Initial Project Planning

Initial Project Planning

Trying the Long-EZ on for Size . . . 

6-9 March 2011 – After doing a fair amount of research I scrapped the idea of plunking down $19,000 for a Glastar kit in lieu of the Long-EZ Pay as You Build Plan!  I mean, besides, everyone knows that you SAVE money by building your own airplane!  HA!

Being a newbie, I had to know what I could cram on the instrument panel and what (or who) I could cram into the cockpit.

Initial Instrument Panel ViewInsrument Panel Mockup






But, being a project manager in my job instilled in me some tendencies to plan this thing out a bit.  I’ve seen too many real-world projects fall flat on their face due to failed planning.  And worse yet, I’ve seen havoc wreaked because a majority of project planning was based on assumptions and/or gut instincts.

Having only been around a Long-EZ when I was about 13 years old, I wasn’t exactly sure how the feel would be in the cockpit.  I had been to the airports around the area and hadn’t seen a Long-EZ, so I figured I would quickly build one myself! (Now that’s a plan!) I cut up some OSB flooring sheets to make a mock fuselage.  I didn’t have enough OSB, but after a quick trip to Home Depot I was able to finish my fuselage mockup.

LEZ Fuselage MockupLEZ Fuselage Mockup

My initial fuselage mockup was just a little too short (in length & height).  And more importantly, the stock width seemed just a little too narrow so I widened the fuselage mockup initially by 2 inches.

Initial Fuselage Mockup

Initial fuselage planning

The 2-inch wider fuselage was better, but it actually felt a little too wide.  I played around with different widths and plugged in the number for all the bulkheads to keep the width ratio the same and not mess with the fuselage’s shape.


Of course to build the fuselage, I had get acquainted with the plans and their layout in fairly short order.

Initial Fuselage Mockup

Initial Fuselage Mockup

I finally settled on a front seat width of 1.4 inches wider than what the plans called for. This width would give me a little more elbow room, but not so much that I felt like I was going crazy on the widening effort.  After having a few buddies try out the back seat–and actually fitting!–I checked the block for the fuselage passing my size test!

So let’s build this puppy!

Recent Posts

Project Update

Hey Guys,

Well, the weather is slowly warming up (above freezing anyway)… and here soon I should be back in the shop to work out the finer details of making everything fit inside the cockpit, and then get onto much bigger build tasks.  I still see a very real light at the end of the tunnel for all my in-cockpit install shenanigans, and expect to be done with those in about a 2-week total time span once I get started on them again. 

I’m still working on the electrical system taskers and chipping away at them all while making decent progress.  

The past few days –after finishing the major engine build & bringing it home– I have been finally able to do some research with engine in hand to discover the more esoteric (read: “oft forgotten”) bits ‘n pieces that may not be obvious requirements when simply planning/purchasing major components for the engine build. One example of many are the nuts and bolt required to mount the starter… which are not included with the starter, nor the engine.  So, with the weather still cold (dipping into the 30’s at night), I carved out 2-3 days to figure out what engine stuff is required, which version to buy, and where to purchase it from.

Still, seriously … having finished the vast majority of the Electrical System; Instrument panel design, install & wiring; and now the Engine, I can say with very high confidence that the big build stuff is coming up  SOON (including the wheel pants…) AFTER the weather warms up a bit.



  1. Chapter 14 – Lower extrusions installed Leave a reply
  2. Chapter 14/23 – Baffling Extrusions Leave a reply
  3. Chapter 14 – Lower engine extrusions Leave a reply
  4. Chapter 14/22/23 – Engine mount prep Leave a reply
  5. Chapter 23 – Engine Preservation Leave a reply
  6. Chapter 3/22/23 – Work bench finished Leave a reply
  7. Chapter 22/23 – Engine Parts? Check! Leave a reply
  8. Chapter 22/23 – Engine Inspection Leave a reply
  9. Chapter 22/23 – Electrical Workbench Leave a reply