2014 Conversion Manual Upgrades.

Builders,

In the last few weeks we have sent out a great number of 2014 manuals to builders who chose to upgrade their information, which I highly suggest. Grace and I were working from a list of builders that sent in a email request.

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However, I suspect that we have missed about 6-10 builders who sent in a request, but we didn’t send a manual to. If these were placed through our regular order system, we have excellent automated records, but most of the requests for an upgrade were simply sent as a request, not into the normal system. Making the tracking more complicated is the fact that Grace and I have not been in the location for almost a month. Right after CC#30 I headed to NJ to care for my parents, and just before I got back Grace left on a long scheduled trip with her family to Europe.

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Grace will be back shortly, and we will get things into high gear for the prep leading to CC#31. But, I am headed to the Post office at 11:00 am Saturday 10/18, and I will be glad to send a new 2014 manual to any builder we missed. If you put in a request or an order, and it has not made it to your door yet, please send me a direct email to:

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WilliamTCA@aol.com

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And please include your full USPS shipping address. and any notes on your order, and I will get it out in the morning. If you miss the chance, send the note anyway, I will get it out Monday.

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Please note that we are asking. Owners of older manuals who original purchased them from us to send in $50 to cover the printing and shipping costs on the new manual. If you would like a manual upgrade, just send me the shipping info and your old manual number. I will gladly send the manual right out, builders can send the payment when the manual gets there. -ww.

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Blast from the past, 2006:

Above is a photo of Grace Ellen, high in the Andes at Macchu Picchu. Her T-shirt is from Corvair College #4. Once a year, Grace takes time to spend it with her parents abroad. 1,600 years ago St Augustine pointed out that the world was like a book, and people who do not travel consent to read only one page.

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#3410-Nason switch-(For planes with electric fuel pumps)

Builders,

Here is a look at a simple, but important part of the Corvair installations which require electric fuel pumps. Please note: While this part looks identical to the switch we used from 2003-2005, it has a critically different pressure rating, and no Corvair powered plane with electric fuel pumps should be flying with the earlier number. Nason’s part number for the correct unit is SM-2C-5F. I mention this because just this year I found an aircraft in the Corvair fleet still flying the wrong part number.

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The purpose of the switch is simple: If the plane has an accident, and the engine stops but the primary fuel pump is left on, The switch will detect the oil pressure dropping, and automatically cut the primary electric fuel pump off, without the pilot having to act. Note that the system is not used on the back up electric fuel pump, for reasons of having the simplest back up possible.  Our 601XL, N-1777W, may not have been the first experimental aircraft to use such a system, but we were the first people to widely popularize the need for it in all planes with primary electric pumps. It was nominated for an EAA award for safety design of the year, but nothing came of this and the idea was not published beyond our personal efforts.

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There are alternatives to this derived from a Bosch system extracted from German cars which cut off the pump if it detects the coil is no longer firing, but no one should ever connect any device to the Corvairs’s ignition system that it does not need. Here is an example of that mistake: MGL vs Corvair ignition issue. No one should connect a tach, sensor or any other device to the ignition system, it is a failure point. I have been writing that for 20 years, but people still do it, and it has caused issues, but thankfully no one has been seriously hurt…yet. Don’t be the first.

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Above is a 2008 picture from our website, with 13 Nason switches, part No. SM-2C-5F. We were reminding builders then to switch to use. This switch automatically cuts off the fuel pump when the oil pressure drops below 5 psi. The original switch was the same function, but the switched closed at 20 psi.

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We started with the 20 psi switch because we originally used the Corvair’s mechanical fuel pump (We stopped this in 2004 when we conclusively demonstrated that all modern replacement Corvair mechanical pumps were prone to leaking), as the primary. The electric back up fuel pump was automatically activated when the mechanical dropped below 4 psi fuel pressure, and was automatically stopped when the oil pressure was below 20 psi. This prototype mechanical/electric system was replaced by modern system we have today in the summer of 2004. We originaly kept the 20 psi switch.

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However, with many builders retrofitting 5th bearings, some engines would have a hot idling oil pressure below 20 psi, and this could potentially lead to a builder gliding in on final with a hot engine and the low oil pressure cutting off the primary fuel pump. Switching to a 5 psi Nason prevents this from potentially happening, We have promoted this almost 9 years, but some builders with 5th bearings missed this important change.

