Builder: Robert W. Beard
Type: four-seat canard pusher sportsplane
Powerplant: 1 x 180 hp Lycoming O-360-A(S)4K piston engine
Significant date: 1986
The Two-Easy homebuilt aircraft was developed by Mr. Robert W. Beard and first flown on 4 July 1986. Basically it was a four-seat derivative of the Rutan Long-EZ with a wider and roomier forward fuselage and cabin. The Two-Easy was mainly built by the designer for participation in the 1987 CAFE 400 race and was a hybrid with the fuselage and wings of a Long-EZ, the canard wings and the undercarriage of a Rutan Defiant and a specially designed wider cabin for 4 seats.
Beard's prototype took part in the CAFE race as expected, sporting the number "32", and placed second in the "Experimental 3 or More Seat Category", outperforming Paul Loewen Sr.'s super-slick modified Mooney by less than 1%. Bob, a former Mooney 201 owner, had set out to improve on the Mooney's performance when he designed the Two-Easy, and now proved that the goal was reached, outscoring the stock but well-flown Mooney 201 in the race by 12%. He consequently was awarded the Outstanding New Design Award of $1000.
Only a single example was built and development was halted when the designer was killed in 1988. The Two-Easy prototype was purchased by Martin D. Ellison, who fitted a modified nose, increasing length to 18.917 ft. and also adding extra cabin windows.
Population: 1 (c/n 0001) [N227RB]
Many thanks to Walter van Tilborg for providing the bulk for this article.