Cessna’s Chinese adventure a failure.

Builders,

3,000cc PC Cruiser builder and Aeronautical Engineer Sarah Ashmore shared the following press release:

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“Cessna President and CEO Scott Ernest is signaling that Skycatcher, the company’s low-cost, Chinese-built light-sport aircraft, has been relegated to the history books. “There’s no future,” Ernest said when asked about the aircraft at a Cessna press conference Oct. 21 at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas. Asked if that meant the project would be discontinued, he replied, “No future.” Skycatcher was launched six years ago with great fanfare by Ernest’s predecessor, Jack Pelton. Offered at an introductory price of $109,500, the aircraft attracted 720 orders worth more than $75 million in the first three weeks after launch, and backlog ultimately topped 1,000. But the project was bedeviled by manufacturing problems at its Chinese partner. Cessna also was forced to raise Skycatcher’s price, which caused its backlog to evaporate. Ernest was more upbeat on two new signature projects at the aircraft builder. The Citation Latitude mid-sized jet is on track to make its inaugural flight in the first quarter of 2014, and the Citation X — billed at the “world’s fastest civilian aircraft” — is expected to win final certification in March.”

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In with a big bang and out with a whimper, thus ends Cessna’s 162 Skycatcher, an aircraft that was promised to set great standards in general aviation, ends up never even getting to heavy production in spite of having 1,000 deposits.

Note that the reason for the failure is: “the project was bedeviled by manufacturing problems at its Chinese partner” .  Where is all that Chinese workmanship and craftsmanship now? Please note that this project, specifically shipping it to China, was the brainchild of the former CEO Jack Pelton. In case you are wondering what that guy does for a living today, why of course he is head of the EAA. Does he sound like the person who really has his finger on the pulse of General Aviation?  Really understood traditional American aviation values? Absolutely not. Pelton was willing to sell out all the craftsmen who worked in Wichita for cheap Chinese labor if it could make a buck. If you work for a living, and you are an EAA member, you need no further proof that if there is a corporate dollar to be made, your interests, skills, support of our organization, and your respect for your fellow working Americans mean nothing to him. 

So Cessna finds out that they should have had these planes made in the USA. The corporate elite will blame the 2008 economy, but it is fair to ask what part of our economic troubles and slow comeback belongs to all the CEO’s like Pelton who shipped our manufacturing base overseas for their own profit.  (These are the people who can’t understand why a guy who had his skilled craftsman job outsourced in 2005 and now works in a $7/hr service job finds taking his family to Oshkosh unaffordable.)

And let us not forget the 1,000 wealthy buyers who certainly didn’t care where their new $100K toy was made, as long as they got to have it. We are all forced at times to purchase some imported things from places we don’t like, but a person who can buy a $100,000 toy with discretionary income isn’t forced to do anything. If you buy a pair of imported sneakers once a year, you are not giving away the same jobs nor fueling the trade deficit like a guy buying a Skycatcher.  I am sure plenty of these 1,000 eagerly awaited delivery while driving around in imported cars with “take back America” stickers on them.  If they don’t care that their imported Cessna would be built by $2/hr labor in a police state while the unemployment lines in Wichita got longer, then where do they draw the line?  If Jack Pelton had struck a deal with Bin Laden’s family to make Skycatchers at the family run IED plant in Pakistan, I am sure that 50% of the ‘patriotic’ 1,000 buyers would have asked “can I still get my Skycatcher this year at the same price?”

If I seem to be harsh on this, it might just be that you missed my long standing and vocal hatred of the C-162. When the plane lost both the prototypes in spins that Professional test pilots could not recover them from, I was glad to question if this plane was right for student pilots; When the EAA accepted samples to fly young air academy students in, I was among those that said you can’t tell a 15 year old to study and become an engineer if you show him a plane built elsewhere, and tell him he will never have a job producing them; I have pointed out countless times that there is no such thing as Chinese business ethics and quality control when it comes to making cheap things for export.

