[Cozy MKIV Information]
COZY NEWSLETTER #52
Table Of Contents
This year the Copper State Fly-In, October 12-15, at Williams Gateway Airport, Mesa, AZ, was a huge success. Williams is a former Air Force base with three 10,000 ft. runways and acres of concrete parking ramp. Almost 1,000 airplanes attended and there were afternoon airshows Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The weather was spectacular, not a cloud in the sky! We flew over there from Falcon Field (big deal, about a 10 mile trip!), had a commercial booth in a prominent spot on the flight-line, and there was much interest in the Mark IV. We went up on a photo shoot with U.S. Aviator, and gave a couple of demo rides. There were 5 Cozies there and we hosted the Strongs and Morgans at our home. On Friday night we had a banquet for Cozy builders at the Red Mountain Steak House and 31 persons attended. The food, ambiance and camaraderie were great! Hope more of you can attend next year.
As we reported in the last newsletter, we were interested in evaluating the Franklin 6A 350 C1 engine in our plans model for several reasons: It is a certified aircraft engine with a history of good reliability, and it is appreciably less expensive than a new 0-360 Lycoming, it has more horsepower but because it is 6 cylinder, it is very smooth running, and even though it is heavier than the Lycoming, it could be of benefit to builders planning to carry heavy loads in the front seat, because it would let them operate at a more favorable c.g.
We ordered an engine from Atlas Motors and received it on 10/5/95. It had been shipped by air from Poland to the east coast and then by truck to Mesa ($323). The engine is supplied bare, with no accessories. We purchased a light-weight starter, fuel pump, and exhaust system from Atlas for $800, a light weight alternator from an auto salvage yard for $60, an Air Wolf spin on oil filter assembly for $259, and acquired a set of 6399 Slick mags. The latter required a slight modification to fit the Franklin. With the help of Jack Wilhelmson who did the stress analysis, we designed the necessary bed-type engine mount, and Tom McNeilly built it. The engine mount is hinged at the bottom so the engine can be very close to the firewall, but easily swung down and away for maintenance on the accessory case. We mounted the engine on its mount on an engine stand with a dummy firewall so we could check cowling fit and design baffling before installing it in our airplane, to keep down-time to a minimum. We have the engine in our shop. It became obvious that we would have to make new cowlings, because the engine is longer, and the exhaust pipes and oil cooler air will exit differently. We preferred to do this anyway, so we could keep our Lycoming cowlings intact in case we wanted to reinstall the Lycoming.
It was a little difficult to design a simple induction system to supply the carburetor with filtered and alternate heated air, because the carburetor is located between the firewall and the oil sump, and there isn't much room to work with. We think we have that solved. We also ran into a problem on the prop hub extension, because the Franklin propeller flange has a smaller bolt circle than the Lycoming, and we didn't want to reduce the barrel diameter, but we think we have that problem solved as well. We still have to make the cowlings, and then take on the cooling baffling. It is our intention to leave the Lycoming installed in our airplane until we have completed as much installation work on the Franklin as possible, to keep down-time to a minimum. Since we will be on vacation in January, we probably won't make the change-over until February. If we don't think we will have time to fly off the restrictions before we have to leave for Sun 'n Fun, we could postpone the change-over until May. So far, the Franklin looks promising as an acceptable substitute for the 0-360 Lycoming. However, we still have a lot of work to do, not just installing it, but the all-important flight testing. We will keep you posted on our progress in the newsletter.
If there are others who are installing engines other than the 0-360 Lycoming, for the benefit of other builders we would like to report on your progress as well. If you send us your reports and pictures, we will publish them.
The Owner's Manual explains how to determine the empty c.g. by first confirming the fuselage stations of the canard, the wings, the seats, and the nose and main wheels, and then weighing the airplane. There are sample calculations to lead one through the process, and if the results differ much from these sample calculations, the builder should recheck his data and calculations. The minimum front seat weight, corresponding to a c.g. of 102, will most likely turn out to be greater than the weight of a single pilot. In my case, I weigh 160 lbs. (dressed for flying) and the minimum front seat weight is 220 lbs. Therefore, I have to put ballast in the front ballast compartment when flying solo (which is rare). The ballast compartment is 2-1/2 times as far forward of mid c.g. as the front seat, so 30 lbs. of lead in the ballast compartment is equivalent to 75 lbs. in the front seat, and 160 + 75 = 235 lbs., which puts me well within the c.g. range when flying solo. The heaviest passenger I have carried to date was 235 Ibs., which put us at 395 lbs. in the front seat (in our flight tests with the moveable weight, we took off, flew, and landed with an equivalent front seat in excess of 400 lbs.).
