13 most popular stories this week:

Builders:

Below is a list in order of the most popular stories of the last week in terms of how many times they were read. Some are fairly new, others a lasting sources of proven information. With 500 stories on Flycorvair.net, we are in need of an index, but until then you can use the search box at the upper right corner and search any word you like, it will generally turn up several stories.

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You can read any story by clicking on the colored title.

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Home page / Archives

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Complete Engines for Sale

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Getting Started Reference page

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Thought for the day: Getting Started.

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Corvair power for Panther and Sonex reference page

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Planes flying on Corvair Power

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Thought for the day #2 – To the new homebuilder

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Zenith 750 / Corvair reference page, October 2013

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Engine Operations reference page

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Oil Pressure gauge options, oil system notes

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Sun n Fun forums 2014

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Carburetor Reference page

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Zenith 601/650 – Corvair reference page November 2013

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Headed to Corvair College #29 the 27th -31st

Builders,

We will be out of the shop from the 27th to the 31st for Corvair College #29 in Leesburg FL. We have been prepping long hours for the event. Of great assistance in this has been 601XL builder and flyer Lynn Dingfelder from Cory PA. He has been working in the shop with Vern and I all week. Over the years he has done this several times since 2006. He blends right in with us, and helps out a lot. He manufactured a pile of case stands and hub stands for engines to eliminate builders from waiting at futures Colleges for these specialty tools to be available. The tripled the number of engines we can have in the stands at any one stage. This will have a positive effect on builders at colleges for many, many years to come. Lynn is an extraordinary guy, but the spirit of doing something to assist builders who will follow you is very strong in the Corvair movement.

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Lynn Dingfelder’s  601 XL at CC#25 in Florida, 2013. “Lynn had previously flown the plane to CC #20 in Michigan. After the College, Lynn took a short tour of southern Florida and then headed to SnF, where his aircraft was on display at the Zenith booth all week. Lynn is very mechanically inclined, and he has very good judgment, but he is relatively new to flying. He got his sport pilot license four years ago and has slowly and carefully accumulated a few hundred hours, gradually expanding his personal flight envelope. His experience and path is an excellent model for anyone new to homebuilding and flying. “

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Above from 2013: the Zenith booth at Sun n Fun. Lynn Dingfelder’s  601XLB with 2,700cc Corvair. The engine has a Weseman bearing and is fed with an Elison EFS-3A.  The installation is right out of our parts catalog. The Plane was the 25th ^01/Corvair to fly. Today there are more than 70 of them.

2012, Lynn Dingfelder’s 601XL(B) at the Zenith open house in Mexico MO.

Blast from the past, from our website 2010, Corvair College #20 coverage: “The pilots of Corvair College #20, from left to right: Lynn Dingfelder, Joe Horton, Mark Langford, and Dr. Gary Ray.”

Blast from the past, from our web page in 2008: “Above, the 25th Corvair powered 601 to fly was built by our friend Lynn Dingfelder from Corry, Penn. Lynn’s plane features an engine he crafted himself utilizing our Conversion parts. The engine was cowled and installed using virtually every component available from our Catalog. Lynn is a very friendly guy who has been to our hangar as well as a number of airshows. We look forward to seeing him fly into many of the same events at 2009. Hats off to Lynn Dingfelder for proving yet again that persistence pays. “

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Sun n Fun forums 2014

Builders,

I am giving three forums at sun n fun. They are on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, all at 12 noon. They are in the three story educational building, along with the other forums. The actual room number is posted in the program and on the boards downstairs in the building’s lobby.

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Blast from the past: Giving a forum at Sun n Fun 2003. In the old days when the forums were given in tents. My first year giving Corvair  forums at SnF was 1995, 19 years ago. My first year at the event was 1989. I have not missed a single one since. -ww.

Thought for the day #2 – To the new homebuilder

Builders:

If you are new to the world of homebuilding, and maybe even flying, here’s something that you may not suspect: you’re actually in an excellent position to avoid the actions of fools.

