About the Varieze

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by AZmike, Jan 18, 2010.

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  1. Jan 18, 2010 #1

    AZmike

    AZmike

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    I am new to homebuilt airplanes but plan on building one in the near future with my father. I have always been facinated with the varieze but cant seem to find any information on the kits. Does anyone one know if they are still available or would I be stuck with getting a used/unfinished kit? Either way it wouldnt matter but I have just been having trouble coming across kits for them.

    Mike
     
  2. Jan 18, 2010 #2

    bmcj

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    They were a plans built plane. They were never offered in kit form, but some companies offered some pre-made components. Plans are no longer offered by RAF, but you can find used plans (a bit pricey) and free-source plans. a partially built project is sometimes a good way to go.

    Also, rather than the Varieze, you might consider the Longeze. Basically the same plane but a bit larger with refinements over the Varieze.

    You say you are new to homebuilding. Have you worked with composites before? Have you researched the time and cost involved in building a Varieze (or any plane for that matter)? Do your homework before taking any big leaps. Find some local EAA chapters and look for members in your area who have built one of the Rutan designs. Builders are a giving bunch and always willing to help with advice or assistance.

    Oh, and welcome to the forum.

    Bruce :)


    VORTILON... you are not too far from Mike and know composite work... care to add something here?
     
  3. Jan 18, 2010 #3

    Mac790

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    Mike,

    Try here Canard Zone you will find more info there. But it would be a better idea to start Open-Ez project, there is no kit for Vari, and some parts are impossible to get.

    Seb
     
  4. Jan 19, 2010 #4

    kent Ashton

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    A Long-EZ ("Open-ez" mentioned above) has better utility and more builder-support on the net; uses a better engine (O-320). Better yet, build a Cozy Mk IV. Vari's are OK but not very passenger-friendly. I understand O-235 parts are sort of expensive, too.

    No, there are no "Varieze kits", but then, there are no Long-eze or Cozy IV kits either--just foam, fiberglass, epoxy and a few special bits.
    http://www.cozygirrrl.com/aircraftparts.htm
     
  5. Jan 19, 2010 #5

    Waiter

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    Again, Kent beat me to the punch :)

    Building a LongEZ will require a small increase in time and money over a VariEZ, But the Long is a significantly improved aircraft over the Vari.

    Step 1) Purchase a "TERF" CD set, This includes all of the Rutan plans, including the LongEZ. (Check E-bay)

    Step 2) Download the "OpenEZ templates from Canard Zone. These are the templates you'll need.

    Step 3) Download the CPs (Canard Pushers). These are the plans updates.

    Step 4) Goto Kinkos, get them to print the Plans from the TERF disk, then get them to print the OpenEZ Templates.

    Step 5) Make the pencil changes to the planes as described in the CPs.

    Step 6) Start Building

    Visit my web site if your interested in the LongEZ.

    www.iflyez.com

    Good Luck

    Waiter

    PS - Don't forget to download your LongEZ mouse cursor for your computer. That way you can log some EZ time while yourbrowsing the web :)

    http://www.iflyez.com/LongEZ_Cursor.shtml
     
  6. Mar 21, 2010 #6

    flyoz

    flyoz

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    Some ideas about a new Varieze
    If you look at the cost of engines its quite interesting . An old Rotax ( say 1200 hrs) will cost about $ 10000 . I am looking at building a single seat with a Briggs motor like the MC30 uses but when you start to add up the numbers it becomes quite costly for what it is - engine mounts , starter gear , ignition about $1700 plus the engine $2500 ( in OZ ) thats about $4200 for 25 hp . If i look at the materials ( mine would be composite ) it is very similar to the Varieze .

    Old 0-200( or similar ) motors can be had for $8000 in relatively good condition(+500 hrs left ) and they are a specific aircraft design ( good thrust bearings bigger finning etc ) If you hand start a 0-200 and use 1 electronic ignition ( 1 mag ) you get a fairly reliable basic engine

    What about sorting out some of the Varieze shortcomings without a major redesign ?

