Rutan Long-EZ

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Long-EZ
Long-EZ belonging to NOAA
RoleHomebuilt aircraft
National originUnited States of America
ManufacturerRutan Aircraft Factory
DesignerBurt Rutan
First flightJune 12, 1979[1]
 
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Long-EZ
Long-EZ belonging to NOAA
RoleHomebuilt aircraft
National originUnited States of America
ManufacturerRutan Aircraft Factory
DesignerBurt Rutan
First flightJune 12, 1979[1]

The Rutan Model 61 Long-EZ is a homebuilt aircraft with a canard layout designed by Burt Rutan's Rutan Aircraft Factory. It is derived from the VariEze, which was first offered to homebuilders in 1976. The prototype, N79RA[2] of the Long-EZ first flew on June 12, 1979.

Design[edit]

The Long-EZ was a clean-sheet scaled up redesign of the VariEze predicessor. Changes from the VariEze included a larger main wing with modified Eppler 1230 airfoil and less sweep—the canard uses the same GU25-5(11)8 airfoil as the VariEze—larger strakes containing more fuel and baggage storage, slightly wider cabin, and the ability to use a Lycoming 108 hp engine with no nose ballast.[3] Plans were offered from 1980 to 1985. As of late 2005, approximately 700 Long EZ's are FAA registered in the USA.

The aircraft is designed for fuel-efficient long-range flight, with a range of just over 2,000 miles (3,200 km).[4] It can fly for over ten hours and up to 1,600 miles (2,600 km) on 52 gallons (200 liters) of fuel.[5] Equipped with a rear-seat fuel tank, a Long-EZ has flown for 4,800 miles (7,700 kilometers).[citation needed]

Rutan Long-EZ,G-WILY fitted with baggage pods under wings.

The pilot sits in a semi-reclined seat and controls the Long-EZ by means of a side-stick controller situated on the right-hand console. In addition to having an airbrake on the underside, the twin tail's wing-tip rudders can be deflected outwards to act as auxiliary airbrakes.[5]

In 1996 Burt Rutan Awarded TERF Inc. the job of publishing the plans for the Long EZ and other of his aircraft under The Rutan Aircraft Factory CD ROM Encyclopedia for the purpose of further assisting new builders and maintenance for existing builders.

Operational history[edit]

In 1997 Dick Rutan and Mike Melvill flew two Long-EZ aircraft on an around-the-world flight. Some legs of this flight extended over 14 hours in the air.

Variants[edit]

E-Racer
An experimental electric motor power installation
E-Racer
An extensivley modified redesign using Long-EZ wings with a fuselage modified for side-by-side seating, retractable landing gear, and larger automotive engine conversion powerplants.[6]
EZ-rocket
XCOR Aerospace modified a Long-EZ and replaced the engine with twin liquid-fueled rocket engines to form a flight test vehicle called the EZ-rocket, which was used as a proof-of-concept demonstrator. Initially, a follow-on version called the "Mark-1 X-Racer, was going to be developed for the Rocket Racing League,[7] but the Velocity SE was subsequently selected as the airframe for the Rocket Racer, rather than the Long-EZ.[8][9]
Twin EZ
Ivan Shaw built a Long-EZ and then converted it into a "Twin-EZ", an aircraft with twin wing-mounted Norton wankel engines (precursors to the MidWest AE series).[10] Shaw, a Yorkshireman, later designed the Europa XS kitplane.
Long ESA
A 258hp electric engine conversion. On 19 July 2012, pilot Chip Yates achieved 202.6mph in level flight, making the aircraft the fastest man carrying electric powered aircraft.[11][12]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Singer-songwriter John Denver died while flying a LongEz on October 12, 1997. The NTSB believes that he inadvertently pushed on his right rudder pedal while twisting to the left in his seat as he struggled to operate the fuel selector valve.[13] Contributing factors in the crash were other pilot errors, a design that led to an overly optimistic pre-flight fuel-check estimate,[14] a known defective (very hard to turn) fuel valve, and non-standard placement of the fuel selector valve by the kit plane's builder, at variance with Burt Rutan's specs.

Denver was aware of the faulty valve prior to take off and had previously flown the aircraft only for approximately thirty minutes in an orientation flight the day before the accident, although he was an experienced pilot. The NTSB cited Denver's unfamiliarity with the aircraft and his failure to have the aircraft refueled as causal factors in the accident.[13] The aerodynamics of this unusual aircraft did not play a role in Denver's crash.

The author James Gleick crash-landed his Long-EZ at Greenwood Lake Airport, in West Milford, New Jersey in 1997.[15] Gleick was seriously injured and the passenger, his 8-year old son Harry, was killed.[16]

Specifications[edit]

At the AERO INDIA 2013, Bangalore

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982–83[1]

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Taylor 1982, p. 565.
  2. ^ FAA REGISTRY N-Number Inquiry Results
  3. ^ "Ez Come EZ go". Air Progress: 12. October 1979. 
  4. ^ W.J. Hennigan (April 1, 2011). "Aerospace legend Burt Rutan ready for a landing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  5. ^ a b Rutan Long-EZ Owners Manual, Second Edition - October 1983
  6. ^ "E-Racer". Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Rocket Racing League website
  8. ^ Products Overview, XCOR Aerospace, undated, accessed 2010-12-27. "Twin 400 lb-thrust XR-4A3 engines aboard the EZ-Rocket" (with in-flight photograph) ... "Another engine that we have developed in parallel is the XR-4K14, ... a 1,500 lb thrust regeneratively cooled LOX and pump-fed kerosene system ... used as the Rocket Racer aircraft's main engine."
  9. ^ XCOR X-Racer, by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today, 2009-08-06, accessed 2010-04-26.
  10. ^ STARGAZER - A unique database on Burt Rutan and his projects!
  11. ^ Experimenter: 36. September 2012. 
  12. ^ "Flight of the Century". Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Crash investigation, NTSB, January 26, 1999, retrieved 2012-01-05 
  14. ^ Bruce Tognazzini (June 1999), "When Interfaces Kill: What Really Happened to John Denver", AskTog, retrieved 210-02-21 
  15. ^ National Transportation Safety Board Accident Report, NTSB Identification NYC98FA047
  16. ^ David Diamond: "James Gleick's Survival Lessons", Wired, 7.08, August, 1999

External links[edit]