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FireFlys' Cozy Mark IV, #1500

Dedicated to those that lost their lives on 9/11




Jun '09

6/30    - Worked on 7.2.4 - Also, left follow-up message about antenna kit order.

6/28    - Completed steps 7.2.1, 7.2.2, and 7.2.3 (Contouring the fuselage bottom)

6/22    - Completed step 7.1.9 (Glassing the bottom of the NACA scoop)

6/21    - Completed step 7.1.7 (Sanding NACA Urethane level with bottom)

6/18    - Completed steps 7.1.1, 7.1.3, and 7.1.5 - thanks to help from friend, Glen.  Also received an email and replied to potential builder from Michigan who came across the site.

6/16    - Continued to work on 7.1.1.  Moved plane to new, lower saw horses, finished shaping foam fillers in the "joggles".

6/13    - Cut foam called out for in 7.1.1, 7.1.3, and 7.1.5.  Began shaping parts to fit and prepping surface for micro step.

6/9      - Completed 7.1.6 - and filled in 1/8" gap called out for as "joggles".

6/1      - Worked on 7.1.1 - Need supply order to complete (out of micro). 

May '09

5/26     - Completed 7.1.4

5/21     - Completed 7.1.2

5/15     - Finished taping 3rd set of interior seams. Chapter 6 complete.

   Apr '09 - Jan '09

Varied  - As time and weather allowed.  Worked on taping interior seams.    

Dec '08

12/02   - Moved plane to table to prep for interior tapes.  Started hangar clean-up...expect progress will slow now that outside temperatures have hit full winter stride. 

Nov '08

11/30   - Prepped and attached fuselage bottom and floxed F-28 into place.  

11/??   - After peel ply removed, had a few air bubbles that needed repaired.  Also, I must not have used enough epoxy on the peel ply over the rear seat reinforcement layup, because it came up a little drier than I'm used to.  It would probably still have passed the 10% QA requirements, but I went ahead and took the weight penalty by adding another layer. 

11/5     - Got to perform a layup that I had helped Nate Wolfe with when I was looking into building a plane (Story -see 2/27 entry).  The fuselage bottom layup is a bit tedious, but I stuck with it and got all 3 plies down and peel plied.  Also added second layer of foam to lower rear of the the seaback.

11/2     - Micro'd fuselage bottom spacers into place.  Also deviated slightly from plans and added foam to lower rear of seat. 

Oct '08

10/22    - Finished shaping fuselage bottom spacers. 

10/12    - Started work on fuselage bottom.  Cut foam and built jig to retain shape. 

10/1-7  - Installed heat duct and seatback brace.  Worked on access hole for fuel selector valve, and rough cut opening for map pocket.  Cut excess material from bottom of IP, and prepped fuselage to receive bottom foam pieces.  

Sep '08

9/30     - Unfortunately home projects limited the amount of time I could work on the plane (and will probably continue to do so through December).  Did my best to work on it as time allowed.  Through September, finished working on seatback brace and heat duct.  

9/27     - Drove down to Rough River 2008.  Beautiful day and friendly people made for an enjoyable trip.  Took lots of pictures, and talked to several people.

Aug '08

8/20     - Made jigs and forms for, and assembled,  heat duct and seatback brace.

8/19     - Following a two week vacation, prepped all pieces of heat duct and seatback brace spacers for assembly

8/1-6    - Finished plywood inserts and set into seatback braces, trimmed fuel valve bracket.

Jul '08

7/24     - Taped aft side upper foward LG bulkhead reinforcements, laid out and glassed foam for heat duct and seat braces, and glassed blank for fuel selctor valve bracket.

7/21     - Drilled 1/4" holes through rear LG bulkhead.  Prepped and attached upper foward LG bulkhead.

7/20     - Prepped and attached lower foward LG bulkhead.

7/17     - Prepped, attached, and taped (foward side) rear LG bulkhead.

7/15     - Prepped corners and taped F-22, IP, and Seatback wih 2 plies BID.

7/03     - Prepped and attached F-22, IP, and Seatback to the sides.

Jun '08

6/17-24 - Completed  fuselage assembly jig table and worked on rough assembly/fit

6/9-16/08  - Completed  4-ply UL lay-up, removed sides from jigs, completed Chapter 5 trimming and began trial fitting in Chapter 6.

6/08     - Cut UNI and BID for 4-ply UL and 6-ply Lower section layups, respectively.  Completed 6-ply lower layup.

