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

Hi Folks,

Months ago I made a goal to try my best to get this bird done before the Rough River fly-in.  Yes, a crazy goal… but I knew it would keep me working on the plane full bore.  So much of these builds are like running a marathon… mental motivation.  As in staying motivated.  

When it was clearly obvious that I wasn’t going to make Rough River, I took a break for almost a week to head back up to the DC area to simply relax and visit friends.  Upon my return I’ve been getting some personal things done and am really just getting back into the build.

With the fuselage still inverted I’ve knocked out nearly all of the “micro” (West 410 + micro) finishing on the bottom surfaces of the airplane and the subsequent epoxy wipes ala the Corey Bird finishing method.

Within days I expect to be be diving into knocking out the main gear leg-to-fuselage interface fairings as well.

Concurrent with completing the gear fairings I plan on doing a fair amount of priming and painting on the bottom side of the bird as well.

Yep, I expect this bird to be inverted for another 2-3 weeks (ha!) before it gets flipped back upright to close out the strakes with the top skin install.

After the top strakes it will be on to the winglet/rudder install (Chapter 20).  Then engine and top cowling install, topside finish and prime/paint.

 

  1. Chapter 25 – Post epoxy wipe refits Leave a reply
  2. Chapter 13/25 – Nose gear actuator out Leave a reply
  3. Chapter 25 – Bottom cowl micro Leave a reply
  4. Chapter 25 – Bottom cowl final fit Leave a reply
  5. Chapter 23/25 – Flox & Primer! Leave a reply
  6. Chapter 23/25 – Cowl CAMLOC holes Leave a reply
  7. Chapter 25 – Bottom plane epoxy wipes Leave a reply
  8. Chapter 24/25 – Aft fuselage junction Leave a reply
  9. Chapter 25 – Wing bottom epoxy wipes Leave a reply