Mail Sack 1/14/13, Various topics….


Here is a sample of the mail on a whole bunch of topics:

On the “Bear-vair”, 601XL Builder/flyer Scott Thacher writes:

“Hi William. I looked over the last photo of you holding the bear in the prop blast and noticed a great optical illusion! Note that your arm and bear appear in the prop blast while your other arm and body appears to be in front of the prop! Scott Thatcher (getting closer to the first 100 hour mark)”

On the “Bear-vair” Zenith 750 builder Dan Glaze writes:

“William, I started working on my engine at CC 17 and ran it at CC 20 and have been to 3 colleges since my engine ran, the reasons? great fun , great people, and helping other people get to their prop blast grin is more rewarding than anything I can think of.On top of all these reasons I learn more from the college gang on every trip and feel confident that I can do any and all maintenance and repairs needed to keep my engine running for years, looking forward to the next college!! Dan-o”

On making a reality plan for 2013, Dragonfly builder and CC#22 Grad Guy Bowen writes:

“2012 was an active time for the Corvair part of my Dragonfly. After CC22 I received my Weseman-processed crank, finished cleanup & paint on my block, after plasti-guaging the mains installed the OT-10 (everything looked great). I sent my core heads to Mark Petz and ordered my 2850 kit. In 2013 I plan to, if the financial gods are pleased, order my Dan Bearing get my core engine built to the short block stage. I plan to test my hanging rudder pedal configuration, finalize and install my panel and start on my engine cowl and firewall installation.”

On the subject of “Steel tube fuselages and accidents” Builder Ron Brown writes:

“Absolutely love it.Your right on target. Having witnessed my share of crashes at the strip starting at Rialto and Fontana late 50′s . continuing on to OC. Lyons and Pomona,they were horrific but nothing compared to the carnage that I experienced in Helicopters during my 2 tours in Vietnam. Give me Warren Truss 4130 over semimonocoque 2024 any day! – Ron”

On the subject of up coming Colleges: Dan Haynes writes:

“I missed the Texas colleges while deployed to Afghanistan. I’d sure like to see a college in Texas in 2013. Dan”

Dan, Welcome back, we are glad to have you home. We don’t have the 2013 Colleges set in stone yet, with the exceptions of the book end events, #25 in Leesburg FL on April 5-7th and the year-end event in Barnwell in November. We had spoken with Kevin and Shelley, hosts of #22 in Texas, and they are willing to do another great one, but we may skip a year in Texas. I have given a lot of thought to a 2013 “Corvair Air Tour” where we would get a number Corvair powered planes to fly a circuit of one day stops around the central US, maybe 12 or 15 days total. If we could pull this off Texas will certainly be on the tour. More info will be here as it develops-ww

On the topic of “carb choices ” builder “Irish” writes:

“This is the right blog for everyone who really wants to understand this topic. You realize a whole lot it’s almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for many years. Great stuff, just wonderful!”

In response to my comments about certified composite aircraft and safety issues Builder Scott Black writes:

There was a Columbia here in Quebec that did a hard bounce on a touch and go. The pilot heard something funny and elected to continue to the airport where his mechanic operated. On landing he almost fainted. The entire aft fuselage had delaminated due to the resonance set up when the airplane bounced. It was being held together by just a few exterior plies of composite. The mechanic called the insurance and was told it was a known issue and to put the airplane in the back of the hangar and cover it with something and to keep their mouths shut. So it is not just wings and spars that delaminate. The fact that he left a safe runway with a structurally damaged airplane is a separate issue!

Scott-that particular issue, a landing gear resonance so bad it takes the aft fuselage apart on the Columbia has happened more than once. It is alleged to be caused by mismatch in tire pressure exciting the frequency of the gear. I am pretty sure the aircraft you saw was trucked to FL for repairs.-ww

On the topic of making a real plan for 2013 progress, ATP/CC#17 Grad (and RV owner) Warner Sportser builder, Bill Zorc writes:

 “I really want to get my Corvair engine finished!!! My Warner Sportster is coming along nicely, and with the upcoming Corvair College in April of 2013, I have a good shot running the engine. Mark P has my heads, and they should be ready by then he says. I need a 2850 kit, and would like to get the Weatherpak connectors on my distributor. Any other long lead items I would like to order now also, so I’d appreciate some advice as to the proper prop for this engine/airframe combination. It will weigh in at the 1320 limit for light sport, although the airframe is supposed to be good for 1500 lbs. 114 sq ft of wing area, a top speed of 120 , and a cruise somewhere around 100 or so is what I’m looking for. Since there aren’t any of them flying yet with the Corvair would it be better to use the ground-adjustable warp drive? If so what length?, Bill”

Bill- I think your best bet is a 2 blade 68″ Warp Drive ground adjustable. You can order one of our products page.-ww

On “the worlds strongest Corvair/ weather pack connectors” Builder  Mark Gardner writes:

“Bravo! I work in the automotive repair industry and was planning to use weather pack connectors on many of my connections. This has been a proven system and makes a very neat and tidy build. I’m glad to hear your now doing this as well. The tool and connectors are easy to come by and they work like a champ!”

