THE CANARD PUSHER NO 45 JULY 85
Published quarterly (Jan, Apr, Jly, Oct) by
RUTAN AIRCRAFT FACTORY INC.
Bldg 13, Airport,
Mojave, Ca 93501
U.S. & Canadian subscriptions $14.00
Overseas (Airmail) $16.00
Back Issues $ 3.50
If you are building a VariViggen from 1st Edition plans you must have newsletter 1 through 45. If you are building from 2nd Edition plans you must have newsletters 18 through 45. If you are building a VariEze from 1st Edition plans you must have newsletters from 10 to 45. If you are building a VariEze from 2nd Edition plans you must have newsletters from 16 through 45. If you are building a Long-EZ you must have newsletters from 24 through 45. If you are building a Solitaire, you must have newsletters from 37 through 45. If you are building a Defiant, you must have newsletters from 41 through 45.
A current subscription for future issues is mandatory for builders, as this the only formal means to distribute mandatory changes. Reproduction and redistribution of this newsletter is approved and encouraged.
RAF will be open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Builder support on the phone will be available only on Tuesdays and Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. RAF will not be open nor will there be any flight demonstrations on Saturdays.
When writing to RAF send a stamped, self addressed envelope along if you have any questions. If you are placing an order, it's best to keep it separate from a request for an answer to a builder question. Mark the outside of your envelope "builder questions". This will speed up your reply.
An important letter by Burt Rutan announces items of interest to RAF homebuilders.
The RAF Aircraft - summary of the era
Rutan Aircraft Factory (RAF) was formed by Burt Rutan in 1969 as a part-time business. Its purpose was the development of a non-conventional research aircraft, the VariViggen.
In July 1974 RAF became a full-time business and moved to a rented WW II barracks building on the Mojave California airport. From that facility the VariEze was developed (two prototypes were built and tested); the manufacturing manuals for the VariViggen and VariEze were marketed, and the special-performance version of the VariViggen was developed. Also, the feasibility study and design of the skew wing AD-1 were done for NASA.
In March 1977 RAF moved into a new facility on the Mojave airport flight line. After that move the Quickie, Defiant and Long-EZ prototypes were developed, as well as several consulting jobs for NASA and the USAF in support of the AD-1 and general canard aircraft technology.
RAF continued the tasks of marketing and supporting the VariViggen, VariEze and Long-EZ programs. Further research aircraft developments continued, including the STOL Grizzly, the self launching sailplane, Solitaire and testing the NGT jet trainer. The Voyager round-the-world aircraft was designed and built at RAF. It was turned over to Voyager Aircraft Inc. in August 1984.
AIRCRAFT DEVELOPED AT RAF
Name Model Design Construction First Plans
# Started Started Flight Intro'd
VariViggen 27 Aug 67 Jan 68 May 72 Feb 74
VariViggen SP 32 Jan 75 Jan 75 Jul 75 Nov 75
VariEze - VW 31 Sep 74 Feb 75 May 75 None
VariEze 33 Aug 75 Oct 75 Mar 76 Jul 76
AD-1 (NASA) 35 May 76 Dec 77* Nov 79 None
Quickie 54 Jun 77 Aug 77 Nov 77 None
Defiant 40 Mar 77 Nov 77 Jun 78 Jun 84
Long-EZ 61 Jan 79 Mar 79 Jun 79 Apr 80
Amsoil Racer 68 Jun 79 Feb 80* Aug 81 None
Grizzly 72 Mar 80 Dec 80 Jan 82 None
NGT Jet 73 Jan 81 Feb 81* Sep 81 None
Voyager 76 Jun 80 Jun 82 May 84 None
Solitaire 77 Jun 81 Dec 81 May 82 Aug 83
*Construction not done at RAF
The Business Of Homebuilt Plans
RAF has never entered the homebuilt kit market. From the onset, I have limited RAF's marketing to that of plans and support items. It is easier for me to assure the quality of those items. As you know we have been open and candid about the deficiencies that have been found after plans are out and responsive toward developing improvements to fix the problems and to promptly pass the important information on to you homebuilders in the Canard Pusher. The following table lists some interesting statistics in this area.
Model VariViggen VariEze Long-EZ Solitaire Defiant
introduced 1974 1976 1980 1983 1984
Minor corrections 87 164 110 54 28
improvements 6 40 7 0 0
related) 21 115 114 6 8
Most of the items passed along are routine (simple clarifications or corrections), but some have involved real panics, such as our 9-day program to develop, flight test and document the VariEze lateral control system major change in 1977 and our recall of deficient seat belts and 5-month battle with FAA to convince them to issue an AD in 1978.
RAF's early decision to not get into the business of manufacturing parts and kits was based mainly on a desire to stay small and to avoid the responsibility (and thus liability) of assuring that each bolt, wing spar or engine, etc. was perfect. Many people told me I was a fool to not fully gain the financial profits of the designs by not marketing kits. However, the plans business for the VariEze and initially the Long-EZ was excellent and with a low overhead, RAF was very successful, paid lots of taxes and built a reasonable cash health.