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We now have a large number of  SM-2C-5F’s in stock and will be glad to supply them at $43 including S&H in the U.S. It is part number #3410 at this link: http://www.flycorvair.com/products.html

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Above is the ignition wiring diagram for a a Corvair system. The Nason switch is on the upper left. Note that it is only wired into the primary fuel pump, not the back up .-ww.

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Corvair College #31, close to last call…..

UPDATE 10/8 – Sign up for CC#31 is now closed, we have more than 100 builders registered. (We opened the sign up the week before Oshkosh in July). If you missed it, sorry, the next college is in Texas in February 2015. The sign up for #32 will start here next month.-ww.

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UPDATE 10/3 11am : I have just spoken with 601/Corvair pilot Ken Pavlou, who takes care of the on line sign up for the colleges, and requested that he cut off the sign up on Tuesday 10/7 at 9pm EST. Ken told me that the sign up had picked up 10 more builders in the last 24 hours, and we were now at 84, and if it stayed at this pace we would be over the physical size limit for the College by Sunday AM. so, if you are planning on heading to the college, please sign in now, as we may actually reach the limit before Tuesday.-ww.

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Builders,

We are getting close to cutting off the sign up for College #31, we are just 35 days away from the opening.Corvair College #31 will be in Barnwell South Carolina, November 7th -9th. I have spoken with a number of the pilots flying in, and we will have a good cross section of flying planes, many engines going all the way from cases through running on the stand, and we will present the 2014 Cherry Grove trophy. Barnwell is run with great style and attention to detail by PF Beck and his excellent crew. The event is very spouse and family friendly, and it is the most up-scale an civilized College on the calendar. If you are considering bringing a better half to a college, make it Barnwell.  Don’t miss it.

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Click on:  https://corvaircollege.wufoo.com/forms/corvair-college-31-registration/

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CC#24 – Barnwell SC – 2012 -click on blue links below:

Corvair College #24, reviewed in photos, part one.

Corvair College #24, reviewed in photos, part two.

Corvair College #24, reviewed in pictures, part three.

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Above, CC #24; Irv Russell, left, gives a thumbs up after a demo flight in Phil Maxon’s 601. Irv is building a 650 but had never flown in either a 601 nor a 650. This was quickly taken care of at the college. Irv got a jump-start on building his own engine by picking up a closed case from us with a gen 2 Dan bearing already installed.

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CC#21 – Barnwell SC – 2011 – click on blue link below:

http://www.flycorvair.com/cc21.html

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In the CC#21 photo above stand the four pilots who have their names engraved on the Cherry Grove Trophy. Left to right are Joe Horton, 2010, Dan Weseman, 2009, P.F. Beck, 2011, and Mark Langford, 2008. We have since added Kevin Purtee and Shelley Tumino 2012 and Phil Maxon 2013. Come to CC#31 and find out who the 2014 recipient will be.

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CC#19 – Barnwell SC – 2010 – click on blue link below:

http://www.flycorvair.com/cc19.html

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Above, Randy Bush built the last engine to run at Corvair College #19. It lit off at 6:10 p.m. Sunday a bit after dark. Today, his Pietenpol now has more than 600 hours on it. If you want to succeeded in homebuilding, make a plan, spend your time with positive people who know what they are doing, and take action. It is that simple. Read this 2013 story: Randy Bush’s Pietenpol hits 500 hours. -ww.

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Zenith Open House, Mexico 2014 Part 2

Builders,

Here is one more set of pictures to cover the good time we had at the 23rd annual Zenith Factory open house. I have selected images that covered elements of what makes being a Corvair builder a different experience. Get a good look , read the captions, consider your own goals in homebuilding. If you are a traditional homebuilder, in the game to Learn, Build and fly, we have a place for you among new friends.

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Above, The five Corvair powered Zeniths that flew into the event, all parked for a photo in front of the Mexico terminal. A decade ago, in the early years of Corvair powered Zeniths, we brought our own 601XL, and Rick Lindstrom’s 601XL to many airshows. They were a good display, but they were “Ringers” planes that were built, finished and flown out of my commercial hanger. Any company with skilled people can do that, and in professional circles, it is understood that this is how you launch a new engine/airframe combination, but it isn’t my personal measure of success.

