Association (CSA) is a super guy and was a
big help every step of the way.
“I heard about the turnout (of canard-configured airplanes) Schubert got at the
CSA fly-ins at Rough Rider State Park in
Kentucky, and that convinced me. I ordered
my plans and started building in 1985,”
Left: To reduce drag, George installed main gear strut 4-to- 1
aspect ratio shells.
Center: George’s son sits in the fuselage tub early in the
building process. That son is now 28 years old!
Above: George modified his X Plane flight simulator so the
instrument panel on his computer looks exactly like the one
in his cockpit.
BASEMENT TO GARAGE TO HANGAR
George, educated as an electrical engineer,
didn’t know anything about composite construction at the start of the project. But he
wasn’t daunted because he grew up in a family that tackled projects. “My family and
uncles were all hands-on project-oriented
guys,” he said. Construction started in the
basement of his home in Kirtland, Ohio.
“I didn’t build the airplane in order; I
built it as the space allowed,” George said.
From time to time George would recruit
his sons to carry parts up to the garage to
check the fit of different components.
There’s a picture in his build log of son
George sitting in the tub, which is on a couple of sawhorses in front of the garage. That
son is now 28 years old and working as a
When he needed more room he took
time off from building to turn his two-car
garage into a build space.
“I added heat and a dehumidifier,”
George said. One example of his resourceful-
ness came when it was time to apply paint.
George—a patient, data-driven, engineer
type—read a lot on painting.
When he felt he was ready he bought a
“garage in a box,” set it up, and added some
lights. He attended a painting seminar by
Ron Alexander of Alexander Aircraft
Supplies, hoping to learn how to lay on a
super smooth wet-look paint job. After a few
tries—which didn’t turn out well—George
recalled Ron saying to spray on a lot of paint
and finish it by sanding and rubbing it out.
The flood and rub method resulted in a very
smooth and true finish. The only accents are
the N number on the outside of each winglet,
a small stylized—and speedy-looking—stage
coach on the left side of the fuselage below
the pilot’s seat, and the builder’s name and
residence on the left side of the engine cowl.
George was asked where he planned to
go on his first unrestricted cross-country
flight after he flies off the mandatory hours
in Phase 1. “I think I’ll fly to Nemacolin,” he
said. Nemocolin is a woodlands resort in
Farmington, Pennsylvania. There’s a private
airport (PA88) on-site. That’s a very conservative goal since it’s 121 nautical miles from
7G8 to Nemocolin. There’s no doubt that
George Stage will eventually venture far and
wide in his Long-EZ, but for right now he’s
very happy with his achievement. George
will probably have to wait until the snow
melts and the days warm up before he actually logs stick time in his Long-EZ. Through
the winter George will be spending time at
the EAA Chapter 5 hangar fine-tuning this
and that as he awaits the next stage of his
airplane-building saga—the first flight.
Steven Ells, EAA 883967, is an A&P/IA with a commercial
pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine ratings. He
owns a Piper Comanche and lives in California with his wife,
Audrey. You can visit him online at www.EllsAviation.com.
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