This success story worked, however, only on those two designs. The others - VariViggen, Grizzly, Solitaire and Defiant have not been viable in the market place. Even though developed and flight tested, the Grizzly was never offered, because it did not seem that the costs of preparing drawings would be recovered. The Solitaire cost several times as much to develop as the Long-EZ and the market was dismally small, resulting in a major drain on RAF's financial security. The Voyager project was done primarily because I decided that this significant accomplishment would be worth more in terms of the feeling of accomplishment by achieving an aviation milestone, than the more obvious financial income to be received by introducing a new homebuilt. I had thought the the Defiant would be a tremendous success for RAF, because of the excitement it generated upon its introduction in 1978 and because I had found it to be my favorite transportation for nearly 1000 hours of very enjoyable flying. However, this did not prove to be the case, since now at the end of its first year of introduction, after its direct costs of printing, mailing and contract support, its income has not even covered the overhead of one of our 4 RAF people.
CP45, Page 1
We, as well as others in the homebuilt market arena are seeing a market that has been declining in the last two years. Long-EZ sales are down to 20 percent of last years' rate. It is possible that this is due to cost increases but it is also likely that it is due to saturation. Possibly there is a very limited number of people with the persistence to build an airplane and the desire to own an airborne sports car.
Another factor may be the decreased excitement and enthusiasm of the various airshow activities. The new "starwars" homebuilts are not as unique and exciting as they were in 1976. The Oshkosh flyin, once considered the Mecca for the homebuilder, no longer makes him feel welcome, by curtailing flying activities, charging large fees for participating and not providing protection from the general public. Those put off by this, continue to enjoy their aircraft by activities like the IVHC trips and by gleaning the desired utility from them, however, the promotional aspects of the big airshows has declined.
Where do we go from here?
During my 12 years in the homebuilt business arena, I have found that a continuing business of developing homebuilt aircraft and selling plans in the long-term can be self defeating. As the number of new builders grows each year, the number that require support continuously grows to significant proportions. Plans sold in 1974 still get attention for building assistance and the oldest airplanes still need help with operational problems. During the current declining sales period, with our relatively high overhead, we find ourselves spending more to promote current products and to develop new products than income will cover. Thus our long term ability to provide builder support will be threatened unless we drastically reduce overhead.
Recently we were faced with a decision: (1) To continue with the development and introduction of new homebuilts, expanding RAF as necessary for the new development activities and expanding support requirements. We would thus attempt survival (with growth) in a declining market place, or (2) To significantly curtail our overhead to a level to do only builder support. This allows the remaining cash to be available for the longer period of time to support the current builders. Discontinuing further marketing of plans would change our support requirements from an expanding level to a declining environment.
I have decided to follow the second plan. After today, July 13, 1985, RAF will no longer market homebuilt aircraft plans. This should be no cause for concern by those currently flying or building, since we intend, for the foreseeable future, to continue to provide support. Support, as always, will include answering builders mail (SASE required, as always!) and, on a more limited time basis, providing support on the phone. We will also, as before, respond to any requirement for safety-related modifications or improvements, ie., if future experience uncovers any unsafe characteristics or weakness in the plans-configuration, that will be corrected after the appropriate development and test of the correction. Of course, as before, we many not be able to investigate or comment on modifications or options by others that do not relate to a safety question on the basic configuration.
I plan to finance our continuing support effort via the following methods:
(1) Use of funds already directed to subsequent support. We have been using a "deferred income" plan directed at future builder support.
(2) Effective immediately the CP subscription is raised to $14.00 per year. The old price was less than a break-even level for the newsletter alone.
(3) Continue our marketing of support items, trinkets and plans that improve the existing designs. Examples are construction video tapes, owner's manuals, tie tacs, photos and rudder mod plans.
We will be at Oshkosh this year, to market the items in (3) above, but primarily to provide builder support. Activities of a nature to promote new plans sales such as our Saturday demos, aerobatic airshows, advertising, giving rides etc, will no longer be done.
Even though the RAF expenses are curtailed to a minimum level, Mike and Sally Melvill will not be out of work. I plan to use their extensive talents in aircraft development and test in proprietary areas not related to homebuilts.
RAF will be open Monday through Friday for sales of everything but plans. We will no longer be open on Saturdays. Builder support via telephone will be limited to Tuesdays and Fridays only.
It is a difficult decision, of course, to retreat from this homebuilt plans business, since it has been a tremendous amount of fun working with people who also are having a lot of fun. It was a decision made necessary by the nature of the business and our success in the last two years. Also, I have been spread so thin on time, conducting the other business at Scaled Composites, that I have been unable to meet the schedule I had wanted on the next RAF aircraft.
1985 CAFE 400
Gary Hertzler has done it again!!! Congratulations Gary. In spite of a scoring method change favoring speed more and payload less, Gary and his marvelous little 80 hp VariEze managed to defeat all comers. Not only did he win the experimental, two place category, he had the highest score overall of the 38 finishers. We at RAF are very pleased and proud of all the builder/pilots who flew their RAF designs in this year's CAFE 400. When you consider that Gary and his VariEze have won four years in a row and each year the race has been run on a different course and under different rules, Gary and his machine are indeed a special combination - super job Gary, what will you do next year!?!