So, who will make America’s light planes? You will, the working American, just as you have always done. In 1946 Cessna went from war production to making 30 C-120’s and C-140’s a day, without any issue at all. The greedy corporate scum like Pelton had 6 years to tool up and they couldn’t hardly make 30 aircraft per year in China. The only important difference is that the Cessna ownership in 1946 respected their workforce of Americans, and 60 years later Pelton had all his faith in the best $2/hr Chinese workers he could buy. Moving forward, it is clear that Cessna has now abandoned the “affordable” aircraft market. This makes no difference to any homebuilder. In 1946, Cessna was something of a partner to American labor in producing that generation of affordable American aircraft. Today,  they have proven to be a worthless element. Each of us, developing our own craftsmanship, will work in our own one plane factory and produce our own aircraft. This is how American labor will build this generation of affordable aircraft. We don’t need cheap labor in China, we don’t need greedy CEO’s and we don’t need any membership organization that is headed by a person who fails to understand this.-ww.

22 hours until CC#27 sign up closes.

Builders,

Here is your last official notice on CC#27. While the frequency of notices resembles a PBS fund drive, I want to say that we always have one or two people who miss the notice and sometimes the dead line. Don’t let this happen to you. If you are sitting on the fence, we are getting to the wire. The sign up for #27 has been open for 100 days: you now have less than one day left to sign up. Click on this link for more info:

50 hours until CC#27 registration closes.

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CHT part #5, flight data from Zenith 750

Builders,

Here is some very detailed flight data from  2,850cc Zenith builder/flyer Jeff Cochran. It is a very good and useful piece of data collection, with many fine points included. I took more than an hour to examine the charts in detail. Jeff’s accompanying letter had a lot of good flyer feedback in it also. He is straight forward and methodical in his evaluation to fine tune his specific installation. I share with builders some larger perspective to put this data in a context where you may find it easier to appreciate.

Jeff and his lovely wife at CC#16. They have attended many colleges. Jeff ran his engine at CC#19, and will likely flying it back to CC#27 for it’s public debut in front of fellow builders who fully understand the achievement of completing and flying your own plane.

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For a little background on Jeff and his plane, read the story by clicking on this link:

New “Zenvair-750″, Jeff Cochran, 2,850cc engine, N750ZV

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One of the things that came to mind when looking at Jeff’s data was the early work that Mark Langford did in data recording in his KR-2S. (Mark was the first pilot to be awarded The Cherry Grove Trophy in 2008) Eight years ago Mark was one of the first guys to publish this kind of information from his Grand Rapids unit. It was read by many builders, and was a unique resource and sparked a lot of discussion, and also squashed a lot of pet theories among the internet armchair opinion crowd. Let me use the photo below to illustrate an interesting distinction between the data sets:

Above is Mark Langford’s plane with the cowl off in a photo from Corvair College #16. The airframe and the engine installation were unique in many ways. The plane was built as a personal expression of his creativity. Several other KR’s followed Mark’s build and utilized ideas that worked on his plane. Since this segment is focused on CHT, look at Mark’s cooling, a twin ‘plenum’ style system that worked well in his plane. His cowling was one he made a mold for, he used a rear starter and belt driven rear alternator, along with a remote cooler. These ideas served him for more than 1,000 flight hours in his KR, however some of these ideas would have limited applicability on other airframes. The 5th bearing on this plane is the same design I am using on our Wagabond, but almost all of the other subsystems on the Wagabond are common to our standard 601/750 installation. The Kr is a small fast aircraft that operates in a different flight envelope.

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What makes Jeff’s data unique to me is that it is all gathered around off the shelf parts on a very popular airframe. KR airframes are highly individual. The have a choice of airfoils, wing areas and spans, different landing gear, fuselage lengths and widths,  and several canopy styles. By comparison, no such variation exists with Zeniths. What one builder learns can be directly applied to another’s aircraft with predictable result. Virtually all Corvair/750 builders utilize standard parts from our catalog, and assemble them according to our installation manual. Additionally, a 750 is the largest and slowest climbing aircraft Corvairs are commonly used on. One can be reasonably sure that anything that works in a Corvair/750 aircraft cooling/cowling system will also work on any faster smaller Corvair powered airframe, whereas the reverse is not frequently true.

