Corvair – Pietenpol Reference page


Here is a collection of information we have put out for Pietenpol builders. I have swept it into this single page so builders can have a single reference point on the airframe. As we have more content, I can easily add a link here and keep this current. This page is just a brief set of notes and links to stories I have written about Pietenpols. If you would like to start with a simple three page spec sheet on the engine, read this link first: Basic Corvair information

I can still recall the very first picture of a Pietenpol I ever saw, a grainy black and white image in Peter Bower’s “The 25 most practical Homebuilts.” It was love at first sight, I ordered a set of plans from Don Pietenpol the next week, and 25 years later, the design and the people who love them still hold a place in my heart.


 Above, A great afternoon at Brodhead WI, 2009. R to L, the Piets of Gary and Shad Bell , Kurt Shipman, Randy Bush, all Corvair powered.


Above, my proudest day in aviation. Grace and I with friends and my Pietenpol in front of the old Brodhead sign at the Pietenpol Reunion in 2000. We had just flown up  from Florida, and spent a great day with friends old and new, with my mother and father on hand. This single day made years of work in the hangar worthwhile.


(Click on any colored title to read the full story)


Pietenpol Aircampers:

Pietenpol review in pictures, 15 more Corvair powered Piets

Bob Lester’s Corvair/ Pietenpol nears 800 hours.

The Bell Pietenpol, 3 generations of flyers

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, EAA #1279, French Valley CA

New Pietenpol #3, Mike Groah, Tulare, California

New Pietenpol, Gary Boothe, Cool, Calif.

Gary Boothe’s Pietenpol, flying video

New Pietenpol, 2700 Corvair, Don Harper SC

Randy Bush’s Pietenpol hits 500 hours.

Farewell to a Good Man; Robert Caldwell departs.

Guest Writer: Pietenpol builder/flyer Kevin Purtee

Knoll Family Pietenpol

Bob Dewenter’s Pietenpol project

Pietenpol Project – Terry Hand

Pietenpol 2,775 cc Corvair; Trevor Rushton from UK


Oshkosh 2004,  Alex Sloan, holding plaque has just been presented The Tony Bingelis Award.  L ot R, Noted Pietenpol builder and pilot Mike Cuy, Pietenpol historian and newsletter editor par excellence, Doc Mosher, Grace and Myself. I have always tried to give something back to todays Piet builders, as I personally benefitted from the efforts of the builders who preceded me. I have worked with Doc on this, including developing the Weight and Balance testing and data bank. He and his wife Dee have been the single biggest factor in the design’s explosive popularity in the last 10 years.


Above, Speaking at the Brodhead forums, 2008. This gathering in July is my favorite event of the year. It is a great place to socialize, meet new friends, see planes and exchange ideas. I have only missed one year in the last 19, given forums the last 12 years. We also do practical stuff: we weighed 28 Piets on electronic scales there in a two year period. The data is in the back issues on the newsletter, available at


Installations and airframe parts.

Pietenpol Mount on airframe

Pietenpol Weight and Balance project

Pietenpol Weight and Balance article source

Current Corvair Installation in a Pietenpol, part #1

Current Corvair Installation in a Pietenpol, Part 2

Steel tube Pietenpol fuselage with landing gear and 12 x 4.8″ tires.

Great lies from discussion groups…….part #1

Pietenpol Products, Motor mounts, Gear and Instalation Components.

New die spring landing gear on a Pietenpol, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Pietenpol Motor Mounts, P/N 4201(C)

Pietenpol Fuel lines and Cabanes

Fuel lines and Cabanes, part 2

Pietenpol Box Spar Construction, 6/27/13

Cooling with J-3 style cowls. (Pietenpols, Cubs, Biplanes, etc)

Three Pietenpol Motor Mounts

In Search Of … The Economical Carburetor

Franklin Engine Runs at CC ##22 KGTU Spring Break 2012

Terry Hand’s 2700 cc Pietenpol engine – w/Weseman 5th bearing

 “Zen-vair” and “Piet-vair” Discussion Groups, your resource..

Pietenpol lift struts; $65, a free education, and fun with friends..

Custom Pietenpol engine mount.

Yes, Pietenpols do need 5th Bearings..

Evolution of a Pietenpol

Evolution of a Pietenpol pt. 2

Andrew Pietenpol, aviator and Grandson of BHP, right, attends Corvair College #4 with Grace and Myself in 2003. Greatest complement anyone has ever said to me in 25 years in aviation: Andrew told me that day “My Grandfather would have adopted you.”


Stories on the influence of BHP

B.H. Pietenpol, Patron Saint of Homebuilding

Don Pietenpol Passes, 1/8/14

Vi Kapler passes from this Earth, age 88.

New Pietenpol Family website

The Cherry Grove Trophy

Help Needed, Wikipedia error on Pietenpols

Cherry Grove story, “The long way home”

Cherry Grove story, Part 2.

Pietenpol first flight; Honolulu International.

Flathead Ford, 71 cid. Freedom to pursue happiness.

Guest Editorial, Pietenpol builder Terry Hand.

Bob Lester’s 48 flight hour, 3400 mile Pietenpol adventure

Pietenpol Builders and Pilots at Corvair College #31.

Ralph Carlson and Conversion Manual #1.




Above, Kevin Purtee and I speaking at Corvair College #32. Although we look very different, we have a lot of things in Common: We are both the same age; We are both Embry-Riddle graduates from the same Degree Program; we have both worked in aviation every day since we were 26; we have very similar perspectives on risk management.  Read: Thought for the Day: Two paths in managing risk.


If you would like to read a number of personal stories, some with very harsh lessons on the unforgiving nature of flight, Please look here: Risk Management reference page. If you read them with an open mind, some of my friends will be able to posthumously teach you to take care of yourself. -ww.


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