EXPERIMENTAL TWO SEAT
Score A/C Type Pilot W/Seat Speed MPG GW HP
1 2,112,840 VariEze Hertzler 400/2 150.5 44.82 1200 80
2 2,094,819 Q-200 Sheehan 400/2 175.5 36.66 1200 100
3 1,967,589 VariEze Savier 400/2 168.5 36.23 1200 100
4 1,740,903 Q-2 Wallrath 400/2 159.8 34.26 1250 100
5 1,649,410 VariEze Sorenson 400/2 162.8 31.72 1250 100
6 1,646,266 Glasair RG Hamilton 400/2 199.3 24.58 1850 180
7 1,558,392 Long-EZ Ellison 400/2 191.1 24.52 1425 160
8 1,513,212 VariEze Gardner 400/2 172.9 26.98 1300 115
9 1,460,292 Rand KR-2 Alderman 400/2 144.1 32.70 1200 75
10 1,368,148 Vans RV-4 VanGrunsven400/2 178.5 23.44 1500 160
11 1,358,114 Long-EZ Kelly 400/2 171.4 24.48 1500 160
12 1,297,052 VariEze McPherson 400/2 138.4 30.56 1210 90
13 1,228,409 Thorp T-18 Brock 400/2 164.9 23.23 1800 180
14 1,134,420 Glasair TD Spaulding 400/2 161.0 22.12 1570 160
15 1,115,500 Thorp T-18 Leffe 400/2 172.8 19.90 1840 180
We are very sorry to announce that Michael Dilley will be leaving RAF for personal reasons. Michael has been with us since October 1981. Michael was one of the builders of the Amsoil Racer before joining RAF. Since coming to RAF, he helped complete the Grizzly, then worked full time on the Solitaire. After Solitaire was flying, he was one of the first few pilots to fly the prototype. He worked on the Solitaire plans for the homebuilders and has been the primary Solitaire builder supporter since the plans were put on the market.
Michael has been building a Long-EZ and has been a great help on Long-EZ builder support. He does plan on completing his Long.
We will miss him very much and he will be hard to replace. But we wish him and his lovely family every success in their future. "We love ya guys".
CP45, Page 2
RAF FLYIN - JUNE 8 1985 - MOJAVE
What a day! The morning dawned bright and clear with little wind (we had all been praying to the Mojave wind gods and they were kind!!) About 7:30 a.m. a bunch of volunteers from the Long-EZ Squadrons I and II showed up and started getting ready for the spot landing contest which they had kindly offered to organize. They barely had their white line painted on the runway, when the first airplane, Bruce and Bonnie Tifft overflew the airfield and announced they were on downwind for the landing. Bruce touched down less than 20 feet beyond the white line and we all began to think that this was too easy! HA!! Not at all, in fact Bruce was the leader for most of the day until finally Bill Oertel of Norco, California landed a scant 8 feet short of the line. The flyin did not really start until 9:00 a.m. but by that time there were 25 EZs tied down on the ramp! After it was all over it turned out that 39 VariEzes and 37 Long-EZs flew in. In addition to this of course there were present on the ramp the 85 percent scale Starship, the Voyager, the Grizzly, the Solitaire and the Defiant. The Gemini, Dave and Kathy Ganzer's unique push pull twin two place was also on the line. The total count of airplanes was 83! This is the largest number of RAF designs ever assembled on one airport at one time, including Oshkosh!!!
A busy schedule, starting with the spot landing contest, then going into a hands on demonstration of composite construction methods, and the finishing of the composites, followed by lunch and the highlight of the day for most people, when we static loaded three different VariEze/Long-EZ canards. A raffle was held for a brand new multilaminate Great American prop, a number of door prizes were given away and the party started breaking up around 4 p.m.
We did not get an absolute head count but we believe we had over 400 people. The hands on seminar was a standing room only situation. Even more people were jammed into the hangar for the static load testing. The first canard was one that was built by a homebuilder and was rejected due to an extremely dry layup. This canard was mounted in a frame (upside down) in exactly the same manner as it would have been in the aircraft.
Thus the static load test was a valid test of the aluminum attach points as well as the composite structure. With Burt directing proceedings, 25 lb lead shot bags were carefully loaded onto the bottom surface of the canard in the proper order and spacing to simulate airloads. Burt called out the load factor at each 2 g increment. At 10 g there was a loud crack as the top skin, forward of the spar cap failed in compression. The spar cap was still in good shape, so we continued to load shot bags until we were one bag short of a 14 g load on each side, when with a mighty crack, the canard failed catastrophically. All failures were in compression, there was not one tension failure. The attach points (lift tabs) did not fail. At the time of failure, there were 69 bags, each weighing 25 lb loaded on each side of this canard! The tips were deflected an average of about 11 inches. This was 1725 lbs. on each side, for a total load of 3450 lbs hanging on those little lift tabs!!
A dramatic demonstration that surely made every builder feel good about his or her airplane.
We attempted to fail two more canards, but due to the fact that these had been painted white and were shiny and slick (each was airworthy and had over 800 hours of flying time each), we had difficulty keeping the lead shot bags from slipping off. Both went to 12 g with no sign of failure before the load of lead slipped. Interestingly, one side of one of these canards had been deliberately damaged by Burt using a special damage tolerance testing device. The damage was quite severe, enough to have punched deep dents all over an aluminum wing, but in spite of this, there was no difference in deflection from the damaged side to the good side, even at 12 g!!
We at RAF had a really great day and we hope everyone who attended our flyin enjoyed it as much as we did. There were many beautiful examples of EZs on the ramp, presenting a golden opportunity to EZ builders and potential builders to look at and talk to the owners.
We would like to thank all the people who made this flyin such an enormous success, in particular Squadron I and II members. Dick Kreidel, David Orr, Lynn Burks, Joe Orrico and especially Joan Richey. There were many others who also helped. Thank you all, shall we do it every year!?!
We still have some flyin T-shirts in stock. After flyin sale - $5.50!!
The following is a list of the N#'s of the EZs that were on the ramp during the flyin. Thanks to David Orr, whose legs were practically worn to stumps in the 105 degree weather, for tagging each airplane for us.
