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Volunteers Replace Cozy Canopy
July 6, 2016 - A group of three volunteers had the unique experience of visiting Oshkosh June 28-30 to replace the canopy on EAA’s prototype Cozy, which was damaged in a storm years ago.
Alex Becker of Charlotte, North Carolina, met EAA’s director of chapters and communities and homebuilt community manager Charlie Becker, of no relation, at Sun ’N Fun 2016. Upon learning that Alex had previously built his own Cozy, Charlie asked if he would be interested in assembling a team to come work on EAA’s airplane.
Alex invited homebuilders Walter Gee and Curtis Martin, who have each built their own Long-EZ, to take on the task with him, and the group was able to complete the project in three days, being careful not to damage the frame in which the canopy is embedded.
“To get [the original canopy] out without breaking anything off the outside edge was the challenge,” Martin said. “A heat gun and some pry bars, those things allowed us to work our way around and slowly but surely pull it all out without damaging it any further, which was a big deal.”
The group said they were guided through the project with the help of an article published by one of their mentors.
“Mike Melvill had broken his canopy about 40 years ago and he wrote a good article on how he replaced the Plexiglas in the canopy frame,” Gee said. “So we printed that out and brought it up with us and that was our guide.”
Alex said the opportunity to visit Oshkosh outside of AirVenture time was one to remember.
“It was nice to actually meet people that we read about or who are way too busy during AirVenture,” Alex said. “Jack Pelton stopped out here for an hour and Charlie Becker took us by his home yesterday to look at his projects. It was nice to get that one on one and meet the people that are all behind this.”
Gee was equally enthusiastic. “We feel like we’re participants when we fly our experimental planes in for AirVenture, but to do something like this, it just kind of takes it up to the next level,” he said.