Corvair College #29, Leesburg, FL. – photo report

Builders:

Below are a short series of photos from Corvair College #29. It is a quick look at a very productive and fun event.  By attendance it was a small college, but when gauged by individual learning, it is an event that will have a large and lasting effect on many individuals who were there.  Four of the forty builders on hand had their first engine run on our test stand.  Twelve of the builders there broke down a core and launched their engine build. Many people returning for a second College, learned more and spent time with among friends.

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A day after the college, we headed down to Sun n Fun, my 26th consecutive year at that fly-in. I mostly hung out with friends and gave 3 forums, We chose not to have a commercial booth, as SnF is a declining venue for home builts, and the booth space actually costs more than Oshkosh.

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The crowds were projected to be 200,000, but these numbers just like Oshkosh, are greatly exaggerated. People who have been there for 25 years like me, called it at 40,000 or so, mostly people there to see the Blue Angels.  At an after hours cook out, a person said that 40,000 people watching an airshow is a lot bigger event that 40 people building and running an engine.

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I pointed out he was only right if the goal was to generate spectators. The Wrights, Lindbergh, Pietenpol, Wittman, Yeager, Armstrong, and Rutan were not spectators, and it is against my understanding of being an American to settle for being a spectator when a place in the arena it there for the taking.

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Above, a group photo, a freshly run engine on the test stand as a centerpiece.

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Above, an electric drill primes the oil system on a new engine before the break in run. I am showing builders how to verify that all of the lifters are flowing oil before closing up the valve covers. Because the Corvair has hydraulic lifters, the valve covers will stay on for the life of the engine, as no further adjustment will be required.

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Above, Grace taking photos and enjoying a joke with the guys. Arnold Holmes and EAA Chapter 534 were our local hosts for the event. The did an outstanding job of supporting the College.

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Father/son team the Jamesons from TX, stand beside their newly run engine. The engine is destined for a Piet that is mostly done. Dad (Kelly) is clear that the plane and engine are really the handiwork of his son, Joseph. A very bright and skilled young man.

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Above, another view of the Jameson engine as it is coming off the stand. It is a 2,700cc engine with a Roy bearing and Falcon heads.

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Mike Maury drove in 1,300 miles from Iowa and got the first run of his 3,000 cc Dan bearing engine, destined for his Kitfox model 7. More pictures in the next update.

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Above, Embry-Riddle graduate and Aeronautical Engineer Sarah Ashmore runs her 3,000 cc Corvair on the stand. A great running power plant, and perhaps the most colorful Corvair flight engine of all time. It is destined for her custom composite single seat aircraft.

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Above, Vern drove to the College in his ‘Aero-trike’ 50% Lancair 320, 50% geo metro.  (Note that the airplane parking arrow is pointing to the wrong end of the vehicle, I should have had Vern turn it around) It logged 12,000 miles on Florida roads last year, where it is considered a legal motorcycle.

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Above, the 3,000 cc Dan bearing engine of Bill Zorc runs at the College. It is destined to power his Warner revolution. Bill Is a very skilled pilot/mechanic. His day job is flying heavy aircraft for the worlds leading freight carrier, but he is also a highly skilled A&P/IA, and very talented GA pilot. Where an aviator of his experience selects the Corvair as his engine to work with, it says a lot about the quality of the engine.

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As you look at the photos and think about what you will do this flying season, you are making a choice. Will you spend this season with the spectators or will you find your place among the builders in the arena?

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Most people will settle for being a spectator. They will succumb to the inner voce that tells them there place is in the bleachers, watching, not in the game. In the lives of these people are countless ‘friends’ advising them to give up on their dreams, just because they did.

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When you decide that you will not settle, that you will work for and have your day in the sun, you will certainly have a chorus of ‘friends’ counsel you, all with the best sounding intentions, that you should postpone or desist. If they succeed, you will not be joining them in failure…..Failure is a word that implies a genuine effort was made, a chance was taken, a man was in the arena.

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No person who settled for being a spectator has a right to elevate themselves to the level of any man who took a genuine shot at having his day, even if that man fails. It is your life, choose who you will spend it with carefully. There are no refunds nor second chances. -ww.

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Thought for the day: Who do you trust?

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 Once upon a time, I wrote almost 50 articles that were published by the EAA, I was on their masthead, I wrote for a half dozen other aviation magazines and was welcome in private industry discussion groups. Over time, people in our industry found out that I have never been a “go along to get along” type. If the industry had a dirty little secret to keep from builders, I was, and remain, the wrong guy to tell.

If there is an angle/system/ way-it’s-done which operates by keeping builders in the dark, it is now understood that I’m not going to keep quiet about it. I have written openly so builders can see and understand something of the consumer/marketing forces they face in our industry. It’s the kind of writing that has not made me friends with ‘the system.’

For this reason, I have a lot less ‘friends’ in industry than I once did. You write stuff like “Unicorns vs Ponies” and point out the new head of the EAA has a fake engineering degree, they don’t invite you to the cocktail parties anymore. That’s ok, I got into homebuilding to learn, build and fly, not be part of a marketing industry. Being welcomed into the workshop of a homebuilder is a real experience and a greater honor than being mistaken for an “Industry insider.” -ww.

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New Year’s Day 2005, Grace and I visited Phil Maxson and his family in Washington, N.J.   I have to be the only engine manufacturer in aviation who makes free house calls. In our travels of the last 25 years I have made about 400 such stops. Yes, that is me with the short dark hair. Phil’s 601XL has been flying for the last 8 years.

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To read a story of marketing over substance click on : Unicorns vs Ponies.

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If you would like to learn a little more about the EAA presidents background Google search the terms “Jack Pelton, CBS 60 Minutes, Fake Engineering degree”. Let me assist: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500164_162-654319.html

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Thought for the day: Who will build our planes?

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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. Today, the greedy corporate leadership at Cessna had 6 years to tool up and they couldn’t hardly make 30 C-162 ‘Skycatchers’ per year in China.

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The only important difference is that the Cessna ownership in 1946 respected their workforce of Americans, and 60 years later Cessna CEO Jack Pelton, (now the head of the EAA) 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 or working American.

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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.

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1946 Cessna C-120, made by Americans, still flying 68 years later. Cessna Corporate management has already removed all trace from their site that ever sold the Chinese built C-162. Sixty-eight years and still flying vs six years to oblivion.

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If you would like to read the story the above excerpt was taken from, click on this link:

Cessna’s Chinese adventure a failure.