In Jeff’s letter he references comparing notes with Gary Burdett. If you have not seen it, we have pictures on this site and his story is at this link: Zenith 750 Flying on Corvair Power, Gary Burdett, Illinois . Because their two airframes and engine configurations are very close to each other, They can utilize shared information to fine tune each of their planes. This goes further than just having a cowling in common. Details like both aircraft having a gold oil filter housing means that data like oil temp is taken at the same spot on both engines, giving very direct comparisons.

This effect is true for all Corvair/Zenith combinations to a degree that is not possible with individualized aircraft like KRs and to a large extent, Pietenpols. Both of those airframes have active and well run internet groups. Zenith runs it own gigantic webgroup for all of its builders. To give builders working with the Zenith/Corvair combination a specific spot where they could directly exchange data and notes, we set up a specific discussion board just for them. You can read about it by clicking on this link: ‘Zenvair’ Information board formed . The quality of discussion there is very high for several reasons. It is an invitation only group and it is very effectively organized and moderated By Phil Maxson. You can read about phil at this link: Guest writer: Phil Maxson, flying a 3100cc Corvair in his 601XL. Jeff, Gary, Phil and other ‘Zenvair’ builders can directly work with each other in a setting where everyone is a serious builder.

The two links below are the Data that Jeff refers to in his letter. Interesting to have independent confirmation and data to say that the alternator location doesn’t make much of a difference in cooling. We sell the front alternator (group 2900) and Dan sells the rear alternator (Group 2950). For many years people speculated that moving the alternator to the back would cause a huge reduction in temps. Both Dan and I told people this wasn’t likely because non-plenum cooling systems with round inlets are very good about sharing all the incoming air no mater which hole it arrives through. Jeff’s numbers confirm this and show the limitations of ‘eyeball & theory’ vs accurate back to back testing.

Many people who have never met me picture me as an opinionated zealot advocating some type of ‘my way or the highway’ mentality, unable to change perspectives. While I do have principles that I will not compromise on, 25 years of working on planes has given me the perspective to understand what is an issue of principle and what is just a matter of preference.

Many closed minded people act like zealots simply because they don’t have the experience to differentiate between these two. Picture the guy who frequently says “That will never work”; He is proven wrong by the first guy who makes a trip around the pattern with the idea. Conversely, when a guy says ” might work, but I prefer not to do it that way because….” he is speaking from experience. On matters of preference, I am open minded. I have a 5th bearing design and sell front alternators, but our production engines feature Dan bearings and mostly rear alternators. I assembled both Jeff’s and Gary’s engines. They are very similar 2,850s yet one has a Dan bearing and one has a Roy bearing.  These are all matters of preference between proven parts. I am if favor of builders making educated choices. The operative word ‘educated’ starts with real data like Jeff is presenting here. -ww.

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Jeff’s data charts:

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CochranPDFGraph1013 Graph Link

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CochranXL101813 XL worksheet link

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Jeff’s Letter:

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“William, Since you are doing all of the CHT and cooling articles, I thought I might update you on my progress.

I have dropped the bottom of the cowl so that I have almost 4″ between the bottom edge of the firewall and the bend in the cowl bottom.  By my calculations this gives me a 2.4 to 1 ratio.  I still want to up this a little.  This is very close to the set-up Gary Burdett is running.  We should be almost exactly alike now with one or two exceptions.  I went ahead and ordered and installed the rear alternator kit from Dan.  The front bracket is still in place just in case I need to go back.  I am also flying without the leading edge slats.  My inlets are 5″ and still raw cut edges with no ring inlets.

Sensor set-up has been changed.  For a while I ran a thermocouple in each of the thermowells like the GM thermistors and a 10mm ring on the thermocouple bolt. I also had a 14mm ring on the corresponding plugs.  So three sensors on cylinders 1 and 6.  The plug was always the highest, the bolt the lowest with the thermowell location in the middle.  I discontinued the two bolt locations and moved those sensors to plugs 2 and 3.  Somewhere I had heard that cylinder 3 was always the hottest, but my data really does not support that as far as the plugs are concerned.

