Well, as I was trying to nail down some particulars & plan out how I was going to build my strakes, I went to Nate Mullins’ wonderful Long-EZ build site. Now, before I get too far into this, you have to know that my catch snarky phrase of late–well, over the last couple of weeks–has simply been: “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.” Ok, I was going through Nate’s strake-building adventures chronicled on his MyKitLog build site, when ironically, or maybe I should say coincidentally . . . oh, what the hey, we’ll call it serendipitously, I ran across the part where he stated that when he acquired his Long-EZ project, that it came with both the Aerocad/Aerocanard strake kit, and the Featherlite Strake Leading Edge Kit. Thus, he had to make a choice between the kits when he built his strakes, so he went with the Aerocad kit.
Now, I have bugged Mike & Larry at Feather Lite every few months, since I started building my Long-EZ in April 2011, to see if they had started making the Foam Strake Leading Edge Kits. I’ve talked to a fair number of builders, the Old Guard, etc. to know that the strake’s leading edge can really detract from a canard/ez’s look if not done well. I really liked the idea of capping the entire leading edge vs. building the plans method, joining the strake tops & bottoms to LE as far back & away from the leading edge as practical (in the straight, not curved, area), and having a wet leading to add to the fuel amount in the strake. Unfortunately, in late 2012 Mike & Larry had had enough. Apparently they felt I was by then a mature enough builder that they could break the bad news to me: they had no plans of ever making the strake leading edges again (they can’t because the foam manufacturer changed the actual chemical properties of the foam… and now it can’t contour properly to the forms).
So, when I read Nate’s strake building account, I asked myself in disbelief, “Could it be?!” Well, a quick email to Nate asking if he still had the Featherlite Strake Leading Edges and would he be willing to sell them to me, fortunately came back with a resounding yes! Eureka! (Well, actually Featherlite! But hey, they’re all good guys!)
A little bit of coordination later, and a ensuing rendezvous between Nate and my ‘ol northern Virginia neighbor Richard (who now lives in Kentucky an hour or so from Nate in Tennessee) and I was the new proud owner of a “new” set of Featherlite Strake leading edges. I would say I’m the happiest guy in the world, but I think that would actually be Larry Lombard from Featherlite ‘cuz that crazy yahoo will stop calling & bugging him about those damn strake leading edges. In addition, I’ve been able to banter about a bunch of different build ideas with my new Long-EZ buildin’ buddy Nate!
And here they are:
Since Richard still visits the northern Virginia area often, he’ll be bringing up the kit in May. BTW, I was teasing Richard that there must be some cosmic connection between him and Featherlite, because he was the one who drove me to the cargo terminal in his truck to pick up my crates of Featherlite foam cores to ship them off to Germany.