First Flight
Cozy III  -  N9825W
Saturday,  June 25th 2005
Georgetown KY  (27K)

All the long years and very late nights finally paid off for Matt Bunch.  His Cozy III flew for the first time today.

Wishing Sam Good Luck

Matt Bunch (left) wishes Sam Chambers good luck just before Sam makes the first flight of Matt's Cozy III.

Matt's Cozy has a O-320 engine with Jeff Rose electronic ignition and a Prince P-Tip prop.  The Cozy has a lot of nice features, as would be expected in a custom crafted plane that took so long to build.  Matt seems to have paid particular attention to the important stuff.

Light Under The Wheels!

It flies!

Sam and Matt had spent the entire morning carefully checking things, making minor adjustments and going over matters like the weight and balance.  After that, Sam taxied out, waited for a departing Mitsubishi, made a fast taxi up the runway, decided it felt good, turned around, and took off.

A Cozy Is Born!

Rotation occurred a little before Sam expected it, but he made the takeoff look EZ.  The Cozy was off the runway quickly and climbed very well.  The Prince P-Tip prop sounded a little quieter than most props used on canard pushers.  Sam later reported that it felt very smooth.

Thimbs Up!  Great 1st Flight!

Sam flashes the thumbs up as he rolls off the runway after a very successful first flight.  The oil temperature was pushing redline after one long lap around the field and about 15 minutes of flying, but Sam and Matt figure that's probably because the engine is new, there was a significant delay waiting for a departing aircraft while idling in 90+ degree weather, and the nose gear was down the entire flight which disturbed the airflow into the NACA duct.

The spherical bearings in the aileron control system result in a very smooth roll control feeling in the stick and make the plane feel very responsive, even by EZ standards.

At one point, Sam reported a 1400 fpm climb rate, and even though Sam has a lot of EZ experience and flies a fast Long-EZ, the speed went a bit higher than he intended for first flight.  He reduced power slowly but the reduced throttle setting still provided a bit more power than he anticipated.  Even with the nose gear down, the Cozy wanted to fly... fast.  From Sam's reports, Matt should be very happy with the cruise speed.

Matt & Sam Discuss The 1st Flight

After the first flight, Matt wanted to know all the details.  Sam reported only good news.  The very successful first flight can be attributed to Matt's care and attention to detail as a builder, and Sam's vast experience flying canards.

Matt asked detailed questions, but Sam had been so focused on the few very serious things that could go wrong on a first flight that he didn't have much information about the EFIS or other less serious matters.  Matt will just have to figure all of that out in the next 40 hours.

Matt had a huge smile on his face after the first flight.  After all of that hard work... the Cozy flies, and flies very well.

Matt wanted to jump in and fly his new plane, but he's going to pull the cowls and check the engine carefully for any little leaks or other telltale signs that might have shown themselves after it first developed full power.  He'll also correct a minor sticking in the left rudder.

The Champagne Toast

We all met back in the hangar and Matt's wife Caryn uncorked a bottle of champagne for a celebratory toast.  Matt assured me that the plastic cups were new and had never been used to mix epoxy.

Apparently, after the many years of babysitting the kids while Matt sneaked away to the airport and generally being a very good sport about his Cozy obsession, Caryn has put Matt on notice that she and her mother are taking a cruise and Matt gets to do the babysitting.  Matt probably hasn't explained to her that, even though it's a flying aircraft, they're never really finished.

Best of luck to Matt as he flies off the 40 hours.  He's off to a great start, and hopefully the hours will pass quickly and the flight test phase will go as well as the first flight.


Matt flew his Cozy for the first time on Sunday, June 26th 2005 at 10:15 AM.  Caryn, Evan and McKensey watched.  Matt logged about 15 minutes.  So far, no serious squawks and all is well.