 

My Dynon D180 saves data on almost every possible parameter you can attach a sensor for.  I download the file after every test flight.  The first page of the attached workbook is the total raw data. On the second page I delete all of the data that is not really recorded (the Dynon seems to make up data when no sensors are attached).  Then on the short version, I delete everything I am not interested in at this time.  I chart the CHT’s and since the alternator move the electrical data. I have attached the excel workbook file.  But just in case you really are the computer troglodyte you claim to be (which I really doubt) I have converted the CHT chart to .pdf.  

The alternator move as you have often said did not seem to make much difference in cooling. Logically that was so hard to believe I just had to prove it to myself,  You probably have realized by now that some of us are hardheaded that way.  Cylinder 6 is always much cooler that cylinder 1 so I tend to concentrate on cylinder 1 numbers.  Since the 380 degree number has been posted by you and I have seen it on the car sites also, I set my goal of try to keep the temp measured in the cylinder 1 thermowell (where the car was measured) as my normal max goal.  My current set-up has been achieving that limit.  I still plan to smooth and ring the inlet some time in the future.

 

I’m still planning to fly to Barnwell (weather permitting).  Either way, see you there. –Jeff”

CHT Part #4 more notes

Builders:

I received an email from a builder that gave me a moment to pause and think about communication, and what people are willing to read into things. The letter was sent by a good guy, and I have deleted his name because I want people to focus on the comment, not who said it. Here is the sentence from his email:

 “In view of your modification of the inlet size for the Wagabond, would you recommend I do the same on a standard two-piece nose bowl for my plane?  Did you make the mod preemptively, or was the Wagabond running hot?  Thanks in advance”

Now, all this week I have been writing about cooling, and specifically linking to many articles that I have written in the last 20 months. The photograph and caption listed below is in a story that was directly linked to a few days ago. Read it and see if you think I the Wagabond was running hot as the letter writer asks:

Above, a real world proven Corvair system, the Wagabond cowl. Note that the air inlet is a simple 4.875″ hole in the cowl. This aircraft has flown at the record gross weight for Corvairs, it has always lived in Florida, it has a very large airframe with plenty on drag to spare, and yet it never ran hot, even with a front alternator and no inlet cooling rings. Why? because Corvairs have excellent cooling. builders can either utilize this success or they can ignore my suggestions. If they chose the latter and it doesn’t work, they rarely see the problem as a people issue. For some reason, a fraction of builders will focus on stories of people who has trouble with one-off ideas rather than looking at all the people who are flying proven ideas without issue.

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This while series started because I was angry about people offering the unfounded opinion that Corvairs inherently ran hot, and that the cowls we offer and the way we teach people to cool the engine does not really work. Over the last several nights the stories I have written have been to counter these ‘opinions’ with facts and data, and offer links to show that this cooling is not an issue with Corvairs. The last sentence in his note indicates to me that some people are not really reading what I have to say, and my words are competing with a predisposition on their part to still believe that there is something wrong with the cooling as we build it.

I don’t blame the letter writer. He is exposed to many people talking about Corvairs, and at times it is hard to keep sorted out who has an ‘opinion’ and who has been testing and flying. This is why I was annoyed in the first place with people who have never owned a flying Corvair spreading rumors that “Corvairs need 6″ inlets”. On one hand it is just a lot of background static, but I am of the opinion that some of it sticks even when the recipient doesn’t consider nor remember the source. If you are new to a subject, be very discriminating when you choose to listen to people. Adopting perspectives, even partially based on false opinions it at best, a tremendous waste of time and energy.

To me, the really ironic thing is that their are other alternative engines that really do have cooling issues that are very hard to solve. The Corvair is nothing like that. Yet the ‘buy it in a box’ imported engines with actual cooling issues probably generate less internet discussion than the Corvair does on this topic. Part of the reason is that the people buying those are largely shopping for an appliance, and people coming to corvairs are supposed to be here to learn about a machine. The latter should generate more discussion, but talking about things is not the same as learning, especially when much of the conversation is opinion, and when fact must compete with rumor during the phase where the new builders understanding just developing.