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Compared to the general aviation pilots who are starting their flight lessons down at the local FBO mill, you have many distinct advantages. Down there, you take the first polyester clad flying prodigy they assign you as an instructor.  You’re flying a worn-out airplane, that they can hardly afford to keep going. Their mechanic is paid a wage that precludes him from living in a double wide trailer. The student enters a system that takes no consideration of who he is or what he wants out of flying. Whatever the intention of the FBO owner when starting out, a lot of these operations devolve to a poorly disguised system of draining your bank account into theirs.

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It’s very important to understand that such settings attract and tolerate idiots. Nobody wants to upset the system. Whatever ambitions they had of higher standards have long ago been worn away Homebuilding can be just as bad, but it doesn’t have to be. You can make it any way that you want to.

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In this case, you’re going to be the aircraft manufacturer, and the engine manufacturer also. You have time to seek out intelligent qualified people for your further learning.  Building an engine can teach you a lot about whose advice you take, and who you don’t listen to.  This phase can be done while you’re still safely on the ground. If you set your standards very high, you will attract other people who take flying seriously. Aviation works just like life, quality people tend to gravitate towards the same setting, and dirt bags tend to collect where the standards are low enough that they don’t stick out.

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In homebuilding you control the entire show. After the plane is done, you’re going to be the director of maintenance, the chief of flight operations, scheduling, dispatching, and the chief financial officer.  It’s a beautiful system where you’re entirely in control of things that you normally have to resign to others.

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To me this is at the heart of what is captivating about homebuilding. The process is an opportunity, but not a guaranteed transformation. If there is a guy in your local EAA Chapter who doesn’t really strike you as the human personification of self-reliance and self-actualization through homebuilding, yet he has completed an airplane, it isn’t the process’ fault.

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If you are new to homebuilding, do not judge the potential of the experience by looking at people who merely went through the motions, ended up with the plane, learned the minimum amount, etc. The greatest dad ever and a guy who made a deposit at a sperm bank are both technically involved in fatherhood. Only the former understands the rewards of the experience.

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 In general it is plenty of protection to not take advice from nor fly with idiots. There are rare occurrences their range is further, but for the most part if you give them up wide berth and don’t listen to them you’ll do okay.

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If you have not spent much time in airports, the basic rules are pretty simple: Pay attention to what’s going on; don’t talk on your cell phone or walk around with your head somewhere else; don’t drive your car on the runway, taxiways or parking aprons; don’t smoke around airplanes or in hangars; do not interrupt people who are pre-flighting airplanes or engaged in intensive maintenance. Introduce yourself before you ask a question, and if you do ask, make sure that you listen to the answer. If you’re addicted to looking at your smart phone, leave it in the car. Most older aviators take it as a sign of real disrespect if you glance to your phone the whole time they’re talking to you. Spend twice as much time listening as talking. If someone specifically tells you not to do something, don’t do it. This is all that it takes to blend in at 90% of the airports in America.

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There are a couple of obvious character traits in people who I like to steer clear of when it comes to planes.  I only fly with people I know fairly well; I will not get in an airplane that a guy pre-flighted while he was talking on his cell phone. I stay away from people who are in a big rush at the airport. These people often don’t have the time for a preflight, a mag check or taxiing to the downwind and to the runway. I will not speak to a person who knowingly does downwind takeoffs or landings to shorten the distance to his parking spot. I have nothing to do with people who brag about having their annual inspections or biennial flight reviews pencil whipped. I don’t fly with pilots who do things that are forbidden in capital letters in the pilots operating handbook (Example: slipping a 172 with the flaps down).

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I’ve never taken a flight lesson of any kind with an instructor who couldn’t tell me what condition achieves the minimum turn radius in any aircraft ( Maneuvering speed, bank angle increased until the plane reaches its positive G limit, full power.) I stay away from pilots who say things like “this plane has a bad glide ratio when it’s heavily loaded” (aircraft of the same glide ratio and gross weight glide as they do lightly loaded) I steer clear of people who offer testimonials on flight characteristics planes they never sat in (“Republic Seabees glide like bricks” ),  avoid people who are poor listeners or openly brag about things that they have gotten away with.

