Q. Why should I build an airplane?
A. If you are satisfied with factory builts and don't
wish to become involved in an absorbing hobby, don't. Building an
airplane is fun, but it takes a lot of time. Home-building is where you find
the new ideas -- state of the art design and construction techniques.
Factory builts are more general purpose designs which do nothing
particularly well. Homebuilts are more special purpose. A much greater
variety are available and they tend to perform very well when used
as the designer intended. As a class, they are better performing and
more economical to operate and maintain. Building requires a commitment of
time, forces you to learn new skills, sets you apart from others,
provides an outlet for your creative instinct, builds ego, and will introduce you
to a whole new world of very fine people similarly motivated.
Q. Why should I select a composite design?
A. Composite construction requires fewer skills and is
easier to learn. It
is uniquely suited for homebuilding and unsuited for
mass production. It is
superior to other forms of construction in terms of
simplicity, strength, ability to absorb energy,
resistance to fatigue and
corrosion, repairability and durability. It is
Q. Why should I build from plans using moldless
A. Moldless construction is easy, it does not take
significantly longer than
building from a "pre-fab" kit, and it is the least
expensive way to build a
single airplane. The builder saves the cost of mold
amortization, return on
investment, outside labor, and profit. The builder does
not have to put up a
large amount of money up-front, because he can buy
materials as he
needs them and as his budget allows, and he is not
dependent upon a single
source for his materials.
Q. Why should I choose a canard type?
A. Although canards date back to the first airplane ever flown (Wright
brothers), it took Burt Rutan to
solve the more complex aerodynamics and to popularize the configuration.
Burt figured out how to make
them safer, to not be subject to stall and divergence from controlled
flight, which is the cause of many
low altitude accidents. He made the canard airfoil angle of attack
limiting, so that the nose could not be
lifted high enough in level flight or turns to stall the main wing. The
only result of full aft stick with no
power is a high sink rate, immediately correctable with the addition of
power. Canard configurations are
more efficient, because they have two lifting surfaces. This allows the
main wing to have less area, less
span, and lower weight loading. Because of the distribution of lift
between the two surfaces, there are
lower bending loads and the structure does not have to be as heavy. This
reduces drag and results in
better performance with less horsepower.
Q. Why should I choose a Cozy?
A. Both the 3-place Cozy and 4-place Cozy Mark IV use the technology
that Burt Rutan designed into the Long EZ. Co-Z Development Corp. passed on it's
exclusive license from RAF to us this technology in a side-by-side configuration.
As a result, both the 3-place Cozy and 4-place Cozy Mark IV
perform very similar to the Long EZ, and exhibit the same stall resistant
Q. What skills are required to build a Mark IV?
A. No special skills or previous experience are required. Builders come
from all walks of life. The plans
are written for the average person and first time builder. The most
important skill required is the
discipline to consistently read and follow a large number of written
instructions. You do not need to be
an engineer to understand the plans. They consist of over 100,000 words,
over 1,000 illustrations and
photographs, and full size drawings to lead you step by step.
Q. Can I buy an airplane already built, or do you have someone who builds
A. No on both counts. The FAA licenses a person to build an amateur-built
aircraft for recreation and
educational purposes only. You have to build it yourself. You can get a good kick start with Freeflight Composites who will teach you good steps, guide your start, or step in and help in a critical phase if you bring your project to them.
Q. What prefab parts are available, if I decide to build
A. All parts which would be difficult for the average builder to make,
such as manual or electric nose retract mechanism, engine
mount, landing gear struts, cowlings, canopy, etc., are available prefab.
Q. Can I get a list of Mark IV builders
A. Our builder list is confidential. However, as a prospective builder, you can
join the unofficial Cozy Builders mail list where over
400 builders chat daily about the issues. Contact your local EAA Chapter for a list of
builders in your area. Or contact David Orr for a tailored local canard builder's list: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Can the wings be removed so I can trailer the airplane?
A. Yes, the wings and canard are designed to be removable, however, the
fuselage center-section is
still 11 ft. wide with wings removed, and so one gear will need to be tilted up reduce its road cross section so it is not practical to routinely
trailer it to and from the airport.
