Long range efficient flight was the intent of the Long EZ. With 52 gallons of fuel, staying in the air for over 10 hours and travel up to 1600 miles is possible. Equipped with a rear seat fuel tank, a Long EZ was flown 4800 miles.
Another Long EZ with a stock non-turbocharged engine was flown to an altitude of 35,027 feet.
In addition to civilian use of the Long EZ, the United States Army used the Long EZ for military research.
It was equipped with a forward-looking infrared camera and used as a forward observation test aircraft.
If you can't afford a military fighter, the Long EZ may be the next best thing. Its cockpit is equipped with a semi-reclined chair, and side stick controller on the right console, making aerobatics and long range flight very comfortable.
All airplanes can glide; however, the Long EZ is so efficient that with an altitude of 5 feet over the landing end of a runway, and an airspeed of 120 knots, the engine can be turned off, then the aircraft can climb back to an altitude high enough to fly a 360 degree landing pattern and land on the same runway.
As a result of the Long EZ's efficiency, it has an airbrake on the belly, and both wing tip rudders can be deflected outward to increase drag allowing the aircraft to descend at a higher rate. The Long Ez was the first aircraft to fly with the NASA-developed Winglets.
Long EZ's have a small wing (called a canard) in the front of the plane. Whenever a Long EZ has its airspeed decreased to a point that the airplane will no longer fly, the front wing will stall and fall just to the point where the aircraft is again flying fast enough to sustain flight. This design feature makes the Long EZ one of the safest airplanes ever built.
Whenever you see a Long EZ parked, the nose is on the ground.
All the weight of the engine is behind the centre of gravity; consequently when the pilot gets out, if unattended the aircraft could tip back, so its parked nose down to prevent this.
Rutan has come up with 367 individual concepts for aircraft of which 45 have flown. Including record breaking Voyager, that went around the world in 9 days, and Space ship one, the first privately built, flown, and funded manned craft to reach space. The most resent project being the Virgin Galactic in partnership with Richard Branson.
The Long EZ design dates back to 1984 and has become the most popular plans built, composite aircraft, of all time.
Crew: 1 Pilot
Capacity: 1 Passenger
Wingspan: 26 ft
Empty weight: 850 lb
Max takeoff weight: 1,425 lb
Fuel capacity: 198
Powerplant: Lycoming O-235, 115 hp
Maximum speed: 220 mph
Cruise speed: 150 mph
Range: 1,500 miles
Rate of climb: 1,750 ft/min