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The photo above is much more impressive to me than any group of “Ringers.” In the picture above are five real homebuilts from by the craftsmanship of regular builders. Not a single one of these planes has ever been to my airport not hangar, nor did I do any work on them. They are the pure work of homebuilders using our guidance and parts to build their own airframes…and engines.

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In the last 11 years, almost 100 Corvair powered Zeniths have flown. Only 4 of these were “Ringers” or had substantial work done in our hangar. In my book, this is the real measure of success that matters to a new builder considering what engine to utilize. The planes above show that the Corvair/Zenith combination is a fully mature and accepted engine, a proven and affordable path for rank and file homebuilders.

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Above, another look at the Zenith Engine forum. I am in the blue shirt, seated next to Pete Krotie of Jabiru, who is answering a question. Also on hand were reps from Rotax, Continental, Robert Helms from UL power and Jann Eggenfelner from Viking. The forum was Sebastien’s idea to give his builders direct access to the information to make an informed choice for themselves. If you would like to read more on this subject, click here:Selecting an engine for your experimental aircraft

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Above, Lynn Dingfelder awaits the launch signal at the Short take off competition. He has the best combination score for low wing Zeniths. This photo was taken by the Zenith staff photographer, and it gives a good look at how streamlined the 28″ wide Corvair is. Few people realize it is 3″ narrower than an O-200, 4″ narrower than a VW, and 7″ narrower than a Lycoming. This is why we make purpose built cowls and nosebowls for Corvair powered planes. This is a good illustration of why the owner of Kitfox suggesting people use his Lycoming Cowls on Corvair installations is silly, akin to putting Christina Aguilera in a dress made for Aretha Franklin because technically they are both singers, when the real point is he makes money by selling copies of Aretha’s dress and hopelessly argues all singers look good in it..

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Above, Grace stands in the Zenith hangar, long after the open house concluded. It was a long week. We prepped for many days straight, drove 1,100 miles to Mexico, had 4 sixteen hour days of Corvair College #30, then two more days of the open house, and then packed up for a long ride home. Let me throw in that we spent the whole time camping with friends on the Airport grounds, and we drove from and to Florida straight through, 24 hours each way. Grace didn’t just put up with this, she thought it was fun. Don’t bother to write in, I already know I don’t deserve to be married to her.

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Above Dave Gardea with his very nice looking 650, now with more than 300 hours on it. For a closer look at this plane, with links to movies: Zenith 650-2700cc Dave Gardea

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Above, the builders of the five planes standing with Sebastien Heintz on the end.

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Above, a candid photo of a moment on the ramp; l-r Bob Styer, Lynn Dingfelder, and Pat Hoyt. A good moment among friends, but none of these guys knew each other outside of Corvair building. Back at home, at work, everyone probably thinks they are nuts for even flying in light planes. At their home EAA chapter, there may not be a single other person who would consider building their own engine. But at Colleges and airshows with other Corvair builders they are instantly at home with new friends, all bound together by a positive outlook and a self-reliant nature. In an EAA with an ever increasing population that just wants to buy things as consumers, we have a home for men who would rather build them.

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Above, the Zenith dinner on Friday night, always a very nice event. This year was my 7th consecutive year at the open house. We have decided to hold the September college at Zenith just before the open house every year because it is a productive and friendly setting, and it meshes perfectly with the Open House.

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The dinner this year gave me a change to say a few words about our friend, Charlie Becker, who is a director at the EAA, a man who played leading roles in both the EAA’s STOL 750 build and the One Week Wonder 750 Cruiser project. Grace and  I have known Charlie for more than decade, and I will assure anyone that a finer, more capable, more trustworthy man can not be found in experimental aviation. Charlie was personal friends with the EAA’s founder Paul Poberezney, Charlie understands Pauls’ vision and methods, and a strongly feel that tied with Charlie’s, building, flying and organizational skills, he is one of the most effective advocates and protectors of Homebuilding. Even if you have not met him, I will assure any EAA member that this man has worked tirelessly on causes that you care about strongly. For more thoughts on this get a look at: Speaking of Paul Poberezny.

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Above is a photo you will not see on another engine companies website., Here we have many people loading core engine parts in a crate, long after the show is over. These are parts from builders at CC#30 who will later assemble these into 3,000cc Corvairs at CC#31 in November.