Every aircraft, whether conventional or canard configuration, flies better at mid to aft c.g. This is the condition for least drag and lightest stick pressures. I like the way my Cozy flies at mid to aft e.g. much better than at forward c.g. We try to discourage people who are heavy and wish to carry heavy passengers from building a Cozy. We are not trying to discriminate against builders who are heavy. It is simply a matter that every design has its limitations, and if you try to design an airplane which will do everything, it will not do anything well. Our airplane was optimized for what used to be the average male and female weights, 170 lbs. and 120 lbs. respectively. Ben Owen, EAA Technical Advisor, advises prospective builders that only about 1 in 10 homebuilts are designed for really heavy people, and heavy builders should investigate very carefully before they make a decision of what aircraft to build.
We have no control over who buys our plans and decides to build a Cozy. As we travel to airshows and meet our builders, we have noticed that a few are quite heavy. When we ask them if they are aware of the limitations, they usually say that they are and are on diets and losing weight. We fear that they are aiming at the maximum weight limit of 400 lbs. (with passenger), and plan on operating routinely at forward c.g. We would prefer that they operate normally at mid rather than forward c.g. This was one of the deciding factors for us in evaluating the Franklin engine. It is 30 to 40 lbs. heavier than the 0-360 Lycoming (we won't know what the final affect on c.g. is until we complete the installation).
A heavier engine installation would offset about the same additional weight in the front seat. We are doing this not so we can increase the nominal front seat weight limit of 400 lbs., but rather so that our heavier builders would have the option of operating at a more favorable c.g. It is true that the IO-360 with angle valves is also 30 lbs. heavier than the 0-360, but we don't like this engine because it is only 4 cylinders and has harsher combustion strokes, putting more vibration on the airframe and more torsional stresses on the propeller and prop hub extension. The Franklin, on the other hand, is 6 cylinders and a very much smoother running engine, so it should be easier on the airframe and propeller.
Remember in Greek mythology the story about Dacdalus and son Icarus? They escaped from Crete with large wings of feathers and wax. Icarus flew too close to the sun, the wax melted and he fell into the sea.
Our first builder to complete a COZY MARK IV in Orlando, FL, uses it for business and has accumulated more than 600 trouble-free flight hours. Returning from a business trip to Pensacola FL at night, he was taking a short-cut across the Gulf to his home in Orlando. At 10,000' over the Gulf, he heard the engine sound suddenly change, and his #4 CHT started to climb. He suspected that his #4 exhaust pipe had broken. His first landfall was Cross City, FL, about 1 hour away. He continued and landed at Cross City, removed the lower cowling and discovered that his #4 exhaust pipe had broken at the 2nd elbow and was lying in the bottom of his cowling. He re-attached it with high temperature tape and flew home to Orlando. The next morning he noticed that the incidence on both wings had changed; the left wing was 1/8" higher at the leading edge, and the right wing was 3/8" higher at the leading edge than before. The wings were secure in that position, and could not be wiggled.
After removing the wings, there was evidence of much heat damage. The Styrofoam behind the fiberglass rib at the wing butts had shrunk or melted about 3". The hot gases apparently also traveled along the centersection spar and around the end of the strakes, because the styrofoam behind the leading edge rib had also shrunk or melted. There was evidence of heat damage to the centersection shear web as well.
Our analysis, with which he agrees, is that the pressure in the cowling forced the hot (1450 deg. F) exhaust gas to go along the centersection spar and out to the wing leading edge, heating all of the surfaces to above the heat distortion temperature of cured epoxy (softening it), and when he landed at Cross City with everything hot, the wings sagged and took a permanent set. We thank God that he did not have an engine fire and that his airplane was able to withstand 1 hour of cooking without experiencing a structural failure.
