Corvair College #25, April 5-7 Leesburg FL, Part 1 of 3 updates.


This is the first part of three that I am going to post on Corvair College #25. We are now 5 weeks out, but a lot of background work has been done over the last few months. This, combined with the fact that our local host Arnold Holmes also was the host of the very popular CC#17 means that we will have a very well run productive event.

This post is just a general guide line on the event and some background on the College. The next post will have some further detail information, a bit more on content and schedule details. The third story will have registration information.

The College will be held at Leesburg airport in Central Florida. It will be on April 5,6,and 7th. Sun n Fun starts on Tuesday April 9th. It is about a one hour drive to get to Sun n Fun from the College. We are going to work through most of the day on the 7th, and then head down to Lakeland on the 8th to set up our booth at site N-55, right next to Dan and Rachel’s Panther display. I bring this up so that builders thinking of both events will see the time line we are planning. We are also thinking of having a Corvair Cook out at Lakeland on the night of the 9th. All of this will be a productive and fun flow of events for builders who can make it.


Above, a late night shot from Corvair College #17. From the left, your humble narrator, Grace, Mark from Falcon, and our host for #25, Arnold Holmes. I have known Arnold for almost 20 years. In the high-end world of composites he is known as “the Repair.” His picture is in the first pages of our conversion manual, standing with Grace and I and our Pietenpol at Brodhead 2000.

Arnold has about 200 hours in Corvair powered planes. He is currently building a Corvair powered Nesmith Cougar. You can get a look at his work as an IA on his website  If you are a fan of glass planes, read the story about how he is authorized to do repairs on certified composite aircraft by the FAA. Arnold’ contact info is on the site for people who want to show up slightly early and assist in the prep work. If you need local directions to motels, we will have that in the next post. General questions on the event should be sent to me.

For a little more background on Colleges, spend some time at this link to our main site: If you read all the way down through the CC#23 story, you will find links to all of the previous 22 events. It will give you a good idea of what to expect. Like wise, you can read about the last college at this link to another story on this page: Corvair College #24, reviewed in photos, part one. Note that there is also a part two and three to the same story.

The plan for the event is this: The official start will be noon on Friday the 5th. I expect to be there late on the 4th or very early on the 5th. I will get everyone set up and have individual briefings on each builders project to form a plan for them for maximum progress.  We will have some engine runs and training on differential compression tests that day, and I will break builders into small teams for training on timing and valve adjustments. Dinner will be at sundown, we are planning on doing the traditional first night pizza. After an hour off, we go back for casual work until 10 pm or so. free camping is right at the site, but it is just a big field, there are no hook ups but plenty of room for campers.

Food is normally provided at Colleges, and this is the main element of why Colleges normally have a required registration fee. #25 will be different, as Arnold’s EAA chapter 534 will be on hand to grill food for us that builders will be able to but on the spot for modest cost. This will keep everyone on site and working. The sales of the food is the only thing that the Chapter gets out of being our local hosts, loaning us their hangar for the weekend (which involves moving all their own projects out) building tables for us and doing all the local leg work. I am planning on showing my appreciation by buying all the food I will eat at the event from them, and I encourage all the builders to do the same.

Colleges have a strong social side, and unlike other aviation events you read about on the web, you can see pictures of builders drinking beer at past events. You are not likely to see a photo of anyone holding a beer after hours at a sport air workshop. Almost every aviation outlet tries to project flying as squeaky clean, non- offensive, suitable for Disneyland, family entertainment for people who look like they just walked out of some horrible Land’s End clothing catalog. That’s great for them, but I always thought that aviation was  a place for men like Pappy Boyington and women like Poncho Barnes. Although our friends all know that drinking faded out of my life many years ago, I have no desire to attend nor run events for people who need everything to be reduced to vanilla ice cream, polo shirts and Levis dockers. Colleges are a place where your wife can be comfortable and meet new friends, and people are friendly and out going, not pleasant and fake. Golden rule at Colleges: zero tolerance for beer drinking before sundown, and we do not run any engine after sundown. They are both fun, but they don’t mix. Golden rule #2, no one talks about religion or politics at my events, it never brings people together, and it is a waste of time when you can be building. In 24 colleges with hundreds of builders, I have only sent 3 people home; One for not heeding 3 warnings on laying off politics, one for a particularly offensive racist remark, and one for repeatedly praising “always superior German engineering” on veterans day at CC#9 even after I pointed out to him that his table mate Sam Sayer was a B-17 co-pilot who was shot down in WWII and had lost 8 of 10 crew members. Colorful characters are welcome and fit right in at colleges, but no  tolerance for A-holes. The College belongs to all the builders who came to have a good time, make friends and learn, I protect this investment by eliminating people who detract from the goals of real builders.

Above, two late friends from the Corvair movement in a photo taken at Corvair College #9. On the left stands Sam Sayer.  Sam was a very interesting character. He was a B-17 co-pilot in WWII, and was shot down on his first mission by an 88mm flak shell that went through the throttle quadrant but failed to detonate. He evaded capture and returned to England. he’s wearing a Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame shirt. He was inducted for his career racing hydroplanes. Standing beside Sam is Larry Koutz, a Q2/Corvair builder from Valdosta, Ga. Larry is a former Air Force F-4 Phantom pilot who was well-known in Dragonfly/Q2 circles. Sam passed away from Natural Causes, Larry was killed in a freak yard accident removing a stump. Both men lived lives of adventure. If you can learn anything from their lives it is to go out and make your own adventures now, if you wait for adventure it will never show up and knock on your door.

Saturday at the College will be a full day from 8am through sundown, where we have a hard stop for dinner and everyone puts all the tools down for 90 minutes to enjoy dinner together. Afterwards we work until 10 or so. Sunday starts at 8 am and goes on until mid afternoon.

For this college there will be no registration fee nor requirement. Just showing up is OK. This allows us to attract a number of builders who are sitting on the fence to stop in and get a look for a few hours on their way to Sun n Fun. I suspect that the majority of builders will be people on hand for the whole event, but it is good to welcome new people into the movement. While it isn’t a requirement, we are still going to have a registration page for builders who know they are going to be there. This will help us plan the event. We will have this up in another two or three days, it will be part 3 or this series. No one will be required to pay anything for this College, but we will have an on-line site attached to the registration to allow people who wish to contribute to the costs of running the event to do so through PayPal.


More info in part #2-ww

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