause him enough misery so he will offer us money to drop the case." This is actually legalized extortion!
You can be sure, whenever an experimental aircraft crashes, it will make front-page headlines, and there will be lawyers paying their respects and offering free legal assistance.
These freedoms, the freedom to build airplanes, and the freedom to sue anyone for anything are in direct conflict, and the designer is caught right in the middle.
You can go down the list of well know designers in the homebuilt scene and discover that most have been sued at least once. To my knowledge, none of them have ever lost, but that has not discouraged lawyers. But the typical cost of defending a suit in a jury trial, I am told, runs from $25,000 to $50,000. That is enough to put most designers out of business. It would us.
Burt Rutan, as far as I know, has never had an in-flight structural failure on any of his designs if it was built according to plans and operated according to limitation. I have heard of accidents and fatalities for all kinds of reasons you could hardly blame Burt for, like leaving out structural reinforcements in the winglets, leaving out the bolts that attach the wing attach fittings in a Varieze, low level acrobatics, unqualified IFR, using auto fuel, and a host of other reasons, and yet I hear that Burt has been sued 6 times. Some builders think designers make a lot of money off builders. I don't know of any who do, and I don't know how you could, selling only plans. Most of us are supporters of EAA, we are proud of our airplanes, we are flattered that others would like to copy them, and we are willing to help them. We don't draw any salaries and very little profit from Co-Z Development, but it has given us a lot of satisfaction, and a feeling that we are giving more to the world than we are taking from it.
When I talked to Ben Owen, of the EAA, he said, "Younger people, if forced out of an aviation business can recoup by starting another business, or going to work for someone else. You," he said, "are retired. Do you think it wise to risk everything you have worked for all of your life, and maybe have to hit the pavement looking for a job, to support yourself and your family?" That was a sobering thought.
The environment in foreign countries is much different. There is less freedom. My understanding is that builders have to get approval for a design from their local authorities. Then they have to build in strict conformance to that design. Any changes have to be approved by the designer. In some cases, they have to perform static loading tests before they are permitted to fly. They understand and accept that they have complete responsibility for the airplane they build and fly, and their freedom to sue other people is very limited, by law.
So this is the situation we find ourselves in. We have a very good airplane, and perhaps another good one coming up. We have a good reputation, a good safety record, and a lot of good builders. We could expand our business with more work and sacrifice, without much monetary reward. But we would increase our risk dramatically. We are unable to buy insurance against this risk. The cost of defending our business would wipe it out and we would have to go into our savings. What would you do? We have decided:
We regret having to take these actions, because we are really proud of our airplane, we enjoy helping builders, and we cherish the many friends we have made. But we are not the first to conclude that, because of the legal system in this country, the risks of continuing our business are unacceptable, and we will not be the last. The system won't change until Americans demand it. Thomas Paine said, "The only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing." If you wish to preserve your freedom to build good airplanes, you will need to find a way to protect designers. Perhaps you can accomplish this through the EAA.
ENGINE MOUNTS vs. O-320s
As you know, the only approved engine for the Cozy is the O-235 Lycoming. This is consistent with the policy of our licensor, the Rutan Aircraft Factory, who has never approved O-320s in Long EZs, even though there are quite a few so equipped. When builders install O-320s in Long EZs, they use the approved O-235 mount, which already positions the engine as close to the firewall as possible.
In the Cozy, however, the engine was located 1-3/4" farther aft than in a Long EZ, so a spin-on oil filter could be used, and also because c.g. considerations allowed this. We recommend not using a starter (because of the extra weight), or if necessary, a light weight one. Nothing heavier should be put on this mount!
Builders installing O-320s to date have either used the O-235 mount, or else had someone (who might not be qualified) build a mount which is 1-3/4" shorter. We are not pleased with this situation. We have been under increasing pressure from overseas to approve O-320 engines and provide mounts. The reason is that in some countries there aren't any O-235s and without our approval, O-320s can't be substituted.
This reminds us of the current controversy over AIDS. If you love your kids and are concerned about their welfare, what do you tell them? Do you tell them what you think is best, knowing that they might not follow your advice, or do you tell them what precautions to take? Doe this mean you approve?