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 Grace paused for a moment to shoot it while we were loading up on Saturday afternoon, long after the crowds were gone. Besides Lynn, Pat and Mary, the man in the yellow shirt is 600hr. Corvair/Pietenpol pilot Randy Bush, (Brenda, his better half is in red). I spend a lot of time talking about ‘the Corvair movement’ and ‘Traditional Homebuilders.’ The picture hints at this.

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If Continental or Rotax was leaving a show, no one would expect their customers to say 5 more hours and help their salesmen pack. The difference here is that our builders stay, because they have long known me as a fellow builder, and in many cases as a friend. I have made hundreds of house calls, and have never charged for a single one. They go the extra mile because I have done the same for them before. We attract different builders because we have a different philosophy in all things large and small. A builder who came to CC#30 noted that I am always the last person to sit down and eat dinner. I told him my Father taught me this, and in turn he had learned in from the USMC officers at Inchon. Leadership is understanding that the man at the front of the action is the most important person in the Arena, and in homebuilding, this man is the builder.

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After we were all packed, Grace and I kept up the tradition of taking a dozen people out to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant. Many Corvair pilots, but also members of the Zenith crew, Roger and Steve and friends. It was relaxing to suddenly find ourselves with nothing to do but sit down.

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After dinner we all said goodbye in the parking lot, everyone headed to a motel, and the Zenith guys headed home, and Grace and I decided to log some miles on the path home. We fueled up and I bought a large coffee at the gas station next to Wal-Mart, just as the last light left the sky. Fall was in the night air, and I spent a few minutes speaking with two local guys who had an 8 pointer in the back of their pick-up.

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The weather was clear and we had 1,100 miles to home. Grace, who had worked very hard, was falling asleep before we got to I-70; there is no radio in the Suburban (intentionally) and no cell phone. Just a long quiet night to reflect on the week with a certain sense of accomplishment and a new collection of good memories. Sipping the coffee and rolling along at 65 to 70, I had a real feeling of have just been at the right place, at the right time, and with that past, all was now at ease. I looked at the other cars on the highway and wondered if any of them could have had a memorable week. Like us, they were all headed some where, and I spent a long time on the thought ‘This is Saturday night in America.’ -ww.

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2015 Corvair Colleges – Locations and Dates.

Builders:

Here is a look at the 2015 Corvair College Schedule:

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Corvair College #32

San Marcos Texas. 27 Feb – 1 Mar, Local Hosts Shelley Tumino and Kevin Purtee. Same location as CC #28, Sign up active just after 1 Nov. 2014.

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Corvair College #33

Palatka Florida 17 -19 April, Local hosts Grace, William and ScoobE, Same location as CC#23. sign up active in January 2015.

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Corvair College #34

Mexico Missouri Mid September, 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 goes live just before Oshkosh.

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Corvair College #35

Barnwell South Carolina, 6-8 November, Local hosts ‘PF Beck and friends’. Same location as CC#19, #21, #24, #27 and #31. Sign up goes live just before Oshkosh.

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Corvair College in California 2015?

West coast builders: We are strongly considering a California College in 2015. We held CC#5 in Hanford, #11 In Cloverdale, and #13 and #18 in Livermore. For 2015, I am split between using Chino or holding another college in Cloverdale. The options look like this:

1) College in Chino,  2) College in Cloverdale, 3)One day fly-in and heavy tech seminar on Saturday at Chino, 3 ‘night school’ stops in the middle, and one day fly-in and tech seminar following Saturday at Cloverdale.

I am inclined toward #3, but I am interested in feed back on this, please use the comments section and specify which month you prefer. Before anyone votes for the end of July, let me remind them of a small gathering I am required to attend called “Oshkosh.”

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Corvair College Links:

Corvair College reference page

Corvair College History….in photos

College engine build options for closing the case

Basic Corvair College Skills, examples of learning

College Tech

Running an Engine at a College, required items. #2

Running an Engine at a College, required items. #1

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Pietenpol builder Mark Chouinard savoring the prop blast of the Corvair engine he assembled Corvair College #30. This has a lot more pride and meaning than buying an engine or doing the minimum amount to work to a flymart relic to get it going. This is a fully overhauled, zero-timed aircraft engine. But the real product in the picture is the change in capability and perspective of the man that chooses to learn and build rather than to simply buy. -ww.

