Wayne Blacklers Long-EZ
  November 2004 EZ of the Month
 

There is a good possibility that Wayne Blacklers aircraft is one of the nicest Long-EZ's on the planet earth. There may be no better aircraft to be ez.org's inaugural featured aircraft and also the EZ of the month. The excerpts for this article were provided by Wayne and you will be able to read more about this very special Long-EZ in an upcoming Central States newsletter.

The aircraft is painted in 2004 Audi Silver Metallic, using PPG Deltron base and clear and it is spectacular.


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Wayne got the EZ fever many years ago in Melbourne, Australia  at age 13. He had two goals at age 13, Number one: build a LongEZ and goal number two: work for Burt Rutan. By 1988 just before turning 16, with his parents help, Wayne had acquired a set of Long-EZ plans. Wayne's progress from 1988 till sixteen years later and the first flight was in Wayne's terms ‘discontinuous’ construction. Most of us have been there. Some may be able to relate to Wayne's list of distractions that include a garage fire that claimed his fathers Mercedes roadster, high school, rebellious twenties, rebuilding a Tiger Moth biplane, girlfriends, a university degree or two, a few more girlfriends, and working all over the world for aerospace companies.

Wayne's Long EZ traveled half way round the world on a ship, he never did get the job with Burt and sadly his father never had the chance to see it fly. Wayne flew the first flight of N360WZ himself, on June 9th 2004.

Wayne set out to build the fastest Long EZ he could, rolling in a blend of all of the well tested ‘speed/efficiency’ modifications developed for EZ's over the years, as well as a few of his own. He spent hours streamlining, making things flush, and copying people like Gary Hertzler… The only areas he deviated in the efficiency department were with the addition of an O-360 and the empty weight.

 

The pitot is a nose mounted, straight, heated AN5312 unit, converted to 12V from 24V. It was installed because as a kid, I thought a heated pitot was a requirement for IFR flight. It is insulated from the composite structure within machined Teflon. It’s removable for replacement if it gets damaged. It is heavy, and if I were building again, I’d explore the idea of using aluminum tube sized for cabin air, with an internal pitot line - This simple, light installation minimizes susceptibility to icing and ground damage, and decreases FO ingestion when parked nose down. My electric nose gear and favorable CG allow me to park with the nose off the ground if required.

The nose is 11" longer than per plans, not including the heated pitot. It was build concurrently with the canopy, and the canard cover from Styrofoam. The NG31 length/width ratio was kept per plans but increased in size so the nose lofts enclosed a worse-case-scenario sized 12V battery. I believe the profile is very similar to Mike Melvill’s Long EZ. The NG30 (nose bottom) line was extended out to match a continuously decreasing radius curve. The top and sides were match as best as possible. The canard is a modified R1145MS, with extended Brock Mfg built Cozy hinge offsets (P/N MKNC-12A). The offsets were made longer to allow for a set of elevator root fairings. I also added my own design sheared tips, rather than use the curved up variety. I just wanted to be different. The mass balance weights will get ice fairings this winter, and some seals for the offsets and canard cover will also be addressed. The canard was the highest quality part I made on the aircraft. The main gear has a Wortmann symmetrical aerofoil around it made from Styrofoam and BID. Each leg has 2.5 degrees of twist to allow for alignment at cruise AOA. The top section is 17.5% thick, the bottom is 15.3% thick. Oil flow tests showed attached flow from leading edge to trailing edge down the leg, and happily at each of the intersections. I’m very happy with this modification. Brakes are Matco 51LT’s and I have 8 ply 400x5 Lamb/Chen Shin’s. A set of Lightspeed Engineering wheelpants are installed. I wrapped the gear legs with "Heat Sheet" and added lockwire wraps for additional security.

The nose door is much larger than per plans and is hinged Berkut style. The door is locked using a internal locking system. It’s closed from the outside and opened/locked from inside the cockpit using a cable from Spruce. The nose houses a small/light Odyssey PC680 12V battery (680 cold cranking amps!), Main contactor, Main battery bus, a Wilhelmson Noselift with a custom Rick Girard manual backup crank using three MS20271 U-joints, a modified set of Berkut rudder pedals and Matco brake master cylinders aligned with the nose sides, a set of light carbon Nose Gear doors actuated by spring and retained by the spring and piano wire, and an ELT. The Wilhelmson gear allows the aircraft to be placed in a nose high attitude, decreasing takeoff roll significantly. Two static vents, machined to take 1/8" NPT fittings are installed from the inside flush with the outside skin, each side. The nose bumper is aerofoil shaped and is soon to be minimsed in size as it affects the air introduced into the centerline ram air inlet for the fuel injection system.