6/1-6    - Cut out and installed LWX & LWY on both sides.  Cut 3/4" fill foam pieces, then shaped & glassed electrical channel into them.   Prepped and microed fill pieces in place.  Prepped UL for glassing (rounded edges and filled saw cuts)

May '08

5/31     - Installed rear LTL doublers, and extensions onto rear UL doubler.

5/30     - Installed left side LTL.

5/28     - Installed right side LTL and cleaned out electric channels.

5/27     - Removed peel-ply from sides, worked on LTL's.

5/25     - Completed the lay-up on both sides and attached upper longerons.

5/12     - Attached spacers, and glassed electrical channels. 

5/04     - Cut out and shaped the 3/4" spacers.  Worked on upper longrons (Sanded glossy spots to prepare for layup).

Apr '08

4/25     - Over last few days, I cut out and glued the masonite forms and foam sides.  Used 5 minute epoxy and hinge method to join pieces.  Put together side jigs per plans and mounted forms.  Then attached foam using a finish nailer to hold pieces to form.

4/21     - Put the doublers on the longerons.

4/19/08  - Now that winter is over, I got back to work on the plane.  I decided that the poor results that I got on the firewall was due to poor cure temperatures.  Over the past few weeks, I finished the firewall lay-ups and blind screw installation.  I also finished the IP stiffeners and electric channels.  Started on Chapter 5 - cutting out the jigs and forming the top longerons.

Jan '08

1/16      - Back to square one on the firewall.  Sanded all the epoxy residue off each piece.  Evaluated what went wrong and have decided that there were two major mistakes made that lead to the problem.  First, the temperature window was not right.  It was cold (`30 degrees outside) the day I worked on the pieces.  I heated up the garage, but the ambient temperature was probably at the bottom of the acceptable window.  I think it is reasonable to assume that the surface temperatures of the parts and materials wasn't suitable.  Secondly, from reading Chapter 3, no slurry was needed in the firewall lay-up; straight epoxy was appropriate.  Since it was a singly BID ply, I laid the ply on BARE wood, then worked the epoxy (all SLOW) to thoroughly wet out the cloth.  My thought is that by not wetting out the plywood first, I didn't create an environment to develop a good bond between the materials.  This situation was probably exasperated by the colder working and curing temperatures.  This helps explain why the IP lay-up didn't seem to have problems.  I started the IP after the FW (when the garage was warmer) and  I used a 50/50 hardener mix (allowing a quicker cure - before the garage cooled down too much).

1/15     - Bad news awaited me when I took the weights off my firewall - a tacky surface despite 30 hrs of sitting undisturbed.  Immediately I recalled the story Nate Wolfe conveyed on his site (See his 1/19/06 entry - Gloriously titled , "Things that suck...).  Now, at the time I remember laughing at Nate's story, but today I wasn't laughing.  The only bright spot was that I had, via Nate's experience, a plan to salvage the piece.  After, most of the day deciding what to do, I finally committed myself to starting over.  So...I wonder..."I'll just pull up at a corner to see if I can remove the ply without destroying the plywood".  Imagine my surprise when the layer peels up easier than a Dacron ply. "What the@##$!...".  All 4 pieces of the firewall, same results.  Even more confusing- it appears that the epoxy under the BID is hard.  I was sure that my batch ratios were correct; perhaps I was wrong.  Now, I've got to try and figure out what went wrong, and more importantly, not repeat it.  Picture of delaminated firewall part & Picture of firewall BID

1/13     - BID lay-up on Aft side of firewall. 2-ply BID tapes on IP stiffeners

1/10     - Installed (with Epoxy & Flox) firewall hardpoints  

1/07     - Cut out Firewall inserts out of 1.5" Aluminum Bar, filed 45 degree bevels on 2 parallel sides of each insert.

Dec '07


Jun '07

10/23   - Put single BID on bottom of IP Channel stiffeners

9/20     - Started Lay-ups on Landing Gear Bulkheads (LGBH)

9/18     - While working on some parts, was joined by a current flyer (See Picture).  He's now a regular visitor

9/14     - Worked on forward side lay-up of F22

6/30     - Prepped and 5 min epoxied F22 & IP using hinge method

6/28     - Over the last few days I have cut out all of the fuselage bulkheads (F22, F22 Doubler, F28, IP, LG's, and Firewalls).  Today I spent time doing final contour work on the 4 piece permanent firewall, cutting and rounding the 45 degree angle on the seatback, and used the "Hinge Method" (See Chapter 3 Research Summary) to 5 min. epoxy the two seatback halves together.  Estimated time spent.  

