Updated story, B.H. Pietenpol – Thanksgiving 2013


I took a few minutes today to update a story I wrote last year on the influence of B.H. Pietenpol. It would be very hard for me to overstate how much I respect the life of this man. To me, he is on the same plateau in aviation as Armstrong and Lindbergh. He didn’t fly to the moon or even across the Atlantic, but he made an enormous contribution to the ability of working Americans to claim their rightful place in the sky. That is something to remain very thankful for.

Below the picture is an excerpt from the story. Click on this link to read the whole story:

B.H. Pietenpol, Patron Saint of Homebuilding

“10 years ago, after a particularly trying week at Oshkosh, Grace had the wisdom to understand that we had to go find something we had misplaced, something that our industry had long forgotten. The drive from Oshkosh to Cherry Grove is about 250 miles, but it takes about 60 years to get there, in the sense that you need to go back in time to get “there.”  We spent a few hours in Cherry Grove. Dave Mensink, Grace and myself were the only living people there, but it didn’t feel lonely.  We stood on the field where Bernard had 70 years before, laid claim on his right to a piece of the sky. For the next 3 or 4 decades that followed, nearly every guy in homebuilding was a working class guy, and damn proud of it. Along the way, homebuilding got careless and allowed some new people to suggest that the people who invented this were no longer what it was about. If you are a working guy, and you’re struggling to imagine how you are going to build a plane, have no worries. You have a lot in common with the Patron Saint of Homebuilding, and in this arena, that is the only currency that counts. -ww”

Planes flying on Corvair Power


 This is a single point collection of stories that have appeared individually in the last two years on this site. It is easy for me to update this as we add new stories of flying planes, I can jump back and add them to this list.

The next time anyone questions if planes have really ever flown on Corvairs ( Yes, even at places like Oshkosh, when we are standing in front of a row of Corvair powered planes, people who are actually EAA members will walk up and tell you with certainty why no one has nor will ever fly a Corvair), you can just send them a link to this collection of stories.

Above, an airborne shot of Brodhead WI, center of gravity of the Pietenpol building community. This was taken by Grace in 2006. She was in the front seat of “The Last Original“, Bernard Pietenpol’s last personal aircraft, of course Corvair powered. Beyond being the father of Corvair aircraft power and the first man to fly the engine, I hold the Bernard Pietenpol is the patron saint of working homebuilders. By all accounts a well mannered and humble man, he simply refused to accept the argument that flying was reserved for the wealthy. He was no other man’s line boy, and he was not going to settle for being a spectator. He knew his place was In the Arena, and he accepted nothing less. Neither should you.


Click on the title of any story to read it:


Films of flying planes:

Corvair planes and projects on You Tube


Stories on Faster Homebuilts:

Corvair powered Dragonfly, Charlie Johnson, aka ‘One Sky Dog’

KR-2S at 700 Hours – Joe Horton

Corvair Powered Davis DA-2, w/EFI

New 3,000 cc Cleanex, Dale Williams, SC

Panther Roll out.

Flying 2,850cc Cleanex, Clarence Dunkerly


Pietenpol Aircampers:

House Call on Pat Green’s 1,000 Hour Pietenpol

Pietenpol Power: 100 hp Corvair vs 65 hp Lycoming

Steve Williamson Pietenpol at 60 hrs., SoCal.

New Pietenpol #3, Mike Groah, Tulare, California

New Pietenpol, Gary Boothe, Cool, Calif.

New Pietenpol, 2700 Corvair, Don Harper SC

Randy Bush’s Pietenpol hits 500 hours.

Pietenpol review in pictures, 15 more Corvair powered Piets


Classics and one of a kinds:

STOL and utility planes for Corvair power

Two More Flying Planes: Merlin and VP-2

Floats on Snow, Corvair powered Merlin

Zenith 701- Corvair reference page, November 2013

Corvair powered Flybaby, Goode and Brantley, Georgia

2,700cc-Skycoupe-2002 Photos

3,100cc Corvair in Pegzair


Zenith CH-750s:

Zenith 750 Flying on Corvair Power, Gary Burdett, Illinois

first story: Gary Burdett, 2,850cc Zenith 750, now flying. (engine selection)

Flying  Zenith 750, Tom Siminski, 2700cc, PA.

Flying Zenith 750 w/3000cc Corvair, Doug Stevenson, California

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

 Flying Zenith 750, Tom Siminski, 2700cc, PA.

Zenith 750 / Corvair reference page, October 2013


Zenith 601s and 650’s:

16 Flying Corvair powered Zenith 601/ 650s

Woody’s 2,850cc Corvair/601XL hits 400 hours.

New Zenith 601 XL(B), Conventional Gear, Jerry Baak, S.C.

Flying 2700 cc Zenith 601 XL(B), Alan Uhr

 Zenith 650-2700cc Dave Gardea

 Zenith 601XL-2,850cc, Woody Harris

Another new “Zenvair” 601XLB, Jim Ballew, 2700cc

Second “Zenvair”, the McDaniel’s 2700cc 601XLB

 Patrick Hoyt, new Zenith 601XL, now flying, N-63PZ

Guest writer: Phil Maxson, flying a 3100cc Corvair in his 601XL

 601XL-2700cc Dr. Gary Ray

 Zenith 601XL-3100cc Dr. Andy Elliott

Zenith 601/650 – Corvair reference page November 2013