Other Cozy Builder Visits
I never planned to build my Cozy in a vacuum and working all alone. I monitored the builders group online for several months before deciding that I shared common interest with them and they cared about each other's growth. When I realized that I really wanted to get to know these people I knew I'd picked the right project. I also visited a couple of builders in my extended area (including Houston, and San Antonio) to convince myself further that this wasn't something I'd be sorry I started later. In this section, I'd like to recognize significant face-to-face interactions with other Cozy builders/flyers, paying some tribute to the help they've provided me, over and above email exchange.
Outline of Builders/Flyers that I've met and who have shown me their Cozy's (Under Construction or Flying)
- Matt Stecher (November 2014)
- Nelson Amen (January 2015)
- Ben Bennett (January 2015)
- John Farr (April 2015)
- Vance Atkinson (MK III flying condition for years) (May 2015)
- Bernie Siu (and Doug Pitzer's MKIV in same hangar) (June 2015)
- Tom Kennedy (the day before he did his first flight while visiting Bernie) (June 2015)
- Mike Satchell (August 2015)
- Doug and Patti Pitzer (October 2016) sharing hangar with Bernie Siu
Visitors to My Project:
Of course the local Cozy builders (Ben Bennett, Nelson Amen, and Les Behrens) have visited a number of times since we have shared the turtleback jig, and Ben and I see each other about once a month to let each other know what we're doing and what we're learning, and loan each other stuff as needed.
My first visit by a builder/flyer was 3/20/16 from Vance Atkinson, who flew down from FTW to inspect progress Ben and I were making. We met him at Austin Executive and he shared lots of insights from his long experience with canards and pointed out specific areas for us to consider. In my case, we talked about fuel system architecture, electronics and switching, turtleback latching, and nose area heating. He took a look at my wings/ailerons, winglets, fuselage. He didn't have any recommended "do this over's" but we did discuss that I've glassed in rear arm rests early, and I could be cutting some of that when it's time to route fuel lines... Of course it was a valuable experience for me and I look forward to having other builders visit if convenient for them.
On 7/16/16 Michael Garmon was visiting Austin from Houston and he and his wife (building partner) and son (who's done layups too) came by to see my project and meet the Austin area Cozy builders. Ben and Les came by too. Michael had just recently finished Ch 21 strakes on his MK IV and I'm just about to start them, so this was perfect timing. Ben was also about to head to OSH, so lots of stories to share. Thanks Mike for stopping by and sending me your notes from Ch 21! I'll try to get down to Michael's place before I get a first hand view of things we talked about. Darn it, I forgot to take a picture with everyone here...
My first student group visit occurred on 11/13/16 when the University of Texas at Austin, Student Chapter of American Society of Mechanical Engineers arranged to come visit. We talked through the fundamentals of composite construction with foam and glass and I showed samples of various kinds of foam and glass fabrics we use on the Cozy. There were lots of questions on design philosophy, and factors of safety, that reflected their interest in translating what they are learning to what they were seeing. Of course, most wanted to sit in it, as well. They were curious about the engines we use and were impressed with role of the online builders group in supporting the plans as Nat had prepared them. It was great fun hosting them and we'll see if other groups gain interest over time.
On 3/11/18 John and Teresa Cerney (Cozy Builder from McKinney, TX) visited and we had a great exchange of experiences working in the garage and limited deviations from the plans. He's in the midst of Ch 21 Strakes and we talked about options for handling the outboard ends of each strake and patterning to match the wing LE. Here's a picture of the Cerneys.
Another great visit on 4/8/18 by the UT Chapter of ASME as shown to the right. We had to keep the garage shut because it was unseasonably cold that morning. But they got to see the UL520is which had just arrived 3 days before... Great questions and discussion as always, but broader now that electrical and engine work was in process.