COZY NEWSLETTER #34
Table Of Contents
Shortly after sending out the last newsletter we were able to pick up the Mark IV Section I construction Manuals and the large size drawings from the printer. We shipped out 20 sets right away, and have shipped out another 23 (as of this date) since, so it looks like the Mark IV is off to a good start. The Mark IV will have its own niche in the market place, because there is no other high-performance 4-place homebuilt in the same price range. We have at least a $10,000 advantage over the nearest competition.
We have had a lot of requests for information on the Mark IV, so our next priority job was to put together an information kit. We were very fortunate to have access to all of the air-to-air photos of the Mark IV taken at Oshkosh by Carl Schuppel of the EAA. We picked out the two best and had 8-1/2 x 11 prints made by Castle Pierce in Oshkosh. We will get reprints of the feature article by Don Downie in the next issue of Kit Planes Magazine, and that will complete our kit. Our advertising for the Mark IV will start in Sport Aviation, Kit Planes, and the EAA convention program in July.
Meanwhile, construction of our plans model is progressing. We have had to skip around a bit because we still don't have the new landing gear hardware and other hardware from Brock. We were fortunate in being able to enlist the help of Tom McNeilly on the canard and Dennis Oelmann on the wings. We designed new jigs for the turtleback and are waiting for the new canopy from Airplane Plastics. We are working with Feather Lite and our plan is to supply them with molds or plugs so they can supply optional prefab parts like the turtle back, strakes, nose cone, arm rests, etc. in addition to landing gear struts and cowlings.
We have been asked if the plans model Mark IV will be finished in time for Oshkosh 91. We wish it could be, but of course. it won't. It is flattering that some might think we could provide builder support, publish newsletters, arrange to have all these new parts made, do all this drawing and writing, answer all of the mail, and still build an airplane in less than one year. It just isn't possible, at least for the two of us. It may take us a little longer than some, but then we expect to be around a lot longer by taking a more conservative approach.
The dates for Oshkosh this year are from Friday, July 26th through Thursday August 1st. We generally try to arrive a few days early, to reserve space on the flight line for Cozy's to park together, and to enjoy a couple of days of relaxation before the big week end. We also leave Tuesday or Wednesday, because things get pretty slow toward Thursday.
A Cozy dinner has been scheduled at Robbins restaurant at 6 PM Friday, July 26th. Robbins is our favorite restaurant in Oshkosh. They have a big selection on the menu, the food is excellent, and the prices are reasonable. We have reserved a room for 50, which we hope we can fill up. All of you are invited to join us. We will be ordering from the menu, so you don't have to pay in advance or send a deposit. Just be there before 6 PM. If you have any questions, see us on the flight line. Our Cozy forum is scheduled for Sunday, July 28th at 1 PM in tent #8. We hope to have a good turn out of builders and pilots.
There was only one Cozy first flight this quarter that we know about, and that was Ed Mouldin's N3EP, right here in Mesa AZ. We also have a little more information on two we reported in the last newsletter.
Ed is a relatively low time pilot, with most of his experience in a 150 Cessna, so all of his 3.5 hours to date have been dual (yes, the FAA allows this if the second person is declared to be an essential crew member). We are all looking forward to Ed's soloing his Cozy.
Todd spent five years building N2TM, but his patience and attention to detail is reflected in the quality of the product. During this period he did no flying, so he needed a refresher before facing the crucial 1st test flight. He took his BFR in a Cessna 172, then found a friend who had a Cozy, and flew it for 2 hours to get familiar with it's specific handling characteristics. A very sensible and enlightened way to prepare yourself to fly a new type of aircraft that you're not familiar with.
