FireFlys' Cozy Mark IV, #1500

Dedicated to those that lost their lives on 9/11


Chapters 0-3 


{Pre-Plans Preparation - Chapter "0"}

Ch. 1 - Description and Info.

Ch. 2 - Bill of Materials

Ch. 3 - Education



These are the "Getting Started" chapters. You need to decide to build a Cozy, order & review plans, and begin the education process (although by now most future builders have spent a great deal of time reading about homebuilt aircraft, composite construction, and what others are doing).  Chapters 1 and 2 are self-explanatory, but you may find some interesting notes about the Bill of Materials at Rick Maddy's site.  Chapters "0" and 3 are more involved, and honestly ongoing.  In this section, I'll highlight the steps taken in preparing my hangar (a.k.a. Garage) for the build.  

In preparation for each chapter I plan on reviewing what other builders have done or are doing.  I've attached a PDF file that summarizes this research.  I'll include these summary documents for each chapter, and update them periodically as new information arises.  The documents list the names of those who provided the information should you want to research something further.

Chapters 0-3 Research Summary (PDF Document) - Please contact me if you have tips/FAQ's that should be added



5/20/05 - After completing the prerequisite License Agreement, I ordered plans from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty.  I have to say, I was on the fence about making the purchase but finally decided the time was right.  I also liked the date: 20-05-2005.  On 5/26/05, the "Plans" arrive.  Here is the unopened box with my future copilot, Scout.  The Official Start date of the project will be 9/11/05 - so I have until then to review the plans, and develop my plan of action to ensure the project is completed by 9/11/10.

9/07/05 - Received confirmation from the FAA that the N-number N911HF has been reserved for my build.

1/07/06 - Linked word documents to site that summarize hints and tips for each chapter (just the first few for now).  I'll include these summary documents for each chapter, and update them periodically as new information arises.  The documents list the names of those who provided the information should you want to research something further.



6/06/06 - Well, after a long delay, began building the work table (Unfortunately, the basement project is still not finished, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel).  I decided on a 3.5' x 12' work surface, with a 2" overhang on all sides. Started by digging through the lumber pile at Home Depot and selected three straight 2" x 8" x 12', three 4" x 4" x 8', four 2" x 4" x 8', two 4' x 8' x 3/4" plywood, and two 4' x 8' x 3/8" masonite boards.  I needed an additional 108" of 2" x 8", but I already had remnants at home from the basement project.  

Using those remnants, I cut two 38" pieces of 2"x8" for the ends.  Then I cut the three 2"x8"x12' boards to 137" in length.  With the "best" edge (read 'straightest') facing down I framed out the joists, keeping the middle joist at 19" on center.  Measured corner to corner to square structure, then I measured to the middle of each outside joist for positioning the center legs.  Cut the 4"x4" timbers to six 36" lengths, and measured 29" from the bottom of each leg.  Using this mark, attached each leg to the corners and center.  Added cross-members in center to prevent joists from twisting.

For the lower shelf, I measured 6.5" and 10" from bottom of each leg.  Then I cut four 2"x4"x32" support beams, attaching them between these marks and 1.5" from the outside edge .  The center legs have two support beams - one on each side (see picture to left).  Next, I cut four 2"x4"x63.25" to connect the support beams and form the support frame for the lower shelf.  Like others I used a 1/4" threaded bolt, nut and washers in the center of each leg to allow for independent height adjustment.  I also attached a piece of masonite to the bottom of each leg to help prevent the washers from setting into the pressure treated 4"x4" (see picture to right) 

After that it was time to turn it over.  Daughters Jillian and Paige got on one side, and I took the other.  Topped the table and lower shelf with the 3/4" Plywood.  Enlisted Paige's help again when it came time to finish the top with the masonite.  (Paige received extra praise because not only did she help with the table - but, she mowed the lawn as well - allowing me to have the time to work on the table and basement. --- Yeah Paige!!!).  Took a picture, and then stuck a fork in it...The table is done.      


