Turbocharging Corvair flight engines, Pt #1

Builders,

I am going to sweep together much of the info we have on turbocharging Corvairs here and have it as a reference page for builders, with links to other previous information I have written on the subject.

.

Why put a turbo on a Corvair Flight engine? For more power. Corvair cars were the first mass produced turbocharged passenger cars. Many people who know little about cars mistakenly think it was the Porsche 911, but the Corvair Spider beat the Carrera to the market by a full 12 years. The Corvair was designed from the start with the possibility of boosting the output by putting a turbo on it. Above all, it has the cooling for this. Engines that barely have the cooling to run naturally aspirated don’t stand a chance with a turbo.

.

 Our work with turbos on flying Corvairs: Most of our flight test work was done in 2005. The information was of personal interest to me, and many builders expressed an interest also. But as a reality check, A turbo on a flying Corvair was not really something 95% of builders needed. Also, bringing our test bed aircraft to airshows and speaking with builders taught me that the great majority of people who expressed interest had little appreciation of the complexity and often they had very unrealistic expectations. The best example of this was the majority of people saying “I don’t want a boosted engine, I just want it turbo-normalized” Clearly some of the sources of information on turbocharging of planes that people were reading was not written from a practical experience. Having a flying plane was done, but there was a lot of work to go before builders could understand what the motor would entail, what it would be good at, and what it could not practically do.

.

.

Above is a 2005 overhead shot of  our test bead aircraft the Turbo-Skycoupe.  It is easy to see the stainless heat shield over the hot side of the turbo in this view. You can see more photos at this link: More Turbo Skycoupe photos

.

Turbo-normalizing engines: Picture a naturally aspirated 100 hp Corvair powered plane climbing out from an airport at sea level. The pressure is 29.92″ there. Now picture the same plane taking off from Leadville CO, at 9,927′. The air there is has only 65% of the density it does at sea level. A turbo could easily put this right back, but here is the in-escapable issue: You can only do this with an inflight adjustable prop. If you tried it with a fixed pitch prop that worked at sea level, the prop would radically over speed at altitude.  If you put on a fixed pitch prop that absorbed 100 hp at 9,927′ and then tried to take off from sea leave without boosting the engine past 29,92″ on take off, the plane might not even spin the same prop to 2,500 rpm. performance would be very poor, less than a naturally aspirated 100 hp motor with the right prop. The bottom line is you can’t turbo-normalize any plane unless it has an in flight adjustable prop. They exist, but they cost nearly as much money as your motor will. The good news is that a turbo-boosted engine still makes sense in some applications, and it works with a fixed pitch prop.

.

The Vne problem: Many people who like the idea of a turbo say “I want to get up high and go fast.” OK, this can be done, but here is a very real issue: Many light planes, especially experimentals, can already operate near their Vne (Velocity Never Exceed) speed. If you add a turbo to them, they will be able to fly right through it in level flight, a very bad idea. People debate this, but here is the reality that the educated side of the argument knows: Vne is based on TRUE airspeed not indicated. If you are in a plane with a Vne of 200 mph, and you are at 10,000′ and indicating 170 mph on a naturaly aspirated engine, you have no where to go. This is because your true airspeed will be 199 mph, and that is 1 mph below your Vne. Put a turbo on that plane and you can’t use it to increase the high altitude cruise. This is a very common condition for Van’s RV aircraft, and it is a big part of the reason why you don’t hear about them being usefully turbocharged. With Corvairs, the common example is the KR-2s, which can fly very near it’s Vne naturally aspirated.  If someone around the airport tells you I am wrong about this, look it up for yourself in Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators. I can’t sing nor dance, but I did learn some things in my 5 1/2 years at Embry-Riddle.

.

Above, Arnold Holmes and I stand behind the engine installation on a V-8 powered Lancair IV-P. This is an EngineAir package that I helped develop from 1993 to ’98. It’s 450hp, geared, injected, intercooled and very heavily turbocharged.

 Most of the people commenting on turbocharging piston planes have little experience with it. In 1996 We took a Lancair IVP like this one on a test flight to 32,500′  I have a number of hours aloft above 29,000′ in these planes. Very few people have flown that high in light piston planes, and truly very few have worked on the engines and system that worked in this environment. You can learn a lot; example, you can easily overheat an engine even when it is 30 below zero outside because the air density is low, and it can’t take many BTU’s out of the cooling system.

.

There are also many practical things that directly relate to turbocharged Corvairs such as techniques of welding 321 stainless tubing. Many new guys like to talk about selecting the turbo itself, but my experience says that the reliability of the system has a lot to do with details like how large the radius in the exhaust bends are, if the welders are really careful to come off the Tig pedal slowly and not to leave tiny ‘craters’ on the ends of weld beads, and a bunch of other details. Dozens of companies have on line catalogs to pick turbos, and people regurgitate that info all the time, but real installations have to be very carefully fabricated by experienced people.

