Video of Grandson’s first flight, 3,000cc Cleanex:

Builders:

Dale Williams of SC sent in this link of his Grandson’s first flight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho2uh1cZwmY

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It is a particularly good video, not of the plane, but capturing the day. If you are working in your shop this weekend and wondering if finishing your plane will be a milestone event in your life, look no further than this film and picture having this kind of day with someone in your own family.  Catch the credits at the end to learn who covered the soundtrack.

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Dale sent these words with the link:

“One of the great joys I had recently was that of taking my seven year old grandson for his first ride in my Corvair powered Sonex. I’ve desired to do this for a number of years but waiting for him to be old enough, and me working to build and learn skills that I didn’t yet possess was all part of the process… Besides the satisfaction that comes to us personally from going where the timid fear to tread, there is the part of giving to others in the manner which you have demonstrated by your work, and also the giving to others by sharing what we have achieved, that brings us a greater fulfillment of purpose, – Dale, N 319WF”

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Above,The Cleanex of Dale Williams taxis out at Corvair College #27.

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 For more details on Dale’s plane, click on this link:

New 3,000 cc Cleanex, Dale Williams, SC

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Thought for the day: “100% Safe planes.”

You will never be able to get into any type of aircraft and be 100% certain that you will be unhurt at the end of the flight. So why fly? Because there are things in life worth doing even if they carry a known risk of death. If you are not willing to accept this, then you should not fly. A man said to me, “When I go to the airport, my wife needs to know 100% that I am coming home, so I shouldn’t fly experimental aircraft.” I told him if his wife’s requirement was to be met, he can’t fly in anything, because no aircraft can be made “100% safe.”

Upon hearing this, a second man offered that he will always be home after flying, and he planned to always drive himself home, but there was a very slight chance that one day his remains might have to be brought home. Either way, his son would always be able to look at him and understand that his father that was not afraid to live. The second man understood the timeless truth of the risks and rewards of flight. -ww.

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“I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of the earth to which they were bound. In flying, I tasted a wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days? I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary life time.”— Charles A. Lindbergh

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To read the entire quote from Lindbergh, follow this link to my story on it:

The Quote, 1927, C.A.L.

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Thought for the day: Choosing to be alive

“If the goal of the captain was to preserve the ship, he would never leave port. Most people never do. The goal of the captain is to seek adventure, to meet all the challenges and still achieve the goals, to be In The Arena, not rusting at the pier in the safe harbor. Make your choice. If it sounds scary, it’s because consumer society has had decades to teach you to doubt yourself, your potential, your dreams and abilities. People who think for and have learned to trust themselves make poor compulsive consumers. Building a plane and learning to master its maintenance and flight is the rejection of these messages, and the replacement of them with the knowledge that you are the master of your own adventure. This is what building and flying is all about.” -ww.

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The words above are an excerpt from my story on the philosophy of Sterling Hayden. Read the full story at this link: Sterling Hayden – Philosophy

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If he were alive, Sterling Hayden would be 96 today. He has been gone for 27 years, but even from the grave he is probably more alive than most men walking around upright….

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Sterling Hayden in 1950. He didn’t just look tough, he was. In WWII when other actors defended civilization by making comedies and VD training films, Hayden was an OSS agent fighting with the Joseph Tito and the Partisans in Yugoslavia.

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New 601XL, 2,700 Corvair, Ken Pavlou CT.

Builders:

Zenith 601XL builder Ken Pavlou, the man who has done the online registration for most of our colleges, hosted Corvair College #14 and even set up this blog for me, has flown his plane for the first time.

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Ken in 2009, introductions at Corvair College #14

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Get a look at the film of the planes first flight at this link:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK01KhG2CkE&feature=youtu.be

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Ken is a very unique individual. When I first starting working with Corvairs, I suspected that they might be an avenue to meeting many varied and interesting people. This has proven to be true, but I must confess, I did not foresee meeting a guy like Ken…. I reality I didn’t even know a character like him was walking around on this planet.