VariEze Long-EZ Odd Ones!
N57EZ N83VE N141RJ N25EZ Starship N2000S
N3LV N999EB N169SH N82CD Solitaire N81RA
N57LG N34VE N5WX N661ST Defiant N78RA
N60SD N84EZ N6NG N26MS Grizzly N80RA
N183W N999EZ N67JD N711QA Gemini N75DG
N75VE N999JD N218EZ N27CK Voyager N169VA
N262DB N39DP N7VN N83DF The Beez N115EZ
N13EZ N88RB N252BJ N731JS
N78BN N7824R N8JE N83PJ
N15LL N42DS N324VR N888EZ
N450EZ N99CL N13YV N38EZ
N506D N15433 N379W N84LZ
N23RR N99VE N79RA N89PC
N80WL N45846 N15NS N41AN
N529SK N45DM N79YT N44ZC
N24RW N64592 N18BP N102LE
N83DE N80681 N515DR N51VE
N27RG N56RH N600TD N55LZ
If we have missed you, PLEASE let us know.
CONGRATULATIONS JOHNNY MURPHY!!!! Johnny flew his brand new Defiant on the evening of June 8, 1985. He was very pleased with the flight, which lasted about an hour. Things were going so well, he even retracted his nose gear, (which is not per plans!). Johnny is the first one to fly a Defiant equipped with constant speed props and he is pleased with the performance. Acceleration during takeoff is noticeably better, climb is better and best of all, the braking effect on final approach as power is reduced and the props go into flat pitch, is quite dramatic, completely eliminating the need for any form of speed brake. Johnny has 3 hours on his Defiant and has put it back into the shop to finish the paint job and all the other little details to prepare it for the trip to Oshkosh.
Frank Yost reports that he is essentially ready for his FAA inspection which will be on the 28th of June. He is planning on making his first flight on the 4th of July and is planning on flying into Oshkosh.
N78RA has been undergoing some major rework. It now has an O-360, 180 hp Lycoming hanging on each end, with temporarily installed Hartzel constant speed props. We have placed an order with Hoffmann for two, three bladed, full feathering, constant speed composite props and are hoping to have them installed in time for Oshkosh. We are presently fitting the cowlings, and hooking up engine and prop controls. We anticipate first flight with the O-360s early July.
Fred Keller has had his Defiant layed up during the winter while he did a complete major overhaul on the front engine. This engine was pretty well run out when he first installed it but due to the rush to make Oshkosh it got pressed into service and operated well for over 150 hours. He has it back in the air and all systems are go for Oshkosh 1985. FOUR Defiants on the line!!!!
LONG-EZ CANARD - RONCZ 1145MS
We are pleased to announce the availability of the plans for the new canard. We have these plans in stock, available for immediate shipment. We are also pleased to announce that Ken Brock Mfg. has all the machined
CP45, Page 3
parts and weldments necessary to complete the new canard including the two elevator torque tubes, ready to install available for immediate shipment. Contact Brock for prices. The canard plans sell for $42.50. This new canard design is an option for Long-EZ only, it is not recommended for the VariEze. The installation of this airfoil on a Long-EZ requires the installation of the vortilons on the leading edges of the main wings. DO NOT try to fly your Long-EZ without first installing the vortilons. The canard plans of course include instructions for the manufacture and installation of vortilons.
We at RAF, of course, cannot enforce a mandatory change, as FAA can on a type-certified aircraft. The regulations allowing amateur-built experimental aircraft recognize that the homebuilder is the aircraft manufacturer and, that the aircraft does not need to conform to certification giving him the freedom to develop new ideas. FAA achieves their goal of providing adequate public safety by restricting the homebuilder to unpopulated areas and to solo flight until his aircraft is proven safe.
It is the homebuilder's responsibility to maintain, inspect and modify his aircraft as he desires. However, we at RAF feel that part of our job is to provide information to the homebuilder in the form of recommendations that, in our opinion, are required for him to achieve a satisfactory level of flight safety.
MAN-GRD Mandatory, ground the aircraft. Do not fly until
the change has been accomplished.
MAN-XXHR Mandatory, accomplish the change at next convenient
maintenance interval or within XX flight hours
whichever comes first.
DES Desired - strongly recommended but not requiring
grounding of the aircraft.
OPT Optional - does not effect flight safety.
OBS Obsoleted by a later change.
MEO Minor error or omission.
VariEze - No plans changes, however if you have the early Rosenhaan wheels, brakes and axles, a mandatory inspection of the axles is necessary before next flight. At least two VariEzes have had cracks in the axle at the flange. See Page 7.
LPC #121, Long-EZ High Performance Rudder Plans.
For new construction only - install the rudder cable conduit in the wing so that the conduit is 1.5" aft of where it is shown on the full sized pattern on Page A-12 of the large 'A' drawings supplied with Section I of the plans.
Section I, Page D-32. Aileron Deflection. The ailerons should move up 11 degrees or 1.37" measured at the aileron trailing edge at B.L. 19.5. They should move down 21 degrees or 2.62" measured at the trailing edge at B.L. 19.5. This measuring should be done with the control stick hard over against the stop each way, while approximately a 2 lb. force is exerted towards centering the aileron to simulate airloads. Check both ailerons.
Section I, Page D-57, Rudder Deflection. The rudder should travel 20 degrees each side of center (40 degrees total) or 7.1" left and right as measured at the trailing edge at the top or root of the rudder.