On “Darwin where are you?” 601XL builder Oscar Zuniga writes:

“William: Darwin is alive and well. His premise was that only the fittest would survive. Those who do not read (or write, or heed) their POHs are doomed to drill it in. After enough cycles of this, only troglodytes will still exist and roam the earth. And what good is a check from your hull insurance company for the full amount of coverage going to do you when they toss it into your coffin?”

On “Darwin where are you?” Bruce Culver writes:

“I expect that when the chap who opened his door in flight gets the bill for the repairs, he will have learned why one doesn’t open the door in flight. Of course, he’s lucky he’s alive to pay the bill…..”

On the topic of Corvair College in Leesburg FL Builder Skip Beattie writes:

“Leesburg for #25 sounds great to me. I couldn’t make #24, but I will be ready in April and I live just down the road in Citrus County. Just before Sun ‘n Fun would be a good idea as well. (Planning to mount it in a Fisher Celebrity)”

Skip- It will be a fun and productive event. I will speak to Jim and Rhonda Weseman about flying their Corvair/Celebrity over-ww

On the passing of noted Aviation writer Mick Myal, his daughter Julie Myal Castro writes:

“What a wonderful way to remember my dad…..I had no idea that he had such a profound impact on other airplane enthusiasts. Thank you for the insight that even I didn’t know!!! Julie”

On the passing of noted Aviation writer Mick Myal,  Editor Pat Panzera writes:

“Very nice. Thank you so very much for this.”

On the passing of noted Aviation writer Mick Myal, His wife Sue wrote:

…this was a tribute beyond words…And…thanks to you too for sending it on…I will pass on to our kids and MIck’s many “airplane buddies”. Sue

Intakes and Internet myths, Part 2.


On October 10th 2012, I wrote the first part of this. The story was formed around showing builders that the style of intake manifold that we have used for years on Corvair flight engines is actually a very well engineered design that appears over and over again on purpose designed aircraft engines built by large Aircraft industry giants like Alison on the 1710 V-12. I was looking for a particular photo on our main website and came across this photo that I took at the Pioneer Airport side of Oshkosh in 2008. Get a good look at this engine and see that the intake is a systematic copy of the one we use on a Corvair.

Above is a 440 cid air cooled Ranger inline six  It is a 200 hp engine of WWII vintage. They were on Fairchild 24s, PT-19s, Grumman Widgeons and a number of other classics.  Note how the feed pipe for each group of three cylinders is offset just like a Corvair head. The center part of the manifold is a Tee section to hold an updraft one barrel carb, just like we use on the majority of flying Corvairs. If you look at the system, the proportions of the components are much the same as we use on the Corvair.

I dug out the original information in part one because an internet ‘expert’ with the named “Toolbuilder” was pontificating that he knew how to get a 20% increase in output on the Corvairs heads by using individual runners, Complete BS, as demonstrated by the dyno runs I pictured in part one. The next time an armchair expert tells you that the Corvair’s head is not well designed, or has poor fuel distribution, save time and tell him he is a genius, then walk away knowing that many aircraft have the exact same design as the Corvair.

You may wonder what kind of group of people would tolerate a person like “Toolbuilder” who goes around making baseless claims about aircraft systems he has never seen in person, far less has any understanding of. Wonder no further. The guy is a fixture on the Van’s Airforce website. The format of this webpage has a management section that tells me how many people a day read it, and it has a section to show how many people came from a hyperlink on another site. For example, in the 24 hours between 7pm sunday and 7pm tonight (It works on a 24hr zulu time clock) we had 932 readers. 66 of them first went to our page and used the ‘click here’ hyperlink to arrive here. Those are about average for a Sunday/Monday. What stuck out was that 40 people came to the site from the Vans Airforce discussion groups yesterday.

I went there and found a lot of the discussion was started about A twin-engine Corvair powered airframe that started out life as an RV-6A, being built by a friend of ours. I fully understand that there are 20,000 RV builders so it’s not safe to generalize about them just because 75% of the comments about the twin project were some of the saddest knee-jerk/internet expert/ drama queen comments I have read in a long time, but that’s a pretty high percentage for people who are alleged to understand what EXPERIMENTAL aviation is about. As you may have guessed, Mr “ToolBuilder” was right in there. Two or three people had something positive to say, many of the others were operating at the hyper-dramatic doom speculation level I refer to as “Mother-in-law on Methamphetamines.”

As I read some of the comments, one of the things that came to mind is that Fans of the RV designs are woefully ignorant of the origins of their own airplane company. (The RV-1 was a modified Stitts design. If Ray Stitts took the attitude of the people on the Vans airforce site, there would be no RV anything today.) Secondly, I have heard RV fans say things about the position of Dick Van Grunsven countless times as if each of them were his paid press secretary. Mr VanGrunsven is a publicly reserved guy, but I have sat through a number of industry meetings with him. At this last Oshkosh, I was one of 16 people who went to a 4 hour kit industry think tank meeting. Mr, VanGrunsven was the Chairman and spoke with frankness about many issues. Know what? After listening to him in this setting, I will tell you that 50% of the things his followers say don’t come close to positions he actually holds. It is oddly Ironic that I have much better insight to the perspectives of the man than the great majority of the people making endless posts on his official webpage, but a small detail like that never stopped an internet personality with a silly name.-ww