Q. Can I equip the Mark IV for IFR?
A. Yes. An IFR rated pilot can operate a Mark IV IFR if he equips it per
FAR 91. The builder must
develop the avionics installation himself and coordinate with his local
Q. May I do aerobatics in a Mark IV?
A. No! The Mark IV is rated in the normal category. It was designed for
cross- country flying. It does not stall and cannot do inverted maneuvers and picks
up speed rapidly when pointed
down. Aerobatics are not recommended.
Q. Can I operate from unimproved runways?
A. No. Due to the pusher configuration, the prop is subject to damage if
operated from a gravel runway.
Grass runways are bumpy and extend take-off distance. Only hard surfaces
Q. Can I get a demo ride before I purchase plans'?
A. No. We are not organized to provide demo rides. If we were selling
complete aircraft, we would
provide this service. Since we are only selling plans, it is not feasible
to do this. Contact David Orr for information on the nearest finished Cozy IVs: email@example.com
Q. Why is the nose retracted while parked?
A. Without the pilot in the aircraft, there is not enough weight in the
nose to insure it will not tip back on
the prop and rudders. Parking nose down prevents this. A small rubber
bumper under the nose provides
a very effective parking brake, allowing the aircraft to be unattended in
30 + knot winds without tie down
or wheel chock.
Q. What is composite construction?
A. Technically, it is the use of two or more materials together.
aircraft construction, it refers to a
sandwich of foam (or some other lightweight material) sandwiched between
two layers of fiberglass.
The result is a very light, rigid, and strong structure.
Q. How long does it take to build a Cozy from plans?
A. We estimate a good worker can build a Cozy in 2500 hours. These
working hours, not time spent
reading plans, drinking coffee, etc. Although some might think this is a
long time, it is actually shorter
than it takes to assemble many pre-fab kits, or designs made from
aluminum, tube & rag, and/or wood.
Q. What does it cost?
A. At current prices it will cost about $18,000 to build the
This includes purchasing some
pre-fab parts which would be difficult for an unskilled builder to make
himself, such as cowlings,
canopy, landing gear struts, engine mount, manual or electric nose-gear retract mechanism,
and other parts which require
machining or welding. It does not include the cost of an engine, or
expensive instruments and avionics.
Q. Are other prefab parts available?
A. Some unapproved custom shops advertise parts for the Cozy, and
own look alike designs, but the Cozy designer has not inspected nor tested them, and have no way of insuring their
quality. As a matter of fact, some
custom shops have supplied un-airworthy parts, or just plain bilked
builders out of their money. For this
reason, we recommend that builders build all of the components
except for those we have
approved from authorized suppliers.
Q. What is the difference between the Cozy and the Velocity.
A. They are two completely different designs and are in two
categories. The Cozy is "Plans
Built" or "Custom Built" whereas the Velocity is "Prefab Built". There is
a striking difference in cost,
far out of proportion to the difference in building time. Moreover,
building from plans, you can purchase
supplies as you need them over however long it takes to complete the
project, rather than having to
finance the purchase of everything before you begin. The Velocity weighs
about 250 lbs. more than the
Cozy, and is about 20 mph slower with the same engine. The Cozy has
superior visibility with its
full-bubble canopy, rather than just a windshield with a roof overhead.
The Cozy's entire canopy opens up, giving excellent access to
4 seats. The Cozy is full dual
control, with two side sticks, whereas the Velocity has only one control
stick. The Cozy uses Burt
Rutan's construction technology and aerodynamic design, under license.
Cozy is the only design
licensed by Burt Rutan.
