My Cozy Adventure
Welcome to my website documenting the building of a Cozy Mark IV homebuilt 4-place, 200 MPH aircraft. I hope you enjoy Jeff's and my adventures in building this airplane.
|Cozy MKIV||Cozy MKIV Instrument Panel||Cozy MKIV|
The Journey to the Start of this Project
I have wanted to build a plane since I was attending university. I received my private pilotís license during the Summer between high school graduation and starting college. I can remember pouring over magazine articles on Jim Bede's BD-5 and BD-4. I was torn between the two. One was a hot single-place fighter type plane and the other was a practical 4-place plane. Not being able to make up my mind, I followed the development of both planes.
|The hot "fighter like" BD5||The practical BD4|
Unfortunately, since I was young and in school, I had neither the time nor the money needed for such a complex project. When I started working as an electrical engineer, I was too busy at work to even contemplate building an airplane, not to mention I was living in an apartment and had no convenient place to build. I was happy to fly rental aircraft and piled on a bunch of hours flying around Fort Lauderdale, Miami, the Bahamas and the Florida Keys.
Renting planes was not too expensive as I had found a good deal through a flying club. It was only costing me $23 an hour, wet, to fly a Cessna 172. Eventually, I moved to Texas and flying became really expensive. Cessna 152s were renting for $90 dry, so I took up a new hobby, computers.
When I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, I became reacquainted with sailing, which I did a lot of on San Francisco Bay and in the Caribbean. During the Summer, I would go sailing twice a month and once a month in the Winter. With working, travelling and sailing, this left little time for anything else.
Fast forward 30 years and you'll find I am semi-retired. At first I spent a lot of time putting together various computer servers, networking the computers in my house and writing many lines of code for various software projects I became involved with. Over the last few years, I have grown tired of computers and I don't sail as much as I used to.
One day I was visiting a friend in Florida who flies corporate jets. He took me up for a flight in a Challenger jet and he let me sit in the co-pilots seat during the short flight from Fort Lauderdale to Miami, Florida. It was sooo much fun I couldn't stop talking about it!
A couple of months later, my neighbor became interested in powered parachutes. He and I talked for hours about flying. Then another friend of mine, Jeff, wanted to watch the EAA's "From the Ground Up". Wow! I was hooked and wanted to build my own plane!
I started perusing various web sites trying to decide which plane would fit my needs. I wanted a fast 4-place airplane that was sexy. The mission would be long distance travel, mostly between the West Coast and the East Coast of the USA. After reading on the AirVenture website that over 40% of the homebuilt planes coming to Oshkosh each year were Van's Aircraft kits, I seriously began looking at their aircraft. Unfortunately, most of their kits were for two place aircraft. However, they were developing a 4-place kit, but it was not yet being sold. That was the plane I wanted to build, the RV10!
|Van's Aircraft RV-10|
With the decision being made, I began looking at what it would take to put a factory together. I began by researching the tools needed to build a metal airplane. Wow! There were a lot of tools required and they were expensive. The recommended tool kit was about $2,000! Hmmmm, oh well, I guess it is an insignificant amount compared to the cost of the kit.
One of the websites I went to while searching for tools was Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Company. While browsing through the various kits they support, I saw the Cozy MKIV and thought to myself that this was an interesting airplane. Then I visited the official Cozy website and saw the following quote "Flying my Cozy is as close to flying an F16 as you can get." by Brian Bishop 1998-1999 Thunderbird Commander/Leader. Then I started looking at the photo gallery and the virtual flyin, both on the official Cozy website. Ohhh, I was falling in love with this airplane! This was a 4-place airplane with a 200 MPH cruise speed and it was SEXY!!! After doing more research, I found there was a lot of builder support for this aircraft. There were two forums and a dedicated EMAIL list for this airplane. I was sold, this was the plane for me!
The Two Parts of this Project
This project has two major components, the airframe and the engine. My portion of the project is the air frame. My Cozy will be mostly a plans version. The only modifications currently planned are to use Matco brakes, use a Mazda rotary engine and raise the turtleback to give more headroom. My good friend Jeff will be responsible for converting the rotary engine to aircraft use. The plan is to have both the airframe and the engine conversion done about the same time.
The engine portion of the project will be the responsibility of Jeff. He and I have been very good friends for over 20-years. Jeff has a background in engineering, cars, motorcycles and engines. He has worked as a machinist and as an electronics engineer designing circuits with microprocessors and writing the firmware to control them. This broad spectrum of experience uniquely gives him the knowledge to tackle both the mechanical engineering aspects and the electronic engine control experience needed to convert a Mazda rotary engine to be an aircraft engine.
Jeff became interested building an airplane while he and I were watching the EAA's "From the Ground Up". After I had decided to build a plane and settled on the Cozy. I had discovered, during my Cozy research, there were a number of builders planning on using a rotary engine. I asked Jeff if he thought it would be a good engine to use. He said he thought it would be and he would be interested in helping me to convert one to aircraft use. After more discussion, Jeff agreed to tackle the project and immediately began researching what would be needed. For more information on the engine, check out the "Rotary Engine Conversion" link on the left.
I hope you enjoy following our adventure as much as we will have making it come true!