Corvair College #41, SC in November, filling up.

Builders,

College #41 will be our largest in 2017. It already is 3/4 full. We are just 74 days away from the event, but the sign up shuts off automatically when we reach the event’s capacity. Do not procrastinate if you are planning on getting something significant done in homebuilding this season.

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Corvair College #41, Barnwell SC, 10-12 November 2017:  This is a return to our flagship College at it normal time of the year. For a look at the 2015 Barnwell College, check this out: Corvair College #35 Barnwell builders video.

For a look at the EAA film about the 2013 Barnwell College, click here: New EAA video on Corvair College#27, Barnwell 2013.

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Barnwell has been the home of eight previous Corvair College. P.F. Beck and crew have the logistics down so well that we have no difficulty having a productive event for 90 builders. If you are planning on going, do not delay in signing up.

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here is the link for CC41:

https://eventregistration2017.wufoo.com/forms/cc41/

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Ken Pavlou holds the Cherry Grove trophy at CC#31 Barnwell 2014. His aircraft is named “The Blue Speedo.” Read more: Ken “Adonis” Pavlou advises aviators: “Life is short, Live Large”

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Late tech questions. This is about 1 am on Sunday, nearing the end of a 19 hour day. If you want to pack a lot into a College, good, that is how we do it. However, the free form of the lesson plans allow each person to take in and digest at their own rate and pace. Read a 2013 story here: Who is William Wynne?

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A prankster Bill Reynolds testing the ragged limits of the No Politics  rule we have a Corvair Colleges. Read about Bill’s son Jack building his Corvair here: Video of rebuild and run of Corvair, from a 13 year old.

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Above, The Weseman/SPA Panther and a ’66 Corvair Corsa on the flight line at Barnwell #31 . Read this to understand how SPA distributing  our parts for the last 20 months has greatly improved customer service: Outlook 2016, New order page and distribution method.

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Above, Bob Lester’s Corvair powered Pietenpol sits on the ramp at Barnwell at sunset on Saturday night, CC #31. Read more here: Bob Lester’s Corvair/ Pietenpol nears 800 hours.

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Last Call, Corvair College #40, Texas Sept. 31-Oct. 2.

Builders,

Corvair College #40 Wisener-Mineola Airport, (Tyler) TX 29 September 31 October 2 2017: This college has Shelley Tumino and Kevin Purtee as hosts the same couple who brought you the four colleges in Austin TX, have moved to north central TX for this College.

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As of this day (Aug 9) we only have eight more spaces available for this College. The college is still a month and a half away, but if people are planning on attending, they can’t delay signing up much further. I am going to close the sign up at midnight EST this Friday, or it will close automatically before that if it fills the last space.

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Both Dan Weseman and Myself are going to be at the College for technical support, in addition to a number of returning builders to assist. The required sign up fee covers the catered food and drinks. I expect this to be a very productive college. We will have several Corvair powered planes on hand for demonstration and inspection. Unlike other aviation “technical seminars” Corvair College is a total immersion experience, we pack a great deal into a very short time window.

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Blast from the past, 2015

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At Corvair College #32, it was 36F and raining. Kevin Purtee, wearing “the hat of power” got the idea was that he and Mark Chouinard should stand shirtless in the prop blast and see who could take it longer. Mark bowed out, as shown in the photo above taken by Grace in the rain, snow and sleet, but Kevin wanted everyone to know that ” it really wasn’t that cold”. (Note the rain drops  on the lens and builders in insulated suits.) Someone figured out that the wind chill in the prop blast was 90 below, even without the water cooling effect. He next time anyone asks if a Corvair college is a typical boring technical seminar, with power point presentations in the Holiday Inn banquet room, I will pull out this picture, it should cover the difference pretty well.

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Next Event: Zenith Aircraft Open House Sept. 22-23.

Builders:

Zenith Aircraft is holding their annual open house in Mexico MO on September 22-23. Dan Weseman from SPA/Panther and myself will be traveling out and doing a complete Corvair assembly and test run demonstration, just as we did in 2016. This was a very popular event. It does not require reservations to attend, and it is open to all builders, not just current Zenith builders.  If you are thinking of attending, make plans now.

 Read more on the factory website: http://www.zenith.aero/profiles/blogs/planning-open-hangar-day-25

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Above a picture from our 2016 engine assembly and test run demonstration. Dan Weseman, in the red shirt, offered detailed information to builders seeking to better understand the attributes of the Corvair and the parts and support we offer.

