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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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



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.



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.



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.



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.


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.



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.



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.



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.


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?


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.


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.


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.



About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at and in more than 50 magazine articles.

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