Building an airplane
My name is Ben Hallert, and I've decided to build an airplane. After a lot
of research, I've chosen the Cozy Mk IV, a four seat variant of the
designed by Burt Rutan
(designer of the first
private manned spacecraft). The FAA requires an experimental aircraft
builder to keep a builders log to prove that they built the plane. This
webpage will be that log, as well as a way to show my friends how I'm
4/23/06 - Like sands through the hourglass.... finally did my
first big glass layup. The seat back bulkhead is curing, we'll see how
badly I messed it up in the morning. I've insulated my garage door and put
a heater out there, it seems to be doing ok at keeping the temp up in the curing
area. We'll see what happens, I'll add more details later.
3/19/06 - With the kids asleep, managed to finish microing the
seatback. Oh yeah, this baby will be flying in no time.
3/11/06 - Continued work on front seat, spent an hour on it.
During that hour, I cut out a corner that I messed up on 3/7 and micro'd some
replacement foam into it. Once that cures, I'll be able to contour it into
good shape. Gotta love composite construction! After that, I
started micro'ing the surface in preparation for putting down my first layers of
glass. I didn't have enough time/confidence to do that today, but I'll get
to it soon. I got the surface maybe 75% covered before I had to stop.
If I had just mixed one bi batch and done it in one or two shots, I'd be done,
but I underestimated the amount of micro that the foam surface would eat, so I
kept mixing one or two ounce batches. I'm an idjut! A note for the
future, I can probably mix bigger batches of micro since I'm using the slow
hardener. Glargh! Well, at least I'm building. At this rate, I
should be just about ready to fly for the 100th anniversary of the first Cozy
3/7/2006 - Life is starting to get back to normal, or at least as
normal as can be. It's been a month since I got my supplies, it's time to
start building! Today, I cut out the front seat! I cut and smoothed
one edge as shown in the plans, but managed to really pooch it up by making it
kinda rough. I don't know how hard it will be to fix, probably something I
can fix with dry micro. During one cut, I broke off a corner (I epoxied it
back, no harm, it's setting now). An inauspicious start, but... it's
- 1 hour.
3/2/2006 - Crikey, now my wife's grandmother has died.
2/12/2006 - My wife's parents were killed in a fire, the project is
Much more important things to worry about right now.
2/7/2006 - Got my first shipment of supplies! Plans, epoxy,
hardener, ratio pump, etc.
1/31/2006 - Finally received my serial number and word that the
materials are shipping. I am the proud owner of Cozy MK IV plans serial
#1432, which is funny, as that used to be the combination to get in at Santa
Monica Airport when I received my pilots certificate.
1/25/2006 - Made my order! NOW I'm a builder, right?
Enroute via UPS is:
- One set of plans $500
- One gallon MGS 285 Epoxy $86
- One quart slow hardener for the above $24
- One ratio pump for the epoxy/hardender $250
- The materials for Chapter 4 of the plans $460.
1/22/2006 - Making the first order this week for plans and materials
for Chapters 1-4, plus an epoxy pump. Added Panel Ideas
1/8/2006 - Received
It's official, I've spent money on it. Am I a builder yet?
Choices and rationale
The decision process - How I came to choose the Cozy.
Which engine to use - What's going to burn off all that
extra gasoline I buy?
Variations from plans - What will I do/have I
done differently from the plans, and why?
Misc notes & data - Stuff that doesn't go anywhere else.
Running cost tally - How much have I spent so far, and
Paint schemes - It
can't fly unless it looks pretty, right?
Panel ideas - This is the last stuff you buy, but
it's fun to dream
Cozy/EZ specific -
Cozy Development - The official Cozy page
Cozy Builders - The unofficial Cozy page
Brian Deford's Blonde Streak - One of
the many great Cozy's out there, along with a great build writeup.
The Cozy Girrrls - Home of
some exciting modifications, including the Cozy Girrrl's strakes that I'll be
The Canard Zone - Great forum for
getting data and advice from other builders. I'm there as 'Chairboy'.
EZ Squadron - A place to read about canard
Bulent Aliev - Another nice rotary powered Cozy
Experimental related -
Blue Mountain Avionics - I'll be
watching these guys during the build for sure, some very exciting avionics.
Aircraft Spruce - The place I'll be
getting my plans and building materials from. They are now the official
owners of the design.
Atkins Rotary - An engine vendor that
specializes in aircraft conversions of 13Bs.
Barnstormers - Aircraft classifieds.
Might be a place to get inexpensive gauges for basic VFR until I can get the
money for that IFR panel together.
Rotary Engines - The Mazda Wankel Rotary
Engines for Aircraft website
Conversion Concepts - A
manufacturer of engine mounts for rotary engines
dimensions - A comprehensive list of cockpit sizes
EAA 31 - The EAA chapter I'm a member of
- Description & Introduction
- Bill of Materials
- Fuselage Sides
- Fuselage Assembly
- Fuselage Exterior
- Headrest, Seat Belts, Heat duct
- Main Landing Gear, Speed Brake
- Canard Construction
- Elevator construction
- Canard Installation
- Nose Gear
- Center Section Spar
- Control System
- Trim System
- Canopy and Turtleback
- Wing, Aileron, & Wing Attach Construction
- Winglet & Rudder Construction
- Engine-Prop Installation
- Covers Fairing