    Increase the wing area slightly ( same section )
    Increase the strakes for more space ( Bill James )
    Use Ronce canard
    Use Longeze landing gear and position ( Bill James has done that )
    Change the wing incedence and canard incedence to that of the longeze ( Bill James has done that too )
    Have a spar that allows the wing to be removed ( Jiran type )
    0 deg Anhederal
    make sure the strakes allow for fitment into a shipping container ( width)
    Change from Foam and glass to PVC foam , glass and pultruded carbon rods for the fuselage and box spars for the wing ( Destruction testing of the original Varieze wing showed it twisted at the attachment points . Make the wing with skin and foam ribs ( lighter )
    Aim for 250 Kg ( 550lbs ) empty ( lower landing speeds)
    Most of the landing gear , engine mounts etc are available either as parts or new and lots of high time pilots with experience with this kind of aircraft
    Its a compromise for sure but when you add the numbers up its quite a good one
    Mac790 i took your rough drawings of the Varieze sides and set out a rough idea of what it could look like -see pics
    Any ideas ?
    Flyoz
     

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  7. Mar 21, 2010 #7

    lr27

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    Any good reasons besides the fascination? Fascination is ok, but you may develop it for some design that's easier to deal with. I'm not saying the Varieze or Longeze are the wrong choices, but you should give some heavy thought to how much airplane you really need. (Where need also encompasses your motivation to build, of course.) Also pilot skills. I'm sure a slow airplane is easier to keep ahead of. Haven't been there yet, at least in full scale, but I've spoken with people who have. Including a guy who built a Midget Mustang, but sold it because he had trouble flying it well.
     
  8. Mar 22, 2010 #8

    flyoz

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    Its true these aircraft are fascinating . And yes they are a compomise between landing speed and cruising speed . Clearly the design needs careful consideration to detail . What interests me is the polarity of the debate - either for canards ( specifically Rutan ) or against . I have spoken to some long time flyers of these ( Rutan canards) and they all say once you have flown one for a while , general aircraft are rather boring and slow . Their concensus is they are not harder to fly but different .
    As i say if you just look at the materials , cost and simplicity they are hard to beat . I have done some research . The canard effects the main wing ( downwash ). The sweep on the main wing is of no value at the speeds it travels at and is detrimental to its stalling behaviour and spanwise flow . The deflection of the winglets has the effect of "lifting " the tip the reverse of what is required in a turn .The strakes are mainly to keep the fuel forward to control the C of G . The older canards were effected by rain to some degree although i suspect its something like the original rotor seals on the wankel which is always quoted as still a problem ( which clearly they are not ) . The records of long distance flight by some major pilots shows its cababilty .
    I guess i just dont understand the debate - i am just looking at the concept - i may never even try to build one ( although i have built and fly a convetional type )
    Lets get a discussion going that looks at the specifics - ie what worked on the existing ones , what people have changed and how those changes have effected the design etc
    Flyoz
     
  9. Mar 22, 2010 #9

    bmcj

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    I suspect that the sweep has more to do with moving the aerodynamic center relative to the CG (and it looks cool, too).
     
  10. Mar 22, 2010 #10

    lr27

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    I'm not dissing the LongEZ. An impressive aircraft.
     
  11. Mar 23, 2010 #11

    flyoz

    flyoz

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    Thanks Ir27 i did not think you were - i appeciate the honesty !
    It has some shortcomings however . And it certainly is a compromise - the questions i suppose are
    Can the original design be slightly upgraded and will those shortcomings be reduced making it a more user freindly aircraft ?
    Can it be made lighter
    Can the canard effect on the main wing be reduced etc
    In the end is it worth a complete redsign when so many other aircraft are almost as good with less compromise ?
    In todays avaiation market the prices are forcing most people out of the market and that was the original attraction - something you can build with effort for a reasonable price
    I think the Varieze redesigned may just may have some of those attributes
    Flyoz
     
  12. Mar 23, 2010 #12

    orion

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    It has some shortcomings however . And it certainly is a compromise

    Yes, all aircraft are a compromise of one sort or another. The only way to minimize said compromise for your own use is to design your own. Most folks however find that the amount of effort to do that is quite extensive so the compromise suddenly looks to be OK.