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The Zenith open house dinner is an important event not just for Zenith, but also on the homebuilding calendar. The President of the EAA has previously used the dinner to speak directly to homebuilders, in a real grass roots setting. Above I am pictured  with EAA’s  Charlie Becker after the 2016 dinner. He had just presented me with the EAA Major Achievement award, recognizing 25 years of work on behalf of traditional homebuilding.  The award was very moving, and the fact I could show it to my Father before he passed is important to be beyond words, a chance to show my father I had conducted myself by the values he and men of his generation owed their allegiance to.  Read the story here: EAA Major Achievement Award.

 

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Above Roger and I stand at the bar after the 2016 dinner was over. Besides being an outstanding aviator, Roger is an accomplished outdoorsman, family man, and father. He may look 24, but he is actually in his 40s.  In my dinner remarks I pointed out that very, very few experimental aircraft companies last 25 years, far less 43 like Zenith. (they have been in Mexico MO for 25 years )  The industry lifespan for new start ups is about 36 months, while some of that is economics, much of it is nefarious plans to lift peoples money without ever having to offer service on a poor product. Zenith is the polar opposite of that. The greatest single example of Zenith’s stability in the industry is the longevity of their workforce, exemplified by Roger Dubbert. Read the whole story here: Zenith’s Roger Dubbert, man who has flown 10,000 demo flights.

 

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Ford Man and ‘Old Hairy Guy’ deploy to Zenith ” These are our code names, over the years Dan and I have covered many Corvair events together, and our displays are right next to each other every year at Oshkosh. For the origins of the names, read this:“Old hairy guy” and Ford Man deploy to the west coast

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Above the Westedt’s, Craig and Val, stand in front of Val’s CH-650. Craig had hands on the motor, but the airframe is Val’s achievement.  This was the first year at the factory. They flew in from Oklahoma. This plane was awarded “Best low wing zenith” at the 25th Open House. For a look at Corvair powered planes at the 2016 event: Corvairs at the 25th Zenith open house.

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Read this to better understand my perspective on the value of showing up at events: Nine days to Zenith’s 25th Open House, Mexico MO.

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Here is another story about the 2016 event: Working with builders at Zeniths Open House.

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Important points:

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Everyone interested in homebuilding is welcome; you do not need to be a Zenith builder to be welcome at their open house. The Heintz family has a 40 year history of supporting homebuilders of all kinds, not just their current builders.

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There is on site camping, but motel space in Mexico MO is limited, if you are thinking about attending, make reservations soon.

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Dan and I will be demonstrating all of our assembly techniques; we welcome builders taking pictures, notes and video. While I will have plenty of Conversion manuals on hand, anyone seriously interested in getting the most out of following every detail of the build and test run should read the manual through in advance. If you don’t have one, you can order one here: http://shop.flycorvair.com/shop/ and it will be shipped out right away.

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We will be conducting “Parking lot Inspections” which means any part you have for your Corvair that you would like us to look at, bring it, and we will.  If you have a case, crank, heads or any other part that you would like inspected, bring them, and we will be glad to give them a look. This is also an opportunity to get in the game and save the shipping on sending these parts in for overhaul or modification. We will load them in the trailer and bring them back with us to Florida. This saves packing and shipping, and gets you started and ready for the coming Corvair Colleges.

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If you have never met Dan or myself in person, and you are still in the decision process of which engine will power your homebuilt, the Zenith Open House is an outstanding opportunity to come, look and make a much more informed decision. I have always said that Corvairs are not for everyone, but for the traditional learn build and fly homebuilders with the goal of mastering their engine, not just owning it, the Corvair is an excellent option. I welcome the chance to meet new potential builders in the relaxed setting where they can get a very good look at how much Dan Weseman and myself have to directly share with builders.  The very best relationship between a builder and his engine provider is one based on mutual respect. Come meet me in person and get a much better understanding of why I have been continuously working with homebuilders for 28 years.

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Machines vs Appliances, putting metal in microwaves

Builders,

I have written extensively on the differences between machines and appliances, and why only a brainwashed consumer has “brand loyalty” for appliances, conversely, people who chose to spend their lives with durable machines who’s designs, construction and durability are worthy of respect, can actually bestow their favor on such machines.

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Perhaps nothing arouses the displeasure of a machinery loving individual like a sticker, written by a lawyer, that says “no user serviceable parts inside”. Seeing such a judgmental decree on a piece of private property already purchased, and now malfunctioning, leads to expressing a “response” with a machine, directed at the defective appliance……..