Section I, Page D20, Left lower portion of the page. Green foam block. The 16.5" dimension on each end of the foam block should be 17.5".
SOLITAIRE PLANS CHANGES
Engine Section, Page 21. Electrical system materials callout. Change the lever lock switch SPDT MS25125-A1 to an MS24658-21A (easier to get). Aircraft Spruce has their switches listed by both MS and AN numbers. If ordering from Electric Switch Co, please use MS numbers.
AN3021-7 = MS35058-30
AN3021-2 = MS35058-21
Engine Section Page D-8 and words on Page 7. The length of the hydraulic cylinder with the HF-8 installed should be 23.55 center to center between the pivot points. This requires cutting the HF-8 to 1.5" center of the pivot to the base and cutting enough off the hydraulic cylinder threads to allow the HF-8 to bottom out on the threads. Install the HF-8 with Loctite. Before cutting, extend your cylinder and measure from the center of the base attachment to the start of the threads on the rod in both the extended and retracted positions, add 1.5" to each of these dimensions. Measure the mount from upper to lower pivot points as described on Page 7 of the engine plans. The up distance should be exact and the down can be slightly longer than the closed measurement of the cylinder including the 1.5". CAUTION: Do not cut the threads on the hydraulic cylinder to less than 9/16" and be certain the HF-8 is threaded onto the cylinder shaft fully to the shoulder the threads.
SPC #57 Engine Section, tow release Page 16, and D-23. When installing the tow release unit into the fuselage of the Solitaire it is necessary to remove the inside skin and core material and layup 3 plies of BID lapping 1.5", 1.0" and .75" onto the inside skin. Taper the edges of the honeycomb with dry micro to avoid air bubbles at the edges.
BUILDER HINTS - Finishing Composite Parts.
We have been using a "new" material for the last year or so which was demonstrated and discussed at the seminar held here at RAF on June 8. This material is an epoxy and is manufactured by Gougeon Brothers Inc. 706 Martin Street, P.O. Box X908, Bay City, Michigan 48706. Phone is 517-684-7286. The epoxy known as "The West System" consists of a one gallon container of resin (part #105-B) and a one quart container of hardner (part #205-B (fast) or 206-B (slow)). In addition they sell a real neat little pump system, that screws into the tops of the cans, and dispenses the correct ratio of resin to hardner. This mini pump (part #301-B group B) costs less than $5.00 and is a real time saver. The total cost of a "one gallon" kit with ratio pump is $55.00 (not including COD or shipping charges). When you consider that you have got 1 1/4 gallons of epoxy and you will mix microspheres (glass bubbles) at a ratio of 200 percent microspheres to epoxy, by volume. (1 part epoxy - 2 parts microspheres eyeball is close enough). This in effect gives you approximately 2 1/2 gallons of filler material, the price is cheap.
Sand your glass part with 40 grit. We sand quite vigorously back and forth for about 5 seconds, then sand for a further 5 seconds at 90 degrees to and over your first attempt. This will not destroy the glass structure but will put enough scratches into your glasswork for a good mechanical bond. Vacuum all the dust off the part, and paint a very thin coat of pure West System epoxy all
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over the part. You are just trying to moisten the part with pure epoxy. Wipe half of it off with a paper towel if you get it too wet. Now mix up one pump shot of resin and one pump shot of hardner. Add one heaped full small paper cup (3 oz size) and stir until you have a mixture that resembles cake icing. Use a squeegee to spread this "putty" like mixture all over the part. Make sure you get it on thick enough to slightly overfill any low points, depressions or dings, and also to fill the weave in the glass. Using fast (#205-B) hardner, this dry micro mix will cure in 4 to 5 hours as hard as a rock. Using slow (#206-B) it will take 8 to 9 hours. Once cured it sands very nicely, does not gum up the sandpaper and allows the builder to obtain an excellent contour well within the criterion required to paint the part with Sterling, Mortons Eliminator, featherfill or some similar primer/filler. One coat of one of the above, occasionally two coats, will prepare the part for the primer and then the top coat.
We sand the West dry micro with 100 grit. We then paint on Sterling or Morton with a brush on small parts, or spray it on large parts. When this is cured we sand with 220 grit wet or dry, followed by 320 wet or dry. Your contouring is now complete, and should be as good as you can get it. The gray primer, such as Dupont 131S or Ditzler Preet 33 will not change contour, but when sprayed on, provides a base for the final top coat and does contribute some towards ultraviolet protection. The majority of your ultraviolet protection is provided by the final white top coat, such at Dupont's Imron, Ditzler's Durathane or Dupont acrylic enamel.
The use of the finishing method described above will provide you with a low cost, durable and relatively easy to do finish from the purely physical aspects (elbow grease!). West System dry micro is much easier sand than Safe-T-Poxy dry micro and can be sanded in 4 to 5 hours without gumming up the sandpaper. If Safe-T-Poxy dry micro were used as described above in place of West dry micro, you would probably have a little more durable surface, but it would be two to three times more work.
This is because the Safe-T-Poxy dry micro is so difficult to sand and takes 3 or 4 days to cure to the point where it can be sanded.
We have done a considerable amount of materials testing and evaluation lately and the general consensus is as follows:
Option 1. Bare glass - West system dry micro - Sterling primer filler with up to 30 percent microspheres - pure Sterling sprayed on as an undercoat - Sterling "U" series, polyurethane top coats.
