Mail sack, 3/13/13 various topics

Builders: Here is a sample of the mail:

On the topic of a Pietenpol notebook builder Dave Aldrich writes:

“If you have the Pietenpol “notebook” ready for Brodhead, please set one aside with my name on it. Thanks.”

Dave, I would very much like to get it done of this years event. I have already collected up a lot of material on all things Piet/Corvair, but I am very interested in hearing from Piet builders on what they would like to have included. I would like the end product to be filled with data, but motivational also. I have stories and profiles on many of the current operators like Randy Bush and Kurt Shipman, because I think the diversity of people reflects the individuality of the planes.-ww

On the topic of reading carefully, builder “Jacksno” Writes:

“Excellent admonition re reading comp re all things aviation. I know you’re dead serious in our behalves (there’s a picture), but, “I am going to put an ignition from a go-cart and a Hartzel constant speed prop on my 601XL so it will do 200 mph in cruise at flight level 25, that is just as soon as I pull my first rivet and get a student pilot certificate, ” was just 2 funny! I’m very tempted to add enough bumpers on my car that I could post it there. Seriously, you are a standard-bearer of great value to all of us. Kudos.”

On the Panther roll out, builder Harold Bickford writes:

“Hi William, I remember JFK giving that speech. It was and is inspiring. Dan did his work just as Orville and Wilbur did theirs with the benefit of a larger knowledge base to work from. It is a matter of what Tom Wolfe called “The Right Stuff”. Why would people not want to continue that? Harold”

On the Panther roll out, Zenith 601 builder Brad Boon writes:

“Outstanding post!”

Builder Albert Wilson writes:

“Hello WW, My name is Albert Wilson and I am very interested in the Corvair engine, have been thinking about building a ch701, then a ch750 and now I’m liking the 650 as I keep hearing the 750 has a very poor glide ratio. I got my A&P several years ago from National Aviation and would like to put my training to use. I have done lots of research over the years and the zenith 650 with a Corvair engine looks like the way to go, see you soon, Albert.”

Albert, welcome aboard. While the 750 does have a short glide ratio, it has other qualities that it excels at. The glide ratio and the flare technique are very good reasons for 750 and 701 builders to get type specific training in these aircraft, Zenith has links to people who offer this. The 601/650 are far more ‘stol’ than most general aviation aircraft. With a little bit of practice, they can get in and out of small spaces, and they enjoy a faster cruise speed on the same power. They are both good choices.-ww

On the topic of Floats on snow, builder Roger Pepin writes:

“It’s great that Jeff was busy building and now flying his plane – not getting into internet discussions and taking “advice” from guys like “I seriously looked at the Corvair engines – but decided that with the wide front end of a Rebel – that the faster turning and therefore smaller diameter prop’ ( which you HAVE to use – in order to let the engine get up IN to it’s power band RPM range ) would be “inefficient” on the nose of such a meaty plane ( big front end ) Follow the people who are flying, learn from their experience, soon you’ll be flying.”

On th topic of CC#25, Piet Builder Dave Aldrich writes:

“45 years ago, a good friend maintained that the thing wrong with the US could be traced back to 3 things: white bread, French’s mustard, and American process cheese. His point was that mediocrity should not be a standard. Sort of ties in with your vanilla ice cream, polo shirts, and Dockers reference though I do take partial exception to your vanilla ice cream and Dockers remarks. Good vanilla, while hard to find, does stand on its own as worthy. I have several pairs of Dockers in my closet, all bought at thrift stores for $6 or less, and they work just fine too, grease, paint, and holes notwithstanding. Not one polo shirt on my side of the closet. Can’t say the same about my wife’s.”

Dave, never take comments I make about the social side of things too seriously. I personally love vanilla ice cream. I was just trying to point out that everyone is welcome at the colleges, and we have far more diversity than you see in the pages of flying magazine.-ww

On the “no politics at colleges rule” Zenith 750 builder Charlie Redditt  Jokingly writes:

“what about the positive benefits of discussing politics?

1) Provides vigorous cardiovascular exercise.
2) Provides motivation to finish work quickly (so you can get the next word in).
3) Provides relief from work stress (impossible deadlines, flaky hardware, and other factors outside one’s control don’t bother one quite so much after a good political row).
4) Epithets are an excellent way to gain the immediate attention of a colleague.
5) Provides a wider perspective and helps people let bygones be bygones (i.e. your associates are still upset with you, but not so much about the equipment you damaged or bogus advice you gave them).
6) Relieves tedium and provides entertainment for those around you.
7) Provides a deeper understanding of personalities, and allows you to justify your dislike of others for reasons beyond manner of dress or grooming habits, and vice-versa.
8) A carefully crafted remark can be used to a) heighten everyone’s awareness while simultaneously b) stopping all useful work in the vicinity in such a manner that no one notices that you’re just looking for an excuse to slack off.
9) Enhances self-esteem by allowing people a chance to feel smug about themselves regardless of their level of competence.

10) Others might actually have passionate feelings regarding your person. Maybe not positive feelings, but at least they will remember your name.”

Charlie, Have fun now and get it all out of your system before CC#25, because we don’t even make fun of people who are talking about politics at the college. We keep the whole thing off-limits for everyone’s good-ww


On the topic of local ‘experts’, Pietenpol builder Earl Brown writes:

“I have one of those “self styled Corvair experts” in my EAA chapter
When mentioning that I was putting a corvair on my Pietenpol I was told that it was That he made a living working on corvairs and that they were terrible for airplanes, cranks weren’t strong enough and he wouldn’t recommend doing that. I just told him he was welcome to his opinion and walked away wondering if there are really enough corvairs driving around my area to make a living working on them.” 

Earl, evidently there are enough ‘experts’ on Corvairs that every EAA chapter in america apparently has one. Take heart, I actually have a guy in my EAA chapter who always tries to tell me about Corvairs like I have never seen one before. He knows what I do for a living, but he can’t stop himself. Last month he gave ne a 4 minute monologue on how the Corvair was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. You are right to just walk away, S.E. Hinton wrote “Even the most primitive societies have an innate respect for the insane”.-ww

West Coast builder Doug Eaton writes:

I sent you a letter about a month ago regarding the cost and parts necessary to assemble a corvair flight engine. Since then, I have noticed that you indicated that you are working on a platform of part numbers and engine profiles to help the builder better prepare for the rebuild of a corvair flight engine. I purchased your manual and learned quite a bit. I am having difficulty locating a late-model corvair engine. I have contacted over a dozen salvage yards in Northern California specializing in older model cars. The typical response to my inquiry is “hell no” we don’t have any corvair engines! William, since you have been at this so long and even though you live on the opposite coast line, I was hoping you or one of your confederates may have a lead for me regarding a reliable source for the engine somewhere in this neck fo the woods.  Doug Eaton Redding CA”

Alright all you nothern CA guys, one of you drop Doug an email at: And give him a good source near Redding Doug, keep in mind that running an ad on Craigslist is the most productive way to find an engine, this is how 50% of the people got an engine last year.-ww

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