LongEZ - N961EZ on the tarmac in Alamogordo, New Mexico
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              let me know,         Fly safe, Waiter


22 MAY 2005: The problem is not in your set, PLEASE STAND BY.

This site was down most of the day. Last night, I was changing a couple Meta tags and hit the wrong button, all the sudden, ALL my tags were trashed. How do you spell "OPS". Anyway, I uploaded an archive and repaired it, so I'm back in business.

22 MAY 2005:Instrument panel.

One of the major objectives of this retrofit was the upgrading of some of the original LongEZ instruments. I really don't want to take the time and do a complete rewire, or a whole new instrument panel, but yet I don't want the panel to look like its been modified and reworked, and modified, and cut up "one more time". I want a fresh panel with fresh markings and no unused holes.

The basic panel will maintain its original shape, the radio stack location, some of the circuit breakers and switches, Also, over the years, I have added and deleted stuff from the panel, and haven't spent a lot of time cleaning up.

So I'm going to do something that I haven't heard done before, and that's a "RE-SKIN". I've laid up three layers of BID. When this cures, I'll cut it to the exact shape as the front of the panel. I'll then cut out the existing radio stack, circuit breakers, switch's, and instruments. After the fit check indicates that the "skin" lines up properly, I'll use a very small amount of flox, and epoxy the skin over the old panel. This will cover the old holes that aren't used, and provide the new instruments with a little stronger backing than if I re-cut the original panel "one more time". I was thinking of doing this with an Aluminum sheet, but I don't have the equipment, tools, or time to do it the way it have to be done. I think the Re-skin will serve the purpose and look just as good.

LongEZ Instrument Panel     LongEZ Strake Refinishing

1) Panel getting ready for the Re-Skin.

2) The upper surface of the outboard strakes is glassed, and now this is the first coat of filler.

21 MAY 2005: Outer doors, and Top of "D" bulkhead.

The Top gear doors hinges on the main door. When the gear comes down, the top door slides outboard along the leading edge of the wing.

LongEZ Landing Gear Door     LongEZ Landing Gear Door     LongEZ Landing Gear Door

1) the top door is hinged separately, The surface that hinge mounts to on the main door needs two additional plies of Glass BID. This offers "contact" protection so the Aluminum, Hinge doesn't come in contact with the Carbon fiber.

2) The door is temporarily mounted for fit check, You can see how the door will ride along the leading edge of the wing when the wing is attached.

3) The top surface of the outer strake structural "D" bulkhead is glassed with 2in BID tape. The "D" bulkhead is now a complete structural member that supports loads from the strake.


The F-16 uses three main colors, Gray, Gray, and Gray.
In case your interested, the first number is the Government Paint code number, and the second number is the corresponding Dupond Centari number:

FS36375 = LS190 > Light Gray
FS36270 = LS216 > Med Gray
FS36118 = DS195 > Dark Gray


In honor of our local 180th Fighter Wing located here at Toledo Express, (They are NOT on the closure list) I've chosen a paint scheme for my EZ when it comes out of retrofit. If you've painted an F-16 recently, I'm looking for the paint codes for the light and darker color grays that are used. I'll be using DuPont CENTARI.

LongEZ F16 Fighter Jet     LongEZ F16 Fighter Jet

Send me an e-mail if you can help me with any information.

waiter (at) iflyez (dot) com


15 MAY 2005: Fitting Gear Doors.

When I made the gear doors., I did it in a manner similar to the Infinity Aerospace installation instructions. The only difference is, I used carbon fiber, and also laid in plywood "hard points" where the bolts would pass through. I must say, they came out very light, very flat, perfect. Unfortunately, that was a problem. The bottom of the strake isn't perfectly flat, and actually does a slight twist. The outboard, forward edge is actually twisted up (twisted down, I'm looking at it with the plane flipped on its back) slightly by 1/4 inch. Before going to the trouble of making new gear doors, I decided to try a technique I used to "Tweak" epoxy.

I have a kerosene "Salamander" heater that I use occasionally in my shop. I prepared all my clamps, wedges, and shim.I then used the salamander to heat the area of the door that needed to be tweaked. It was very hot and probably approached 200F. I quickly placed the door over the wheel well and weighed, clamped, and shimmed everything.