 

Zenith Open House Mexico 2014 Part 1

Builders,

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Below are a few more photos from the Zenith Open house that followed Corvair College#30. Again, mostly people photos, but builders are the major part of what makes such events memorable. As you look, note that there is no ‘Corvair Type'; it is a diverse cast of characters with room for many new types. The common bond is espousing the traditional homebuilding values of Learn Build and Fly.

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Above, three of the birds that flew in on Corvair power: L-R, The Hoyt’s 2700cc 601XL-B w/650 canopy from MN.,(read more about it at this link: Patrick Hoyt, new Zenith 601XL, now flying, N-63PZ), Ron Lendon’s 2850cc 601XL-B imported from Detroit, and Lynn Dingfelder’s 2700cc 601XL-B from Corry PA. This is also a good view of how peaceful and well kept the Mexico MO airport is.

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If you are building a plane and looking forward to flying it places to enjoy it with other builders, catch this idea: Mexico MO is about 1% as stressful as flying into Oshkosh. Personally, I would look forward to flying to CC#34 and next year’s open house, but I can’t say that flying into Oshkosh is something that a personally look forward to doing. The quieter the airport, the better I like flying there.

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I keep a comprehensive introduction to the Zenith 601/650 combination at this link: Zenith 601/650 – Corvair reference page November 2013, please feel free to share it with other builders interested in the combination.

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Above, Pat and Mary Hoyt keep an eye on ScoobE. He has seen them at enough events that he can recognize them in a crowd. In the background, Corvair Zenith builder Ken Smith relaxes on the Zenith golf cart.

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A closer look at Ron Lendon’s 601. Note that his plane has a one of a kind, hand formed sheet metal nose bowl patterned after our #4102 fiberglass nose bowl. Ron is a metal smith, and wanted to give it a try. The plane is plans built, not a kit.

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Phyllis McDaniel stands beside her 650. This was the very first amateur built 650 to be registered as a flying plane with the FAA. She and her husband Shane also have a Corvair powered 601XL. You can see it with many other Corvair-Zeniths at this link: 16 Flying Corvair powered Zenith 601/ 650s

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Edi Bickford is a walking, flying breath of fresh air and a relentlessly positive person. Even at a College, in a hangar full of interesting characters, she is a stand out.

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At a big show like Oshkosh, you meet several hundred people in a day, it is just an endless stream. Many are memorable in a good way, but I would be less than truthful if I didn’t also say that there are a number of negative people that also work to make themselves memorable, just not in a good way. After 25 years of airshows, I am a little tired, not of questions, but negative people and those who want to tell you all about things they know nothing about.

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But I have a small trick that I quietly use in the presence of such people to remind me that everything considered, the good people I have met vastly outweigh the bad, and if I had chosen some other path in life, I would know a tiny fraction of the good people I have met through doing our work in the public arena. My trick is simple, when I am having to tolerate some ‘special’ person for a few minutes at an airshow, I just look over to the corner of our white display box, and there is Edi’s nametag from some long past event she attended. It has been there for a long time. It is a reminder that negative people may pass through for a minute, but good people stay around to enrich the world of Corvairs and all the good times ahead. Look at the photo and see that Edi’s current nametag is right by her old one.

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If you are reading this and have never met me in person, it may be hard for me to accurately convey what I am moved by in the human condition and the variety of experiences life offers. If I had to pick one story about humans I wrote to try to express this, it would be this one: A thought on Easter….. It isn’t a particularly about the holy day, it is a reflection on what people are thankful for in life. The builders comments at the bottom are a good indication of the quality of humans which the Corvair movement attracts.-ww.

The “Outlaw” Kitfox/Corvair project

Builders,

If you have ever thought of putting a Corvair on a Kitfox, here is a story to follow. Below are some pictures of a Corvair being sized up for a Tri-gear Kitfox model seven. We took these at Corvair College #30 two weeks ago.

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The game plan here is to make a set of installation parts for Kitfox models 5 through 7. (They are the same ahead of the firewall.) It needs a unique motor mount, it looks like it will work with our standard #3601-S intake, our #3901C stainless exhaust and we are going to base the cowling on one of our #4102 Nose Bowls.

