FEW OF THE MOST OFTEN ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Q. Why should I build an airplane?
A. If you are satisfied with factory builts and don't wish to become involved in an absorbing hobby, don't. Building an airplane is fun, but it takes a lot of time. Home-building is where you find the new ideas -- state of the art design and construction techniques. Factory builts are more general purpose designs which do nothing particularly well. Homebuilts are more special purpose. A much greater variety are available and they tend to perform very well when used as the designer intended. As a class, they are better performing and more economical to operate and maintain. Building requires a commitment of time, forces you to learn new skills, sets you apart from others, provides an outlet for your creative instinct, builds ego, and will introduce you to a whole new world of very fine people similarly motivated.

Q. Why should I select a composite design?
A. Composite construction requires fewer skills and is easier to learn. It is uniquely suited for homebuilding and unsuited for mass production. It is superior to other forms of construction in terms of skills required, simplicity, strength, ability to absorb energy, resistance to fatigue and corrosion, repairability and durability. It is state-of-the-art.

Q. Why should I build from plans using moldless construction?
A. Moldless construction is easy, it does not take significantly longer than building from a "pre-fab" kit, and it is the least expensive way to build a single airplane. The builder saves the cost of mold amortization, return on investment, outside labor, and profit. The builder does not have to put up a large amount of money up-front, because he can buy materials as he needs them and as his budget allows, and he is not dependent upon a single source for his materials.

Q. Why should I choose a canard type?
A. Although canards date back to the first airplane ever flown (Wright brothers), it took Burt Rutan to solve the more complex aerodynamics and to popularize the configuration. Burt figured out how to make them safer, to not be subject to stall and divergence from controlled flight, which is the cause of many low altitude accidents. He made the canard airfoil angle of attack limiting, so that the nose could not be lifted high enough in level flight or turns to stall the main wing. The only result of full aft stick with no power is a high sink rate, immediately correctable with the addition of power. Canard configurations are more efficient, because they have two lifting surfaces. This allows the main wing to have less area, less span, and lower weight loading. Because of the distribution of lift between the two surfaces, there are lower bending loads and the structure does not have to be as heavy. This reduces drag and results in better performance with less horsepower.

Q. Why should I choose a Cozy?
A. Both the 3-place Cozy and 4-place Cozy Mark IV use the technology that Burt Rutan designed into the Long EZ. Co-Z Development Corp. passed on it's exclusive license from RAF to us this technology in a side-by-side configuration. As a result, both the 3-place Cozy and 4-place Cozy Mark IV perform very similar to the Long EZ, and exhibit the same stall resistant characteristic.

Q. What skills are required to build a Mark IV?
A. No special skills or previous experience are required. Builders come from all walks of life. The plans are written for the average person and first time builder. The most important skill required is the discipline to consistently read and follow a large number of written instructions. You do not need to be an engineer to understand the plans. They consist of over 100,000 words, over 1,000 illustrations and photographs, and full size drawings to lead you step by step.

Q. Can I buy an airplane already built, or do you have someone who builds them?
A. No on both counts. The FAA licenses a person to build an amateur-built aircraft for recreation and educational purposes only. You have to build it yourself. You can get a good kick start with Freeflight Composites who will teach you good steps, guide your start, or step in and help in a critical phase if you bring your project to them.

Q. What prefab parts are available, if I decide to build
A. All parts which would be difficult for the average builder to make, such as manual or electric nose retract mechanism, engine mount, landing gear struts, cowlings, canopy, etc., are available prefab.

Q. Can I get a list of Mark IV builders
A. Our builder list is confidential. However, as a prospective builder, you can join the unofficial Cozy Builders mail list where over 400 builders chat daily about the issues. Contact your local EAA Chapter for a list of builders in your area. Or contact David Orr for a tailored local canard builder's list: canardfinder@att.net

Q. Can the wings be removed so I can trailer the airplane?
A. Yes, the wings and canard are designed to be removable, however, the fuselage center-section is still 11 ft. wide with wings removed, and so one gear will need to be tilted up reduce its road cross section so it is not practical to routinely trailer it to and from the airport.