IT WORKED. By re-heating, I was able to "soften" the epoxy just enough to allow a slight bending. When the epoxy re-cured at this new higher temperature, it held is new, slightly bent shape. Normally, you only get one shot at the "re-heat" process, because the epoxy now post cured at the new higher temperature. In order to do this again, I would have to reheat it to an even higher temperature.

Keep in mind when looking at these photos, the fuselage is laying on its back.

Long-EZ Main Landing Gear Strut     Long-EZ Main Landing Gear Strut

1) These photos show how I attach the gear doors to the strut. The top attach point was welded to the steel trunion pivot assembly some time ago. The gear doors are held in place with stainless steel countersunk screws. The screws go through the door and are Shimmed for the correct seating by using washers. The area where the screws pass through the door,, there is a small pieced of aviation plywood to act as a hoard point inside the door.

2) The bottom door attach point is made from a prefabricated collar that clamps on the bottom of the strut (Hasn't been painted yet). The gear door attaches to it exactly the same as the top support.

Long-EZ Main Landing Gear Door     Long-EZ Main Landing Gear Door     Long-EZ Main Landing Gear Door     Long-EZ Main Landing Gear Door

3) One of the problems with making doors, is they need to conform to the surface that they cover. This can be problematic if there is nothing to "Mold" the door to The small outer gear door has a very complex twist to it where it starts curving up to form the leading edge. The door needs these complex bends molded into it. The finished door will measure about 8 x 10. This door is hinged to the main door, and spring loaded. As the gear extends, this door slides outboard along the bottom of the wing.

4) Take a very thin piece of sheet metal and cut it so it would cover the hole. This will act as our mold for the door.

5) Tape the sheet metal down, it has no kinks and makes a nice smooth curved transition. The tape will also act as a release.

6) I first laid down peel ply, then 6 layers of BID, then topped it off with peel ply.

When it cures, It should match the contour of the bottom of the strake. It needs to be cut, trimmed, and the hinge and spring installed.

14 MAY 2005: Filler around wheel well.

Long-EZ Main Landing Gear Wheel Well     Long-EZ Main Landing Gear Wheel Well

1 & 2) These two photos show where the micro has been cracked. I've ground it out and will be refilling it. This is non structural and is the filler (micro) not being able to flex. I routinely pull a lot of Gs with my LongEZ. One of the consequences was the filler cracking around the area on the center spar where it begins its sweep back. This would be the area under the most stress of twisting and bending.

10 MAY 2005: Switches

Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear switch     Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear switch     Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear switch     Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear switch

1) The magnet is cut and trimmed so when it slides in the hole, it is flush with the end. It cannot stick out any, or it will interfere with the over center geometry.

2) The magnet is inserted in the hole after being coated with a small amount of JB Weld. I used a deburring tool in the Dremel to scratch the inside of the hole. I also roughened up the exterior of the magnet, this will give the JB Weld something to grip to.

3) The switch is also coated with JB Weld and inserted in the lower hole. The switch is adjusted so it just makes as the side brace comes over center. There is some hysteresis the switch, and it doesn't open until the side brace is out of over center.

4) The UP LOCK switches are adjusted and mounted on their brackets.

7 MAY 2005: Paint and Polish

Primered most of the bottom and the wheel wells. I also painted the insides of the wheel wells a white color. I need to fit the gear doors. When I get these fit and mounted, then I can finish fairing in the bottom of the strakes.

LongEZ primer paint     Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear     Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear     LongEZ Nose Gear Door

6 MAY 2005: Post Cure

Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear uplock switch     Long-EZ Main Gear Door Post Cure     Long-EZ Main Gear Door Post Cure

1) Uplock switch bracket installed and drilled for the switch

2 & 3) Post cure of carbon fiber gear doors. OAT 70 f, Carbon surface temperature 120 f

1 MAY 2005: Gear Doors and Strake Ends

Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear Door     Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear Door     Infinity Aerospace Landing Gear Door

1) The Gear doors are made of carbon fiber from US Composites. In this photo, there are two layers of Carbon BID laid up under the 3/8 foam cores. The foam will be carved out, and hard point reinforcements added, then two layers of Carbon BID will go on the inside.

2 and 3) The Strake end covers are floxed in place and trimmed. I still need to add three layers of BID around the outside.


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