Apr 15 2021

Canopy Sealing V-Seal

I have found the V-seal to be incredibly effective. The main problem with most seal systems is over crushing of the seal and using Home depot house weather stripping to seal the canopy. It means your are ALWAYS fighting the seals to close and lock the canopy, over crushing of the seal, and the mis-matching of the canopy to fuselage causing air leaks where the canopy to longeron distance is too great. Imagine a car door. The door gaps are engineered for the seals. The seals are NOT just haphazardly chosen to fit on to hand made doors after they are made.

In order properly seal the canopy and make the canopy easy to close, you need to engineer the canopy for the seal. This requires a bit more effort than just throwing in a seal and hope it works. I have zero air and water leaks and the canopy is super easy to close and lock. So can you.

You do this by making a hard points which only allows a canopy to close down to a fixed point, “molding the canopy” to the longerons and THEN using the appropriate seals (V-seals).

Making a proper canopy seal.
1. remove all the existing seal.
2. stack washers on the front and aft end of the longeron where the canopy would hit the longerons making sure the outside of the canopy aligns with the fuselage. This limits the crush of the seals, aligns the front and back of the canopy to the fuselage, and ensures easy latching of the canopy hardware.
        3.        Drill the the place where the washers are stacked and make a permanent standoff of the same height (measure the height of the washer stack) for canopy closure. I just made a Al cup and used a AN3 screw. You can put a bolt with washers under it…whatever it takes to make a hard point for the canopy to close down to.



Aft hard points:



4. Adjust your canopy closer hardware to this new canopy closed position.

The V-Seals (Any seals) require about 30% crush to prevent deformation. Since V-seals are about .250” high, this means about .190” opening (trough) for the seals to rest in. Since your canopy (like most) has an inconsistent gap distance you need to correct that. Since you have previously established a fixed hard point for the canopy to close to (the hard points), you can now mold a surface for the seals to rest in.

5. Cut some Luan plywood (its about .195’ thick) the width of your seal (about .25” wide), box tape the longerons, heat glue the luan strip on the tape and cover with another layer of box tape. Wax. Tape off your canopy tape off the area you dont wish micro to get on to. Slather some micro on the canopy, close and lock the canopy (to the hard points). After cure, open the canopy (this could be challenging, so mold short sections at a time). Clean off the over microed areas on the canopy you previously taped off.

NOW you have a molded trough to put your seal in that has a consistently .195” depth, and hard points which ensure the fuselage to canopy is properly aligned, and the latching mechanism is easy to use.


Glue your V-seal in place. The best way I found is to wipe the back side with MEK or some cleaner, and glue in place with Pliobond adhesive. The seals will never over crush, they will open up with differential air pressure to prevent leakage and the canopy will be very easy to close and lock.

Overall, it is a weekend project. My canopy to longeron is within .010’ around the entire perimeter (Yes I checked), and I have never had to adjust the hardware or had air leakage. Additionally, I never had to readjust the canopy closure latches. They are always smooth and easy to latch.

Mar 02 2021

Downloading Seattle Avionics Maps with an Apple computer

I am an Apple computer user. If you wish to use the Seattle Avionics maps for your GRT or Dynon system your faced with a problem. The ChartData program ONLY works with a Windows computer. The Seattle Avionics suggested technique for downloading to an Apple computer is IMHO totally unworkable.

For the last few years I have been using an old windows laptop which always given me problems using the ChartData program. Partial downloads, corrupted files, inability to download to two USB sticks at the same time.

Out of frustration, I first decided to buy a new (cheap) windows laptop for the sole purpose of downloading maps. Then I remembered there is a program called Parallels which allows the user to load Windows on the Apple computer and operate in a virtual environment.

I downloaded Parallels (free trial) which included Windows on my Apple computers (both a Mac and Apple Air laptop) for testing and finally the ChartData program and within minutes began downloading the Dynon chart data without a bit of problem. The first time ever that I had no issues with the downloads.

