Is the Long EZ beyond its coolness a good design?


Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2009
Barcelona, Spain.
Hi everyone!

It is clear that Burt Rutan deserves a place in the hall of fame of aeronautical engineering for its multiple achievements. However after reading the thread about the inconvenients of pusher aircrafts, and taking into account the inconvenients of canards. At first hand the configuration of the Long EZ might seem a bad pick.

According to the wiki the Long EZ was designed "for fuel efficient long range flight". It has a cruise speed of 232 km/h, 125 kn at 40% power, and a maximum speed of 298 km/h, 161 kn.
OTOH the Lancair IV, which has a more conventional layout, has a cruise speed of 539 km/h, 291 kn, at 75% power, and a maximum speed of 550 km/h, 297 kn.

It seems that the Long EZ has a lesser fuel consume ratio than the Lancair at cruise but the Lancair is faster. Flying at cruise speed for 8 hours, the Long EZ one can cover a distance of 1856 Km. Whereas flying at cruise speed with the Lancair one can reach greater distance of 3256 km.

I do not know if both airplanes are comparable, the Lancair is more than two times heavier than the Long EZ (and has much bigger engine), but it perhaps can prove that with a conventional layout you can achieve long range. Just to get an example the Zenith Stol, if flying for 8 hours with a stop for refueling, can achieve a distance of 1040 km, which is also quite respectable for a "slow" aircraft.

What do you think?