The post I put down last night was number 365 since we started this blog. Give or take, that is a quarter of a million words. If I tasked you with typing a 250,000 words that were educational and entertaining or gave you the option of building a two place kit aircraft, which would get done first?  I type about 20 wpm, (not counting time spent staring at the keyboard) so I could build the plane much faster. I still consider the time well spend, under one condition: People actually read the content.-ww

CHT part #3, Letters, notes, sources and inlets.

Builders,

Here is another block of information on CHT and cooling, along with data from flying pilots. This is a collection of notes and loose ends that adds a little more dimension to the first two parts.

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Above, The Wagabond nose bowl last night about 3am.  I have been having a run of insomnia lately, and have been dividing up the hours in the middle of the night between writing, doing a little work on the Wagabond and reading Morris’s Colonel Roosevelt, a rich biography of TR from when he left the White house until his death. When I am this tired, I don’t make customer parts, but I will work on my own basic stuff like nosebowls. Last night it was more than 70F in the hangar. Not a bad temp for glass work. I bonded in the inlet rings seen above. They not only give the cowl a much better look, they are also functional. A lot more air will flow through a 5.125″ tube, even a short 1.5″ long one, than will flow through a 5.125″ hole in a flat plate. These rings are made out of PVC pipe, but you could actually make them out of just about anything.  This is the biggest size I think any Corvair needs, even on heavy slow climbers like Zenith 750s. This original one piece nosebowl is dimensionally the same as the two piece models we sell today. It has an altered line where the sheet metal of the cowl meets the nosebowl to make it fit the Wagabond better and the ‘tunnel’ in it is the beginning of the shape that flows into the J-3 airbox/filter that the plane is set up to use.

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Above, a detail look. The white ring is PVC, it is bonded in with West System epoxy thickened with silica and flox. The section of paint stick and the sheet rock screw are just working as a clamp. If you look close, you can see that the tube flares out slightly on the ID near the end. It isn’t needed, but it will not hurt. Epoxy theoretically doesn’t stick to PVC, but it will get a mechanical bond if the surface is rough enough. This nose bowl is 10 years old. It may look a little rough, but well made glass parts hold up even on hot engines and over long lives. If you look closely, the marks show that it was vacuum bagged into our mold. the part had the image of the bagging plastic in many places.

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Above, a bigger view. I ran 3 sheet rock screws through the part to pin it to the table after I covered the table top in plastic sheeting to prevent sticking. The screw holes don’t matter because they are in the section covered by the spinner. The two inlet rings are being clamped down by the sticks until they hardened. You can immobilize many things to a wooden work bench this sheet rock screws. Again, 5.125″ is probably too big on all except the slowest climbing planes in hot weather.  Inlets size doesn’t cool by itself, it has to be matched with outlets and good baffling.

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Mail and comments:

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Letter from 2,850cc 601XL builder and flyer Ron Lendon:

Ron with his plane at Brodhead 2012.

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WW, it’s not that I don’t enjoy the reading I miss the succinct data and would like to have a place to quickly look it up.  Perhaps in my spare time now that the plane is flying with the correct carb. No I didn’t volunteer to do it. The calibrated CHT gage you allude to, is it available to those of us with short attention spans also?  I have the Westach gage and rarely see the CHT temps go above 350F on hard climb in the more temperate climate we have here in Michigan.  I’m using the ring type connection at the GM location.”

Ron, I looked on Ebay and other places to see who was selling Mil.surp. gauges but didn’t find anything noteworthy. I found mine at the Oshkosh flymart. Get a look at this link, it is to Dakota Digital, a company that makes all their stuff in the USA. http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=347/category_id=248/home_id=59/mode=prod/prd347.htm

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Letter from 2,850cc CH-750 builder Blaine Schwartz:

Click on: ( Zenith 750 Builder Blaine Schwartz )

“William, Thank you for such an informative essay! Carl Sandburg once wrote: “Experience is the greatest teacher”. You are a first-class example of proving his premise. Blaine”