I would suggest if you wish to download ChartData Maps for your EFIS on a Apple computer then Parallels for the Mac (cost me $49) is a perfect alternative to using a Windows computer to download your maps.

Sep 17 2020

Handy Wire Marker

I am in the middle of wiring the com system on the cozy and thought I would share a easy to make wire marker. It is big help when using all white wire such as the shield wire which comes in white, white or white..


It was made from a piece of scrap delron I had in the bin. This tool is similar to the one sold on line but is DIY: Bogert Aviation

Just machine a large hole in the center of the round stock for the marker, and drill a smaller hole to allow the tip of the marker to extend into the wire area.


Then machine a cross slot for the wire to ride in and your done.

Use a standard marker in your selected color. The tip of the marker will contact the white wire sliding in the slot and leave a nice stripe on it.


The stripe is a big help when using shielded wire which is always white.

Here you can see the green and red stripes on my com wires.



Aug 29 2020

LongEZ for Sale (Sold)


Sadly, today I am starting to market my plane. I have already had a few calls from interested buyers for Cloud Dancer. I have decided to put all the pictures here with details on the plane to highlight all the features and special additions to the plane. A few years ago I rebuilt and restored the plane which you can view on this blog starting here: Start of rebuilding N29TM

After being in this sport for 25+ years I really dont think there is a finer EZ out there and none with the ‘one of a kind’ features and additions I have added to the plane. I hate selling it, but I have a Cozy 4 project almost completed and its time to move on to a new plane.

Baggage pods are included.


The Nose compartment where I usually carry tie down equipment, a tool bag and my travel cover. There is a placard for canard removal. All pitot and static tube is color coded. Red, pitot and yellow is the static system.


A warning placard which tells the pilot the nose MUST have enough ballast in its to stay on the ground when the plane is level. You will then be within the CG envelope.

The compartment has bulkheads fore and aft to prevent interference with the control system. On the right you can see the Ram Heat system heater. I have a lot of information about concept of Ram Heat that I
developed on this blog, Here is an additional article I wrote for CSA about Ram Heat: Ram Heat Article
The compartment can actually quite a bit of stuff, as long as you stay within the CG range.

This is what I usually have in the compartment.


The Ram Air Heat inlet has a cover which attaches to the pitot tube when parked outside.

Nose gear doors.

The seals for the canopy are in a molded track using LongEZ V seals. They seal the canopy with ZERO air leaks and no forced compression.

The canopy is secured by a rotary latch system.

The key for the canopy.


The fuse panel is located under the pilots seat for easy access. I have not had a fuse blow since I wired the system .


All fuses in the essential and non-essential buss are labeled.

Heater control to close the air door of the heater air outlet when initially taking off on a cold day. After your engine oil heats up, turn on the pump, open the heat door for cabin heat.

Side panel for additional storage of a few items.

LED lighting (white or red) on a dimmer control for the pilot. 12 v outlet (switched).

Two usb outlets are available for the pilot. I have it set up for 2 Apple Lightening connectors to keep my iPad and iPhone charged in flight when using ForeFlight.

Ball mounts are located on the port and stbd sides. Each one has a 1/8” connector wired to the Comm panel for music input. This side mount has a BNC connection to a GPS antenna when I use my Garmin 496 attached to the mount..

Notice on the panel the Oil Heat Sys pump switch and below the switch is the Recirc Fan switch, which allows the pilot to turn on the rear heat fan in fast speed select the “Passenger control” of the fan which allows the passenger adjust the temperate in the rear off the plane.


Port ball mount with stereo plug input

I hate looking at footwells and seeing LOTS of wires. It makes the plane look so unfinished.

On the port side there is a fixed wire chase to hide the wires

On the STBD side the wiring chase has a removable cover for the wires. Antenna wires are separated to prevent cross talk.