The spar caps in the centersection spar and wings were unaffected, but there was major heat damage to the centersection spar shear web, which he was able to repair. He also filled the voids where the styrofoam had shrunk away from the fiberglass wing ribs with pour foam. His Cozy is a little heavier now, but it is back flying.
We think it is worth mentioning that, living in Florida, he did not feel the need for a heat muff, so he did not install the shroud around the #4 and #2 pipes, which we think would have supported the #4 pipe and either prevented it from cracking or at least rotating and falling away if it did crack.
What can we learn from this?
After this Varieze landed on the 2300' paved runway, the two occupants complained that they smelled fuel fumes in the cockpit. They spent considerable effort trying to locate a fuel leak. No leak was found so they purchased fuel and took off.
At least 4 eyewitnesses saw the crash. The Varieze reportedly used nearly the entire 2300' runway before breaking ground. It did not climb out of ground effect, and struck the corn in a field off the end of the runway before crashing a quarter of a mile from where they broke ground.
Witnesses reported that the engine sounded normal, and there was no sign of an in-flight fire. The Varieze was destroyed, and a fire broke out shortly after impact. The passenger was able to evacuate the aircraft, but received severe burns trying to get the pilot out.
This Varieze was known locally as a heavy aircraft, and routinely used lots of runway to take off. The pilot did not build this aircraft, but purchased it 3 years previously. He was a proficient pilot, and flew his Varieze often. The pilot was a large man, weighing between 270 and 280 pounds. The weather was clear with temperatures in the high 80's. The pilot's home base runway was 4,000' long.
CONCLUSION: This was a heavy example of a Varieze, and had a reputation for needing a long take-off roll. The day was hot and the pilot was a heavy man. With a load of fuel and a passenger, this aircraft was undoubtedly over gross. Even a lightweight Varieze (630 lbs.) would be at the maximum allowable gross weight just with this pilot (270 lbs.) and full fuel, not including a passenger! An over gross weight take-off from a 2,300' strip on a hot day is simply a recipe for disaster.
A LONG-EZ crashed on take-off in Arizona. The pilot was killed but the passenger survived with serious head injuries.
The aircraft was attempting to take off on a 7,000' runway with a 1 degree uphill grade. The Long-EZ was loaded to more than 150 lbs. over the maximum allowable gross weight. The temperature was 85 deg. F and density altitude was over 8,000'.
It was almost dark, 8:30 p.m. August 1995, and the tower operator reported that the aircraft initially lifted off at the 4,800' mark, but settled back onto the runway. The pilot continued the take-off attempt, lifting off briefly twice more before finally chopping the power and steering around the approach light system. Unfortunately, there was a 6' chain link fence around the airport perimeter. The Long EZ crashed into this fence, striking two fence posts, and breaking through the chain link. It crossed a road, broke through a wood-pole fence and came to rest upright on a golf course. There was no fire, but the chain link fence and/or the fence posts fatally injured the pilot and severely injured the passenger.
CONCLUSION: This was yet another example of an attempted take-off at over gross weight! Add to that, a hot, high density evening, plus an uphill runway! This pilot might have been successful with any one of these problems separately, but was unable to overcome them all.
A LONG-EZ crashed near an interstate highway in New Mexico. Weather at the time was bad with low ceilings, poor visibility in rain. The aircraft struck a tree (a very low tree) and was totally destroyed. Both occupants were killed. Several eyewitnesses reported seeing this aircraft flying very low near the highway. There was no evidence of any kind of mechanical problem, and it is believed that this accident was caused simply by the pilot attempting to fly VFR in IMC conditions.
CONCLUSION: This particular case is even more difficult to understand since this pilot was very experienced and IFR capable. Was this another case of get home itis? Certainly, a 180 deg. turn before the weather degraded would have been prudent, and they both may have lived to fly home the next day.
In a tragic accident like this one, it is of course impossible to know what the pilot was thinking, or why he continued in such poor conditions, but having done our share of scud-running, we have had to make many 180 deg. turns due to bad weather. So far, we have been lucky, and have made the correct choices. But it is not always easy and many things can cloud your judgment_ having to be at work the next day; make a doctor's appointment; deal with a family emergency, etc., - please friends, know your and your aircraft's limitations, and fly within that envelope.
