The first four-seat variant of the Long-EZ design was originally created for the famed CAFE race... and inspired many designers!

As the first 4-seat Long-EZ, the Two-Easy paved the way

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]

Cruise speed : 190 mph
ICR : 1,200 ft./minute
Ceiling 20,000 ft.
Range : 1,000+ miles
Wingspan : 26.5 ft.
Length : 18.5 ft.

Crew/passengers: 4

Main sources:
- The CAFE Foundation site

Many thanks to Walter van Tilborg for providing the bulk for this article.