Along with controlling the heater pump speed (which controls the temp of the heater output) there is a seat heaters in the cushions (Pilot and passenger). I rarely use it as it quickly heats your butt up and normal only use it for a little while to warm up the comfort foam seats on a cold morning..

The Dash

Dual air outlets coupled to the COLD side of the Ram Air inlet. They are very quiet in flight. I like cold air on my face when my legs and body is warm to keep me awake.
Dual Grand Rapids 6” HX displays.
Garmin SL-30
Trio Pro-Pilot Autopilot coupled to the displays via ARINC 429, or you can run it independently
Garmin 327 Transponder
NavWorx ADS-B IN and OUT
PS Engineering audio panel
The Garmin navigator allows for full IFR flying. You can do coupled to the autopilot via GPS, ILS or VOR approaches.
Wilhelmson nose lift with automatic extensions (the AEX option).
Electric belly board.
Bird beeper.
Dual USP inputs for each EFIS to allow for a mapping USB stick input for Seattle Avionics mapping data to be input to the EFIS’s.
ACK Dual frequency ELT. It transmits on 406 MHz and 121.5 MHz frequencies and provides position accuracy with the optional GPS input connected to the Garmin radio.

Picture of the dash while doing a coupled GPS approach into my local airport.

The head rest has the hour meter, speaker and a level to to be sure you you dont flip the plane when parking on a non-level surface and for accurate fueling indications.

There is an additional cover the rear stick to prevent interference of the control system when packing out the back of the plane. You can also see rear strake windows.

The stick cover is removable and the pin is used to secure the control stick when needed.


Stick installed and wired into the Comm PPT system.


When not in use the control stick is stored in a foot rest compartment for the passenger. It utilizes the space effectively and is more comfortable for the passengers feet.


The passenger has side panel installed on the port and STBD sides to cover the control system. There another USB outlet on the port side panel. You can see the ball mount for the rear passenger to mount an IPAD or other device.

This is how I keep track of key dates I need to be reminded of.

Passenger panel for music input, lighting control, headphones.

Rear heat control for the fan and seats.

ELT Battery replacement reminder.

The rear headrest covers the electronic bay.

Behind the head rest cover is the Odyssey PL680 Battery, GRT 4000 engine monitor, starter solenoid, MAP sensor, fuses, Princeton fuel level capacitance modules.

The spar box is also used for additional storage.

The business end… The prop is a Gary Hertzler Silver Bullet which has be dynamically balanced with the ACES balancer. I have a ring on the prop to allow for easy attachments of weights.


IO-320 with AirFlow Performance fuel injection. 9.1 compression pistons, port and polished cylinders. Dual PMags (114 series). Fuel flow (injectors) have been balanced to allow aggressive lean of peak operation.
Cylinder cool very well.

Additionally, there is a Reiff engine pre-heat system installed. Reiff Website It heats both the engine oil and the cylinders with the 50 watt band heaters. If you have electric in the hangar, you can preheat the engine on a timer so when you arrive at the hangar on the coldest winter day, the engine oil and cylinders are hot. You can go to full power immediately after startup.

With preheated oil, you’ll get cabin heat from the Ram Heat system as soon as you get in the air. I usually preheat the engine before a flight. When I arrive at the hangar the engine oil is already at 115f, cylinders are at 140f. After engine start, on taxi, I close the ram heat door, turn on the seat heaters to warm up, and turn on the oil pump. When the oil temp indicator at the heater starts to increase, I open up the ram heat door, and turn off the heater. It only takes 1 or 2 minutes. I love having cabin heat before i leave the pattern.



The cowl has cam lock fasteners and no screws. This is the oil cooler outlet. My oil runs a 175f all the time. I never see it any higher.

Bruces LongEZ travel cover.

I had Bruces modify it with additional straps (which are essential) to keep it pulled forward when you cinch up the back of the cover on the trail edge of the wings.