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When my Chinese made, microwave stopped heating things just after the one year  warranty ran out, it made me think of a time when we expected our US made household appliances to last 20 or more years. The sticker on the back, pictured below, smugly justifying the choice to make the product non-repairable and blaming it on the owner ticked me off.  So out to the back yard it went for an encounter with machines of great quality and brilliant design, a contrast worthy of being filmed.
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Above, the last statement on the sticker is the most offensive. It motivated me to violate their most ardently repeated warning not to “Put metal into the microwave”. The metals we selected were copper, steel and lead.

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Above is a 90 second film of Machines vs Appliances.  Special thanks to my neighbor Ryan for his assistance.  For those that like detail, Remington 870 delivers hits 1 and 2, both 7/8 .oz slugs, and 3, a 00 buck magnum round. hits 4-30 are all from an AR in .223,  all 55gr. FMJ.  Now the sticker should simply read “No serviceable parts, period”

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More stories of Machines vs. Appliances:

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A look at a running 95 year old aircraft engine: Machines vs Appliances Part #2

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A look at a classic: Made in USA : .45-70 at 143 years old

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Some very heavy machines in my yard:Made in USA – When size and quality matter.

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My personal Code of Conduct: Why “Made in America” matters to me.

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This was the #1 most popular story I wrote in 2016. Read the comments also to understand your fellow countryman’s perspective: Made in America – data plates – obituaries to US manufacturing jobs . I don’t like the ‘leadership’ of either national party, but I wrote that story two weeks before the DNC got a harsh lesson in taking the loyalty of underemployed  blue collar Americans for granted.

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A very loyal airport dog.

Builders,

The best known dog at our little airport is Kirby, a twenty pound,  ten year old canine with genealogy that couldn’t be sorted out with DNA testing and the complete records of the AKC. He is 100% American mutt, and like most dogs spared from early extinction, he is totally loyal to his best friend, Alex.

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Alex owns a large concrete business, and Kirby has spent nearly every minute of his life with Alex. They go to work all day together, Hang out most of the night at Ronnie’s our local bar and grill, and at night head back to Alex’s hangar apartment. Because of this and his slightly insecure nature, Kirby will do anything to stay by Alex’s side.

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Last week, Kirby snuck out of the apartment late at night to run around the hangar. Alex didn’t notice, and shut the door for the night. In the early hours of the morning he was awakened by Kirby, covered in white dust. Looking around, he discovered that Kirby had tunneled his way in through 2 layers of sheet rock. It had taken most of the night, but it is all in a nights work for a loyal dog.

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Above, Kirby being lightly scolded in front of the tunnel he bored through the apartment wall.
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For a look at another Kirby story, read this: Sunday, a long day at the airport. It is a look at a day of work at our place in 2013. The end of the story is a hard lesson I learned bout looking at the lives of others.

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A very tough airport cat.

Builders,
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I walked into my hangar, and my neighbors cat Patches, a 12 year old, bony 5 pound female ran out the door with something in her mouth. My coffee had not yet saturated my brain, and my first thought was “Why is Patches stealing an air hose?” A moment later I got another glance and saw she had a snake in her mouth.

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I chased her across my yard, and under Grace’s Corvair van, pictured above.  I was relieved to see it wasn’t a water moccasin, but I had a struggle with a stick trying to get her to drop it.  By the time I did, the snake was beyond saving. Later careful inspection showed that it was an Indigo snake 48-50″ long. It’s mouth was clogged with white cat fur. Patches lives outside, but I have never seen her chase lizards nor birds. Evidently, something about this particular snake was personal.

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When I picked up the snake after the battle, I guessed it weighed about half of what Patches does, and it was four times longer, but evidently it wasn’t nearly as tough as an old airport cat from rural Florida.

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Related Stories:

Water moccasins or Beltway traffic? Back in Florida 

Environmental factors: Rain, Snakes, and Power Testing

An annual event on our calendar: Snake Season Returns

Snakes common enough to be a trip and fall hazard: Fun with Agkistrodon Piscivorus and Vern’s Aero-Trike
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Oshkosh, social lives of Corvairs

Note: If the first 3 pictures of this post are messed up in your view, I will try to get this adjusted over the weekend. I am working off an I Phone and a laptop to post this, and keep in mind I am a computer troglodyte, so don’t bother to send instructions saying “just convert the Gilfs to PDFs and the send them through the source code” as this will only lead me to explain why I think Steve Jobs had the same ethics as Pol Pot. I know Corvairs and flying, and as far as I can tell, Charles Lindbergh never said “Flying the Sprit of St, Louis was OK, but it would have really been a worthwhile experience if I could have done it while staring at an I-pad made by slave labor in China” -love WW.