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The above paragraph might describe 40% of the people in airports. That’s okay, I don’t need to pal around with everyone.  If you’re new to aviation, spend some time observing people and develop your own set of values. Be discriminating. If you’re new you have no track record, then you’re a thoroughbred as far as anybody’s concerned, and the only way that is changed is if you spend a lot of time with fools and idiots and let them turn you into one. If you believe this is possible, then the corollary is also possible. You can choose to spend your time with skilled, competent, aviators and let their experience and your hard work turn you into one yourself.

 -William Wynne

Thought for the day: Getting Started.

Here is my perspective: Aviation costs money. About the least expensive plane I can picture has an all up cost of $10,000. Let’s say that you take 8 years to build it, that’s $1,250/year or $3 and 42 cents a day. If you smoke or drink coffee, you spend a lot more than this. Don’t like to hear about 8 years? Want to change that? Here is the easy way: Do nothing this year, and next year it will be nine years. $20 a day for 3 years is $21,900. For that kind of money you can have many airplanes, including a Panther with engine. Being wealthy isn’t the key, getting started is.

Take this thought with you: You can’t really change the cost of planes by more than 25% or 35% even by extreme scrounging and plans building. There is no way to drop the cost by 75%, stuff just costs money at some point. Here is what you do control: What you get out of building and flying. Picture two guys, both spend 4 years, and 2,000 hours building a plane, and 50 hours aloft and 200 studying to get a LSA rating. It’s five years into it. If guy “A” was a super scrounger, bought a used kit and spent only $20K vs guy “B” who spent $34K for the same plane by purchasing a kit and getting all his parts from Aircraft Spruce instead of the flymart, Which builder got the better value? Who won?

The correct answer: The guy who actually mastered each skill, learned the why’s of every step, didn’t just do every task to minimums, but aimed to master it. The guy who sought to know every piece and part of his plane and its correct care, feeding and operation. He aimed higher, did more. He has been changed by the experience, the guy who just did the minimums only accomplished the task, but it wasn’t transformative. Real value isn’t based just on what it cost, it is far more affected by the other side of the equation…what did you get out of it? On this point, the majority of builders cheat themselves. Reading Stick and Rudder is all about aiming to get the best value out of the hours of your life you invest in homebuilding and flying. The book is for aviators who will master light plane flight, not just be adequate at it.

Years ago I was a contributor to the “Corvaircraft” Internet discussion group. If you read the archives, I left 400 stories there, before I was banned for life (due to poor etiquette and intolerance of foolish people). In retrospect, most of my time there was wasted. In 10 years, the site produced only a handful of flyers, most of whom were already regular builders of ours. The great majority of the several hundred readers there were just doing one thing: Waiting.

What for you ask? Something better than what I was showing them could be done. I was basically showing how a very good engine that weighed 225 pounds, cost $5,000, burned 5 gallons an hour, and lasted 1,000 hours could be built, if you were willing to learn a little and get your hands dirty, and think some. Yet the vast majority of readers thought that was not good enough. Every time some troll/daydreamer/psycho surfaced and said “I know how to save 35 pounds!” they waited to see how he would do it. When people said “I know how to have an EFI system for $200,” they waited to see how it worked. When people said “We can use shareware and develop this as a Net group,” people waited. Every new thing discussed, virtually all of which turned out to be pure unicorns, was cause for these men to wait.

Many of the ones who were there 10 years ago are still there waiting, certain that this week, someone will show up and tell them how to build a 170 pound Corvair that has EFI, is reliable, burns 2.5 gallons per hour, makes 130 hp, assembles itself, lasts 2,500 hours for an investment of $1,500, no check that, $995. They will be waiting there in another 10 years because that bus isn’t ever going to come. The rainbow bus line from unicornville doesn’t have a stop on reality street, it only is headed to cyberville, and there is no airport in cyberville.