EDITORS COMMENT: The above accidents were preventable and unnecessary. The pilot-in-command is responsible to check the gross weight and to make a "go" or "no go" decision based on the aircraft's capability, the available runway, and the density altitude.
How can accidents such as this be prevented? Know your aircraft's limitations, and know your own limitations. Never try to operate outside of this envelope. Use your common sense. If you don't like the look of a situation, STOP and REEVALUATE what you are trying to do. Never allow yourself to be driven by schedule_maybe better late in this world than early in the next!
High Density Altitude Takeoffs:
The combination of high aircraft gross weight and high density altitude represent significant dangers for takeoff obstacle clearance. Special care is required to avoid premature rotation, i.e., if liftoff is too slow, the aircraft will be on the back side of the power curve and may not climb.
When operating heavy and high (say, within 100 lbs. of gross weight and above 5,000' density altitude) do not fully rotate to liftoff attitude until your airspeed is within 5 kts. of the best rate of climb speed, for your specific weight and altitude (see climb charts). This will require more runway than a slower liftoff, but will assure the best capability to clear obstacles and continue a safe climb. Never attempt takeoff under conditions in which you cannot achieve best rate of climb speed while still on the available runway. If this ability is not clear at any point during takeoff_abort. Off-load weight or wait for a cooler time of day.
Lift-off is possible as slow as the minimum lift-off speed, and can be successfully used at light weights and/or low altitudes to achieve a short ground roll. However, that technique will usually result in inadequate initial climb if used when heavy or high.
Runway slope effects are minor when light or at low altitudes, but they become very significant when heavy/high. For example, a 1% uphill runway slope may add well over 1,000 feet to the distance required to clear an obstacle. Never take off uphill when your takeoff toll performance is marginal. Never continue a takeoff if crosswinds require you to brake so much that a safe liftoff is in doubt. Always use best power mixture for high altitude takeoff conditions. An over-gross weight takeoff that seems like an acceptable operation near sea level can be a real killer when hot and high. Never attempt a takeoff when over approved gross weight!
There may be considerable variance in takeoff capabilities from one homebuilt aircraft to another of the same type. Engine installed power and propeller efficiency at low speeds may be less than that for the prototype that provided the basis for the takeoff distance charts. Find a long runway and measure your takeoff capability at the weights you intend to fly. If your actual performance is less than the charts, correct the charts or improve your prop and/or engine. End of reprint from Canard Pusher
Quite by coincidence, the next day, October 18th, we received a call from an Avemco Insurance Co. accident investigator, a Mr. Purks (phone number available on request). He was following up on the collapse of an Infinity retractable gear at St. Petersburg, FL on a canard aircraft during one of its first landings. He thought it was a Cozy, but we advised him that it was an Aerocanard (3/4 Cozy and 1/4 Velocity). We heard it was about a $25,000 claim, because the builder damaged his airplane, had to tear down his engine, and wiped out an $8,000 MT constant speed prop as well as some landing lights. Mr. Purks said that as a result of his investigation, he considers the Infinity gear to be an unsafe design, and expressed further concern about structural strength of the wings after cutting through the strakes to mount the Infinity gear on the centersection spar (we have discussed this subject before). He said that Avemco decided that it will not insure an airplane with an Infinity gear because it is too great a risk, and will not insure any other retractable gear until they have inspected and approved it. He seemed greatly relieved that we do not approve of any retractable gear on the Cozy. Nuff said!
Another option was offered to builders with the GU canard, if they were annoyed by its behavior in rain. That was to install a row of vortex generators on top of the canard, which prevent air flow separation. Builders who have installed these report that they still have all of the good characteristics of the GU airfoil, but no longer have a trim change in rain.
We do not recommend vacuum bagging in our moldless construction because of the extra cost, effort and skills required to achieve a marginal reduction in weight. We believe that the judicious use of peel ply can also compact a layup, remove excess epoxy and is almost as effective as vacuum bagging, but a lot less work and expense. Careful attention in contouring the foam and making good lay-ups is probably the most effective way of keeping weight down.
