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dwalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
90
I skipped right by this forum, just started posting away in different areas, and figure it is about time I introduced myself.

I have always been interested in airplanes, and subscribed to Kitplanes Magazine way back in JR High through High school. In college I took flying lessons as I could afford them, but ran out of money- and spare time, I had to work through college!-before I could solo. Instead of using my degree and working in an office, I spent my entire career in auto racing, mostly sports car and vintage racing. I worked in every aspect of the shops I worked in- fabrication, machine shop, composites, paint and body, engine building,prep and of course, actual racing. Eventually I owned my own race team and several shops- paint and body, general service, a "tuning" shop, and of course the race shop. Most of my background was with Porsche and Mazda, with a fair amount of turbo engine experience. We were the last team to race a turbo RX7 at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in 2010 (ran out of gas 1/4 mile from the finish line,did not expect to burn 8 gallons of fuel in 12 miles), and AFAIK the last team to entire a rotary at the PPIHC with the RX8.
I retired in 2016, and spent the last few years mostly as a competitive shooter, competing in 3 Gun matches all across the country as well as being the match director for my local match until recently. Before I retired I started looking at getting back into flying, finishing out my PP and buying a "reasonable" aircraft- I was looking at Cherokees, Bonanzas, Vikings, etc.- just 4 place workhorses- until I realized my wife has no interest at all in flying in small airplanes. I mean none. I have bought her the "familiarization" ride from several air centers over the last couple of years and she just doesnt care to go do it.
Which is OK. But then I started to change the way I thought about an airplane and decided that while I will likely pick up a 4-place spam can at some point, what I really want is a Long-EZ. So I bought an abandoned project. Then I picked up a Vari-Eze that was originally represented as a Long EZ for parts, but it is in such good condition/construction I am going to finish it out and will likely sell it at some point.

So that about it. I am fortunate that my background has given me all the skills- TIG welding, fabrication, composites, paint, etc. to build the aircraft along with the mentality to push forward and get it done.
 

dwalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
90
Welcome as well. What shape is your "Parts" EZ in?
Fairly complete. The canopy cracked so it will need replaced, and at present I am tearing it down completely and then will start the actual build. The list is short but will be time consuming. Build the instrument cluster and run the electricals and wiring, install the controls, cables, brakes, etc. It has a set of the plans spec firewall mount master cylinders but I am going to build a set of "adjustable" pedals with pedal mounted masters and run new Nylaflow lines. It also came with most of the hardware for the plans-spec manual trim, which I am tempted to use in the interest of weight savings, but electric trim might be the way to go, and would allow an autopilot (maybe). Paint the interior, build the canopy, paint the plane and flying surfaces. The canard and wings are pretty well started, and will be easily finished out, but I am going to do the Roncz style tips on the canard and have considered building a new canard with the updated airfoils, and I need to go through the CP updates to see if there is anything related to the wings themselves that might have been missed. Probably wont build a new canard, but its a thought. The strakes are kinda done, but I am going to add a layer of carbon fiber to stiffen the strakes against someone stepping or sitting on them.For power I am pretty set on a Corvair 3.1 litre, and am leaning towards electronic fuel injection and ignition, but nothing set in stone as yet. I will be building a downdraft cooling system into the cowl, and running some pretty serious oil coolers.
 

BJC

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HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
12,871
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
My wife was born near Murfreesboro. We lived in Signal Mountain back in the past century. We both loved the area.


BJC
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
12,871
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
Put the Beechcraft Museum, by the Tullahoma airport, on your “must see” list, if you haven’t already been there.


BJC
 

dwalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
90
Put the Beechcraft Museum, by the Tullahoma airport, on your “must see” list, if you haven’t already been there.


BJC
I actually keep meaning to go, and have driven by it several times with no time to stop. It is for sure on the list.
 
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