Option 2. Bare glass - West dry micro - Mortons Eliminator - Corlar 824 S - Imron.
Option 3. Bare glass - West dry micro - Sterling - Preet 33 - Durethane.
NOTE: Safe-T-Poxy dry micro can be used anywhere we have called out West dry micro - it would probably result in an even tougher, more durable surface. However the extra time and effort may not be worth the small gain.
There really is no "best for everyone" system. Take your choice. If you like Ditzler products, by all means use Option 3. If you like Dupont products use Option 2. There are many other excellent paints and finishes, check around, but try to use the complete company system from the dry micro on out to the top coat where possible. See below for a chart on some of the products we have tried. This is our opinion based on actual hands on testing side by side in the same environment, but is not in any way a scientific test. Use this chart as a guide only, then do your own test. **COMPARISON CHART OF FINISHING PRODUCTS OMITTED**
Scaled Composites Inc. needs a Mechanical Engineer and a Structural Composites Engineer. There are also openings in the shop for composite fabricators. An electronics background (experience or hobbyist) is desired.
Contact: Herb Iversen, Scaled Composites, Hangar 78 Airport, Mojave, CA 93501.
Mariposa America Bandstand 50's Fling
Labor day weekend, August 31st through September 2nd 1985. Picnic at the Tiffts hangar, Mariposa/Yosemite Airport. For further information contact:
Marge Tifft - 209-966-2971
or - 209-966-5794
Further details will be printed in the IVHC newsletter. This should really be a great flyin.
CP45, Page 5
PREFAB GLASS PARTS
Larry Lombard, owner/builder of VariEze N15LL, one of the highest time EZs we know of with over 1200 hours, is now on line and is making Long-EZ main and nose gears and is set up to make Defiant gear.
Larry is working on tooling for Defiant cowlings and fuel strakes and would appreciate hearing from Defiant builders who would be interested in these parts.
He has available tooling for Long-EZ cowlings and wheel pants, VariEze cowlings and wheel pants and can take orders for these parts. We would request however, that if you are ready and need a cowling or a pair of wheel pants, that you contact either Aircraft Spruce and Wicks Aircraft first, since they may still have a few of these parts in stock and we would like to deplete their stock before Larry starts.
Mike Melvill and Michael Dilley flew up to northern California and spent the day with Larry, checking out his equipment and also helped him run the first Long-EZ gear. Larry has built a really nice hanger/shop right on the Boonville airport which is north of San Francisco and west of Ukaiah. He has just completed a first class oven in which to cure the gear. All of the equipment worked well and he is now ready to accept orders.
Larry will be handling all of these parts directly and you should contact him at:
P.O. Box 781
13451 Airport Road,
Boonville, CA 95415
Larry has a very extensive background in working with composites. He had built several homebuilt aircraft including his own VariEze, and worked here at RAF for two years during which time he helped build the Grizzly and Solitaire. Larry will be working in close conjunction with RAF and we are confident that he will produce high quality parts at reasonable prices.
Aircraft Spruce and Wicks have several new items for sale. The new PR-88 protective hand cream is in stock and sells for $18.50 per liter. Also available is an excellent line of aircushioned drum sanders and flex disc sanders. Contact these distributors for information and prices.
Please note that the catalogs from Aircraft Spruce and Wick Aircraft are now $5.00.
Designed and built by Ian Ayton a Long-EZ builder/flyer, is a real neat plastic NACA cooling vent prefabed and ready to install in your canopy frame or in the side of the fuselage or under the baggage strake. This little gem has an adjustable ramp door that opens and closes to give perfect ventilation. It is made of ABS plastic and can be glassed or riveted into place.
Also designed by Ian, is a little black box that can be wired into your gear/canopy warning system. It will sound your horn in an intermittent manner rather than a continuous blast. At the same time the warning light will blink on and off. You can override the horn but not the blinking light. However, if after about one minute, you have not moved the throttle to recycle the warning system, the horn will again sound. This is a great idea and could save an embarrassing gear up landing. Mike has installed one on his Long-EZ and is very pleased with it.
Contact: Ian Ayton,
4061 Via Pavion,
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
NEW BARRIER CREAM TESTED
We recently obtained a new product called PR-88. This is a hand cream designed to act as a barrier against virtually anything the homebuilder might work with. We have found it to be absolutely excellent particularly when working on a dirty, greasy engine, or when painting or working with epoxy. We find it works best if you wash your hands quite often, say once per hour, during a particular job. This also gives you a break and you will find that the work will usually go quicker and better. This barrier cream is the best we have used. It goes on easily and is not sticky and in fact once it has dried, you do not know you have it on. It is available from both Spruce and Wicks.
Two Lycoming O-360, 180 hp engines, low time.
Contact: Howard Hoenike,
Continental O-200 engine kit - zero time - needs two cylinders and accessories. $3500.00 OBO.
Lycoming O-320 B2C - 160 hp conical mount (not dynafocal) - 340 hours total time. Disassembled for inspection - no accessories. As is $3500.00 OBO.
Contact: Myron Rupprecht
805-259-1644 - evenings.
VariEze nose and main gear struts and some other VariEze parts. Sell outright or trade for Long-EZ parts.
Contact: Bob Andrews
Mt. Uniacki, NS
Canada BON 120
Defiant nose gear for sale.