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People who know Ken understand exactly what I mean, he doesn’t remind you of anyone else you have ever met, he is one of a kind. People who have not met him think his friends are kidding when we point out that he is a RN, a very skilled pilot, happily married father of two, State ballroom dancing champion of Connecticut, an immigrant to the us who arrived without being able to speak a word of English, he has a savagely irreverent sense of humor, and now he can throw ‘successful airplane builder’ in for good measure.

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Ken flies a lot, and now with his own plane, we are certain to see him at a great number of events with the plane every year. Hats off to Ken Pavlou, the latest ‘Zen-vair’ pilot.

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For photos of Ken over the years, get a look at the sequence at the bottom of this link:

48 Hours until Corvair College #29 Cutoff.

-ww.

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Corvair College #29, Leesburg, FL. – photo report

Builders:

Below are a short series of photos from Corvair College #29. It is a quick look at a very productive and fun event.  By attendance it was a small college, but when gauged by individual learning, it is an event that will have a large and lasting effect on many individuals who were there.  Four of the forty builders on hand had their first engine run on our test stand.  Twelve of the builders there broke down a core and launched their engine build. Many people returning for a second College, learned more and spent time with among friends.

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A day after the college, we headed down to Sun n Fun, my 26th consecutive year at that fly-in. I mostly hung out with friends and gave 3 forums, We chose not to have a commercial booth, as SnF is a declining venue for home builts, and the booth space actually costs more than Oshkosh.

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The crowds were projected to be 200,000, but these numbers just like Oshkosh, are greatly exaggerated. People who have been there for 25 years like me, called it at 40,000 or so, mostly people there to see the Blue Angels.  At an after hours cook out, a person said that 40,000 people watching an airshow is a lot bigger event that 40 people building and running an engine.

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I pointed out he was only right if the goal was to generate spectators. The Wrights, Lindbergh, Pietenpol, Wittman, Yeager, Armstrong, and Rutan were not spectators, and it is against my understanding of being an American to settle for being a spectator when a place in the arena it there for the taking.

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Above, a group photo, a freshly run engine on the test stand as a centerpiece.

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Above, an electric drill primes the oil system on a new engine before the break in run. I am showing builders how to verify that all of the lifters are flowing oil before closing up the valve covers. Because the Corvair has hydraulic lifters, the valve covers will stay on for the life of the engine, as no further adjustment will be required.

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Above, Grace taking photos and enjoying a joke with the guys. Arnold Holmes and EAA Chapter 534 were our local hosts for the event. The did an outstanding job of supporting the College.

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Father/son team the Jamesons from TX, stand beside their newly run engine. The engine is destined for a Piet that is mostly done. Dad (Kelly) is clear that the plane and engine are really the handiwork of his son, Joseph. A very bright and skilled young man.

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Above, another view of the Jameson engine as it is coming off the stand. It is a 2,700cc engine with a Roy bearing and Falcon heads.

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Mike Maury drove in 1,300 miles from Iowa and got the first run of his 3,000 cc Dan bearing engine, destined for his Kitfox model 7. More pictures in the next update.

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Above, Embry-Riddle graduate and Aeronautical Engineer Sarah Ashmore runs her 3,000 cc Corvair on the stand. A great running power plant, and perhaps the most colorful Corvair flight engine of all time. It is destined for her custom composite single seat aircraft.

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Above, Vern drove to the College in his ‘Aero-trike’ 50% Lancair 320, 50% geo metro.  (Note that the airplane parking arrow is pointing to the wrong end of the vehicle, I should have had Vern turn it around) It logged 12,000 miles on Florida roads last year, where it is considered a legal motorcycle.

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Above, the 3,000 cc Dan bearing engine of Bill Zorc runs at the College. It is destined to power his Warner revolution. Bill Is a very skilled pilot/mechanic. His day job is flying heavy aircraft for the worlds leading freight carrier, but he is also a highly skilled A&P/IA, and very talented GA pilot. Where an aviator of his experience selects the Corvair as his engine to work with, it says a lot about the quality of the engine.

