General Aviation News asks: “Would anyone be interested in a 250-horsepower aircraft capable of crossing the continent in just over eight hours at an average speed of 252 miles per hour while using only 61 gallons of aviation fuel, about 40 miles per gallon in cruise?”
That’s what California aviator Klaus Savier did the day before SUN ‘n FUN started in Lakeland, Florida, in the Long-EZ he built and modified for both economy and speed.
Savier, who heads Light Speed Engineering, maker of the Plasma III aircraft ignition system, said his EZ, powered by a highly modified Lycoming O-360 engine, lifted off from his home base of Santa Paula, Calif., early Monday and landed 8.7 hours later at an airpark not far from the grounds of SUN ‘n FUN…
… Savier’s Long-EZ is nothing like the standard Burt Rutan-designed homebuilt.
“A lot of the structural components were replaced with carbon fiber,” he said. “The elevators are carbon fiber. The canard is my own airfoil. The firewall is carbon fiber and titanium. A lot of the interior structures and covers are carbon fiber. The wheel pants are my own design out of carbon fiber. I also made smaller, narrower wheels and axles. There is also a carbon fiber NACA air inlet.”
The engine is as highly modified as the plane.
“It started out as an O-360 parallel valve powerplant,” he said. “It has no mags, just the Light Speed Engineering dual plasma capacitor discharge ignition. The ignition system gives a lot more power, a lot better leaning and much better starting. This engine has a special time sequential high pressure fuel injection system. To be able to take advantages of the benefits of the fuel injection we designed an entirely new intake system that I built out of carbon fiber tubes.”
The engine produces about 250 horsepower, he said.
Savier had no formal instruction in either electronics or engineering, taught himself by trial and error.
“I was always the guy that took everything apart and sometimes put it back together,” he said.
He has marketed his Plasma III ignition systems for nearly 30 years and has more than 8,000 customers worldwide.
More about Light Speed Engineering
More about the Long EZ