Builders,

While the majority of people powering their experimental will settle for an engine they buy and bolt on, the homebuilder who selects a Corvair is often looking for an experience with more depth. While Corvairs have been a long proven option, they are not a ‘mainstream’ choice in an ever more consumer driven aviation world.  That’s OK, we will always be here for the experimental aviator who wants to find out how much they can learn, not how little.

 

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Because Corvair builders all have the common connection of Learn, Build and Fly as a goal, and the fact it is not the mainstream, we have more of a club atmosphere amoung builders than other power plant options. This is reinforced by our Corvair Colleges and events, and the fact my tent at Oshkosh is a central gathering point for builders every year. While almost all commercial displays zip up their tents at 5pm on the dot, we hang out for hours every night and enjoy a week with friends both old and new. Below is a look at some of these moments from Airventure 2017.  If having other like minded traditional aviators to share your hours with is an important element of your plans, consider a place in the community of Corvair Builders.

 

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Above, Corvair builders who flew in: Ken Pavlou, Randy Bush, Joe Sarcione and his better half Lauren. I took this when we were all eating dinner together. See thevery popular story about ken: Ken “Adonis” Pavlou advises aviators: “Life is short, Live Large”

 

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In the evening, we often walk around and look at aircraft. My favorite military aircraft of all time Grumman F8F Bearcat, just finished a flight in airshow.  Read more here: Values of my Father

 

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Legendary aviator Doc Mosher, age 92, recipient of both the FAA master pilot and master mechanic awards, Speaks with my brother in law, Col. John Nerges.  Yes, you can serve 31 years in the Army and still wear a tee shirt picturing Harambe as Che Guevera.

 

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Gene Zastera was a classmate of mine at Embry Riddle (about a century ago) He is one of he very few graduates who have ever earned a 4.0 GPA from the university. He has spent much of his career instructing new generations A&P mechanics.

 

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The flight line side of my display tent is a pilots lounge after hours. John, Joe and Lauren kicking back before the night airshow.

 

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B-2 Bomber fly over.

 

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Corvair builder Greg Crouchley. He has both a Corvair powered Waiex and a Corvair powered Zenith 750 stol. He has been to a dozen Corvair Colleges and he always makes Oshkosh. Read about his engine here: World’s Strongest 3,000cc Corvair, built by Greg Crouchley, and his personal outlook here: Guest Editorial, Greg Crouchley, Waiex/Corvair builder.

 

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Shane and Phyllis McDaniel. They Each, have their own Corvair powered Zenith, Shane a 601XL and Phyllis a 650. They are enjoying a little shade and company behind my tent during the afternoon airshow. see:Zenith Aircraft Open House

 

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Randy Bush in sunglasses, giving a tutorial on Corvair installations using his 3,000cc Cleanex as the prime example. I have intentionally fostered the atmosphere in the Corvair movement where experienced builders can directly exchange ideas and information with builders just starting. see: 3,000cc Cleanex at Oshkosh 2017

 

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Above, Ken Pavlou and Jim Tomaszewski in the shade behind my tent. Jim has built a Corvair powered twin that started out life as his RV-6A. He calls the plane the JAG-2. (JAG-2 Corvair Twin, running on film)

 

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The view from the tent, looking at the flight line. The Close plane is Joe Sarcione’s Zenith 750, next is Ken Pavlou’s 601XL, and third is Randy Bush’s Cleanex.

 

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A friend stops by the lounge with two very calm service dogs.

 

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I got a chance to shake hands with Smokey.

 

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Howard 500: A super bad-ass 14 seat executive transport from the 1950s, based on the design of a Lockheed Loadstar.  This aircraft has two very high output R-2800’s totaling 5,600 HP. It can outrun a P-51D Mustang at sea level. Note the square prop tips that operate at .9 mach. Keep this picture in mind the next time an ‘expert’ tries to sell you the BS story that props have to be shaped like toothpicks or turn and celling fan speeds to turn HP into thrust

 

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“Ginger the Ninja” Tomaszewski, The “G” the JAG-2 twin.

 

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Dan and Rachel Weseman of SPA/Panther, at the exhibitors lunch. They were in the booth right next to us as always, and they had a stellar year with 5 Panthers on hand, 4 of which were new this year, including an example of the tricycle gear model now available.

 

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It was a fun Airventure. Next event is the Zenith open house in Mexico MO, third weekend of September. Dan and I will be there and assemble and test run a Complete Corvair engine start to finish. Make plans now, we will see you there.

 

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