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My adventures during Christmas

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Fabio Miguez

Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 73
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:39 pm    Post subject: My adventures during Christmas Reply with quote

Hey gents,

This has nothing to do with cockpit building, but everything to do with aviation. Norm and Pete, if advised, I'll remove this.

Some of you already know I went back home to Brasil over Xmas, to see my family. I hadn't been back in 2 years, so it was a very nice time. I stayed for 10 days, and the weather was gorgeous. Sunny all the time, and not too hot.

The series of pics I am about to show is in regards to my father's aircraft, a Long EZ he built over the course of 8 years (while holding a full time job, and working on it between 5 and 7 am every day). Props to him. He also crossed the Atlantic in this little machine, from Recife, in Brasil, to Dakar, in Senegal, and back. The trip over was 15.5 hours, the one back was 16 hours. More props to him.

I have about 100 hours in this machine, and very fond memories. It is the aircraft I flew the most right after getting my private, and in building hours for my instrument and commercial tickets. It was a while back, but she still flies the same, of course.

This is literally the kind of aircraft you strap on, and become one with. We took her for a spin, my Dad in the back, documenting, for about an hour. Here are the pics:

The little plane out in the sun, as my Dad closes the hangar doors.

The front seat, where you fly from, while my Dad helpes me prepare. We use a handheld GPS, with the antenna installed remotely.

The front office. She is fully equipped for IFR with GPS (not in pic), VOR/RNAV, and ADF radios, as well as an HSI and RMI, and two attitude indicators, one vacuum driven (main), and a standby electric one. The control stick is on the right, like an F-16. Much better than a yoke. Throttle, carb heat, and mixture, are on the left.

Me getting in. My right foot is in a small aluminum tube tha protrudes out of the fuselage to help in getting up. As with everything Burt Rutan designed, this plane is built to fly efficiently, so even that little tube is retractable.

A good picture showing the relative size of the fuselage. Notice the prop behind me. WAY behind me. That's right, people, the Long EZ is a pusher.

My Dad took this as he sat down in the back seat. Notice the gray structure behind my head. It is there only to protect us in case of a roll over on the ground, since the entire canopy is clear pladtic above us (it is still open, to the right). You'll notice my head is clearly above this structure. At 6' tall, I'm a bit big for the EZ. Also apparent is the GPS antena.

In Brasil, we live in Sao Jose dos Campos, about an hour and a half outside of Sao Paulo. This is Embraer's home town, and so, fittingly, we bumped into a jetBlue 190, ready to takeoff for an acceptance flight.

As I hold short of runway 33, the 190 takes position and hold. I took this picture, then handed my Dad the cmaera, and closed the canopy. You only fly the EZ with the canopy open in case of a cockpit fire or smoke, preventing you to see out.

Right after takeoff, passing 4,000 feet. Sao Jose is at 2,100, and we had broken clouds at this altitude, which made it for a lot of fun skimming the tops.

More clouds seen to the right. Notice because the Long EZ is a pusher, the re are two vertical tails, at the end of each wing, called winglets. Same as the winglets in an Airbus, except relatively a lot bigger, and with rudders in them.

Another view from the back. The black plastic you see on the clear canopy was installed by my Dad to keep the Brasilian sun from frying our brains. Works great. The GPS antenna is missing, as my Dad retrieved the GPS from me to type in a waypoint while I flew around.

A windy road below us. Looks great for taking a sports car for a ride!

The dark plantation is coffee. This is above my brother-in-law's farm. He is making a switch from dairy to coffee, and has about 210,000 coffee plants, which sounds like a lot, but is a regular coffee plantation size.

An aviation community called Ipua. To the left of the houses you can see the grass strip. Lots of glider flying here, but not today.

On the way back, Sao Jose can be seen below the clouds on the left.

Sao Jose shows it's form. The airport is on the left portion of the picture, above the houses, just after a patch of dark trees. The Embraer hangars can be seen as a white line.

On final, at about 400 feet AGL. The big road is Rodovia Pres. Dutra, the road that connects Sao Paulo to Rio. This is looking East, towards Rio. Drive for four hours and you're there. On the bottom right, you can see the acronym CTA, standing for Centro Tecnico Aeroespacial, or Aerospacial Technical Center. This is a military base, and also the home of the certification office that works with Embraer to get their planes certified. Right above the acronym, propped up on a stand, is an EMB-317 Tucano, Embraer's turboprop trainer, used by the Brasilian Air Force and several others around the world.

Final for runway 15, at about 200 feet AGL.

On the taxi back to our hangar, passing Embraer. This is one of the prototype Embraer 170s. The day before, it had no engines hanging from the wings, as they were being changed. The hangar to the right, with the blue top, is one of Embraer's latest. It is used for the delivery of new aircraft, has a grayish-white floor, and looks absolutely pristine. In that hangar, although I have no pictures of, was a Saudi Airlines Embraer 170 being readied for delivery. Saudi's first Embraer!

Once the pride and joy of Embraer, this EMB-120 sits idle. This is PT-ZBA, the first ever Brasilia. It is still in flying condition, but hasn't been used in a couple of months. When I was a little kid, my Dad took me with him in a production flight, and I got to fly from his lap once at cruise. Thanks to, back then, BAO's Flight Simulator, I was able to maintain speed and altitude. But when asked to "fly to that cloud" by looking outside, I was all over the place, never having had visual references before. I can truly say, thanks to BAO and Microsoft, and my Dad for buying me the software, I learned to fly IFR before VFR. To this date I am still too reliant on the instruments, even in a beautiful day.

Back at the aeroclub, plane shutdown, I'm going through the checklist to make sure I remembered all the items. It felt like riding a bicycle, in a matter of seconds, everything came back to me, even the checklist items. It felt great, though, flying a small plane again.

Finally, a couple of rolls, the first performed by my Dad, from the backseat (the EZ has a control stick on the back too), and the second by me.

Video 1
Video 2

I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did!

Best regards,
Fabio Miguez
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Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 643
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pictures....very well build EZ too....i love that aircraft !

Thanks for sharing !
www.boeing737ng.com - the 737 simulator project
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Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 1298

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


MUITO BON! Thank you for sharing these great photos with us, Muito Obrigado Very Happy

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Fabio Miguez

Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 73
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys,

Thanks, no problem, I like sharing Smile. For the record, the canard is our second one. We still have the first one, the original Rutan design, but it wasn't so great in the rain. Rutan designed it with a supercritical airfoil, which was great for dry flying, but lost a lot of efficiency in the rain.

This one was designed by John Roncz, an aerodynamicist that has worked with Rutan since 1982. Roncz is also responsible for the wing and propeller airfoils on the Voyager, and, more recently, the wing in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer. The performance is incredible.

Best regards,
Fabio Miguez
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Joined: 25 Apr 2004
Posts: 937
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Fabio...

Your dad is a hell of a guy!!
And it is so great to see a green country from... the wilds of canadian winter!!!
Great pics,
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