If I were building again…

Mainly, I would choose to be richer and smarter and faster. Younger, slimmer…

There are some basic EZ components hoisted up in the hangar rafters awaiting their time. There is also a special notebook hidden in the corner of my locker that details a list of ingredients that, on an appropriately electrically charged night, in a dark hangar, perched atop craggy whistling cliffs, with the help of a favorite hunchbacked or conehead assistant, could probably be frankensteined and levitated into a dark and sinister flying machine. None of those devious thoughts or devices will be brought into the light of day here.

Instead, this is a look at some basic common sense new-project options that could be considered if building now. There are surely more comprehensive studies. This is just a simple listing of things that come to mind.

  • A VariEze fuselage would be made using the harder LongEZ foam, as well as fiberglass layup schedule. No question.
  • LongEZ main gear strut and hardware attachment.
  • Alpha Poxy for micro filler. When finishing, try to stay with one brand of primer and paint and clear coat if possible. I like EZ Poxy for the structure.
  • The instrument panel above the leg holes would tilt forward seven degrees to put the gauges perpendicular to my line of sight, enabling installation of corner tapes around the top, and putting the canopy lip forward just a little. A rain drip on the instrument panel lip under the canopy leading edge (See Featured Canards).
  • Pilot seat bulkhead would be installed at the 37 degrees, if I remember right, per note in CP on the best angle study that was done. I have used an angled spacer for years and greatly prefer that milder angle. I also made one for the rear seat. My wife always uses a plump hanging bag of her clothes as her back cushion. One time years ago she came out the day before a trip to get in and out several times and figure out how thick she wanted the cushion.
  • Speed brake, or not to speed brake? I don’t know. I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t install it again, but I would bounce it around good. There have been several times that I was glad to have it.
  • There would be serious evaluation of a built-in rollover structure.
  • As suggested, wing cores would be cut slightly large (1/8 inch) and then sanded down to size with a long sanding board. Cores would be cut in relaxed state, not weighed down to make them square.
  • I still have that set of original nose retract push-pull hardware -- not for the casual builder, but it is very interesting to visit with folks that have used that first retract mechanism successfully over the years.

The old faithfuls now on my VariEze would endure, details and pictures in Featured Canards.:

  • Level wings.
  • Extended strakes with front seat elbow room and rear storage area. That installation process was done following the LongEZ plans as a guide.
    On either-
  • Forward hatches and pins as now. Cowl attach and downdraft plenum cylinder cooling as now.
  • Rear seat sump tank with no switching. Plumbing, size and location would be the same, but the tank would be laid-in separate, semi-permanent, to fit in the fuselage just as mine is now.
  • Current round nose shape. Just might be an advantage in a cow pasture landing.
  • Canopy located four inches forward, as now.
  • Instrument hatch as on mine now, with top of the surrounding instrument panel structurally attached with corner tapes all around, as now.
  • Brake cylinders again installed just forward of the canard bulkhead up in between the NG 30s, as now.
  • One piece aluminum brake lines. The two 3/16 inch brake lines were installed while building, going from the front-mounted cylinders in one length all the way back and down to the wheel puck housings. While there was initially no disconnect, there are now in-line flared connections. To allow for flex there is a slight curve like a “?” in the aluminum line where they go from the strut to the puck housing and they work fine and have caused no ‘stiffness’ problem or binding with the Matcos in 800 hours. If someone else wanted an installation with more movement, that would require further thought.
  • Fuel vent lines as now, from inside the strake, up inside the passenger head rest, straight down in front of the spar, and down to curve forward in front of the gear leg.
  • Another harsh list limiting what would initially go on the plane, things that keep it from legally and safely making the first flight.

Am sure there are lots more proven ideas out there. Probably the best resource here is Terry Yake’s and Friends extensive "Resource Guide for Nonbuilder Owners of Canard Composite Aircraft" here on the ez.org Articles link. It has been underestimated and overlooked by those that could benefit from it most. Maybe they should charge $500 for it. I just cut out a page and a half of more preaching here.

One other little detail. I would again have to face my building “character”.
-The things I do when no one is looking. How particular would I be?
Wouldn’t want to create a… monster.

Bill James, Fort Worth VariEze


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