Their waiting is partially driven by the “consumer electronics experience.” To these people, their cell phones were vastly better and far cheaper than the ones they had 10 years before, why shouldn’t they expect the same from Corvairs? Because it is the mechanical world, not electronics, and it doesn’t work that way in metal, and things that you can fly. Popular Mechanics has been telling readers for 60 years that personal helicopters are 2 years away, and rip off artists like “Cartercopter” stole millions of dollars from NASA (yes, stolen from the taxpayers) for alleged R&D on this, but it doesn’t exist. You can’t fly it, but the people who wait eat this stuff up as the sand runs out of their personal hour-glass.

48 Hours until Corvair College #29 Cutoff.

Builders,

We are now down to the last 48 hours to sign up. The cutoff is Thursday night 9pm EST. The sing up is:

https://corvaircollege.wufoo.com/forms/corvair-college-29-registration/

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for more information:

Corvair College #29, close to last call.

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Below is a photo tribute to my friend Ken Pavlou, the man who takes care of all of the on line sign up for the colleges. Everything we do has been assisted by the contributions of friends, both large and small. Ken’s assistance with our efforts has been priceless over the years. Besides the sign up, he also Co-Hosted CC#14, he set up the software for this blog, he has been the life of many cookouts at Oshkosh, and he once drove several hundred miles in a blinding snowstorm with me, in a 2wd pickup of mine, towing a trailer with no brakes, with a Zenith on it we needed to deliver. He thought it was fun.

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There is a joke that originated in NJ that goes like this: Friends are people who would help you move, real friends are people who would help you move a human body.” Ken is that kind of friend.

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Photo taken January 2014, in our backyard in Florida.

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Ken at Oshkosh 2013:

Ken in 2009, introductions at Corvair College #14 “he has a long  list of accomplishments: emigrating from Greece at age 8, he has gone on to earn an electrical engineering degree, become a registered nurse and skilled pilot. Happily married  and the father of two, he’s also the State Ballroom Dancing Champion of Connecticut (no kidding). Not bad for a guy who’s barely 40.”


At Ken’s house in 2008: striking a pose with his Corvair.

Oshkosh 2007 cookout, Ken brings his engine.  We had a wonderful evening enjoying Ken’s childhood memories,  worthy of any national comedy tour.

 

Corvair College #29, close to last call.

Builders,

I type this on Sunday night, and we are going to cut off the sign up for Corvair College #29 in four days. I may type one more last call notice, but we are getting into high gear for the event, and this may be the last notice we put out. If you are planning on attending, it is time to sign up today. The link to sign up is:

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https://corvaircollege.wufoo.com/forms/corvair-college-29-registration/

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You can read more detailed information at this link:

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Corvair College #29, Three weeks out.

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Please understand, registration is required this year. Last
year we had an open event as an introduction top the new date and venue. This year we are working the College just like any other, with required registration in advance.

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Do not miss a chance to sign up for this event. Although local hosts have let some people slide on sign up and pay at check in, Arnold has explained that he is limiting admission to the people who sign up normally, and he is not going to make an exception for people who are unwilling to work within the normal system. (Keep in mind he is volunteering to host his third College, so it is more than fair to ask people to follow his guidelines.)

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Below, Pictures from Corvair College #25, Last Years College at the same location. It was a very fun and productive event. Get your flying season off to a good start, choose to do something that will start an outstanding  year. Do not let this year get started without you.

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Above: Every College is a mixture of individual supervised work and group learning, shown in the scene above. In the photo, I am giving everyone a detailed look at, and Corvair specific training, on a differential compression test.

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Above, the engine we are instructing on is Larry Magruder’s (in the maroon shirt at right) 2700 cc/Weseman bearing engine.

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Pietenpol builder and veteran of several Colleges Dave Aldrich with a high thrust line Pietenpol motor mount we made for him. It is powdercoated white. He saved $80 on shipping by picking it up in person. We are always glad to ship mounts, we do it all the time, but it is nice to head to a College also.

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Bob Lester strikes the “Intrepid Aviator” pose with his Pietenpol.  He is good at this because he has seen every old aviation movie ever made. He built his 2,700/Weseman bearing engine at CC #17, and flew it back to CC #25.