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A Corvair builder in Texas already flew a 2,700cc Corvair on a Model 5, but it was a non-standard, hand built installation that did not have an aircraft carb. It worked, but not nearly up to the potential of the combination. I have another Texas builder, John Pitkin who is getting closer, but there are also one-off elements of his installation, and he is not in a hurry to get done. This time we have an eager builder who already has a completely standard 3,000cc Corvair done and test run at Corvair College #29. He brought the fuselage to CC#30 so I could get all the data I need to make the mount in Florida. This feels like the right plan coming together to see the plane done perhaps as soon as Oshkosh 2015.

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Now we get to the “outlaw” part of this. I have long talked to John McBean, the owner of Kitfox about doing this. Some aircraft company owners like the Monnetts have politely asked that we don’t overtly promote Corvairs on their designs, and I respect that (The have now reversed their position on this) , others Like Sebastien Heintz said “Buy a kit and have at it.” McBean has been a third path, where he has expressed a desire to make some of the parts and have say over details. I wrote about different company perspectives in this story:  Selecting an engine for your experimental aircraft , but Mcbean’s approach doesn’t sound promising to me, mostly because he has never seen a running Corvair and glossed over how unique the exhaust systems are and that they use bed mounts.

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At sun n Fun this year, we reached something of an impasse when he told me that he really wanted every Corvair installation to use one of his Lycoming cowls, a design 7″ too wide for a Corvair, simply because he wanted “his design” to have a “Certain Look.” At that point I decided that he is a good guy, but we have different views on things like who gets to choose how a plane looks (I say the builder does). The best solution is to develop the installation without any input from the Kitfox people. It is my personal belief that if a person buys a plane, it is their personal property, and they have the right to do with it what they want. Doing the firewall forward without the approval or input of the airframe kit maker is what I call an “Outlaw” installation. If you would like a look at how our nose bowls looks on different planes look at this link: Catching Up On Nosebowls ( p/n #4102 ) and at this one: STOL and utility planes for Corvair power.

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If the factory says people shouldn’t use a Corvair on a model they sell, let them make a convincing technical argument why. If it is right, builders will not use Corvairs. Simply telling people to obey works with most people, but a large chunk of traditional homebuilders only follow good reasoning, not commands. Saying “I want your plane to have a certain look” isn’t a technical argument, it is an opinion about another man’s property. Saying “I make money if you buy a Rotax 912, so it is the right engine for your plane” is not a technical argument, it is just an opinion about how you should spend the money in your bank account. It works with some people, just not many of the ones I know and spend time with. When I want Corvair builder to do things like use forged pistons, I make a technical argument why they are needed and make sense. It is a different approach that requires treating builders as intelligent adults.

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Many people are first concerned with what everyone else is doing before making a decision. They believe that finding out what most people are doing is the answer to doing it the ‘right’ way. Actually it is, if you are best described as an ‘average’ or ‘typical’ person. If there was one right way to build a plane, and it was based on what the ‘average’ person was doing, we would all be forced to read Mac McClellan’s editorials, then drive our imported mini van to the barber to get a John Edwards haircut while we read Flying magazine and the Sporties catalog. Then to the airport to use our swipe card at the chain link fence, go out to our Rotax 912 powered tri-geared plane with a glass cockpit, call ATC for permission to fly to the ‘practice area’, spend .8 hours there practicing something from a Rod Marchado video tape while never looking out the windows, Get permission to return to the airport, fly a pattern big enough for a 747-400 (because you were told to) land, put the plane away, and drive home wondering why some people talk about flying as ‘freedom’.

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Conversely, it isn’t my goal in life to be like anyone else. My goal is to follow my own path, as determined by myself, using my rational brain that I was provided with, guided by things that I care about. In 51 years on this planet, I have only been brought closer to that path by people who loved me, and a salesman telling me I have to buy a Rotax 912 is not in the group of people who love me, and for the most part, neither are the people who tell you what you have to do without offering a rational argument. They are just trying to have you obey to make something work better for them, like guy in a tower trying to have you fly a 3 mile final. Traditional homebuilding is the exercise of becoming educated so you can use your rational mind to make choices that are right for you. I am not sorry is that is inconvenient for people who would prefer is everyone was ‘average’. If you have never read it, make a point this week to drive to your local library and spend the one hour it takes to read Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and understand it is an allegory about how the ‘flock’ attempts to peck any individual to death for not conforming and serving the ‘average’ need, but some individuals were not born to blindly serve the flock od society. Bach wrote it 40 years ago, but it is more important today than it was then.

