On the topic of Economic Issues in Experimental Aviation, experienced builder Greg Crouchley writes:
Dear William, Absolutely outstanding. Thank you.- Greg
Builder Brian Manlove adds:
Actually, F. Scott Fitzgerald lived very close geographically to Cherry Grove – 121 miles. He was born in St. Paul, MN – and moved back home from NYC to a huge house at 445 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN, in 1921. Bernie might have even flown right over the house on his way to Minneapolis to show his “automobile-engine powered airplane” to the editor of Popular Mechanics. Maybe he released his relief tank as he passed overhead – now THAT would be funny. (FSF, sitting in garden sipping mint julep, comments to butler: “I do believe I just felt a raindrop.”) Seriously though – I am VERY interested in your carb experiments. This is great stuff.
Brian, I actually meant to imply that Bernard was far from the world of Fitzgerald’s character, Gatsby. I don’t know much about F. Scott other than reading his master work and seeing his film biography beloved infidel a couple of times. My old friend Chris who is in the glider flying story is very fond of Fitzgerald, and often brings up Gatsby’s main objection to the idle rich of the 1920s, that everything they did was “sloppy.”-ww
Builder Harold Bickford shares:
That is a very far-reaching piece you’ve written. For me the working class effort started with a paper route when I was 11.My folks made clear that if I wanted something it wouldn’t be handed to me.
In that context you grow up valuing what you have earned and owned. The high school years Corvairs were in the same mold. Bought with earnings and not handed to me, they were chosen because of the engineering and concept behind them. Reading more than Ralph Nader’s critiques was useful too.
So now it’s the beginning of an Air camper with Corvair power. The plans and manuals were purchased from Andrew Pietenpol, William Wynne and Clark’s Covairs. A few parts have been sourced from another Piet builder and the last year saw a dedicated building constructed. A few fuselage parts are done. Later this year the big wood order comes and then things should progress a bit. In the meantime work on the engine (i.e. teardown) can start. Why do all this? it’s the working class thing, the desire to build and create, learn something new. Rather than getting in the way, education and life experience inform the decision.
It fits the desire for an economical, fabric covered airplane in a classical mold and my wife likes the idea as well. In fact she insisted that we do the Piet in red as she likes cardinals. Anyone up for a short b&w film, “Why we build”, complete with grainy images?-Harold
Builder Gary Burdett writes:
Thanks, I needed that. -Gary
Sprint builder Joe Goldman writes:
Thank you William, -Joe
International man of aviation Tom Graziano asks:
William, Does the Ford carb have a mixture control or a means of leaning/enriching? If not, is there anything in the works to do so (e.g. McNeilly leaning block)? Thanks.-Tom
Tom, We have not dug into it, but the bow is vented in such a way that some sort of back suction mixture control may be possible. Even if this turns out not to be practical, the carb may still have a lot of fans, even without mixture control. I understand the limitation of this for a guy from the Rockies like you, but many guys from east of the Mississippi rarely have use for mixture control on low and slow type planes.-ww
On the EAA Webinar, Andrew Shearer writes:
I listened to the webinar and was very, very impressed, both with your presentation and with the professionalism of the webinar itself. Thank you for this very informative session.
I had listened to a few webinars before yours but they did not have the pre-seminar audio visual confirmation that yours did, and this was very helpful. Most of them seem to start just a few minutes late, and that is understandable given the limitations of the technology used.
I did have 2 questions.
1. Will a Corvair match a Thorpe S18 and
2. Have there been any crankshaft issues with engines running any of the 3 types of 5th bearing setups
Andrew, I have a feeling that an S-18 would be a lot happier with an engine bigger than a Corvair. Out of nearly 200 5th bearings on running engines, the only aircraft that has had any kind of crank issue is Mark Langford’s. His 3100 ran my bearing for 450 hours, but broke the back-end of the crank last year. My personal opinion is that was caused by an issue unique to Mark’s engine. Neither he nor I think it had anything to do with flight loads from the prop. Other than this, no one has had an issue with a 5th bearing -ww
Pietenpol builder Pete Kozachik writes:
Hi William, I enjoyed your webinar last night; smooth presentation and minimal repeating of the same stuff. My question was about auto gas instead of 100LL; is there any specific engine part that would not fare as well with auto gas, with or without ethanol? Am thinking valve guides maybe? On topic, what was lead added for anyway back in the day? Thanks,-Pete Kozachik
Pete, The engine runs cleaner internally on fuel without lead in it. Nothing about the metal parts of the engine has a problem with fuel with ethanol. Lead was added to fuel to improve it’s anti knock characteristics. -ww
Sp-500 designer and builder Spencer Gould writes:
Hi William, Would you happen to have a link on where we can see old Webinars including your one done on 5/9/12? A search in the EAA video player only pulled up one result. –Thanks, Spencer
Spencer, I am pretty sure you can find it on the EAA’s website, EAA.org/webinars. It is archived there so people will always be able to go back and look it up.-ww