Piet / Vair internet builders group, started 4/24/15

Pietenpol builders,

Here is the genesis of a new on line discussion group for people working toward, building and flying Corvair powered Pietenpol aircraft. Getting started, this group is the work of Terry Hand (your host and moderator) and Phil Maxson (the IT expert). With each positive contribution, the group gradually belongs to the builders using it.

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 Please read and consider the goals carefully, and make your participation along the same lines. I did not come up with these goals in a vacuum, I have been around Pietenpols for more than 25 years, and in recent years I spent a lot of time listening to builders speak about what they felt was missing or could be improved upon in the experience of building and flying one.

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 I have tried in other formats, such as the newsletter or the matronics list, to make contributions to the larger Pietenpol building community with important information like the weight and balance project and notes on landing gear, cabanes and fuel lines. I put several hundred hours of work in those projects with the hopes of improving all Pietenpols, not just Corvair powered ones.

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While people read it, I would be hard pressed to say it was received without pushback, often from people who’s comments reflected how little they understood about BHP’s work and that the origins of most of the concepts were directly from BHP’s, writings and careful examination of his planes. A number of the most vocal adversaries of my contributions were motivated because I do not look/sound/act/think like they did. I have written extensively on how the subject of aircraft construction has consequences, and thus one must use all the good information available, even if they personally don’t like the source. Evidently they rejected that idea also

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Rather than debate with them, a different, private group, with better focus is in order. We will now have a place where successful builders can directly share factual data with new builders who understand that the likely hood of their own personal success goes up many fold when they read from a source which is made of proven techniques and data instead of old wives tales and rumor from people often using a fake name.

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The task at hand, building and 85 year old plans built design, actually requires the acquisition of far greater skills than building almost any kit plane. In this respect, calling the Pietenpol a ‘simple’ plane is misleading. No popular kit requires the builder to learn anything about welding today. Additionally, the nature of the plans, and the passage of time combine to require the builder to make decisions about many details on his own plane. Traditionally the new builder had to build up his skills and make these decisions while being the recipient of advice that ranged from spot on, to criminally wrong.

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Because he is a new builder, he is not in a good position to tell the difference between the two with 100% accuracy. This leads to giant wastes of time and materials, people quitting when the find our the have been on a goose chase, and worst, poor or unairworthy examples of the plane. To simplify this for the new Piet/Corvair builder, we are going to have a site where 100% of the information and advice is proven and valid. Builders will be able to read the insights from welding parts on several hundred flying planes without having to sort through the comments of people named “Flyboy26″ and “Toolbuilder” who have never touched a welder.

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I contend that this will not only increase the completion percentage and the quality of the planes, but critically it will also shorten the build time. Not just because builders will avoid detours, but I know that builders work with much greater speed and confidence when they know the data they are working from is proven.

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The new group is not intended to replace any other group. The matronics group is for anybody who wants to talk about Pietenpols, and the two competing Face Book pages are largely social sites. What we are doing is different, it is a well focused builders site for those who have selected the specific Pietenpol/Corvair combination and have the goal of making serious progress toward it. It will be done in a civil and friendly way internally, but it will not be just another social chat site. Over time I would like it to generate a tight knit cadre of new and experienced builders. This will also tend to build new friendships, but the will come from working toward common goals, not pressing a ‘like’ key on a social media page. I don’t care how big the group is, I only care what people learn in it and what they build with this knowledge.

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The membership is not secret, nor is the content it will generate. However, I do regard it was private, and the archives of this group will not be available to the general public. If there is information that we develop that may benefit Pietenpol builders who selected engines other than the Corvair, either Terry or myself will share it with them in other forums, but I intend the membership of this site to be 100% Corvair builders, with very few exceptions.

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Who the group is for:

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1) Builders/flyers that have first hand flight experience with the Corvair/Pietenpol combination, either traditional BHP conversions or the methods I have taught people. We will share with new builders how to build replicas of engines and installations that are long proven to work.