A screen shot at 13000 ft. TAS 162 kts @2460 rpm, OAT 40f, 6.2 gph. Cylinders running between 325-354f

Lean of Peak Operation

8000 ft. TAS 165 kts @2490 rpm, OAT 54f, 6.4 gph, Cylinder 325-347f.

The is an enlargement of the Stbd EFIS panel above. You can see the engine is operating at an amazing 122-141 f Lean Of Peak operation while still cruising at 165 kts. This indicates exceptional well balanced fuel injector restrictors. Who needs GAMInjectors?

Cabin heat

A shot of the heat system in operation while flying home from PA. OAT 8 deg F, Temp1 is the temperature of the oil supply (129f). Temp2 is the air temp of the air exiting the heater (110f). Temp3 is the temp of the rear seat area. This data indicates there is a 102f temp differential across the cooler (OAT@8f- Temp2@110f).

Obviously, I was very comfortable at 8f on this flight with no jacket, gloves or wearing no special cold weather gear. i was wearing a long sleeve shirt and jeans. The plane had zero air leaks around the canopy and no fogging of the canopy since the cabin is being flooded with hot dry air. This is the advantage of Ram Heat.

Canard Fences

Here you can see the canard fences I developed and tested. I have been using these on the plane for over 7 years and they really increase the plane’s ability to handle of cross wind landings with canard aircraft by essentially increasing the effectiveness of the rudders. Fences increase lift on the canard while also allowing the plane to easily take off in heavy cross winds without scalping. I am the only canard that I know of that has them installed and will have them on any canard that I own in the future..

I gave a presentation at the Rough River Fly-in which discusses the benefits of canard fences on how and why they work. adfgsdfgIMG_9609-2020-08-29-12-12-1.jpg

Jul 15 2020

Pitot – Static System

Today the pitot/static system was completed.

I have a bit of a different idea about plumbing the pitot/static system. I like to use .093 polyurethane 4mm tubing (yellow-static, red-pitot) for my instruments.


This tubing has a very small ID diameter and is very tough. Since there is no air flown in the static and pitot system one can use a very small tube to transmit the information. I think using 1/4” tubing for these system is way overkill and completely necessary.

I have made adaptors to use with 1/8 NPT to 1/8 in tubing, but I found it easier to just by a 1/8” -2 flare fitting and machine the nipple down to .125”. Easy.


I found a deal on Ebay for 6 AN4-2 fitting for $15. Saved me a bunch of work and they look nice.


Installed in the AHARS.

A small adaptor had to be made for the alternate static air mechanical switch using a AN-3 bolt as stock.

I like using the different colored tubing as it make identification of the systems very easy. Here is the Pitot tubing in red.


The AHARS is plumbed.


For the T-fittings, I used some 1/8” copper tubing and soldered a tube it. Very easy to make and very robust. The tubing is very hard to stretch over the 1/8” fittings and will never come off.


You can buy these nylon tee fitting from ACS PN 05-01053 but I found my home make ones work great too. The copper ones are a little heaver, but it is easier to install the tubing on them than the nylon one. If necessary you can heat the tubing up to stretch it over the fittings. It will shrink back done to tightly grip the fitting when it cools down.


Jul 15 2020

Dynon Cable Tester

DYNON Circuit Tester

I am planning to make all my own wiring harness for the Dynon system. To save fabrication and trouble shooting time, I made a simple cable tester. This way I can test all the DB-9 connectors as I add them to the harness to ensure the wires are connected properly and the phasing of the twisted pairs is correct.


The tester which uses a small 3 volt battery to power the LED’s and some diodes to ensure the phasing of the coupled pairs. The label was printed out on paper and glued to the circuit bard with spray adhesive.


Jul 08 2020

Ram Heat Part 2 (Heating design)

Over the years I have tired EVERY way imaginable to heat the plane. I could tell you many stories of flying in cold weather. It is really a horrible environment to fly in. Gloves, hat, jacket, sweat pants or a snowmobile suite. It is so cold at altitude. ITS CRAZY that ytou can buy a cheap car with better heat than our planes.