    Can the original design be slightly upgraded and will those shortcomings be reduced making it a more user freindly aircraft ?

    Depends - canards tend to be more sensitive to design changes so a responsible evaluation or analysis would be recommended even for smaller modifications. But of course this does beg the question: "What do you mean by "user friendly?"

    Can it be made lighter

    Most likely, yes. The question here though is how much are you willing to spend on lighter materials and a responsible analysis to make sure you're not making it "too" light.

    Can the canard effect on the main wing be reduced etc

    No - the wing is in the downwash field of the canard. That field is variable with speed or maneuver and is there as long as the canard is creating lift.

    In the end is it worth a complete redsign when so many other aircraft are almost as good with less compromise ?

    And that's the key question - in other words, how much are you willing to invest in doing it exactly the way you want. That investment is a combination of time and money and can add up to enough that you could probably buy a fairly nice airplane by the time you're done.
     
  13. Mar 23, 2010 #13

    Norman

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    If you're referring to the weird looking inward cant of the longez winglets I'd suggest you read this. Swept wings tend to have too much dihedral effect at low speed. Too much dihedral causes dutch roll. You may have seen some high wing transports with pronounced anhedral. The anhedral lowers the speed that dutch roll sets in so that the plane is safer to fly slow close to the ground. The inward canted winglets also reduce the dihedral effect thereby allowing Rutan to get rid of the anhedral that you can see in the VariEze
     
  14. Mar 23, 2010 #14

    Waiter

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    As others have mentioned, Any airframe is a compromise.

    Although the LongEZ is probably one of the most unique (cool) looking aircraft there ever was (That was one of the main reasons I built one) It does excell in some areas, and sucks in others.

    The LongEZ was originally designed as a High Altitude, Long Distance traveling machine. It can easily travel non-stop coast to coast, and do it up in the Flight Levels.

    It is also a runway hog, so plan careful if your operating off of runways less than 2500 ft.

    www.iflyez.com

    Waiter
     
  15. Mar 24, 2010 #15

    Mac790

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    With all these mods you will make a Long Eze.
    It might be a good idea, but the price is a key. I think that two things are important, price and build time. If you are going to charge 30+ for kit forget about, for about 46 you can buy Legacy fixed gears kit, it will be also necessary to reduce original Varieze build time, I don't see much future for a plane 2000h + build time.

    In my opinion the best approach it might be some kind kit/plans version. I mean you could offer a molded (of course redesigned a little bit, better look, better aerodynamics, etc) fuselage, and plans for the wing and canard construction. I think the original moldless technique for wings and canard construction works well, you can build your wings and canard really quick and cheap.
    Check out those renderings for some ideas, same wings same canard but a different shaped fuselage and you have brand new airplane (with a new look), https://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/design-structures-cutting-edge-technology/5670-main-wing-position-question-3.html#post45497

    Carbon stuff etc, hmm I don't see any reason for it, it's expensive, and it will require complete structural analyze, those wings have big sweep, for my understanding it's harderer to calculate swept wings than straight ones (special flutter is harder to predict).

    The Varieze is more like a sports car, and it should stay like that, so adding more luggage space, bigger wings etc, is unnecessary in my opinion.