Contact: Haley Haynes
795 Seawind Way,
Port Hueneme, CA 93041
Radair 360 Transceiver in excellent condition - just overhauled by Terra. Complete with tray, cannon plug, installation, operational manual and maintenance manual. $375.00
55 amp, 12 volt aircraft alternator and matching voltage regulator. 200 hours since new, includes installation instruction. Made by Motorola/Alcor. Cost $286.35, sell as is for $85.00.
Long-EZ airspeed indicator, excellent condition, graduated for Long-EZ. $30.00.
12 volt electric turn and bank good condition. Made by RC Allen. Sell as is $65.00.
0-2000 fpm vertical speed indicator (rate of climb) works good but glass scratched - as is $35.00.
Potter and Brumfield circuit breakers. 5 amp value, cost $14.00 each, good condition, five c/bs available, as is $5.00 each.
Switch circuit breakers same make as above, good condition, six available, three at 5 amp, three at 10 amp. Cost $22.00, sell as is for $7.00 each.
Zoom cockpit light - red or white, cost $85.00, sell as is $20.00.
Two Cleveland disc brakes, includes discs and brake calipers in serviceable condition (NO wheels) as is $50.00 for the pair.
Two key type ignition switches, one Gerdes, one Bendix with 'start' position. As is $10.00 each.
Contact: Mike or Sally Melvill at RAF 805-824-2645
Squadron I, the original Long-EZ builders group in the Los Angeles basin has a new address and meeting place. They meet once a month on a weekend, usually a Sunday morning on the Bracket Field airport in La Verne. The new address is: P.O. Box 396, Yorba Linda, CA 92668.
CP45, Page 6
Non-wood props. Many builders are not aware of the fact that when a new metal prop/engine/aircraft combination is developed, the prop is considered unsafe by the manufactures of the prop and airframe until an inflight stress survey and vibration survey is conducted. The magnitude of the oscillating stress (a function of the airframe - particularly critical on a pusher) is what effects the fatigue life of a metal prop. The only way we get away with not doing these tests on the Long-EZ and Defiant is because the fatigue characteristics of wood are more forgiving. We have installed metal props on a pusher for the first time - the prototype Defiant will be tested this month with Hartzels. We are warned by Hartzel to not fly more than 20 hours before Hartzel does the stress survey. It is possible that the survey will show high stresses and that a different design blade will be required, so we do not know when (or if) anything but the original wood props would be approved.
VariEzes with old style Rosenhaan wheels, brakes and axles. At least two VariEze flyers have discovered cracked axles. These cracks have occurred in the small radius between the flange and the axles. In one case the crack extended around the axle for over 80 degrees and would almost certainly have failed during the next take off or landing. This is difficult to check for, both wheels must be removed and the flange of the axle should be cleaned and carefully examined for any evidence of a crack. The only remedy is to replace the axles. If you plan on using this design axle for the foreseeable future, we would anticipate that you will need a 4130N steel replacement or at least a 2024T3 aluminum axle with a generous radius (1 1/8" to 1/4") at the flange.
All Lycoming Engines. When checking or cleaning the oil screen, it is critical that the gasket between the oil pressure screen housing and the engine accessory case is oriented correctly. If you should inadvertently install it backwards, you could burst your oil cooler or starve the main and rod bearings of high pressure oil.
Tony Gittes of Guayaquil, Ecuador experienced this problem and went through a lot of time and money trying to figure out what the problem was. Don't let it happen. Pay close attention when you check the screen as to which way the housing and gasket was oriented when you remove it and replace it the same way.
The Nylaflow nylon brake lines which are used on all of the EZs have been generally extremely reliable and on all five of the airplanes here at RAF have performed flawlessly, some of them for more than 10 years. On one occasion we did replace the brake line on the left gear leg of Long-EZ N79RA due to a small blister or bubble that appeared in the nylon line directly opposite the brake disc. At the time we had no insulation on the nylon lines and the heat from the disc heated and softened the nylon line, so that as the brakes were used the pressure blew a small balloon in the line! We replaced the line and insulated them with fiberfrax and silicone and have not experienced any problems. Recently however, we have received two reports of problems with the nylon brake line even though they were insulated. In one case the nylon line blew a balloon and burst causing a loss of brake and a major leak of brake fluid and in the other case, the nylon apparently hardened right at the brass fitting, as though heat was conducted through the fitting into the nylon causing brittleness which due to vibration, broke within 1/4 to 3/8 of the brass elbow.
These are our observations. First of all, the nylon tubing is an excellent, flexible hose, easily capable of handling the pressures required when new and fresh. Sun light is very hard on nylon, the ultraviolet will make it hard and brittle and it then may crack. So keep it out of the sun. When you receive it from the distributor, store it in a black plastic garbage bag until you install it. After it is installed, protect it from sunlight with black electrical tape or something similar. Once you have wheel pants on then the problem goes away.
Protect it from heat. Radiated heat as well as conducted heat can soften the nylon, and also over a long period of time, can cause it to become brittle. Insulate the nylon tube. We wrap it with fiberfrax and glue the fiberfrax on with silicone. Covering the fiberfrax with a reflective aluminum foil such as Reynolds wrap is an excellent idea.
Route the nylon brake line so that it can not "see" the hot disc. Bring it down the trailing edge of the gear leg then around the inboard face of the gear leg into the brass elbow. Do not run the nylon brake line between the gear leg and the disc, this will definitely cause problems. Also it makes it very difficult to change the brake linings!
Last of all, perhaps it is a good idea to install the nylon brake line onto the trailing edge of the gear inside a piece of plastic line, such as hardware store type vinyl tubing or even soda straws stacked together. This allows for easy replacement of the brake line. This is an option not a mandatory change. We have never done this here at RAF, and when we did have to replace a brake line, we found it to be a simple job, but it did mess up the paint job on the gear leg.