Enclosed is a check for Cozy Mark IV plans. We really enjoyed meeting you this weekend at the Copperstate Fly-In. We learned a lot from you and other Cozy builders at the dinner on Friday and the Cozy forum on Saturday.
There are several things that led us to choose the Cozy Mark IV over the other homebuilts. Some of the reasons, besides the airplane meeting our needs, were the designer support, the positive support of other builders, and the close-knit family that appears to be formed among the Cozy builders.
We would also like to thank you for taking Mike for a demo ride. The ride was the perfect inspiration for beginning our journey. We look forward to working with you and the other Cozy builders as we begin building our Cozy Mark IV.
Mike & Heather Anderson
San Diego, CA
Just a brief not to let you know that Cozy N267CZ is flying well. Dec. 29, 1995 will be the 5-year anniversary of its first flight. It has 445 hours on it now.
It still gets a lot of attention at fly-ins and from corp. pilots who stop in at home base here at Burlington Airport. I am planning on Sun ~'n Fun in '96. Hope to see you there.
Hello Nat & Family,
I will not bore you with all the excuses for slow building - you've heard them all! The main one has been cold winter evenings. There is an inverse relationship between temp. and enthusiasm. However, some work has been done! Since these photos were taken I have completed the armrests, front and back. Soon I hope to fit the centersection spar. The turtle-deck is on for show only. All controls have been fitted except the throttle quadrant.
For some reason, mixed with the fact that winter sluggishness crept in, it seemed to take ages to finish the simple looking arm-rests and small parts. My suggestion to builders who are financially more fortunate than I, is that they purchase them prefab and they will finish quicker. For me, time is money, so I spend a lot of time.
I have been assisting my local EAA chapter builders by sharing freight costs on imported items. Every little bit helps. Some other Cozy builders are using this facility I've offered country-wide, so far by word of mouth. Please tell other builders. Airplane Plastics assured me they can ship more than one canopy in one box - at the same freight rate! Give me a call, S.A. builders.
Rego Burger, S. Africa
(041) 38-1757 H
Due to some unfortunate person circumstances I have been unable to work on my Cozy for over a year. I am happy to report that I'm getting back on track and I hope to be able to resume before the end of the year. I have been able to follow your progress and I continue to be impressed with your talents and the aircraft you have designed. Keep up the good work.
I do have a question for you. Enclosed is a SSAE for your answer but you may want to say something in the newsletter for other builders who have suspended work for an extended period. My project appears to be in good condition. The project has been properly sheltered throughout this time. Is there anything that you can suggest that I check? I would appreciate your thoughts.
Daniel R Schaefer
Editor - Fiberglass layups and foam, for that matter, should last indefinitely if properly sheltered from sunlight. A light sanding over exposed surfaces should be all that is required to resume construction.
Dear Nat and Shirley,
I would like to say how excited I am to get started on my Mark IV. I've been researching the Cozy Mark IV for some time and I must say how impressed I am with the aircraft. After searching for the right aircraft to build, my choice became easier and easier. Your airplane has established a well-deserved good reputation in the kit/plans built industry as evidenced by the numerous well-favored opinions I received from other glass-built plane owners. Needless to say, I can't wait to get started. I will be on extended duty out of town from Oct. 9 until December. I would like to have received the plans prior to traveling so I can study them while away from home. Once again, I'm looking forward to a long and exciting relationship with you. Thank you for your help.
Alan W Wilson
Edwards AFB, CA
Dear Nat & Shirley,
I am embarrassed to admit that I suspended working on the Cozy for 8 months while building a new home. One benefit is that now I have a little more room to work. I made a change in the house plans, incorporating a removable wall between the basement and garage. The wall allows me to work in the basement regardless of the the temperature outside. You can probably picture the look on visitors faces when they see the Cozy in the basement and try to figure out how it is going to fit through one of those 32" doors!
Since resuming work, I have baffled the engine, primed the fuselage and continued with the wings. According to my construction log I have surpassed the 2000 hour mark. I have never regretted starting this airplane, but I am looking forward to finishing it so I can fly my "labor of love".
Enclosed is a check for renewing the newsletter. My Cozy is nearly complete, and I hope to take off early in '96. Thanks and kind regards.