Sticky-Stuff Dispenser - Bought an epoxy pump because I had used one on another builder's (Nate Wolfe ) project.  At the time, I liked it a lot.  However, now that I have used the pump at home, I would recommend that builder's consider waiting to purchase one.  It does not appear to be worth the maintenance trouble, unless you are planning to lay down a large volume of epoxy or if you use the pump on a regular basis (at least once/week).  The biggest trouble I had was the oxidation/degradation/crystallization/discoloration of the hardener if left in the pump for an extended period.  So far, I have found that on smaller lay-ups (anything on Chapter 4) I actually prefer using a scale and "squeeze bottles" to batch mix my epoxy.  

12/10/06 - Over the last few weeks I bought some tools that I'm interested in trying out.  The first is this 24" digital level from Craftsman (P/N 48293).  I picked it up on sale at Sears for ~$45. I thought it would make a nice lower cost alternative to the smart-level tool from the suppliers.  Features include: reads angles to 1/10 of a degree, reads right side up or down, audible tones at 0,45,90 degrees, recalls last 9 measurements, calculates degrees between two angles, projects laser dot to 100 feet, uses tripod threads or hangs magnetically.  The second tool is this B&D cordless scissors.  I'm not quite sure how well it will work, but it was so inexpensive (~$10 on sale) I couldn't pass on giving them a try.

05/15/06 - Bought a Fein Multimaster Variable Speed




Cloth Cabinet & Epoxy Box

Using MSG L335 Epoxy system - Convenient system, less expensive than the higher solid system, Tg = 167*F - 176*F

Apr-May 06 - Built Cloth Cabinet & Epoxy Box - More details to come

Epoxy Box - Standard box, lined with insulating foam.  Wired up a thermostat controller (Johnson Controls) that I ordered from Granger.  Added an additional thermometer to monitor temperature in case light bulb dies.  

Cloth Cabinet - Built the cabinet on wheels so I could move it as necessary.  Also drew lines on surface at 30 degree angles to use as guides for cutting cloth.  Used weather stripping along edges to minimize dust/dirt from getting into cabinet.  Added interior shelf and supports for rolls of cloth.


12/20/06 - Installed a space heater and some shelves.  Thanks to my friend Dave I., who spent a lot of time bringing the gas lines to the garage.  After his hard work, I had a pretty simple job of finishing the last several feet, hanging the unit, and making the final connections.  Heater fired right up and does a nice job of warming up the space.  However, I think I will need to insulate the attic space to get the results I expect.  Also threw up some shelving to get the "Hangar" organized.  My goal is to have as little on or near the ground as possible.  



6/16/07 - A GREAT DAY - Thanks to Tim Lumpp, I got my Cozy wings!!!  I was on duty last night when Tim called to let me know that he and Terry Schubert (the Long-EZ driver at left) were flying into Delaware County (OH) airport.  He offered me a ride in his beautiful Cozy if I could find my way to the Fly-In.  I found a way...(Thanks to Jack K. for attending a meeting in my place)

Due to my size,  I was expecting to ride in the back; especially since Tim is about the same size as me.  However, the two of us still fit within the envelope, so I was bumped to First Class.  Tim was very generous with plane and allowed me lots of stick time.  Everything about the plane (almost 100% per plans) met or, more often, exceeded my expectations.  The day was perfect, and the visibility through the canopy was incredible.  As Tim suggested, the "stall" was one of life's greatest non-events - just the predictable canard bob.

So how does someone follow-up on such a terrific day?  Besides repetitive 'Thank You's', I went straight home to cut my first pieces of foam!!!  Tim, thanks again for the perfect day.  It was a pleasure meeting Terry and seeing you again.  I appreciate the time and advice you both gave me. 

Chapter Index    Chapter 4

N911HF - No 911 Heroes Forgotten