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  • Ryszard Zadow

RAFE is Airplane of the Month, again!

Lone Star Flight Museum once again is hosting one of the Rutan Aircraft Flying Experience aircraft as Airplane of the Month. This is the third RAFE aircraft to be honored this way and this time it’s a very special Cozy III.

The Cozy aircraft series originated in the Burt Rutan designed tandem seat LongEZ, a sleek and efficient aircraft built from plans and renowned for its impressive performance, comfort, and affordability. Nat Puffer took the basic LongEZ and modified it into a two seat side-by-side configuration and later into a Cozy III, a three seat and then the Cozy IV, four seat version. Burt Rutan’s original motivation to design a canard was to solve the stall-spin characteristics of “conventional” aircraft. Rutan’s canard designs do not stall.


Constructed nearly completely of fiberglass these aircraft are robust, corrosion free and easily maintained. Typically powered by four-cylinder Lycoming engines ranging from 150 hp up, the Mark III can reach a cruising speed of 185 knots (212 mph) with a fuel burn of 8 gph. It has a range of approximately 1,200 nautical miles, making it ideal for cross-country flights.


This award winning Cozy III, s/n 423, was constructed by Chris Esselstyn in 1990 after about 5 years of construction. This was the second aircraft Chris built and later went on to build several more aircraft including a 300 hp, highly modified, fully retractable landing gear Cozy IV and a jet engine powered self-launching glider.

The aircraft was donated to the Rutan Aircraft Flying Experience by it’s last owner, former U.S. Marine Corps Aviator and NASA Space Shuttle Astronaut Col. Ken Cameron.


We’re equally proud of all the aircraft donated to RAFE. It’s hard to decide which is a “favorite’ but having this Cozy we affectionately nicknames the “Cozy Shuttle” and being based at Ellington right next to NASA does make it special.

Please stop by Lone Star Flight Museum and see all the great aircraft they have on display and check in with us at the RAFE Ellington Canard base and see the other Rutan designs on display in our hangar.


Sincerely,

Ryszard Zadow

President, RAFE.


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