Over the years:
I tried improving the plans exhaust heat system with additional contact area on the exhaust pipes and a fan. Worthless
I tied an electric heater. Drew 40 amps. Worthless
I tired a high pressure, recirculation air system. Fair

Engine oil pressure->external vernatherm->heater->engine return It uses a fan to blow air through the core.

This system worked ok. I had to duct the hot air to the pilot. I could keep the plane comfortable to about 20 def F OAT. At 15 deg F, OAT the plane was drown right cold due to the air leaks. Also I did NOT like the thought of high pressure oil in the cabin and the potential of a uncontrolled oil leak.

When I rebuilt my LongEZ, The driving factor for cutting off the nose was that, well I HATED IT, and the decision to incorporate a ram air opening and couple it with a heater using an oil pump to move the oil. I call it Low Pressure RAM Air heat. Using a ram air opening, i raise the cabin pressure to eliminate air leaks and additionally provides method of heating the incoming air without a fan. Simple and safe.

The air inlet on the nose of my EZ supplies both the heater and cold air supply vents for the dash. You can see some of the nose build process in my blog.

The LP RAM Heat concepts works exceptionally well. I can fly in any weather with no air leaks and in the coldest weather with jeans and light shirt. No air leaks, no fogging of the canopy. The coldest I have flown in is 0 deg F and I was still getting 110 deg F out of the heater. What I love is flying on a chilly day, like 45 def F. Turn on the system and supply just enough heat to be comfortable since the heat out put is adjustable. I love flying in cold weather now.

Note: Generally I measured a delta T across the cooler around 100+ def F. The temp of the oil supply from the engine at the heater is typically at 145 deg F.

I’ll be detailing the installation of RAM heat in my Cozy next.

Jul 08 2020

Ram Heat Part 1 (The discovery)

Ram Heat? What is it??

The discovery which started the process of Ram Heat began while flying home from Jacksonville, FL. It was raining, and naturally, I was getting little drips of water coming into the plane from leaks. The ones coming down the dash was especially annoying. Normally I just had air leaks, but in the rain its water leaks.

While watching the access door, to my amazement, I saw the water bubbling up from a tiny crack. Why? What as happening?

Eventually I connected an ASI to the static system of the plane an measure a -55 mph of air pressure in the cabin. If I opened the belly light, (which works exactly like a cow flap) I could increase the NEGATIVE cabin pressure all the way down to -120 mph!

YIKES, this the reason I have air and water leaks in the cabin. Its because the cabin is constantly at a negative pressure relative to the outside air.

Which leads to the question… Where does the negative pressure come from? I tired closing off and tapping ever opening I could in the plane with the exception of the GU torque tubes openings and the canopy. Up for a test flight, and guess what..? Still -50 mph pressure.

HUM, the problem must be the GU torque tube openings which are HUGE.

Back to the shop and I fabricated a set of offset GU torque tubes (you and see them and how to make a set at the website). I believe it is the first set ever made. Installed them, took the plane up for testing and the plane had not changed. Still -50 mph.

NOTE: I have come to believe that the cause of the low pressure is the 150 mph air flowing across the transverse opening in the plane, like turtle back or the front of the canopy. Just like blowing air across a soda straw. It creates a vacuum.

Solution 1. Because I was mainly interested in stopping the flow of rain water into the plane at that time (I used to travel a lot of rainy IFR), I knew I had to raise the cabin pressure. If the pressure is higher that static, then air would be pushed out of cabin and water could not enter.

I made an alternate air inlet door on the ram air duct of the engine (it was easy and convenient to do). In the rain, I would open the door, to allow air to be pushed into the cabin from the air inlet. It worked ver well to raise the cabin pressure cabin which completely stopped the entry of water. I could actually feel the air reversing from the eyeball vents. The major problem for this design is that it was VERY LOUD (from the engine breathing pulses) and I could only use it in the rain.

