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


Tonight’s instalment of photos from college#24……

Above, I give a hands on demonstration of setting the valve adjustment on a corvair. I always prefer to do this with the pan off and the engine standing on its nose. We have a stand for this, but it could be done just as easily with a stand made from two 18″ squares of 3/4″ plywood. In this position the crank sits still and the engine rotates around it. This is how certified engines are assembled in repair stations.

Dan Heath’s KR-2 in overhead flight. It is white on top because composite planes need to stay cool in sunlight, but the bottom of the aircraft shows why he calls the plane “the Blackbird.”


Above, Dan gives a hands on demonstration of how his original 5th bearing design is field installed on an existing fully assembled engine as an upgrade. Several engines at the college featured Dan’s 2nd generation bearing which requires working with the crank out of the engine. He is still in full production on both designs because they serve different needs. Dan and I have sourced a different crank shop and nitriding facility here in Jacksonville to use in addition to our traditional work with Moldex in MI. Builders interested in having their crank done and using Dans bearing can streamline the process by having us take care of the crank and opting for a Gen 2 bearing. The crank comes back as a drop in piece and the majority of the alignment work of the bearing installation is done because the Gen 2 part on the crank is already installed and ground concentric with the crankshaft.

Above, Dan Heath, on the right, talks about his KR-2 with other builders. Many people commented that Dan’s engine installation displayed outstanding attention to detail.


Above, Irv Russell, left, gives a thumbs up after a demo flight in Phil Maxson’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. We gave it to him at the discounted price because he used his core motors case and crank as a trade in.

Above, Zenith 750 builder Gaston Brawley finished and ran his 3,000 cc engine at the college. It features a Roy bearing and a lot of very nice detail work, including all of our gold parts, which match is paint job. His alternator bracket is in place, but we rarely run a charging system on a break in run.


Above, Corvair college #20 grad Jon Coxwell had the company of his son at #24, and the pleasure of finishing and running his Aircamper engine. Here both father and son give thumbs up.

Above, another photo of air inlet rings. This is Phil Maxson’s 601 cowl. It is one of our older one piece units. Phil’s plane was finished in our old Edgewater hangar in the spring of 2006. His cowl has been in the same configuration since then, and he has never had any type of heat issue. At the College he flew down with a 3,100cc engine built by Mike Robitie for mikes Cleanex project. Phil is good friends with Mike and opted to break the engine in on Phil’s 601. The history of this plane is a good example that we have long known how to install the Corvair on the Zenith airframe, our own 601 first flying almost 9 years ago.  Builders of these airframes have a very proven path to follow.


Above, something of a coincidence: notice the names, Builders Michelle Tomalo and Shelly Tominio, sisters in Corvairhood, they even look a little bit alike.

Above, At the Friday night dinner, Local host P F Beck took the time to thank his outstanding crew. They did a great job and stayed late into the night and to the last builder was gone on Sunday. We wanted for nothing at the event, these guys set the standard for host performance.

Above, Dan stands beside is 3,000 cc Panther Prototype engine. It is the first engine running with his new, made in America, billet crankshaft. Note that it also has our jointly developed rear alternator arrangement. (a little more full output load testing takes place this week) At the College the engine Greg Crouchley built for his Waiex airframe also featured one of Dan’s billet cranks fitted with a gen 2 bearing.  While they are not required, they are the last word in strength an a good value when measured against the extreme cost of buy-it-in-a-box imported engines.-ww

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