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2) Builders who are currently working on the above combination. The minimum standard to join the group is owning one of my Corvair conversion manuals and a set of Pietenpol plans. I am OK with having the GN-1 builders aboard, but I want all the builders to be operating from current Corvair manuals. (Asking outdated questions because someone is trying to work with a 3rd hand 14 year old manual isn’t taking ones project nor this site seriously.)

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A very detailed visual, step by step sign up instructions can be found here:

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https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-sW1jQ2-f5_MWRacWdnWWhUSEU/view

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(They are nearly computer-idiot proof, I tested them on myself. )

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Above,Randy Bush of TN. at Brodhead with Miss Le’Bec (it is a combination of his girls’ names). His aircraft was seven years in the making. A consistent work of craftsmanship, the plane’s creation spanned both easy and hard years in Randy’s life. Many people new to homebuilding think that it is something you do if life is treating you great and you’re rolling in dough. Here is reality: The most successful builders I know understand that hours spent in your own shop, creating things with your own hands, is a vital part of a worthwhile life, and that this reality will be most evident at the hardest of times. Learning to make things is a crucial investment in your own sanity. Does it surprise anyone that really happy people always have a way of being creative? The plane has nearly 600 hours on it.

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New Pietenpol Family website

Builders,

We received a note from Andrew Pietenpol, Grandson of Bernard, that he has assembled a new official Pietenpol family website. I have spent a lot of time looking at it and it has a lot of information I had not seen before. Obviously, Andrew is the direct living legacy of his grandfather, and our best resource to learn more about the life, ideals and designs of ‘The patron saint of homebuilding”.

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Even if you are not a Pietenpol builder, an hour on the site will give you a much sharper understanding of the origins of homebuilding in the United States, which came at a time of extreme economic challenge. Of all the creative men involved, Bernard Pietenpol’s designs are the only ones still being built nearly 90 years later.

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 Pietenpol Aircraft Company – Official Air Camper site:

http://www.pietenpolaircraftcompany.com/

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Make sure you don’t miss the extensive photo gallery. It has many priceless Corvair-Pietenpol photos that I have never seen before:

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http://www.pietenpolaircraftcompany.com/historic-pietenpol-photo-gallery

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Andrew Pietenpol, aviator and Grandson of BHP, right, attends Corvair College #4 with Grace and Myself in 2003. Greatest complement anyone has ever said to me in 26 years in aviation: Andrew told me that day “My Grandfather would have adopted you.”

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For further reading on Pietenpols, click here:

http://flycorvair.net/2013/11/28/corvair-pietenpol-reference-page/

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Corvair College #34 sign up – Open now

Builders,

We have just opened the on line sign up for Corvair College #34, September 15-17, Mexico Missouri, at the Zenith factory. If you are new to the Colleges, just about every question you may have has an answer that can be found at this link: Corvair College reference page, please take the time to review it. There is a lot of information there, but it also give a detailed, accurate picture of a learning and building experience that is far from the typical technical seminar.

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Before going to the sign up page, several points to understand:

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All builders of our style of Corvair Conversions are welcome, not just Zenith builders. Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith, welcomes all homebuilders, not just his customers.

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Sign up is required to attend. I insist that we know who is coming to the events, and that they receive all the pre event communications. The fee for the college covers every thing builders eat drink, the workspace, tooling etc. In 33 previous colleges, we have had more than 1,000 people find this an excellent value. Success in homebuilding has many factors, but commitment to learn, following directions and spending some money are always going to be required parts. Someone who does not wish to pay their share, and just wants to look, can come to my Oshkosh display #616 in the north area, across from the Zenith display. But, attending Colleges is different, one must sign up.

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You do not need to have a motor to attend the College. Many people come to observe and learn, and they only get a motor after the College. We welcome anyone who is these to learn about how we build Corvair flight engines.