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Letter from 3,000cc PC Cruiser builder Sarah Ashmore:

“I find it difficult to understand why anybody feels they need 6 individual CHT readings on a Corvair. Lycomings and Continentals have a CHT on each cylinder because each one is truly independent and subject to different cooling and heating rates. The Corvair is one big block of aluminum, a material which conducts heat rather well, so it should be fairly uniform in temperature regardless of what is going on in the cylinders. One on each head is good enough for me and I have already purchased the special size bolts along with the other hardware for the engine build. And cooling is not something I like to do the hard way either. My variation on the Personal Cruiser will have a 30″ wide firewall instead of the stock 22″ but I have your generic nose bowl and a set of generic Weseman baffles all ready to go on it. All I have to do is make sure I follow your recommendations on the cooling air exit and I would expect the test flights to have no surprises with regards to engine cooling. There is enough experimental in my aircraft already so I choose my innovations wisely. A good pair of articles in a long line related to engine cooling.”

Sarah, there are also a lot of certified planes like C-150s and 152s that don’t have any CHT at all. 6/cht-6egt combos mostly appear as an option on big injected engines in fast certified planes like Bonanzas, where owners are trying experiments in extreme leaning and early top end replacement. Although Dan Weseman has a 6/6 combo on his plane, just the other day he was saying “what is wrong with a little too much cooling?” implying that no one is setting a record here, so why not sacrifice a few mph cooling drag to have an engine that always runs very cool. It fits in with your idea of leaning to the proven side rather than the edge of the envelope.

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Letter from 2,700cc 601XL builder and flyer Dr. Gary Ray:

Click on: ( 601XL-2700cc  Dr. Gary Ray )

“William, Thanks for this post.  I read and re-read everything but this brings all of the temps, measurement locations and expected results into one post.  I have my 601XL-B setup as you have shown and I am experiencing the same results.  Until recently, I have taken all CHT’s from beneath plug #3 and #4.  The highest temp I have ever seen has been 430 F on its maiden flight when I only measured plug #3 , otherwise it can get to 410 on high heat days during a 90 mph sustained climb.  I now record temps on both sides from the bottom #1 & #6 locations.  During the last 50 hours I am seeing a maximum temp of 315 F on the worst days and a spread between sides of less than 10 degrees.  Measurements show approximately 80-90 degrees lower temperatures between the top plug position and the lower GM position.  The gauge is a four channel MGL device for CHT and EGT’s and it produces comparable results to the temperature compensated analog meter I had used before.  It reads about 10 degrees higher and has a thicker washer type thermocouple which likely accounts for the slight difference.  In cruise at 3000 rpm, 9.75 degrees at the tip Warp Drive, 21.5 MP, 65 OAT,  CHT’s read 270 degrees.  EGT’s taken at 12 inches downstream from the last exhaust port are 1200 to 1300 and will go higher if leaned more aggressively which I do not do.
 Current Set Up: Maximum advance on the timing is set to 30 degrees, 100LL fuel only, Inlets size 4.75″ with inlet rings, Outflow is 3.5″ x 24″ which is 2.4X inflow area and the bottom edge is rounded.  Metal tape over cowl hinges above plenum and tight baffles. The Niagara oil cooler reduced maximum oil temps by 30 degrees (now 210F).  Normal climb is 90 mph.  If I see temps near 310 F , I increase air speed by reducing my rate of climb which seems to work.
 It is nice to know that there is such a large margin over normal operating temperatures before overstressing the engine.  The engine runs with a very low level of vibration.  Just how low is really apparent when I am in dead calm air.  This is when I start patting myself on the back for choosing the right engine.”

50 hours until CC#27 registration closes.

Builders:

We have a shade over 48 hours until we close the registration on CC#27 which will be held in Barnwell SC November 8-10.

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CC27 – https://corvaircollege.wufoo.com/forms/corvair-college-27-registration/

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The Event also has it’s own Face Book Page:

https://www.facebook.com/CorvairCollege27

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Below is a link to a story I wrote about the specific skills builders learn at colleges. Read it and decide if you would rather learn these things slowly at home, or head to the college and have me teach them to you personally in one weekend. You can do it either way, but I an assure you that it changes the way you see yourself, from mere owner to builder and master of your Corvair engine to know these skills. It is hard to make an argument against learning them sooner rather than later.