You may not remember me, but we met briefly at the Arlington Fly-in. It was great to have a chance to see the actual aircraft and take a lot of pictures, and to meet others who are further into the project than am I. It's taking me a while to get our basement garage turned into a shop, as our house was built in 1908 and certainly not with the idea of an airplane taking shape within its walls. However, I know I will persevere. The newsletters are great inspiration. Thanks!
I've been working on the Mark IV for almost eleven months now and have put about 850 hours into the project. Things are going very well. I'm working on the canopy frame. The wings/winglets have been completed and mated to the center spar that is now installed in the fuselage. I am trying to fill the weave with a preliminary layer of fill as I go to make finishing the MKIV easier. The controls have been installed and I am looking forward to working on the strakes and installing the engine/avionics. Thanks for your support and a great set of plans.
Brad W. Crawford
Melbourne, FL 10/11/95
Could you please send me copies of building manual pages 5-4 and 9-4. I left the plans on the living room floor after a long night of reviewing them, and later that evening our family dog decided to make a few alterations. The plans have now been copied and each page encased in a plastic cover.
I have now built two complete Cozy IVs in my head and will have the garage turned into a workshop by January. I have been spending most of my time (and money) taking flight lessons. Yes, I purchased the plans before I had ever flown. The Cozy was my motivation!
The past weekend I met with the southern CA Cozy support group in Porterville. Got to fly a Cozy III - loved it - can't wait to ditch the 152 trainer and do some real flying.
Hopefully, the next time you receive a letter from me, I will have a fiberglass boat in my garage looking for wings.
John Van Doren
Dear Nat & Shirley,
I wish to renew my newsletter and take a few Imes to tell you how Cozy MK IV #374 is coming along. This is just past my one year anniversary of building and I am somewhere in the middle of Chapter 7. The bottom is contoured, nav antenna installed and landing gear door nearly completed. I am preparing to glass the fuselage exterior.
So far all has been going well and I am becoming much more confident about my building abilities. I really enjoy seeing the "big changes" in my airplane as the construction progresses. My whole family (all 6 of us) are excited about the project but I think my two year old son, Lucas, is the most enthusiastic. He watches me at work and when I turn away from him for just a moment I catch him with a piece of sandpaper trying to sand on the plane like his dad. We have contemplated a name for our finished airplane. The one I like is "Luke's Sky Walker".
Dear Nat & Shirley,
Our 34PC has over 700 hours on it and doesn't show the slightest hint of change, deterioration, movement, cracking, etc. Wouldn't go back to the 310 Cessna for anything.
Elk Grove, CA
Dear Nat & Shirley,
This is our Christmas greetings letter.
One major event to report this year. Bob retired last January and is having a very successful year working on the plane. He took early retirement purely to work on the plane. It is now sitting on its wheels.
Unfortunately, I broke my arm so haven't been of much use, but lately Bob's sister has stepped in and is currently helping him cut cores for the wings with the hot wire saw. They have some fun, I believe! I have been the photographer and am enclosing a couple of shots. The aim now is to have the wings finalized by Christmas!
Bob has taken to rising early and starting work in the shed at 9 am. Then he seems to work through (except for coffee, tea and sandwich breaks) until 9 pm. Certainly its getting the work done.
Hope all's well with you both and good to hear of your travellings in the newsletters. We can't wait to do the same.
Happy Christmas and successful 1996.
Angela & Bob Allen
W. Sussex, England
Dear Nat and Shirley,
Enclosed is a picture taken at the Cozy Banquet during Copper State.
We had a real nice trip from Mesa (after Copper State) to Sweetwater, TX; refueled and then on to Minden, LA, where we spent the night. The next day, we flew to Auburn AL (U of AL Flying School) for fuel. We had a group of students around our Cozy asking all sorts of questions and where they could get information on building one. Of course Norma (salesperson that she is) gave them your phone number and address. Then on to Beaufort SC where our daughter and her husband are stationed. He arranged for me to take a flight in an F/A-18 simulator. It was quite an experience. I have the certificate to prove it.