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The event is focused on teaching all aspects of building, operating and flying Corvair flight engines as I have taught people to build them since 1989. We welcome anyone who comes to learn in a friendly environment. The builders at the college will assemble engines to our design with parts from our specified suppliers such as SPA/Panther, Falcon machine, J.S Weseman, Roy’s Garage, Clark’s, and ourselves. However, we do not offer support or assistance to builders who are stuck with the products of now bankrupt LLC’s like Aeromax, Aerolite, Magnificent Machine, or anything that was/is sold from Valdosta GA. The small fraction of builders who made the decision to work with those short lived companies should have no expectation I will support them. They have to live their decision. This is called responsibility and consequences, Ideas that still matter in the America I choose to live in.

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Sign up Link:

https://corviarcollegeregistration.wufoo.com/forms/cc34-registration/

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Blog092314pilots

Above, The builders who flew their Corvair powered planes to CC##30/The Zenith open House at Mexico MO; Shane and Phylis McDaniels (2,700/650B, MO), Lynn Dingfelder, (2,700/601XLB, PA), Dave Gardea (2,700/650B, IN) Ron Lendon (2,850 /601XLB, MI) and Pat and Mary Hoyt (2,700/601XLB with 650 canopy, MN). The picture above captures all 5 aircraft on the ramp in front of the Zenith Factory at The Mexico MO airport. The builders are standing between myself on one end and Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft on the other. This was one of the moments that make years of work in the hangar a very good investment.

Married 65 years today.

Friends,

On this day in 1950, my parents were married. Words can not say how blessed I feel that I was able to pick up the phone and speak with them tonight, Knowing that 69 years after they met, they remain the joy of each others lives.

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Lisa Craig Heuer's photo.

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Above, 4th and 5th from the left, My Father and Mother. I have long said that any qualities of character I may have are directly attributable to being their child. When I encounter anyone my age in a terrible position in life, my first thought has always been, and will always remain “Without the fortune of being born to my parents, that could be me.”

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To our friends who’s parents were also members of the “Greatest Generation”, I hope the photo brings back many good memories of your own parents.

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-ww.

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To read more about “The real William Wynne”: William Wynne Sr. Turns 89 today

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FlyCorvair.net tops 900,000 page reads.

Builders,  Last night, the counter on this site went over 900,000 page reads. We are a little less than 100 days from Oshkosh. At the current rate of readership, the site will reach a million page reads before we leave for Oshkosh.

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This sight has strong readership because it strikes the right combination of information and tone that appeals to traditional homebuilders. It isn’t really a giant amount of hits, but it is plenty to show that the engine is an ever more popular choice for homebuilts, and that we are the source for proven information on building and flying the engine.

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The Corvair isn’t for everyone, but if you are one of the homebuilders served by the engines strengths and advantages, we welcome you aboard. -ww.

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Blast from the past: Pictured above in the 2005 Zenith display at Oshkosh, our 601XL, N-1777W, the first Corvair powered Zenith.  We showed our planes in the Zenith display  for 5 years straight. L to R in the picture, Sebastien Heintz, me with short hair, and Gus Warren. Gus and I had just flown up from Florida.

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For the last six years we have had our own Booth at Oshkosh. This year it is in the same spot, #616,  directly across from Zenith’s boothWe have been around experimental aviation a long time. 10 years ago, when the picture above was taken, I had already been building Corvair flight engines for 16 years.  In an industry where here today, gone tomorrow companies are the rule, We have earned a place as one of the longest operating companies in our industry.

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Upcoming Events from FlyCorvair

Builders:

If you are new to Corvairs, I suggest this post 2015 Your year in aviation? is a very good starting point for planning what you will get out of this season in aviation. For people who are in the Arena, here are several here are several things coming up on the schedule:

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Corvair College #34, to be held at the Zenith Factory in Mexico Missouri Mid September, 15-17th the Tues.-Weds.- Thurs. before the Zenith Open House. Local Hosts Sebastien Heintz and crew at Zenith. Same location as CC#26 and #30. Sign up will go up here shortly.