    Seb
     
  16. Mar 25, 2010 #16

    flyoz

    flyoz

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    I checked out your new aircraft renders and its a nice looking aircraft Seb !
    Gianni Zuliani was the first to modify his Long-Ez, sporting a new fuselage with two staggered seats called the Stag-ez in 1987 .Check out Stag-Ez
    I think an open source approach is the most likely to succeed . The problem with manufacture ( Kit ) is that it requires lots of time and effort and most of us are doing other things like making a living . IMHO lots of very talented people have tried to build and sell kits and only a handful have survived .I am not saying it cant be done but that it is a very difficult process to co-ordinate and those initial conceptual designers find that they loose their enthusiasm in the detail of manufacture . It is always something which intrigues me . The problem with that model is it puts a lot of responsibility on one group , ie further development , spares , litigation, part quality etc .
    There is an enormous amount of talent out there , on this forum there are probably some of the more talented and knowledgeable people . In a lot of ways the Varieze family of aircraft is an open source story . Started by Burt but carried on by many other individuals . Different people have different talents so some make better canopy latches , some make better nosewheel retract mechanisms etc and they all contribute to one design and thats where the strength lies . The biggest portion of this market should be back at the roots of experimental aviation - reasonable cost aircraft .
    I am not saying the Varieze ( or family )is the best fit for that but that it contains some of the variables . Landing gear , engine mounts , engine type old but reliable - fairly cheap , canopies , latches etc , and lots of history . Is it not possible to build on that as you suggest , maybe a new fuselage etc . The design itself is not without some drawbacks - i am particularily concerned about the landing speeds and approach angles . The Piaggio P-180 has shown a much better system ( Three lifting surfaces ) that has flaps and has a much better control of the C of G . Maybe change the canard formula by the addition of another surface etc .
    Anyway just my 2 cents worth and its only a lighthearted discussion ...........
    Flyoz
     

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  17. Mar 26, 2010 #17

    flyoz

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  18. Mar 29, 2010 #18

    Mac790

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    There is a guy in Russia who try to add flaps to his new canard design, but it's a bad idea, you will find links with more info in this thread http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/design-structures-cutting-edge-technology/6961-strakes-how-deal-them.html
    I would say that you were right, high speed landing is one of the drawbacks, but there are others like long take off distance. I don't think adding a third surface is a good idea, canard aren't the best planes for this type of modifications. If someone doesn't like landing characteristics maybe might want to look for other designs. Maybe some kind of more conventional design like Vision.

    And of course if someone thinks about Open source form, must forget about molded parts, it's not a big problem to make a plugs and molds, but it takes a lot of time, and for me it's hard to imagine that people will be doing they own molds, for just one aircraft.

    It means that there is very little things which you can actually change, of course it's possible to make a nice looking fuselage with mold-less technology (AR-5), but it takes time. There is also other possibility, wooden templates and longerons, and foam walls, like in this design http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/hangar-flying/6699-cute-little-bird.html.

    Seb
     
  19. Mar 30, 2010 #19

    flyoz

    flyoz

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    Flaps seem too complicted on the the basic Varieze design
    Had a look at the flap system on the Russian Eze

    Like the fuselage on the CEA308B project but the engine i am almost sure in that video it is a Jabiru 4 stroke - the originals cowl has been changed to accomodate . Mike Arnold's AR5 tail surfaces were bigger too - and he says in his video that putting the engine that far forward makes it more unstable so bigger control surfaces

    But about the open source Varieze it may be possible for someone to make just a fuselage mold and sell that to other users

    Is it possible to limit liability for that individual if the parts are made available from an open source , non profit arrangement does anyone think ?

    Flyoz
     
  20. May 24, 2010 #20

    flyoz

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    Some changes to Varieze wing position

    Just playing around with some ideas but would like some advice

    In order to use a similar system of wing attach as the Long Ez i have moved the wing trailing edge back 6.4 " ( 162mm ) at BL 32 ( original position ).
    I understand this will move the CG backwards slightly but it makes it much easier to build than the original wing .To compensate for the aft Cof G i could move the pilot seat position 2" forward ( as Mike Melville did) and get more space in the rear
    Increase the internal fuselage width about 2" like the Long Ez
    It uses the same wing attach and spar system as the long EZ
    The wing can remain at the same incidence in relation to the fuselage ( although Bill James used the same incidence as the Long EZ on his Varieze)
    No anhederal but the tip position remains unchanged ( FS +BL )
    everything else is the same , same section , same wing area , same FS stations .
    The distance from the prop to the wing trailing edge could be the same as the Long Ez

    Any ideas ?

    Flyoz
     

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