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.

IMAG0052

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,

I left my last project update for a while so everyone would have a good chance to read it.  

So this is it folks!  I hope for this to be the final push from now until Rough River to get the main assembly of the aircraft completed.  That’s my goal.  Is it an aggressive timeline?!  Oh, yeah!  After Rough River, I then expect the next few months to be finalizing any leftover punch list items and the finishing & painting! 

Over the past few months I’ve had some unexpected scope creep in my build, which is all well and good because the build is THE project.  As you know I rewickered Marc Zeitlin’s new AEX system which took a fair amount of time to implement, then I had planned on knocking out a good dozen electrical related items so that I could close up the nose.  I got a bunch of those completed, but kept finding myself not being able to really close out wire runs, confirm install spacing configurations such as the pitch trim unit, etc. because I couldn’t sit in the airplane and confirm what I had dimensionally without the actual pilot’s seat in place.

This drove me to move my immediate project line of demarcation from the instrument panel, back one more bulkhead to the pilot’s seat.  I was then going to knock out the pilot’s seat area –including the thigh support & cover– but there was a glaring prerequisite to doing so: I couldn’t get the pilot’s thigh support configured & installed without the fuel lines in place!  Thus, I needed to move the project line of demarcation back one more bulkhead and knock out the thigh support sump tank to get the fuel lines run in reality without merely estimating some more with a fake, mocked up install.  

So the immediate order of battle right now is to finish the fuel sump (including configuring the majority of the back seat area), and then the pilot’s seat area. These, in turn, will allow me to finalize the configuration of the nose components. At which point I will focus on the building the nose while concurrently finalizing the wheel pants install (nope, haven’t forgot about those!). Then the canopy install will be after that.

Hang on to your hats folks, it’s about to get busy all up in here!

Cheers!

 

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  4. Chapter 21 – Sump tank complete! Leave a reply
  5. Chapter 21 – Sump tank top mounted Leave a reply
  6. Chapter 21/22 – GIB area stuff Leave a reply
  7. Chapter 21 – Fuel sump top GLASSED! Leave a reply
  8. Chapter 21 – Sump top glassed Leave a reply
  9. Chapter 21 – Interior layup cleanup Leave a reply