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cc30mexico14fiveplanes

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Above, The five Corvair powered Zeniths that flew into Corvair College #30, all parked for a photo in front of the Zenith Factory  The engine installation on these planes are clones of the one we developed in our own 601XL 12 years ago. Since then, we wrote the installation manual for it, produced hundreds of installation parts like mounts, intakes and exhausts, and have taught 800 people at colleges how to build our engines.   Read more here: Corvair College #30 Good Times and here: Corvair College #30 Running Engines

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New Pietenpol/Corvair discussion board being formed now: Patterned after our very successful Zenith/Corvair discussion board, ( ‘Zenvair’ Information board formed ) This will be a new group aimed at providing quality technical support from successful builders to those serious about making progress on their Pietenpol project.

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The project has been in the works for some time. Corvair/601XL builder Phil Maxson, who covers both the IT and the moderation on our Zenith Board, has agreed to cover the IT work on the Pietenpol board. I have enlisted Pietenpol builder Terry Hand to be the board’s moderator. I have spoken with a number of the well known builders of the combination, such as Kevin Purtee, ( Guest Writer: Pietenpol builder/flyer Kevin Purtee ) and they are in support of this project, and will be active contributors.

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There are already several other places on the net where people discuss Pietenpols. Several things set this group apart: Everyone will use their actual names, not made up ones, and we will have civility; The focus will be on the exchange of proven, tested, valid first hand data, and the development of skills required to build and operate a Pietenpol. This will be done in the same positive, supportive way that colleges are run. My goal is to have a location that will serve serious builders, and be free of the old wives tales which are constantly presented as data in other settings, which I hold to be a serious impediment to builder progress and risk management. If you will like to get advanced notice of the start of the group, send me a private Email ( WilliamTCA@aol.com ) with the words “New Pietenpol Group” in the subject line.

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Above, Terry Hand with his steel tube Pietenpol at CC#24 in Barnwell, SC.

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Corvair College #33 starts in 48 hours. We are in the final prep work stages. Grace, Vern and myself have been working at this, with a great deal of assistance from Corvair/601 builder/pilot Lynn Dingfelder. the College runs from the 17-19th, but we will have a day of rest and unpacking. The first full day back in the shop will be the 22nd.

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cc30mexico14lynnwinning

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Above, Lynn Dingfelder awaits the launch signal at the Short take off competition. at the 2014 Zenith open house. He had the best combination score for low wing Zeniths. This photo gives a good look at how streamlined the 28″ wide Corvair is.

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Above, Kevin Purtee’s Pietenpol flying College #22 in Texas. He and Shelley Tumino have played many roles in supporting Corvair builders, including being the local hosts of 3 Colleges.

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Above, Kevin Purtee and Shelley Tumino receive The Cherry Grove Trophy at Corvair College #24.

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Thought for the day: Freedom, 150 years later.

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“I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others.”

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Abraham Lincoln spoke the words above in 1865. He lived just 30 more days. Although he only made it to 56 years old, he out lived the institution of slavery in the United States.

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An iconic black and white photograph of a bearded Abraham Lincoln showing his head and shoulders.

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In the photo above, Lincoln is 54 years old. Most Americans believe that he was much older, based on his appearance. Although conflict and stress aged him terribly, it could not break him. He had will power, and the ability to withstand hardship and hatred without altering his purpose nor deviating from his path.  He was the ultimate proof that qualities of character are more important than any other factor in determining the value of a human life, and what can be accomplished with it.

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150 years after the end of the civil war, with physical slavery vanquished, most Americans would proclaim they live in freedom. While they enjoy possibilities others can only dream of, a reasonable person can point out that more subtle, but pervasive systems of control, pacification and subjugation confront the individual today; a consumer driven society with an indifference to smothering personal debt; Celebrities and personalities used to expunge our memory and understanding of real heroes and champions; Declining educational standards combined with the end of journalism as our parents knew it, leaving most people unaware of issues, and hardly capable of expressing their objections.

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Yet, I remain optimistic because I have great faith in the individual, acting of his own will, in the interests of himself, his family, his neighbors and this country, can still accomplish many things of great importance, even in the face of powerful forces that wish otherwise. I have no grand plan nor path, only a simple, powerful observation: When an individual creates an aircraft from his own mind and hands, and flies it with skill and control to a destination of his choosing, he is expressing his ultimate belief in the dignity of the individual and his ability and right to determine his own value. -ww.

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