Conrolling cabin air pressure is essential in the plane. if your vent blows air into the cabin, you have a negative cabin pressure. Negative pressure means air and water leaks because your sucking it into the plane. The only realy way to stop air leaks is to raise the cabin pressure to positive.

Jul 07 2020

Switch bushing done. Panel ready for wiring

I like constancy on my dash. I ordered some knobs for rotary switches from Grand Rapids Technologies which match the knobs used on the dynon system.

One of my rotary switches has a 1/8” shaft and the knobs are made for 1/4” shafts. Therefore I had to make a small bushing adaptor.


An old bolt is the perfect size to make a bushing.




I also had a chance to fit the dash to the panel to ensure all equipment will fit the openings. Now it is time to install all the hardware and equipment to being wiring the plane. I love wiring!


Jul 07 2020

Zip Loop Update

I have had a few requests for more information about making zip loops. I LOVE these little things. They are absolutely essential for securing wire, tubing almost anything you want to support to the fiberglass structure of the plane. I have over 150 in my LongEZ and over 100 in my cozy and really help to secure just about anything you can imagine in the plane.

Light weight, easy to make ZL’s make it easy to attach almost anything to your fiberglass structure. They are also easy to remove. Just apply a little heat from a heat gun, and the epoxy softens and you can remove them.

For attaching wires.

For attaching anything. Zip loops (5/8” wide) to secure my fuel filter.

You can also bond them directly to aluminum (such as holding wires to your engine) using a high temp JB weld epoxy.

ZL’s are very light weight and extremely strong. I built test rigs and have tested them to over 75 lbs of pull (tensile strength) before failure.

In testing has proven that NO zip tie (or even doubling up the strongest zip tie I have) is as strong as the ZL.

To test the ultimate pull strength I had to use nylon rope.

I discovered the ZL will always tear through the loop before separating from the base IF you bond them directly to sanded fiberglass.

If you bond them to a painted surface the attachment strength of the ZL will only be as strong as the surface material strength. This shows how the ZL pulled the clear coat off the base coat.

It is always recommended that you plan for your general wire or tubing runs and glue the zip loops in the appropriate locations so they are bonded directly to the fiberglass structure prior to painting the interior of the plane. Wherever possible, I always lightly sand the surface of the plane prior gluing the ZL..

The jig to make the ZL is easy to make. My gig is made from scrap wood with two strips of 1/4” x 1/8” Al rails screwed to the surface.


Guide lines on each side of the rail so I know how far I need to place the glass when doing the layups.

Procedure for making the ZL.
1. Wax the gig a few times
2. Use a small amount of flox to fillet each side of the AL rail to allow the glass to lay smoothly lay over the rails.
3. Apply 3 layers of BID or 2 layers of carbon over the rails You can make them ZL from scrap glass and extra epoxy you have from a layup. Use your excess glass/epoxy from a layup to make a few or as many ZL’s as you have material for. You can use West or a structural epoxy. Either works fine.
4. Apply peel ply to the surface.
5. Let cure. NOTE* I like to place my gig in a bag and pull a vacuum on the layup to remove excess epoxy.

After cure, remove the layups from the jig, remove the peel ply and sand the flat back side to roughen the surface and remove the wax. Its easier to do it now, than to sand the individual ZL’s.


  1. On the back use a pencil to mark a line 1/2” on each side of trough, and saw off the excess glass with the band saw. I use a hack saw blade (its 1/2” wide) as a straight edge guide for marking the cut line. You should now have a strip about 1 1/4” wide and the length of your gig.
  2. Make a simple guide gig to hold the strips 90 deg when cutting the individual ZL.


Cut the ZL to the desired length (using the fence of the bandsaw).

Generally I like to cut my ZL’s about 1/2” wide. I also make them from 1/4” (for just a few wires), to 5/8” wide if I have something heaver that I want to mount such as heavy cables, or a filter. IMG_1568-2020-07-7-08-24.jpg