We have decided to design a "short" engine mount which Ken Brock will supply. It will be similar to the Long EZ mount, locating the engine 1-3/4 in. closer to the firewall. It will be recommended for builders making heavier engine installations than ours, that is, an O-235 with a starter, if the front seat loads will be light and a less than full panel is installed.
We do not approve O-320s, but if you are going to use one anyway (we can't stop you), you would be well advised to take the following precautions:
As for overseas builders, if we sell our design and copyrights to Co-Z Europe, as planned, they are qualified to approve and provide support.
Education is what you get when you learn from someone else's experience. Experience is what you get when you don't.
Comment: The Cozy is licensed in the "normal" category which allows no acrobatics. Please observe! Also, we have not demonstrated nor do we recommend operation on unimproved grass strips.
Builders who have purchased newly overhauled engines might be tempted to do less than the recommended taxi testing, because of their concern about proper engine break-in. We recommend used engines for that very reason.
We understand that the FAA requires engine rebuilders to run-in their engines before installing them in certified aircraft, to make sure nothing goes wrong with the engine during the first flight. In a new homebuilt, you not only need to know that you can depend upon the engine, but you also need to know that your airplane is properly rigged and controllable at flying speed. Taxi testing increases pilot confidence and ease, and better prepares him for the first flight. If you have a newly rebuilt engine, you should have it run-in on a test stand, so you don't jeopardize your first flight. You will have spent a lot of time and money building the airplane, and you should take every precaution to make sure that both you and the airplane are ready.
Most people are of the impression that fuel leaks can only result from carelessness or sloppy workmanship, and it can never happen to them. So you can imagine my surprise, as I was doing an annual on our Cozy after it had been standing for 6 months, and I pressure tested the fuel system, when I found a massive leak between the fuel pump and the carburetor, where the AN fitting attached to the premium 601 Aeroquip braided stainless fuel line. This was an all-aircraft grade installation, installed by a licensed A & P, which had been leak-free for 4 years. RAF has had a similar experience, and apparently it is not uncommon. So far, all I have done is to take it apart, could find nothing defective, reinstalled it again, and no leaks. I am investigating other alternatives. This demonstrated to me that no one is immune from fuel leaks, even when using the best approved materials installed by experts.
We shall continue to monitor and recommend any modifications which increase performance or safety without significantly increasing weight. Some of these have been:
We don't like to see modifications which increase weight and complexity without improving performance. At the risk of offending some of our close friends, we will use electric nose gear as an example. First of all, the air pressure on the nose gear almost exactly balances the weight, so there is practically zero effort required to crank up the gear. If you install an electric motor, you will still need a mechanical override, in case the motor fails. In the meantime, you have added weight and complexity to your airplane. Believe me, it is more work cranking up the window on your car (which you will do much more often) than it is to crank up the gear on your Cozy, and there is no weight penalty in a car. If you insist on adding 4 pounds, put in a fire extinguisher or a second nav/comm. At least they will provide a benefit.
The modifications which we fear are those which affect aerodynamics adversely. We can think of several, like lengthening the nose, increasing the canard span, or installing extended tips. These changes serve no useful purpose that we know of. Taken separately, they might be hard to measure. Additively, they will make your Cozy perform poorer at aft c.g. than it should, maybe even dangerously.
We do not recommend installing the pitot tube on the leading edge of the canard. It could disturb airflow over the canard (among other things), and impart a rolling motion. The best location is in the nose.
Fortunately, we have a pusher airplane, so we can locate it in the ideal location.
If you are considering a design change, please bounce if off us. Our advice is free. We may not agree but at least we will give you our reasons why, which may be of some value to you.
We plan to be there and hope to see as many of you there also as possible. We hope a few more Cozys are flying by then as well, and will make it to Oshkosh. A forum has been scheduled for Saturday, August 1, at 1:15 PM. We would like to have input from our builders, and answer any questions we can.
Ken Francis, (817) 737-4659, has reserved an extra pick-up camper, to be parked alongside us in Paul's Woods, at Oshkosh. If you need a place to stay, and want to camp with us, call him.