His Cozy is powered by an 0-360 Lycoming of 180 hp, swinging a B & T propeller with a 63 x 80 pitch. He gives a lot of credit to Darrell Moore for his support extended during the construction period, and for the many overflights of his shop, which helped keep up his morale and enthusiasm. He also appreciated Jerry McAuliffe's expertise in dealing with radio and wiring chores. After everything was checked over, he taxied out on Saturday, March 16, 1991 and ran up for take-off. It was about 10 AM. The take-off was accomplished without a hitch. In his climb out he found that he had a remarkable 2,000 fpm climb at 110 knots. He climbed to 5,000 ft. and circled Brown Field for 1 hour before coming in for a text-book landing. He reports that during the flight everything was "in the green, and no adjustments were required. Since then he has put 14 hours on the aircraft, in just 1-1/2 weeks! That attests to the caliber of both the aircraft design and his workmanship. He has an objective of getting his flight restrictions flown off so he can attend our Ocotillo Wells Fun-In. He should make it!
Since Todd works in construction, Paul Hanson had to add a bit of humor by making this comment, "Todd's workmanship on the Cozy would indicate that he'd be a good construction finish man". Marshall Randall, one of our Chapter Technical Councilors, observed in all seriousness, that if Todd showed the airplane at some of the larger Fly-Ins, he would be assured of being awarded a trophy. Well done, Todd, and congratulations!
Oct. 9, 1990
Well, it is only weeks before Cozy VH-CZY takes to the skys. It was transported to the local airport with the canard on it on Oct. 6. Of course it was well above the legal width, but with the help of several friends, including a Long EZ pilot who brought his unmarked police car with blue light, the trip was uneventful. By 8 AM the Cozy was in the hangar with main wings on. I will let you know when it flys and I will write an account for the newsletter (by the way, keep up the good work).
Nat, the only problem I have is the gross weight. I looked over my original estimates last night, which I worked out over 3 years ago. I took yours and Uli's weights and changed them to reflect what I planned to put in mine. My estimate was 1087 lbs empty. This includes a full HSI system, dual Navcoms, Omega nav system, and a 3 bladed variable pitch prop. By now, I guess you are sick of hearing of all these weight additions, but it was my dream (nightmare!) to build a long distance fully IFR equipped tourer. By the way, I didn't put in an auto pilot as I considered it too heavy!
This leads me to my next problem. We weighed the Cozy yesterday and well oh ohh it weighs 1106 Lbs!!! which I guess is the heaviest Cozy to date, but I feel that the brand new 160 hp 0-320 and 3 bladed variable pitch prop will overcome the weight problem. As you are aware, the USA has a lot more freedom than we do (in Australia). As it stands, I can fly the Cozy solo with full fuel if I weigh 40 KG or 2 up with about 2 hours fuel-not an exciting prospect. To be a useful aircraft, I need to increase the maximum take-off weight to 1800 Lbs, which I will only use for trips. I plan to fully flight test the aircraft and work up to this weight provided it is within cg., of course. I will also limit the landing weight to 1600 Lbs and no high G maneuvers above 1500 lbs. I hold an Australian Senior Commercial pilots license, instructor rating, and instrument rating. I don't take this lightly, the aircraft will have to be fully flight tested.
The only problem is the Civil Aviation Authority will not permit me above 1600 Lbs. without special approval. Will you help?
Editor: I believe that Greg was able to get the approval he sought.
A month ago I decided to take the 3-place up for a spin. It hadn't been flown for about 5 months. I aired the tires, charged the battery, checked the oil and pushed it out. I was going to pull the prop through a few times, so I turned on the fuel valve and boost pump and then walked around to the rear, and was horrified to see fuel gushing out of the cowling.
I pulled the cowling and discovered that my fuel lines were leaking like a sieve; not at the fittings, but right through the braid. They were Aeroquip type 601 with a stainless steel braid, and just two years old. I had purchased them to replace the previous ones, which were under recall. These were supposed to last more than 10 years.
The lines had the little metal tags on them giving the identification and the date purchased. I took them back to Varga, the local Aeroquip dealer. They said these lines were not under recall, and mine was the first complaint. They sent them back to the factory to examine, and said I would have to purchase replacements, and wait to see whether Aeroquip would give me a refund. I opted to go with Teflon and stainless braid this time. I consider myself to be very lucky this happened on the ground without the engine running.