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As you look at the photos and think about what you will do this flying season, you are making a choice. Will you spend this season with the spectators or will you find your place among the builders in the arena?

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Most people will settle for being a spectator. They will succumb to the inner voce that tells them there place is in the bleachers, watching, not in the game. In the lives of these people are countless ‘friends’ advising them to give up on their dreams, just because they did.

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When you decide that you will not settle, that you will work for and have your day in the sun, you will certainly have a chorus of ‘friends’ counsel you, all with the best sounding intentions, that you should postpone or desist. If they succeed, you will not be joining them in failure…..Failure is a word that implies a genuine effort was made, a chance was taken, a man was in the arena.

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No person who settled for being a spectator has a right to elevate themselves to the level of any man who took a genuine shot at having his day, even if that man fails. It is your life, choose who you will spend it with carefully. There are no refunds nor second chances. -ww.

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Thought for the day: Who do you trust?

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 Once upon a time, I wrote almost 50 articles that were published by the EAA, I was on their masthead, I wrote for a half dozen other aviation magazines and was welcome in private industry discussion groups. Over time, people in our industry found out that I have never been a “go along to get along” type. If the industry had a dirty little secret to keep from builders, I was, and remain, the wrong guy to tell.

If there is an angle/system/ way-it’s-done which operates by keeping builders in the dark, it is now understood that I’m not going to keep quiet about it. I have written openly so builders can see and understand something of the consumer/marketing forces they face in our industry. It’s the kind of writing that has not made me friends with ‘the system.’

For this reason, I have a lot less ‘friends’ in industry than I once did. You write stuff like “Unicorns vs Ponies” and point out the new head of the EAA has a fake engineering degree, they don’t invite you to the cocktail parties anymore. That’s ok, I got into homebuilding to learn, build and fly, not be part of a marketing industry. Being welcomed into the workshop of a homebuilder is a real experience and a greater honor than being mistaken for an “Industry insider.” -ww.

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New Year’s Day 2005, Grace and I visited Phil Maxson and his family in Washington, N.J.   I have to be the only engine manufacturer in aviation who makes free house calls. In our travels of the last 25 years I have made about 400 such stops. Yes, that is me with the short dark hair. Phil’s 601XL has been flying for the last 8 years.

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To read a story of marketing over substance click on : Unicorns vs Ponies.

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If you would like to learn a little more about the EAA presidents background Google search the terms “Jack Pelton, CBS 60 Minutes, Fake Engineering degree”. Let me assist: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500164_162-654319.html

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Thought for the day: Who will build our planes?

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So, who will make America’s light planes? You will, the working American, just as you have always done. In 1946 Cessna went from war production to making 30 C-120′s and C-140′s a day, without any issue at all. Today, the greedy corporate leadership at Cessna had 6 years to tool up and they couldn’t hardly make 30 C-162 ‘Skycatchers’ per year in China.

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The only important difference is that the Cessna ownership in 1946 respected their workforce of Americans, and 60 years later Cessna CEO Jack Pelton, (now the head of the EAA) had all his faith in the best $2/hr Chinese workers he could buy. Moving forward, it is clear that Cessna has now abandoned the “affordable” aircraft market. This makes no difference to any homebuilder or working American.

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In 1946, Cessna was something of a partner to American labor in producing that generation of affordable American aircraft. Today,  they have proven to be a worthless element. Each of us, developing our own craftsmanship, will work in our own one plane factory and produce our own aircraft. This is how American labor will build this generation of affordable aircraft. We don’t need cheap labor in China, we don’t need greedy CEO’s and we don’t need any membership organization that is headed by a person who fails to understand this.-ww.

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1946 Cessna C-120, made by Americans, still flying 68 years later. Cessna Corporate management has already removed all trace from their site that ever sold the Chinese built C-162. Sixty-eight years and still flying vs six years to oblivion.

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If you would like to read the story the above excerpt was taken from, click on this link:

Cessna’s Chinese adventure a failure.

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