Long term Airbus training for work seems like it is taking eons to complete. Truth be told for a new-hire course it is actually fairly compact. However, even with the weekly two day sabbatical home, it seems like I have been out of the Garaggio for much too long. I am itching to get back to work on the Long Ez. Hopefully I can go home tomorrow. To keep my sanity, I have spent what little time I have, following other peoples airplane projects.
There aren’t many Long EZ projects going now a days, and even fewer from us younger people. However there seems to be about 5 people on the internet that are actively building and posting about their Long Ez’s. One of those guys is Nate Mullins. He has been building for almost three years (IIRC), and picked up his project as a partially completed airplane. Since then he has done some fantastic work.
Nate’s Long, like pretty much any Long Ez that is currently being built (mine included), is not being built strictly according to plans. There are some good reasons for deviating from the plans. One is that since the design is no longer supported, people have come up with changes that are widely accepted as improvements. Other changes are because the design is mature and many smart people have found ways of extracting more performance or reliability. Yet other changes are just to fancy a new builder and their interests, mission, and hypotheses.
Whatever the reason is, Nate’s list of modifications is quite long and very interesting. Time will tell if they all work out to his liking. Of note, one modification is an aft hinged canopy with a different latching system.
Another thing that will be really cool is his use of a UL Power 390is and a Hertzler silver bullet prop. The engine produces 160 horsepower and weighs in at only 225 lbs. Maybe a bit more with accessories and installation. It is a really neat engine and I look forward to seeing what kind of performance he gets. I’m optimistic about it, especially with as light as it is.
He is also using Klaus Savier’s carbon fiber landing gear fairings which he has mated up with Sam James’ wheel pants. His installation looks nice, and will keep the drag to a minimum. I plan on doing a wheel pant installation in the near future, and looks like I can copy Nate’s methodology.
Another thing Nate is doing is putting an EFIS in the panel. He spent considerable time working with a CAD shop and manufacturer to design, cut, paint, and silk screen an instrument panel for his airplane. I think it looks superb and will fit all the accommodations of a well equipped long ez. I am considering having a panel done for me. Though I am probably to cheap to pay someone.
I have been really impressed with his airplane and can’t wait to see how it finishes out. He is working hard on it, and from my best guess looks to be putting 10+ hours a day in on the project. You can see his project on his web log by clicking his name hyper link above. Great job Nate and thanks for keeping me motivated, even when I am 1250+ miles away from my workshop.