Q. What engines are approved?
A. The Cozy Mark IV was designed around the 180 hp Lycoming
Lycoming engines from 160 hp
to 200 hp are suitable. We have evaluated the 6-cylinder 200 hp
Q. Are automobile engines approved?
A. The hp of automobile engines is quoted at their red-line rpm,
usually about 6,000 rpm, but
their reliability is based upon running at about 2,000 rpm most of the
time. To get the necessary
horsepower, they would have to be operated near their redline, and would
require a speed reduction unit
for a reasonable propeller speed. The speed reduction unit plus the water
cooling equipment required
results in a very complicated, heavy, and bulky installation. Even if the
problems could be solved without
destroying the esthetics of the design, the resale value of a Cozy with
automobile engine would
probably be less than the cost to build, rather than 3 times the cost to
build (with an aircraft engine).
Q. Is the Cozy available with a retractable main gear?
A. No. The nose gear is retractable, and the main gear strut is
shaped, and with wheel pants,
there is very little drag with the fixed main gear. Aircraft Spruce sells an even more streamlined gear fairing as well. A retractable main
gear could not possibly be as strong
or as light as the fixed gear. It would have to retract somewhere, and
most likely place would be into
the strake, which would sacrifice fuel capacity. If you could go 5 or 10 knots
faster (and that has yet to be shown to be true at canard racing events) would require you to land more often from fuel (letting down from 10,000 ft, spending 1/2 hr on the ground,
climbing back to 10,000 ft.) is
simply not cost effective, since a retractable main gear would increase
building cost at least $4,000,
would increase insurance cost, would increase maintenance cost, and would
increase building time.
Retractable main gears are subject to failure (not going down) and
forgetfulness (forgetting to lower). In the
event of an off field landing, a retractable gear attached to the main
would probably cause more
structural damage, including rupturing of the fuel tanks and increased
likelihood of fire. The designer doesn't
Q. What is the Cozy safety record?
A. Because it does not stall, and offers exceptional body
Cozy safety record is better
than most homebuilts (and factory builts). We have had two fatal
accidents. Both were caused by pilot
error, i.e., running into something, like a power line or a tree.
Q. What builder support is provided?
A. The designer provided excellent builder support for 2 decades so most of the issues have been addressed in the 3rd edition plans and last newsletters. Built on the success of the excellent Long EZ plans before it, the Cozy has a reputation of having the best and most complete
plans and construction manuals of any design on the market, which results
in very few builder questions. Additionally, there is a very active group
of Cozy builders and flyers accessible on the web on the unofficial Cozy builder's mail list.
Q. How many plans have been sold, and how many Cozys are flying?
A. We sold 800 sets of plans for our original 3-place Cozy, and
those plans are now out of print. We estimate that about 60 set of plans were sold
for the European version of the Cozy III, the Cozy Classic which is out of print. To date
(February 2009 the designer and we have sold almost 1450 sets of Cozy Mark IV plans. Over 240 3-place
Cozys have been completed and are flying--some with over 1,000 hours.
The Cozy Mark IV is our newest design, and about 225 have
been completed and are flying, with many more almost complete.
It is also important to remember that the Cozy was based on Burt Rutan's very
successful Varieze and LongEz designs which each had around 3000 flying.
The Cozy Mark IV, therefore, comes from a long legacy of EZ airplanes with a proven
record of builder completion and safety.
Q. If you have to park the Cozy on its nose, do you have to lift the nose
before you can climb in?
A. An electric nose lift has been designed which is strong enough
to climb in while the nose is
down, and then lift the nose up with the push of a button. It is nearly standard in most of the flying Cozy IVs out there, the designer also had one. The same systems are very reliable and spreading through the Cozy III and Long EZ community.
Q. Do we have a video?
A. Yes, please see the Home page for Cozy IV plans to order one from Aircraft Spruce. In addition, there are people who film the all canard flyins and can show you example of flying Cozy IV aircraft at those flyins. Contact David Orr firstname.lastname@example.org for the latest list of CDs.
Q. How do we get more information?
A. An extensive information kit is available for $10. This
frameable pictures, sample pages
from our construction manual, a summary of composite construction,
specifications and a 3-view
drawing, a complete flight test report, a number of magazine reprints,
history of the design and of our
company, a current newsletter, and other things of interest.
Q. Do you accept credit cards?
A. Yes. We accept Visa and Master card, and personal checks
(on US banks), money orders, cashiers checks, and travelers checks.