Corvair Cooling, Three 2007 examples from our hangar.


Here are a few more observations on cooling. One of the central themes here is what we have proven to work over years of building and testing -vs- what some people perceive to be factual. First, because of the expanding nature of the Corvair movement, we will always have a steady stream of new arrivals who need to read up on what has already been accomplished and long proven. Most new builders are eager to do this, and our main page is the primary resource for this study. There is a minority of new arrivals that will find out about the corvair on Monday, skim the first page on our site, and commence to send me 6 or 8 text messages a day from their black berry or ipad, questions that could be answered with a few minutes of reading. Often, if I don’t answer them by Wednesday, they ask other people on net discussion groups, Thursday they send out messages asking if I am still in business and Friday they post a long story to the web about how rotten I am and how they just sent a big check…to a Unicorn breeder.

Those people are hard to help, but people willing to learn mostly invest the time to see what has been done, and this continuous learning cycle is part of my job, and I am glad to do it with any builders willing to learn. This is part of the normal path to successful building. These people can read about planes like the three examples we built below, and learn why their cooling systems work great. However, there is also a second type of perspective. This is a guy who has a specific view in his head, like “Corvairs have unsolved heat problems,” and he is going to try to find data to support it, all the while ignoring all the examples we built and flew and the builder clones of these examples that are out flying today. Changing the perspective of a guy who looks at the world in such a prejudiced way is very difficult.

People like this have an attachment to their perspective that is not softened by facts nor data. I will try once or twice, but beyond that, my work is confined to presenting data that shows these people are wrong, and prevents them from derailing the building process of other people who are making progress. One of the things I have learned about people in the last two decades is that the people who perceive these types of problems and ignore proven data to the contrary are very unlikely to ever finish a plane. That is their problem. If you are a regular builder and your working to build and fly your plane, your only concern is to learn to detect and avoid this type of person and not let their problem become yours.  Below are three examples of aircraft that were built or finished by my “Hangar Gang” at our old hangar in Edgewater FL in 2007.  All three used our standard cowlings and cooling methods. This is information that is more than five years old, and plenty of people have seen these aircraft from Coast to coast in the US. This is what is known as physical proof.

In the above photo, Gordon Alexander’s 3,100cc Pegzair complete and running has just passed its FAA Airworthiness Inspection.  Gordon brought the project down on a trailer from Minnesota to the main hangar in Edgewater, where he commenced a savage 14-hours a day for 100 days to finish it. Inspired by his commitment, Gus, Kevin and I each worked to assist him. This is a very large corvair powered plane, it is a true STOL type with automatic leading edge slats, and it will fly below 40 mph. It is very draggy, and it had no problem cooling. I flew the plane, and it worked well after only a few small tweaks. It has an MA3 carb and a very quiet exhaust. It did not use inlet rings and it has a front alternator. The person who told me on the phone that he thought slow planes “had heat issues” knew about this plane but chose to ignore it’s sucess because it didn’t fit his pre-conceived model of reality. Thats ok because reality works weither or not every armchair expert agrees with it or not.

Above is a shot of Rick Lindstrom’s 601XL with its complete paintjob outside our hangar in 2007. The prop is a Sensenich 64×41. The carb is a MA3. This aircraft has flown all over the US. It has been in FL, Southern California and to Washington state. It has been seen by builders at the Sun n Fun, Arlington and Copper State (AZ) airshows. It even won the best engine trophy. A number of pilots have flown it long distances Like Rick, Amy Choi, Woody Harris and Michael Heintz. It flew across the US in the middle of a heat wave that showed outside air temps above 105F at 9,500 feet. The plane was flying at a special gross of 1425 pounds for the flight. It was climbed under these conditions at wide open throttle for over 50 minutes without pause after a number of fuel stops. This climb was flown at airspeeds near 65 mph. Yet it never over heated nor detonated, period. It has the exact same cooling system that we teach builders to install on their Zeniths. Physics doesn’t play favorites. It works here, and if you build a copy of this, it will work on your plane. Let anyone who thinks we don’t know how to cool a Corvair explain the history of this aircraft….they can’t.

A look at our 701 testbed in the Zenith booth at Sun ‘N Fun.2010. The plane was finished in the old hangar in 2007.  In 2010, Dan Weseman and I worked to upgrade the aircraft with one of his 5th bearings. This aircraft is capable of very slow climbs at high power. It is a cooling challenge. When we first finished the plane it had an aerocarb on it. This was later changed to an Ellison. We tuff tested the cowl and made a number of small tweaks. The only serious issue we had with the plane running hot was caused by the owner resetting the ignition timing without a light. This corrected, the plane worked fine, and a number of well-known Corvair pilots like Gus Warren, Arnold Holmes and Dan Weseman flew the plane. This aircraft had the first Gold Oil Fliter housing flown.

A negative person could claim we had to work some to make this plane fly cool, but reality says that is why there are 40 hour test periods, that is why we build and test things ourselves instead of using builders as guinea pigs, and lets not forget, this is why we use timing lights to set timing. This aircraft worked and cooled itself, and any 701 builder who made a clone of the configuration of this aircraft would have it work for him also. If you are new to Corvairs, and going through the learning cycle, keep in mind that you may hear of examples that didn’t work (that didn’t use our data or meathods) or you may hear from people who are willfully ignoring aircraft we have built and publicly demonstrated to work. If you let them deter you, you are allowing them to rob you of a chance to finish and fly your plane. What will you get as a consolation prize? you get to be nothing more than a supporter of a person who’s claims can be shown to be false just by looking at the above three photos. Some of these people will pose as experts just trying to “help” you with your plane. You need only ask them to show you the Corvair powered planes that were finished and flown out of their hangar. They will have nothing to show.-ww

There is a quote that comes to mind when dealing with people who will not openly observe things that we show to work, nor even acknowledge the existence of these planes, in the dogged need to keep their pet belief:

“If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it–the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.” -William Clifford

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: