Youngest Builder with a running Corvair.


At Corvair College #29, the high point of the event was the perfect engine test run of the 100 HP Corvair by 16 year old Pietenpol builder Joseph Jameson. We ran a number of engines for the first time at the College, but everyone present took notice of Joseph’s achievement.

Many Pietenpol builders saw the October ’13  newsletter, which carried a nice story about Dan Helsper taking Joseph aloft for his first flight in a Pietenpol. Doc and Dee Mosher, Dan and most everyone who has met Joseph comments that he is obviously a bright and thoughtful young man, blessed with a supportive family. A few minutes in his company is enough to make anyone say something positive about the future of aviation.

Joseph has a lot of his airframe built, and is closing in on his PP check ride, but opted to dig into his Corvair engine when Kevin Purtee and Shelley Tumino hosted Corvair College#28 in Texas. You can see Joseph and his father Kelley speaking with award winning Piet builder and flyer Hans Vandervort at the college in this link: Corvair College #28, San Marcos, Texas

Joseph got his Corvair underway at #28, but signed up for #29 in Florida to finish and test run it. The engine is a 100HP Corvair, with a Roy, 5th bearing and Falcon heads.  It is not a “spare no expense” engine, but it is an exceptionally high quality Corvair with electric start, dual ignition, stainless valves, HD oil cooler and filter and some weight reduction items like a flyweight welded deep sump pan. The engine is a bit lighter than a C-90 or an O-200.

When Joseph was done, we pre-oiled it and put it on our test stand. It started in less than 2 seconds of cranking. We put down a 30 minute run to break in the cam and lifters, followed by a second run. I have run several hundred Corvairs on the stand in the last decade, and Joseph’s engine ran as well as any of them. It was smooth, didn’t leak a drop of oil, and his adjustment of the hydraulic lifters was perfect. A visitor to the college asked what this young man’s ‘secret of success’ was. I said “He actually read the book and he follows the instructions.”

Hats off to Joseph for his achievement in learning and building, and special thanks to everyone in the Pietenpol community that played a positive role in assisting him. Joseph and his Dad are planning on attending Brodhead this year, if you have not met them, take a moment to do so, they are outstanding people. -ww



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.

2 Replies to “Youngest Builder with a running Corvair.”

  1. Congratulations to Joseph and his dad Kelly. With attention to detail which Joseph clearly has (he read the book and followed it) and supportive dad, the future beckons. We’ll certainly look forward to meeting them at Brodhead.

    Harold and Edi

  2. Totally cool, Jamesons! Now we just need a new iteration of Paul’s EAA and new mag (online would be fine). Maybe call it something simple, EAEBA (‘EeBuh’), Experimental Aircraft and Engine Builder’s Association. The E for engine could be left out for further simplification, but leaving it in reinforces the Corvair movement that itself reinforces the experimental aviation grassroots movement. Cheers.

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