The instrument panel is 0.080" 2024T3 aluminium, modular, and tilted 8 degrees above the knees and " marine plywood/glass sandwich below. The instrument panel has three individual modular sections. The outer sections are mounted with MK1000 nutplates on a glass lip. The center section is raised 2 " to clear the original electric nose gear and to set out the main flight displays. It also made the manual backup crank installable with clearance. A Dynon EFIS with backup air data from a Rocky Mountain Encoder. Engine monitoring is via an AV-10 unit, with voice annunciation.

The control system is modified slightly. I have added bearings throughout the roll control system, and in the pitch system at the stick locations. In short, I have bearings in every axis. The roll bearings are Steve Wolpin’s design and made by Rick Girard, and the pitch are BCA4W10’s mounted on custom machined stick mounts. I have a real F-16 Control Stick in the front pit, and an Infinity ‘Warbird’ Stick Grip in the back seat. Both have the standard military screw in thread. Rick Girard machined me a couple of stick mounts per my drawings. They are superb. Thanks Rick. Both sticks are therefore removable.

The speed brake is a strengthened unit, electrically actuated by a Warner Electrak 1. I have deployed the unit fully and accelerated to a maximum level flight speed of around 140KIAS. I have a blade DPDT switch, momentary down, center off, mounted ahead of the throttle quadrant for automated engagement on go-around.

The front seat thigh support is lowered 1", hinged, and retained by two camlocks. It covers the plans cavity. Mounted below are two B&C regulators and a main and essential twenty fuse block buses. The fuselage bottom is scalloped per plans, so any water should flow underneath the electrics. The wiring is easily accessible and there are a number of open fuse slots to ease future system installations/changes. The cavity also has a 48 pin ground bus, mounted on the panel. All the wiring runs in one bundle from the panel, down the left hand side of the fuselage and into the thigh support area. The only electrical bundles are on the left side forward of the panel itself. All other wiring runs inside viton covered shilded conduit down the right hand side of the aircraft. The fuel is all in the back seat area, but actuation has been made just as ergonomic as per plans.
The engine is a modified Lycoming O-360 A2A. The engine was built up by Bart LaLonde at Aerosport Power in Kamloops, Canada. It’s a balanced, 9.2:1 compression ratio engine putting out approximately 190hp. Accessories include Airflow Performance Injection, B&C 60A main and a Vac pump pad SD-20 20A alternator. The ignition is handled by a magneto and one internally ruggedized LSE Plasma III box. The Prop is sensational. It’s a Lightspeed 68" x 92". It turns 1950 RPM static and 2950 RPM top end. A Saber 8"x7" prop extension with 7" crush plate currently installed.
 

Lower cowl is 100% standard 360 Berkut. Top cowl was made by Wayne using Berkut blisters.

The Induction system is similar to Glen Waters Berkut.

The canopy was built in place with the nose and canard cover as previously mentioned. The hinged canopy section extends back to the firewall like Joe LaCour’s Long EZ - The plan was to cover the cowl attachment fasteners with the canopy trailing edge. The front edge was shortened per Iwatate’s recommendations to alleviate lifting as temperature decreases and the canopy contracts. The lock is a modified Lee Carlstrom unit Rick Girard made. An Aircraft Spruce supplied gas strut mounts to a roll-over designed by a New Zealander buddy of mine, Rob Grigson. Its 4130N steel, RV shaped and is a tremendous unit.

Roll bar is made from 4130 and it's construction is described in a Central States article.
The aircraft weighed 1124lbs empty before some major weight reduction. Calculations have it at 1085 pounds now. Tested Gross Weight is 1875lbs, limited to 2.5g.

The aircraft performs really well, and I think there is much room for improvement. Solo, with 15gals on board I can get off the ground really fast, climb 2200ft/min at 95KIAS solo, climb to 8000ft and do 206KTAS… I’ve had it doing 197KIAS at 3000 ft, flat out just a few days back, which is about right. On return from Havre Montana I crossed the Washington Cascades and started a Vne power on, 1000fpm decent. At 7000ft I was indicating 215 knots. That’s 242KTAS. Performance is greatly affected by weight, however. Climb drops 500 ft/min or more, and top end and cruise is 10 knots slower with a backseater and some more 100LL. I believe there is a relatively easy 5 knots to be gained in cruise, perhaps 10 if I go searching...

Future plans include: New induction system, drooped ailerons, spinner flowguide, cowl/prop fences for prop inflow, airframe seals, gear door seals, winglet tip fairings, hingeline seals, smaller armpit inlets, and more… 42 all told, all to increase performance, and none which will ground the aircraft for more than a day.

Read more about this very special Long-EZ in an upcoming Central States Newsletter.

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