We spent 3 days there, took in the WW II museum, watched the rehearsal of the graduating Marines at Perris island, and had a 3-course seafood dinner that night. Then we took off for Crisfield MD where Norma's family are. This was the first time people there saw a Cozy. As soon as we landed, here comes this guy with a fishing pole and said, "I saw you come in and rowed as fast as I could to shore and came here, just to see this airplane". The airport manager insisted we keep the Cozy in his hangar in case of rain. The whole family came, took pictures and Al took my sister in law for a ride which she thoroughly enjoyed. She had never been in a small plane before.
After 3 days, we left for home, refueling in Accomack VA. The airport was attended by a little lady and her dog. She says, "What kind of an airplane is that?" Of course we told her and where she could buy plans. Weather caught up with us in Philadelphia MS. Although it was still early, we knew it was going to rain so we stayed the night. The man at the airport suggested we call the Casino to pick us up and take us back in the morning. We were surprised to see a Casino in the middle of a small town, but there it was. After a late start the next morning, we flew 500 miles to Sweetwater. We stayed the night, left early the next day, refueled at Coolidge AZ, and arrived home around 3 pm.
The Cozy performed magnificently. Although we were ready for rainy weather, we didn't see any. We have since gone to Death Valley and found out why not so many fly there. They have no fuel available. Alex is going to fly to Apple Valley tomorrow to pick up a set of valve cover gaskets, although we are not having any problems. He thinks the gaskets should be replaced. I think he just needed an excuse to fly somewhere, and why not. The Cozy is so easy to fly and saves so much time that it is fun to go anywhere. We are planning another trip soon, probably to Florida in the summer. We shall see.
Norma & Alex Strong
Two years ago this month I bought my MK IV plans. Because we were entering into the winter months in northern Wisconsin, I was looking forward to a productive 4 or 5 months of full time work on my new project.
In January I received a call from a good friend in San Antonio asking if I would come down for a few weeks to help him build his new home.
The next thing I knew I was packing up the wife and kids and moving to San Antonio. I guess that warm San Antonio air was all it took. We sold the farm in Wisconsin and drove in stakes in San Antonio.
After living there for a few months I took an unexpected helicopter ride to the hospital after a work related accident. Unfortunately, this accident plus the move put the Mark IV way down on the priority list.
Well now that the dust has settled and I have fully recovered from my injuries, and a new home with a large garage to work in, I am ready to get back to work on my project.
San Antonio, TX
This is the first letter I have written to you since purchasing plans ~#418. My wife, Karen, and I are both helicopter pilots with little to no fixed wing time. Until we saw one of your Cozys on the cover of Sport Aviation, we had no urge to fly fixed-wing aircraft. Now we are planning where we will go once the aircraft is completed.
I have an A&P & IA background, so I've read every piece of information on your Cozy I could get my hands on. Karen is tired of this information being all over the house.
We moved from Southern California to Hawaii last July to a new job. During the move, our son Timothy (6 months) enjoyed the flight, I was so happy, Karen was relieved and the other passengers didn't have to drink as much.
We are recovering from the move, our child and the new job. I am starting to gear up to start the Cozy project. Is there any place out here to purchase Materials? Anything has to be better than paying freight on everything. I have even thought of starting a supply store for homebuilts, mainly composite aircraft, it was just a thought.
Darcy D Reed
Dear Nat and Shirley,
You probably don't remember, but my wife Alexandra and I did meet both you and Shirley in Oshkosh '86. Back then, as I recall, you were fresh out of the info packs for the 3-place Cozy, and my impression was that you seemed skeptical of the interest a couple of college kids, on a shoe-string budget, may have had in the Cozy. Anyhow, jump forward almost a decade and the two college kids, albeit somewhat older, are settled in southern California, living the American dream the best they can with the ups-and downs of the aerospace industry, while raising a family (daughter Vivian, 21 months old) and are now planning to build a Cozy Mark IV.
Well, not so quickly. The first order of business is the construction of a garage, ah, I mean workshop in which to build the Cozy. The task has proven quite an undertaking in itself, given the tight regulations and exorbitant costs out here. But the plans are nearly drawn and we expect to have a completed 2.5 car garage soon after the rainy season ends in March. From that point on I suspect we'll make slow progress given our family and my work obligations. I think Oshkosh 2003 would be an appropriate completion date, don't you?