Q. Can I equip the Mark IV for IFR?
A. Yes. An IFR rated pilot can operate a Mark IV IFR if he equips it per FAR 91. The builder must develop the avionics installation himself and coordinate with his local FA

Q. May I do aerobatics in a Mark IV?
A. No! The Mark IV is rated in the normal category. It was designed for economical, high-speed, cross- country flying. It does not stall and cannot do inverted maneuvers and picks up speed rapidly when pointed down. Aerobatics are not recommended.

Q. Can I operate from unimproved runways?
A. No. Due to the pusher configuration, the prop is subject to damage if operated from a gravel runway. Grass runways are bumpy and extend take-off distance. Only hard surfaces are recommended.

Q. Can I get a demo ride before I purchase plans'?
A. No. We are not organized to provide demo rides. If we were selling complete aircraft, we would provide this service. Since we are only selling plans, it is not feasible to do this. Contact David Orr for information on the nearest finished Cozy IVs: canardfinder@att.net

Q. Why is the nose retracted while parked?
A. Without the pilot in the aircraft, there is not enough weight in the nose to insure it will not tip back on the prop and rudders. Parking nose down prevents this. A small rubber bumper under the nose provides a very effective parking brake, allowing the aircraft to be unattended in 30 + knot winds without tie down or wheel chock.

Q. What is composite construction?
A. Technically, it is the use of two or more materials together. In aircraft construction, it refers to a sandwich of foam (or some other lightweight material) sandwiched between two layers of fiberglass. The result is a very light, rigid, and strong structure.

Q. How long does it take to build a Cozy from plans?
A. We estimate a good worker can build a Cozy in 2500 hours. These are working hours, not time spent reading plans, drinking coffee, etc. Although some might think this is a long time, it is actually shorter than it takes to assemble many pre-fab kits, or designs made from aluminum, tube & rag, and/or wood.

Q. What does it cost?
A. At current prices it will cost about $18,000 to build the airframe. This includes purchasing some pre-fab parts which would be difficult for an unskilled builder to make himself, such as cowlings, canopy, landing gear struts, engine mount, manual or electric nose-gear retract mechanism, and other parts which require machining or welding. It does not include the cost of an engine, or expensive instruments and avionics.

Q. Are other prefab parts available?
A. Some unapproved custom shops advertise parts for the Cozy, and their own look alike designs, but the Cozy designer has not inspected nor tested them, and have no way of insuring their quality. As a matter of fact, some custom shops have supplied un-airworthy parts, or just plain bilked builders out of their money. For this reason, we recommend that builders build all of the components themselves, except for those we have approved from authorized suppliers.

Q. What is the difference between the Cozy and the Velocity.
A. They are two completely different designs and are in two different categories. The Cozy is "Plans Built" or "Custom Built" whereas the Velocity is "Prefab Built". There is a striking difference in cost, far out of proportion to the difference in building time. Moreover, building from plans, you can purchase supplies as you need them over however long it takes to complete the project, rather than having to finance the purchase of everything before you begin. The Velocity weighs about 250 lbs. more than the Cozy, and is about 20 mph slower with the same engine. The Cozy has superior visibility with its full-bubble canopy, rather than just a windshield with a roof overhead. The Cozy's entire canopy opens up, giving excellent access to all 4 seats. The Cozy is full dual control, with two side sticks, whereas the Velocity has only one control stick. The Cozy uses Burt Rutan's construction technology and aerodynamic design, under license. The Cozy is the only design licensed by Burt Rutan.

Q. What engines are approved?
A. The Cozy Mark IV was designed around the 180 hp Lycoming engine. Lycoming engines from 160 hp to 200 hp are suitable. We have evaluated the 6-cylinder 200 hp Franklin engine.

Q. Are automobile engines approved?
A. The hp of automobile engines is quoted at their red-line rpm, which is usually about 6,000 rpm, but their reliability is based upon running at about 2,000 rpm most of the time. To get the necessary horsepower, they would have to be operated near their redline, and would require a speed reduction unit for a reasonable propeller speed. The speed reduction unit plus the water cooling equipment required results in a very complicated, heavy, and bulky installation. Even if the problems could be solved without destroying the esthetics of the design, the resale value of a Cozy with an automobile engine would probably be less than the cost to build, rather than 3 times the cost to build (with an aircraft engine).