I don't know if you can have complete faith in any fuel line. I would strongly recommend checking for leaks before every flight, by turning the fuel valve and boost pump on and checking the engine compartment before climbing in and hitting the starter.
The Rutan Aircraft Factory reported in the last Canard Pusher that there has been a rash of reported exhaust pipe failures in Variezes and Long EZs. One pipe was reported to have gone through the prop and splitting one blade to the hub. It wasn't stated whether the failures were with the old design, without flexible joints near the flange, but that is our presumption. An exhaust pipe failure is a pretty serious event which can damage a cowling and prop, and force an immediate emergency landing.
Exhaust pipes are subject to severe conditions. They are repeatedly heated to cherry red and then cooled, subjecting them to expansion/contraction stresses. They are continually vibrated while at elevated temperatures. They do not last forever and need to be inspected routinely for cracks. If they do not have flexible joints near the flanges, they tend to crack there. Fastening two pipes together rigidly is a no-no.
There is a need for a simple, 4-pipe exhaust system with flexible joints and a good heat muff which could provide both carb and cabin heat. We are working on it and will have more to say in the next newsletter.
We sent our M1 Northstar in for updating, and they programmed it to use the new SOCUS (south central US) and NOCUS (north central US) transmitter chains, but said the following restrictions apply:
SOCUS chain 9610(AZ, NM, TX, LA, AR, KS, CO, WY, UT)
1) The ASF corrections have not yet been developed, so accuracy is not yet optimized.
2) The Las Cruces NM transmitter is not yet programmed into the chain, but this will not significantly reduce the M1 's performance with this chain. NOCUS chain 8290 (WA, OR, ID, MN, WY)
1) The chain is programmed into the M1, but the chains not yet certified, so the chain should not be used for navigation.
2) If the chain becomes operational without any further changes, the M1 can use it without being updated. Great Lakes chain 8970. A new transmitter has been installed in Oklahoma to improve coverage, and the M1 has been programmed to use it. The transmitter has not yet been made operational, because some brands of loran will not operate correctly when receiving it.
According to FAR Part 43.2, an engine may be described as overhauled if:
We have always considered automobile engines to be a poor second choice to use in airplanes, particularly experimental, because they have the additional requirements of a water cooling system and speed reduction, have to be converted to dual ignition, they are more difficult to install, usually weigh more, and cost as much as a used aircraft engine. It has been predicted that with the practically non-existent factory aircraft production, and the popularity of home building, the supply of used aircraft engines will dry up. Over the last 15 years we have purchased 2 good used Continentals and 3 good used Lycoming without any particular difficulty but, when you introduce and start selling plans to a 4-place airplane which could become quite popular, you wonder whether all of your builders will be able to find suitable engines 5 to 10 years from now. From what we have been able to gather, we think the automobile engine conversion which shows the most promise is the 13B Mazda rotary, with a planetary gear reduction by Lou Ross. We like it because it is in the right horsepower range (150 to 180), it has a streamlined shape, is compact, is lighter than most other conversions, already has dual spark plugs, and has very few moving parts. Lou has received quite a bit of favorable press, and we were favorably impressed when we visited him a year ago. The proof of the pudding, though, is to get at least a few hundred hours of favorable experience in a Cozy (or Long EZ). There are several tractor types flying with Ross conversions, but no pushers yet to our knowledge.
One of our Cozy builders, Jacques Genest in Montreal, has a 13B, has already built his engine mount, ordered a gear reduction unit from Lou Ross, and engineered (on paper) the installation in a Cozy. Unfortunately Jacques does a lot of traveling and isn't very far along on his project. I discussed this subject with him by phone and he answered in a letter. He says:
This is really quite a generous and remarkable offer on the part of Jacques. If any of you out there with completed Cozys are interested in getting involved in engine development work, please let us know.