While pushing the garage project along, I've been reading and looking over the plans. My first reaction after paging through both sections was sheer doubt. I thought ... even if I could do all this, it would take me 2 life times to finish. Look at all this detail! After planting that thought in the back of my mind and living with it for a couple of weeks, I started carefully reading the plans. When I got through the tutorial chapter and into the fuselage construction, the self-doubt gave way to a feeling of moderate confidence. After all, I thought, with the amount of explanation and detail that you provide in the plans, the newsletter, and the direct support, it's only a matter of persevering at the task long enough to see it to completion. Soon after, I began updating the plans in accordance with the published corrections. I still have about 10 newsletters to incorporate and index, but I'm thrilled to be starting a project I've been wanting to do all these years. Now if I could only get the rainy season out of the way and get that darned garage put up... As for renewing my newsletter, I must echo the sentiments of so many others who have written in to say that it is an excellent source of additional information and inspiration, and that I look forward to reading each new issue. Thank you for your continued support. Happy Holidays!
Manhattan Beach, CA
Here are some pictures of MK-188. As you can see, it is done. It has been a long way, but if I had to do it all over again, I would!
Waiting on the paper work and doing some final touch-up here and there.
A piece of advice to all of you builders: Treat your foam like a finished product. It can save you a lot of backache and sore arms, when it comes to the finishing.
She looks good now, after many hours of filling and sanding. I will keep you posted about the first flight which should occur sometime in January - God willing!
So. Floral Park, NY
Happy Thanksgiving to you and Shirley! Work on the Cozy continues despite irritating interruptions (i.e. work) and I continue to enjoy the process. Almost finished the canard last weekend but, as luck would have it, the temperature dropped below an acceptable level for a layup session. The day wasn't a total loss, however, as I had an opportunity for some back seat time in Skip Barchfeld's Long EZ. The flight was great as Skip proceeded to teach me some of the finer points of take off, landing and overall EZ flying skills. It had been some time since I had last flown and it surprised me to find that I could still manage the stick fairly well.
As I mentioned on the phone, the epoxy reaction problems now seem controllable by my limiting exposure time, being meticulously sanitary while working and a thorough cleanup process that includes waterless, vinegar and finally regular soap and water. All this on top of using gloves as well as barrier cream. This may sound excessive to some but I now have virtually no problems. I wouldn't change anything as long as progress continues successfully. By far the most significant improvement has been from the use of double gloves. The outer layer is cheap latex which I now believe is better than vinyl for toughness and on resistance. The real find, however, was the inner glove made of nitrile by Best Manufacturing, style #7005L. I found them locally at Safety Supply. These are the disposable type of nitrile, about ~$15/box of 100. Not inexpensive, but I get a lot of mileage out of a pair by changing the latex as frequently as necessary to maintain cleanliness. They are also very tough and, well, fit like a glove. I'm enclosing a pair so you can see what I mean.
This month I hosted a "tire kicking" session, sort of a show and tell event that displays a certain aircraft project. We had a good turnout and a great time discussing composite construction. More than a few people were envious of the plans set I displayed, especially the people who had been through the Varieze and Quickie/Dragonfly series.
My builder buddies continue to provide much appreciated assistance for the larger layups. Our little group continues to grow as people seem eager to "get sticky", and, surprising to me, they are even more enthusiastic after the first messy session to do it all over again. Must be something in the epoxy to create this euphoria - of course, most of them are active builders or soon to be themselves and the layup sessions serve as good practice for their own projects. It is my good fortune to live in an area where such enthusiasm exists and I'm grateful for their help.
I also want to express my sincere appreciation to you for the concern and support you have given me, especially these last months since Oshkosh. Our discussions have only made me more determined than ever to find a way to see this project through to completion. It would seem that now we are back on track. Also, thanks again for sending Gordon Bowen's "Special Brew" to test. It wets out well, the best yet, and rest assured that I'll put it to good use.
San Antonio, TX
Editor - Greg had the most severe allergic reaction I have ever seen and was on the verge of selling his project. We worked with him and now he seems to have the problem under control.