MOJAVE — The Burt Rutan-designed Long-EZ airplane looks a little unusual with its rear engine and ability to “kneel” on the nose when parked, but the popular design for those who build one themselves can be readily found at airports all over the country.
Ridgecrest residents’ Char and Gary Spencer’s Long-EZ is even more unusual, as it has been specially outfitted with a Ford V-8 racing engine.
“He has it tricked out,” fellow pilot Cathy Hansen said. “It doesn’t start like a normal engine; it explodes into action.”
The Spencers will speak about how they engineered the engine’s inclusion in their airplane during a presentation on Saturday at the Mojave Air and Space Port, part of the monthly Plane Crazy Saturday event.
The talk begins at 11 a.m. in the board room, in the Administration Building at the end of Airport Boulevard.
Seating is limited and visitors are asked to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plane Crazy Saturday is a monthly gathering of aviation enthusiasts presented by the Mojave Transportation Museum Foundation.
The free, family-friendly educational event features a flight line filled with aircraft of varied types and vintages, available for visitors to see up-close.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission to the flight line with its displays is through the Voyager restaurant, in the Administration building. The restaurant opens for breakfast at 8 a.m.
Dogs and other animals, other than service animals, are not permitted on the flight line.
Aviation and space art, hats, shirts, books and collectibles will be available for sale.
Spencer’s talk will be a technical presentation, Hansen said, geared toward the audience that typically leans heavily toward engineers and knowledgeable airplane enthusiasts.
Weather permitting, the airplane will be displayed on the flight line with the others in order for guests to see it for themselves, she said.
The Long-EZ is what’s known as a pusher airplane, in which the airplane engine and prop is mounted at the rear of the airplane instead of the front.
In this case, eight individual exhaust pipes exit where the engine cowls join around the back.
With the water-cooled Ford racing engine, the souped-up plane has a top speed of 250 mph.
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