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Basic Corvair College Skills, examples of learning

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Below is a link to my story about the “Cherry Grove Trophy”, which we present to the outstanding Corvair Aviator of the year each November. In 20 days there will be a new name on the Trophy, and a fresh presentation made at Saturday night’s dinner.  In other branches of aviation, the awards often go to the guy that wrote the biggest check or had the most political influence. In the land of Corvairs, we are not polluted by corruption like that. Our Trophy goes directly to the individual that set an outstanding example and gave back to others now building. Barnwell is the setting where you can meet these builders in person and understand that your place is beside them, In the Arena. Reading a membership magazine featuring aircraft no working man can afford, written by editors who would consign and condem you to be only a spectator is the antithesis of this. Read this story, contrast it to most industry magazines, and then decide for yourself: Spectator or Man in the Arena?

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The Cherry Grove Trophy

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Blast from the past, CC#19, Barnwell, 2010.  Builder Jeff Cochran stands with his running Corvair. Today this engine is flying in his Zenith 750.  He is planning on flying it back to Barnwell for CC#27. Progress is made by deciding that the time has come to advance your own dreams. You must choose this, it doesn’t happen without your personal action. If I am ever going to write your story about flying your plane, you must take action to start this.

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” (2010)- Zenith 750 builder Jeff Cochran of Alabama supervises the run-in of his 2850cc Corvair, above.  The Zenith 750 is a large airplane capable of climbing at very low  airspeeds. This combination makes it brutally unforgiving on engines with inadequate cooling or light duty construction. The Corvair’s outstanding cooling and high quality  components make it impervious to installations that are the undoing of lighter engines.”

Pietenpol Mount on airframe

Builders,

Piet builder Mark Chouinard sent in a photo of his Corvair motor mount on the front end of his plane. The airframe exhibits outstanding craftsmanship, and looks to be in the “light at the end of the tunnel” phase. From this point forward the pace of work tends to increase.

When new guys set started they find it hard to visualize how much more productive per hour they will be in the second half of the plane. Your skills will be far better, you will find a work schedule and rhythm that fits your life, you will have many trusted fellow builders to share info and enthusiasm with, and with enough persistence, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Photo: Come on CC28... that fabulous looking engine mount needs something bolted to it!  Like what you see?  Call William Wynne at FlyCorvair.com

Mark’s plane is a traditional Pietenpol with a number of nice details. The landing gear combines traditional wire wheels from a straight axle gear with J-3 style independent suspension. Disc brakes are modern but appropriately sized. This view gives a good look at the Pietenpol’s structure. Mark has wisely left off the outter skins on the front of the fuselage until everything is built and rigged inside. The Gray powder coated Motor mount we made for him is one of our “High Thrust line” motor mounts. Below are some direct links to Pietenpol stories in our archives. The first three explain the concept of a high thrust line mount.

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Pietenpol  Motor Mounts, P/N 4201(C)

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Pietenpol  Products, Motor mounts, Gear and Instalation Components.

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Pietenpol  Power: 100 hp Corvair vs 65 hp Lycoming

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Three Pietenpol Motor Mounts

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Making  a House Call on 1,000 Hour Pietenpol

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New Pietenpol #3, Mike Groah, Tulare, California

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New  Pietenpol, Gary Boothe, Cool, Calif.

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Pietenpol review in pictures, 15 more Corvair powered Piets

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From our Brodhead 2013 coverage: “After the Forum, we conducted a Tailgate Tech Seminar. Piet builder Mark Chouinard, extreme right, extreme tall,  listens as I answer questions. Mark picked up one of our high thrust line Piet Mounts for his project. Jim Boyer of California picked up another one at Brodhead for his Piet. That rounds out the first 10 of these new generation Mounts. While I have previously made Motor Mounts according to the original drawing, all of our Piet mounts from here forward will be high thrust line models.”