This blog is for entertainment purposes only, and is not meant to teach you how to build anything. The author is not responsible for any accident, injury, or loss that occurs as a result of reading this blog. Read this blog at your own risk.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Nose and nose gear - part 1

Pinocchio (9.0 hrs)

“Once upon a time, there was an airplane named Pinocchio...”. 

Ok, perhaps I should save that story for another time. 

Let’s just say that as naturally beautiful as it is, unlike the “real” Pinocchio, the Long EZ looks even better with a longer nose. Make that... much better.

A perfect example of "per plans" nose

Note how much further in front of the nose gear this nose extends

My first ride on an EZ was on Steve Volovsek’s plane, one of the fastest, and best looking ones out there, and it had a long nose. So, I am very partial to long noses, and I wanted copy his nose as much as possible.

For that to happen, the internal structure had to be substantially modified, so I plan to only partially follow this chapter’s instruction. Hopefully all the extra work will pay off.

One of the joys of building a disavowed airplane design, alone in your garage, is the intrinsic sense of mystique and adventure exuding from every part you make, and assemble. There is a feeling of discovery, and problem solving of the most basic kind, akin to a frontier man's journey into the unknown.

And so it is, that when an unsuspecting soul wonders into your shop - better yet, one that knows how to handle himself around epoxy and fiberglass - you don’t just let them leave without getting them dirty. Oh no!

Enter my good friend and Long EZ builder, Wade, publisher of the popular and informative EZ blog www.longEZpush.com

Catching-up time

Back from the “sandbox” for a couple of weeks, he decided to come and visit me for a few days. 

As per my master plan, Wade could not help himself from eventually wandering into the shop, and like a Venus fly-trap, the lid closed, glass and epoxy ready to consume him.

"Say Wade, wanna see my brand new fiberglass?"

Meanwhile, I had already set the bait... I mean, I had already cut and shaped all the internal components out of foam. 

Both NG30s getting "matched sanded"

Who could resist a spread like that?

The urge to build after a full year of just thinking about it (due to his work) must have been overwhelming.

Doesn't he look happier now?!

Wade found EZ-Poxy a little thicker than the MGS he's used to

As accomplished as he is, I could have easily left him alone in there, and waited for the completed airplane to emerge in just a few days, but I decided not to let him have all the fun, so I joined Wade, and slowed him down in any possible way.

I think Wade is starting to suspect my dark motivations, while I'm happy to have someone lighten my load.

I have to admit that it was a lot of fun working together, although I quickly became his “epoxy bitch”. That was a job that apparently befell his girlfriend, but she was more than happy to relinquish that title for a few days. 

Wade will probably go down in history as the first Long EZ builder to complete his own plane without ever mixing any epoxy. 

I'm just kidding Wade, you know I love you brother!

On a more serious note, apparently there might have been a few instances of nose structure cracking due to hard landings, and it seems like the general consensus is that a little extra strength in this area could have prevented it. Even though hard engineering data is not available (to me at least), a few people have taken the initiative to upgrade NG-30 to plywood in order to strengthen it, others have just added a few extra plies of glass instead. 

As my friend Ary recently did, I will also follow this second method as not to add any more weight, and add 2 plies to the outside of NG-30 and 2 to the inside. Ary has a very good description of the steps he took building the nose structure of his plane in his blog www.aryjglantz.com

I expect to do a lot of secondary bonding to these structures in the future, so I peel-plied everything in sight.

All peel-plied up and resting overnight

The last step of this building push was trimming and sanding the hard fiberglass, but Wade was nowhere to be found by then. Something about a “beer emergency” somewhere else made him leave before I could squeeze any real work out of him.

Usual post cure trimming session

Ensuring a flat back side to both NG-30s

That’s ok though Wade. Wherever you ended up, I understand and appreciate your sense of duty, and I would have probably done the same thing.

The finished parts turned out quite nice, and we both enjoyed doing some layups on flat foam, for a change.

Parts 50% finished. After glassing the other side I'll be able to start building.

Next time, these parts will be the subject of further modifications and topic of discussion, involving the electrical nose gear retraction system installation.


  1. Haaaa!!! I love the storytelling... poor Wade... good job my friend! Keep it up!

  2. We had a jolly old time, as the empty wine rack would attest to.

  3. Excellent post Bro! I think one of your best ever ... and I don't your parts have ever come out so nice before! HA! ;)

    Good times my friend, good times!

  4. Ha ha, those are some mighty fine parts Wade. You still got it!