Q. Is the Cozy available with a retractable main gear?
A. No. The nose gear is retractable, and the main gear strut is tear-drop shaped, and with wheel pants, there is very little drag with the fixed main gear. Aircraft Spruce sells an even more streamlined gear fairing as well. A retractable main gear could not possibly be as strong or as light as the fixed gear. It would have to retract somewhere, and the most likely place would be into the strake, which would sacrifice fuel capacity. If you could go 5 or 10 knots faster (and that has yet to be shown to be true at canard racing events) would require you to land more often from fuel (letting down from 10,000 ft, spending 1/2 hr on the ground, and climbing back to 10,000 ft.) is simply not cost effective, since a retractable main gear would increase building cost at least $4,000, would increase insurance cost, would increase maintenance cost, and would increase building time. Retractable main gears are subject to failure (not going down) and forgetfulness (forgetting to lower). In the event of an off field landing, a retractable gear attached to the main spar would probably cause more structural damage, including rupturing of the fuel tanks and increased likelihood of fire. The designer doesn't recommend it.

Q. What is the Cozy safety record?
A. Because it does not stall, and offers exceptional body protection, the Cozy safety record is better than most homebuilts (and factory builts). We have had two fatal accidents. Both were caused by pilot error, i.e., running into something, like a power line or a tree.

Q. What builder support is provided?
A. The designer provided excellent builder support for 2 decades so most of the issues have been addressed in the 3rd edition plans and last newsletters. Built on the success of the excellent Long EZ plans before it, the Cozy has a reputation of having the best and most complete plans and construction manuals of any design on the market, which results in very few builder questions. Additionally, there is a very active group of Cozy builders and flyers accessible on the web on the unofficial Cozy builder's mail list.

Q. How many plans have been sold, and how many Cozys are flying?
A. We sold 800 sets of plans for our original 3-place Cozy, and those plans are now out of print. We estimate that about 60 set of plans were sold for the European version of the Cozy III, the Cozy Classic which is out of print. To date (February 2009 the designer and we have sold almost 1450 sets of Cozy Mark IV plans. Over 240 3-place Cozys have been completed and are flying--some with over 1,000 hours. The Cozy Mark IV is our newest design, and about 225 have been completed and are flying, with many more almost complete. It is also important to remember that the Cozy was based on Burt Rutan's very successful Varieze and LongEz designs which each had around 3000 flying. The Cozy Mark IV, therefore, comes from a long legacy of EZ airplanes with a proven record of builder completion and safety.

Q. If you have to park the Cozy on its nose, do you have to lift the nose before you can climb in?
A. An electric nose lift has been designed which is strong enough for one to climb in while the nose is down, and then lift the nose up with the push of a button. It is nearly standard in most of the flying Cozy IVs out there, the designer also had one. The same systems are very reliable and spreading through the Cozy III and Long EZ community.

Q. Do we have a video?
A. Yes, please see the Home page for Cozy IV plans to order one from Aircraft Spruce. In addition, there are people who film the all canard flyins and can show you example of flying Cozy IV aircraft at those flyins. Contact David Orr canardfinder@att.net for the latest list of CDs.

Q. How do we get more information?
A. An extensive information kit is available for $10. This contains 2 frameable pictures, sample pages from our construction manual, a summary of composite construction, specifications and a 3-view drawing, a complete flight test report, a number of magazine reprints, history of the design and of our company, a current newsletter, and other things of interest.

Q. Do you accept credit cards?
A. Yes. We accept Visa and Master card, and personal checks (on US banks), money orders, cashiers checks, and travelers checks.

 

The Cozy Design is an Aircraft Spruce Copyright
Aircraft Spruce purchased the Cozy designs (Cozy III and Cozy Mark IV) from Co-Z Development, and as of January 1, 2004 has the exclusive right to market these designs. These designs are protected with U.S. copyrights, and Aircraft Spruce has licensed no one else to copy all or any part of these designs to sell, loan, or give to others.

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