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Above, our mystery man builder, known by alias “318 Detroit” with his identity protected at CC#30. (Isn’t this what outlaws do?) Get a look at how much bigger the fuselage on this model 7 is in relation to the engine than in the bottom picture of a model 4 with a Corvair.

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A very interesting side angle: Before the McBeans owned kitfox, the company built a large number of model 5 kits. If anyone is looking for a very inexpensive STOL plane option, you can run an ad on Barnstormers.com saying “Looking for unfinished model 5 kit.” We have ad 3 people do this, and on average they paid $9,000 for a complete kit that originally sold for more than $22,000. Technically these are not ‘factory supported’ in the same way as people who buy kits direct from the McBean’s, but they do have excellent manuals and they is a lot of on line know how from people who built them successfully.

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The “outlaw” kit above is a second hand buy from Barnstormers. It’s original buyer bought nearly every option available, paying $30,000. He took it home but did virtually no work to it. (I have pointed out many times that our consumer culture indoctrinated people to be good at buying things, but poor at working on them.) Our mystery builder paid only $12,000, because it is a supply and demand issue, and deals like this will always be available as long as homebuilt completion rates are low. At CC#30 I sat down with Mr. “318 Detroit” and he showed me on paper that he is going to have a first class model 7, with a complete high end 3,000cc/12oHP Corvair, all of the items ahead of the firewall like the cowl and prop, and a basic instrument panel and a flight line radio for less money than the original owner paid for the kit.

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This option is not for everyone, and I know from 25 years of working with experimental builders that there are many times more people who will drive to Oshkosh in a $500,000 Prevost motorhome, buy a brand new kit from the McBean’s, order a $40,000 fuel injected Rotax 912 engine and installation kit, and have someone build them a glass cockpit. If they get it done, they will have more than $100K in the plane. Are they taking the right path? Yes, for them. For a more traditional homebuilding oriented person with different goals, like our “outlaw” builder, the option is open to have a very similar performing plane, but a very different experience in homebuilding, for roughly 30% of the cost. Each of these two paths are the right one for the respective builders, and figuring that out for yourself is what making a good personal choice in homebuilding is all about.  Before too long another builder will come along, buy a model 5 kit off barnstormers for $7,500, buy some parts from us, put together a 2,700cc / 100HP engine with a Stromberg carb and a Weseman 5th  bearing, add some steam gauges and a hand held radio and have $16,000 in the plane, and he will probably wonder why our mystery builder chose to budget so much money.

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Above, a group photo, the freshly run 3,000 cc Corvair engine destined for the “outlaw” Kitfox is on the test stand as a centerpiece. This photo is from Corvair College #29. Can you guess which one of the 31 people in the photo is our mystery builder? Let me make it a little easier; From the left, it isn’t Grace nor ScoobE, The Son and Father Jameson team have their own 2700 Pietenpol engine, Vern works on our team, Bob Lester in the brown hat has a flying 2700 Pietenpol,…..

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At left with me above is Kitfox CEO and owner John McBean. He stopped by the booth at Oshkosh 2013. He is a good guy, and I am not building an “Outlaw” installation to antagonize him, I just choose the term to differentiate the result from the possible co-operative effort we had previously spoken of. He has owned Kitfox for about 10 years, and put a lot of work into restoring the companies reputation, his family is known for very good customer service. I have done more than 50 different motor mount designs for Corvair installations, and more than a dozen very detailed firewall forward designs for Corvair powered planes. I will capitalize on this when working on the design of the model 5-7 installation this winter.

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Above, A kitfox model four in my shop getting a motor mount. The earlier owners of Kitfox made more than 1,000 model 4’s. They are smaller and lighter than a 5 through 7 models, really too light for a Corvair, but the owner of this plane is a friend who weighs about 160 pounds, so it still has a high useful load. We used a #2601R reverse Gold oil filter housing to get the engine right up to the firewall for the weight and balance to be right. the model 5 through & will have the harmonic balancer about 10″ from the firewall. The relationship between the model 4 and the 5-7 is very much like the difference between a Zenith 701 and a 750. they look alike, but the later planes are substantially bigger. This model 4 has it’s own 3,000cc Corvair, already built and run at a College. When completed, this large engine/small plane/light pilot combination will be a short field rocket. Read the whole story at this link: Kitfox Model IV with Corvair mount. -ww.

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