Wayne Wilkins of Erie Pennsylvania, reports that he has just about flown off his hours and will be flying to Oshkosh. He would like to invite any Viggen flyers from east of where he is located, to fly into his place on July 28th, where he will hangar your Viggen and then you could join him for a flight to Oshkosh on Monday 29th July. Contact Wayne if you can make it. All Viggen builders and flyers are invited to an evening rap session at one of the University lounges in the dorms on Tuesday 30th July. Contact Wayne at 17 Lakeview Ave, Fairview, PA 16415, 814-474-5412.
Len "Dobbie" Dobson reports that he will once again be flying his Viggen to Oshkosh from Georgetown Texas.
Ken Brock Mfg. has asked us to ask all Viggen builders to let him know their parts requirements. The one part in particular is the MG-4 main gear beam. If you will be needing a pair of these parts, or any prefab metal Viggen parts, please let Ken Brock know as soon as possible. This will the last run of Viggen metal parts - don't miss the boat. See you all at Oshkosh.
Shopping Items from RAF
Large (2" wide and small (1" wide) Belt
Buckles. These are made from laminated
German silver with a brush finish.
(Available for VariEze and Long-EZ 25.00 27.00
VHS or Beta II Video Tapes
Part I - Composite Construction - runs 1:36.
Part II - Go-A-Long-EZ. Covers weight and
balance, CG, taxi tests and first flight.
Some VariEze and Defiant flying - runs 1:05 59.95 ea 59.95
or 99.95 set 99.95
On the tapes, please add the following
for postage 4.00 12.00
EZ Tie Tacs - gold and silver 6.50 7.50
3 ship poster - 17 x 22 - Defiant, VariEze
and VariViggen 3.75 5.00
2 Long-EZ in trail formation - 11 x 17 3.00 4.25
Defiant - 11 x 17 6.50 8.00
8 x 10 Color Print* 1.25 2.00
Long-EZ Lithograph 10.00 13.00
Rutan Canard Patch - 3" x 4" 2.50 2.50
Rutan Aircraft Name Patch - 3" x 3/4"* 1.50 1.50
Silhouette of Aircraft** 3.00 3.00
T-shirts. Blue "Laughter Silvered Wings" -
(Mens & Womens) 8.00 10.00
White "I fly a nose dragger" -
(Mens & Womens) 7.00 9.00ss
White Polo Shirt with Long-EZ or
Defiant logo 14.00 15.00
Composite Homebuilt Aircraft Construction 14.50 16.50
*Available in Long-EZ, Defiant and Solitaire. Add state sales tax
**Available in VariEze, Long-EZ, Solitaire for California 6%
All prices quoted above are US funds.
Rutan Aircraft Factory Inc.
Bldg 13, Airport,
Mojave, CA 93501
CP45, Page 7
**PHOTOGRAPHS OMITTED. PHOTO CAPTIONS ARE GIVEN BELOW**
An aerial view of some of the more than 80 RAF types that flew into Mojave - RAF building is the small one on the right, Scaled Composites on the left.
WOW! How about this? Don't ask! The owner/builder designed and built it himself and he is still testing **4 BLADE PROPELLER**
Some very beautiful examples of EZs were parked on the ramp affording "would be" builders and unparalleled opportunity to look and talk to owner/builders. Photos by Doug Shane.
About 3.7 g so far. Burt is standing by to make sure we place the bags correctly.
Right at 12 g. At this point there is 3000 lbs of lead shot on the canard - all suspended from the "little aluminum" lift tabs! Deflection at the tip is around 10" on each side - scary!
CP45, Page 8
**PHOTOGRAPHS OMITTED. PHOTO CAPTIONS ARE GIVEN BELOW**
Don Downie shot this photo, which shows 73 EZs, a Grizzly, a Defiant, a Solitaire and a Gemini.
Chris de Brichambant of Ramonville, France (holding under left canard) with his team of young people (average age 23 years) who built this beautiful Long-EZ. This airplane will fly from France, over Spain and West Africa, across the Atlantic to South America and then to Miami, Florida with a possible stop at Oshkosh during the convention. Good Luck Chris.
Beau Wold's outstanding Long-EZ in formation with his St. Croix model Long-EZ - neat!
This incredibly accurate R/C model of Burt's prototype VariViggen was built by Gene de Kook, Canadaigua, NY.
Jeff and Dave Rodrian, two of the reasons their Dad is building a Defiant, inspecting the bottom skin of their canard.
Dr. George Best's Defiant is making good progress - this shot shows the nose gear and nose gear well - fuselage is inverted.
Mike Cardinale, Defiant builder, installing his main gear for the first time.
Roland Othin-Girard, Sevres, France, with four helpers, getting an idea of what their Long-EZ will look like.
CP45, Page 9
**PHOTOGRAPHS OMITTED. PHOTO CAPTIONS ARE GIVEN BELOW**
Going for the white line in the spot landing contest!
Careful now! Going for about 13 'g'. This rejected homebuilt canard failed at 13.8 'g'.
Pat Krause is the "Glorious Pilot" and Lou Faix is the "Lowly Mechanic" in this Long-EZ team - a sign of the times?
CP45, Page 10
**PHOTOGRAPHS OF VARIOUS RUTAN DESIGNS OMITTED**
CP45, Page 11