THE VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Project

A highly Realistic Flight Performance and Handling Simulation of the Rutan LongEZ Aircraft

For X-Plane 11

The VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Project

The VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Project for X-Plane was developed with Burt Rutan's permission. However it is an independent VSKYLABS project which is not affiliated and/or endorsed with/by Burt Rutan. The project is based on the design of the Long-EZ (NR79RA) prototype.

Project highlights:

  • The project is designed and engineered around the original 1980 'LONG-EZ Plans' and 'Pilot Operating Handbook' (N79RA). As a result, the VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Owner's manual is based on the real LongEZ owner's manual. The manual for the VSKYLABS LongEZ aircraft can be downloaded for free.
  • The core of the project is a superb flight dynamics model with authentic aircraft performance and handling characteristics.
  • Designed for X-Plane 11.40+ Experimental flight model environment.
  • Aeromatic propeller configuration (fully automatic variable pitch propeller).
  • Highly detailed and animated aircraft model along with 4K textures.
  • Highly detailed and functional 'VR-Ready' 3D cockpit environment.
  • FMOD sounds engineered with a 'rough and tough' feel for enhanced flying experience.
  • IFR capability.
  • Autopilot - Experimental/LSA grade autopilot included.
  • STMA Autoupdater plugin - included.
  • Project under constant development!

Aircraft design notes:

The VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Project aircraft design is including some improvements ("mods") which have been developed/adopted as the aircraft got mature. The following mods are included in the VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Project aircraft:

  • The 'High performance rudder mod':
  • The initial design featured short rudders design, but soon after the first Long-EZ took flight, a few modifications were already underway to improve its design, including the extended rudders.
  • The 'Roncz canard mod':The original canard design of the LongEZ used the Glasgow University GU25-5(11)8 airfoil. The GU canard caused premature boundary layer transition under rain condition. The 'Roncz canard' which was designed by John Roncz used the Roncz R1145MS airfoil, and was developed in response to that problem, nicknamed "rain canards").
  • Aeromatic propeller configuration:The Aeromatic propeller is a variable pitch propeller with the same effect of a 'constant speed' propeller, except the fact that it is not using any governor, cockpit levers or special crankshafts. The propeller modulates itself based on airspeed other dynamic forces (fully automatic). Replicating the exact configuration for pitch change for the Aeromatic propeller is challenging with X-Plane's out-of-the-box propeller configuration features, but it was worth trying, and its performance is getting the VSKYLABS LongEZ to highly match its performance graphs (available at the real aircraft pilot operation handbook).
  • Landing/Taxi lights:
  • Installing landing lights is a mod made by many EZ owners/builders. There are several options, including using the landing gears fairing. I've decided to cut a small compartment into the upper section of the nose cone. This place is allowing good angle settings for the landing/taxi lights and quite common in real-world LongEZ's.

The Rutan LongEZ aircraft:

The Rutan LongEZ is a high performance home built aircraft, designed by the aerospace legend Burt Rutan back in the 80's. Its compact external size results in superb performance and economy using low horsepower engines.

It is featuring advanced aerodynamics and structure to provide good utility, economy, comfort, simplicity and flight safety. The aircraft uses one of two proven certified aircraft engines, the continental O-200/100 hp and the Lycoming O-235/115 hp (the VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ is featuring the 115 hp engine).

It has an alternator powered electrical system and equipped with an electric engine starter. It’s cockpit layout is designed to compliment pilot work load with throttle, mixture, carburetor heat, pitch trim/landing controls on the left side console and a side stick controller on the right console. Seating provides correct armrest, lumbar, thigh and headrest support allowing “recliner chair” comfort which are typically not to be found in conventional aircraft seats. This configurations allows long, fatigue free flights.

The Long-EZ aircraft pioneered the use of the NASA developed winglet system which consists of an upper and lower cambered surface at each wing tip. These are designed to offset the wingtip vortex and reduce induced drag. The Long-EZ’s use of one way rudders in each winglet, makes use of the winglet camber to tailor the rudder forces. This results in low forces at low speeds where rudders are used, and higher forces at higher speeds where rudders are not needed.

Long-EZ interesting and useful resources


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