6/23     - Cut template for firewalls, traced pattern onto temporary FW and permanent FW

6/22     - Cut foam for Landing Gear Bulkheads

6/20     - Traced & Cut foam for IP, Traced Landing Gear Bulkheads

6/17     - Cut foam for F22, Doubler, F28

6/16/07  - What a great day...I got to fly in Tim Lumpp's Cozy,  and cut my first piece of foam!  Cut foam for Seatback, traced F-22, F-22 Doubler

May '07

05/30   - Over the past month, built a fabric cabinet and epoxy hot box.  Put the fabric cabinet on wheels so I could move it as needed.

Dec '06

12/20   - Installed shop heater and shelves over last few days 

Jun '06


Jan '06

6/6       - Began building the work table for the hangar.  

2/3       - Well, finally made first purchase for the garage (factory, hangar, etc.); a space heater.  Lowe's was having a clearance sale and I couldn't pass on the price.  Unfortunately, basement project still occupying most of my time...but progress is being made.

1/30      - I have been concerned about the Cozy being too cozy for me and my wife.  Used the CAD drawings and various household items (i.e gate leg tables, dog cages, etc.) to  mock-up the cockpit.  Then, my wife and I tried it out for size.  No, I didn't make airplane noises (at least, not that my wife could hear!), I figured I'll save that honor until the completion of Chapter 6.

1/17     - Okay...the basement project is still occupying most of my time!  However, I took the bulkhead CAD drawings (available at Marc Zeitlin's unofficial Cozy website -- CLICK HERE) to a local blue print shop.  Now I was planning on using the old waxed paper trick to transfer the M drawings, but decided that for a nominal expense I could have the CAD drawings printed.  I copied the files onto a disk, ran them up to the printer, waited 5 minutes while they pulled them up and printed them.  Total Time: ~ 30 minutes.  The cost: under $17.  Quality:  The prints lined up beautifully  with the original M drawings.

Dec '05


May '05

12/16   - 3 Months!!! -- I can't believe how fast time can go by.  My wife is very supportive of me in this project (and all my endeavors for that matter), but wanted to have the basement finished before I began to work on the plane.  This kills you on two fronts, time and money!  But, she is right and work began on the basement in late September.  To date, I have rough plumbing in, bathroom shower, installed and plumbed, drywall hung (not taped), bar area framed, electric 90% complete (can lights needed).  Still plenty to do.  

               One other hiccup in my plans -- ankle surgery!  Alright...this one is my fault.  About two years ago, some of the firefighters I work with decided to form an indoor soccer team.  I thought, "That's great, I'll play!".  My wife thought, "You can't play with those young guys, you'll get hurt!".  Then she referenced a friend of ours who got hurt playing indoor soccer.  "Blah, blah, blah...I'll be fine honey!".  Fast forward to my return home following our FIRST game -- I sneak into the house, hobbled on a rolled ankle, and slide stealthily into bed.  Sure enough Lisa (my wife) waits until I'm all settled before asking me if I was hurt.  Before I could deny it, she forewarned me that she clearly heard me limping the entire time.  Busted...and condemned to 'I told you so' purgatory.  Well, in typical man fashion I denied any serious injury, and worked on healing.  Two years later I was scolded by my surgeon who could not believe I was walking around.  Apparently, I had a small fracture, a torn ligament and tendon, and a bone chip (attached to the ligament that tore away from the bone) digging into everything else remaining.  

                Cut open, sewn together, and stapled shut, and forced to sit --- This stinks!!!  But I have been using the time to review plans and other builders and flyers projects, and developing chapter hint summary sheets.  I will attach these sheets to each chapter for other builders use, and update the documents with new items/issues/suggestions as appropriate.  My revised goal is to try and work on the basement and plane simultaneously.  Yes, most of the time will probably be on the basement, but I figure there is always going to be something else to take me away from the build.  I've got to start learning to how to balance this project into my normal life. 

9/11     - Officially started on the project!  For background on the project review the INTRODUCTION.  Worked on developing website and rough draft of timeline.    This will be my first website, so please forgive any format errors.  

5/20     - Completed License Agreement forms and ordered Cozy plans from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty


N911HF - No 911 Heroes Forgotten