COZY MODELS FOR SALE
In our last newsletter we talked about what a beautiful job Lon Cooper has done in modeling the Cozy; it is truly a work of art. We didn't repeat his address and phone number, which was in a previous newsletter, but here it is again:
c/o Adalon Design
25506 Crenshaw Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505
Cost of the model is $35 plus packing and ship ping. $40 U.S. or $45 overseas should cover all costs.
COZY WATCHES FOR SALE
Steve Overly, 2481 Red Rock Blvd., Grove City OH 43123 (614) 871-0710 wants to order watches with a Cozy on the face. If interested, call him or see him at Oshkosh.
Shirley says I should say again that we intend to support our builders (those who have purchased plans from us and obtained serial numbers from us), and help them build safe airplanes. We are planning a cut off date on plans and serial numbers of Oct. 1, 1987, so get those license agreements in!
April 7, 1987
Dear Nat & Shirley,
My Cozy is taking shape. I haven't been able to find an O-235, but I have an O-320 E2F. In France, it is difficult to find a good O-235. I think I will fly near the end of 1987 or beginning of 1988. I have three friends who are building Cozys, and we have cut foam for the wings and canards together. I know of 8 Cozys being built, including mine. Enclosed is money for the Owner's Manual and 2 decals.
Please find enclosed our signed copy of the license agreement. We have looked through the plans and do believe them to be of a high standard, better than the Long EZ plans. We can only imagine the amount of work it took to produce them. It is an achievement to build a plane--even more to commit it to paper for others. Once again our thanks for your work--we look forward to many happy hours building and flying a Cozy.
Chris Wainman (England)
Dear Nat & Shirley,
Please forgive me for not returning the license agreement earlier. Quite honestly, I have been so involved with the project, it was one of those things that just got put off! I am building with Steve Overly and Rick Cahill. I bought the house across the street from Steve to be close to the project. My Cozy is at the end of Chap.5. It is really something to observe the "learning curve." It takes us forever to get the first plane through a particular stage, the second is fast, and the third is a breeze.
Dear Nat & Shirley,
Just a note to say thank you very much for the quick assist with the replacement newsletters and license copy, it is really much appreciated. Please also find enclosed a contribution for the cost of mailing.
My progress here has been a bit slow, I've been tied up with long business trips this spring, but hopefully summer will see better results.
We now have two Cozys in process in the Binghamton area, mine and Dr. Vadivel's, plus a Defiant also under construction. There should be some ineeresting flying here in a couple of years!
Best wishes for success with the Mark IV, and thanks again for all the help.
Enclosed is my renewal for the newsletter, I would not want to miss getting them. I have found them to be very informative and interesting for builders and dreamers alike.
Well, it's been a little over eight years that I've been collecting information packages and some complete plans for a variety of homebuilts. Until the "Cozy" came along, I wasn't fully satisfied (for one reason or another) with any of the ones I had seen. Since I received my information package, the newsletters, and read all I could find on the "Cozy", I haven't seen any others that I'm as pleased with. So, it's about time that I get going and start working toward my dream. Even though I'm currently trying to get a place set up as a workshop, I have decided to take the first small step in adding another "Cozy" to the aviation world; ordering a set of plans.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to meeting you and Shirley. I'm a transplanted, ex-resident of Minnesota too. I'd like to thank you for your outstanding and uncommon interest and support of "Cozy" enthusiasts. It's people like you that make undertaking such a project a greater pleasure and a more rewarding experience. I am convinced you won't let us down!
Mitchell J. Laabs
Harold Cottingham's fuselage on A frames. Looks like good work, Harold!
Steve Russell's "per plans" Cozy. Wings, centerspar and strakes are now done and installed. Nice work, Steve!
Jack Grandman's completed Cozy. We have advised Jack that the "shovel" nose will be destabilizing, and have recommended that it be changed back to the plane configuration.
Cozy builders (left to right) Drefs, Pichot, Overton, Schoonover, and Brimmer inspecting Bill Overton's project in Washington D.C. at a "cozy" picnic--chapter meeting.