About two weeks ago, Zenith 601XL builder and pilot Phil Maxson and I formed a private discussion board for the specific topic of installation and operation of The Zenith/Corvair combination. We had been planning this for several months. We used 36 builders and pilots to test the format and get the data base up and running. We are now inviting more members who meet the entry qualifications.
The purpose of the group is to let the 70+ builders who have a flying Corvair powered Zenith that was built within the scope of being a “William Wynne Conversion” to directly speak with each other, compare notes and operational data. While many of these people are friends, I wanted to facilitate them all being able to share information even if they have not had a chance to meet in person. We have further opened up the group to Zenith builders who have a running engine. The logic here is that builders with a running engine are at the point where they can most benefit from being able to question builder who are currently flying the exact combination they are working on.
Above, Phil Maxson and I stand in front of his 601XL at his hangar in NJ. Phil is the ideal person to moderate the new group for a number of reasons; his plane has been flying since 2006, he is very technically savvy and he is a very friendly guy who will maintain a positive tone in all the discussions.
The output of the group is not going to be secret, but it is going to be private. The archives are only directly accessible to the members. The group is not intended to replace any other internet discussion group or forum. Zenith builders and flyer is a great group for Zenith builder in general, but it doesn’t have a setting for pure Corvair discussions. Corvaircraft works for some people, but often information is provided by internet personalities with no actual experience, or people who are not following any of my guidance or recommendations. A number of the pilots of flying Corvair powered planes have told me that they do not want to share their hard-earned first hand experience in a setting where the most common response is from a person yet to buy a core engine telling them they are doing something ‘wrong.’ Our new group allows these successful builders to directly share their experience with others who are far enough through their own project to really appreciate and utilize information from real experience.
The board it set up with many different topics such as weight and balance info, cold weather ops, prop pitch vs performance data instrumentation options, insurance, charging systems and currently about 40 other topics. Members are working to expand the data base on each of these. Every single person, both builders and flyers are expected to have a profile page. There are no mystery names nor random names popping in from cyberspace. Everyone is a serious person with a real goal in aviation. The site can take data in many forms, pictures, graphs, drawings and spread sheets. It is also set up to have video conferences possible. The dialog is friendly, but the site is more of a high-tech reasearch library than a social discussion group or a opinon forum. It has no ‘rules’ per se; Serious people with a common goal don’t need a list of rules, they just need a forum to share real data and ask valid questions.
If you are working on the Zenith/Corvair combination, but have not progressed to the point of a running engine, the new group will still benefit you indirectly. If you have a particular question and would like an answer from the group, you can send it to me and I will enter it into the discussion or share with you some of the data from the files of the group. By rapidly allowing the builders with running engines to bring their planes to the finish line, it expands the fleet allowing more aircraft to be available for first hand inspection at smaller air shows and events. The group is also a very good risk management tool that will work to keep the outstanding insurance rating that our Corvair Conversion on Zenith airframes enjoys. When your engine is up and running we will be glad to send you an invatation to participate in this new forum.
If you are the flyer of a Zenith with our Corvair conversion, and you have not yet received your invitation, please contact Phil or myself by email. We are particularly interested in contacting the half-dozen second owners of these aircraft. If you are a Zenith builder (plans or kit, 701,601,650-750), and you have a running engine, please contact us for more information about joining the group. Signing up is simple and it is absolutely free. There are no costs nor ‘donations.’
About William Wynne I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.