My Config

Each builder must choose how he or she will complete his aircraft.  Will they build strictly to plans, make common modifications proven out by other builders, replace manual controls with electric, or create some new and unique additional design feature.  Building strictly to plans is of course the quickest way to flying, but taking advantage of proven modifications sure has its advantages.  Since I'm not an aerodynamicist or an aerospace engineer, I will be following the plans closely except for the changes listed below where I'll be following in others shoes that have proved out the mods.


Improved Fuel Selector and location:
The plans obviously call for a fuel selector but it's pretty basic.  The Andair valve, although considerably more expensive, offers a safety feature that will not allow you to accidentally turn the valve to the off position...yes...it's happened.  In addition, I plan to move the valve to a forward position, in the bottom center of the instrument panel or just forward of the throttle, where it is within the pilots view to help ensure it get's used properly.  The plans place it to the right of the pilots shoulder where it is out of sight and out of mind...that is until that inevitable engine stutter that reminds you that you forgot the change the tanks.  And yes...that's happened plenty of times too.


Brakes:
I plan to follow the lead of many others and use Matco tripple puck brakes which are sturdier and offer better stopping performance when needed.


Electric retractable nose gear:
I'm not sure whether I'll use the Wright Electric Nose Lift or the Jack Wilhelmson EZ Noselift for the nose gear retract system but I will use one of them instead of the plans manual retract version.


More headroom please:
I plan to use a slightly larger canopy, referred to as the Texas Canopy, from Todds Canopies.  This will provide a little extra height and width for more headroom.  In order to carry that extra headroom seamlessly to the back seats and make a nice smooth look, the turtleback will need to be a little taller and wider to match at the front.  Unsure yet whether I'll continue that all the way to the firewall or not.  A number of builders have done this.  One documented example is described on Jerry Schneider's site and is also implemented by my friend Ron.


Electric trim and landing brake actuator:
I currently plan to use the electric Davenport pitch trim available at www.long-ez.com as well as their electric landing brake system instead of the plans manual system.  This trim system has a failure mode that eliminates having to fight against the plans version trim mechanism to fly the aircraft.  I may keep the components of the manual trim in place but don't plan to complete the installation.  I also likely install an electric roll trim using the Wright-Hanka design which can be found on Wayne Hicks site as well as in the archives of the Central States Association (CSA) newsletters.


Add CozyGirrls Strakes:
The Cozy Girrls made extending the strakes farther up the Cozy fuselage popular, like the Long-EZ, which provides additional elbow room and a little interior storage for virtually no aerodynamic penalty.  The elbow room it creates is incredible.


Front Hinged Canopy (FHC):
This is a safety modification.  The plans Cozy has a sided hinged canopy.  Too many Long-EZ, Vari-EZ, and Cozy incidents have happened because of canopies coming open that were not latched completely for takeoff.  When this happens with the plans side opening canopy, it reportedly flys ok but becomes a major distraction for the pilot to deal with and anything not nailed down get's sucked out of the airplane and into...you guessed it...the propeller...making a bad day quite worse.  A front hinged, forward opening canopy makes a failure to latch the canopy almost a non-event.  Several examples are in the Cozy community to consider...most of which all started with Uli Wolters plans.  I've got plenty of time to look at several examples to determine how I'll do it but again, I won't be creating anything new here.


Entry Latch:  
The plans canopy latch is accessed through a small door in the fuselage side that allows for leakage of air into the cockpit.  I plan to replace the canopy latch access door with something simpler that doesn't require a door to access the canopy system.  I prefer some kind of blended latch system like found on other aircraft.


Heat for Altitude:
If you got a cool airplane for long distance trips, you gotta plan to fly at altitude where it's a little cold.  This mod runs engine oil into an oil cooler/heat exchanger inside the cabin.  Air is circulated through it with a fan and used to provide cabin heat.  Word is that this works much better than the plan cabin heat method and eliminates possibility of dangerous exhaust gases entering the cabin from a leaking exhaust pipe.


Custom Headrests: (Done - 2005 SAAB 9-3 Headrests)
The headrests in the plans are kinda plain.  I'd like to jazz it up just a bit with some nicer headrests form a car.  Some have done this and it seems to work out well.  I plan to put extra support in the top of the canopy so any rollover protection that may have been provided by the headrests (very little) will be provided by extra strength in the canopy.

Baggage Pods:
I would like to plan for the possibility of baggage pods under the wings so when the wings are built I'll go ahead and install the hard points to allow attachment of the pods.