.

Get a good look at the size of the 5-blade MT propeller. Air is thin at 30,000′ and to absorb 400 hp there, you need blade area, speed and lots of pitch change . Contrary to what some people think, even though this engine was geared 2.19 to 1, it only needed 74″ of diameter to be optimized for the task.

.

on to part #2…..

.

 

Thought for the Day: Your Personal Masterpiece

 “Your engine is your personal masterpiece. You should be tempted to pull the cowl off and just marvel at it for no reason.  You should drag passers-by at the airport into your hangar and proudly say “LOOK! I built That!” With an arm gesture that magicians use as they say “TAA-DAA!”

25 hours is a reasonable goal on inspections. You could probably run 50 hours on Rotella between changes but learn this phrase that every A&P worth a damn has tattooed on heart: “Gas and oil are the cheapest things you ever put into an engine.” Here is the WW corollary: “Gas and oil are also the easiest ‘parts’ to install.” -ww.

.

—————————————————–

.

Read the whole story at this link:

Notes on Corvair flight engine oils.

.

————————————————————

.

.

Above is a 2007 shot of Rick Lindstrom’s 601XL . It was built in our Edgewater hangar, and it did all it’s flight testing in Florida. Woody Harris and his daughter Amy flew it to the west coast were it covered many airshows from Copper state in AZ to Arlington in WA. It made a number of events at Zenith’s west coast facity, Quality Sport Planes, in Cloverdale, and it was on hand for Corvair Colleges #11, 13 and 18. -ww.

.

 

STOL and utility planes for Corvair power

Builders,

Below is an overview of STOL and Utility airframes that have been Corvair powered or are in excellent candidates for the engine, that we have already looked at closely. Included with many of the airframes listed are links to stories about them.

.

This group of planes are all high-wing cabin monoplanes. There is a good selection of designs for builders to choose from. There are others that would work as well, for example Morgan William’s lite star http://www.customflightltd.com/aircraft-kits-1.html Has flown on Corvair power, but I have just written an overview of the planes most people ask about. If you have a plane in mind that you don’t see here, just send me an email.

.

—————————————–

Zenith 750:

This is a good match for the Corvair. There have been a number of them flown in the last four years, and many more are in the works. The 750 has flown on 2700, 2850 and 3000 cc Corvairs. We make every part to install the engine on a 750 airframe and have a Zenith specific install manual. The last link below has a very complete over view.

.

blogburdett050813

Above, the flying 2850cc Zenith 750 built by Gary Burdett of Illinois.  It has our full complement of Zenith installation components and one of our production engines.

.

Zenith 750 Flying on Corvair Power, Gary Burdett, Illinois

Flying  Zenith 750, Tom Siminski, 2700cc, PA.

Flying Zenith 750 w/3000cc Corvair, Doug Stevenson, California

New “Zenvair-750″, Jeff Cochran, 2,850cc engine, N750ZV

 Zenith 750 / Corvair reference page, October 2013

————————————————————————-

Zenith 701:

We flew our 701/2700cc Corvair test bed aircraft in 2007.  The combination works, and a few have been built, but the 750 has stolen a lot of the potential popularity. If anyone is looking at both airframes, they should pick the 750, because it has matched hole tooling and is far easier to build. It is a better match to a Corvair. Economically, a Corvair powered 750 will still cost a lot less than a 912 powered 701. The link below the photo has a very detailed look at the combo. The plane below was made of all our off the shelf engine components, and the entire plane and engine was built in our Edgewater hangar.

.


Our Corvair powered 701 taxis out before its first flight, 2007. Gus Warren at the Controls.

.

Zenith 701- Corvair reference page, November 2013

.

——————————————————————–

Pegzair:

Is a 20 year old Canadian design with automatic leading edge slats. It has a metal wing and a steel tube fuselage. We finished and flew the first Corvair powered on in 2007. the story is in the link below the photo. The engine has all of our conversion components. Every part ahead of the firewall was built in our hangar in Edgewater.

.

Read the story at this link:

3,100cc Corvair in Pegzair

.

—————————————————————

Wagabond :

Below, our Wagabond, N707SV, flying over the Intercostal Waterway near the Atlantic Ocean in 2005. The airframe is based on a highly modified 1964 Piper PA-22-108 (Colt). The plane was built as a group project by “The Hangar Gang” between 2003 and 2005. It has been flown by a number of well-known Corvair pilots who all found it to be a well behaved work horse. In person, the plane is very large for an LSA legal homebuilt. The airframe is the size of a Tripacer, and sitting on the ground the spinner is as tall as I am, yet a direct drive 100 HP Corvair easily flys this plane, including a test flight where the plane climbed out with a payload greater than its own empty weight.

Originally flown to shows by David Vargesko, today the plane has been modified and refined by Grace and myself, re-engined with a 120 HP 3000 cc Corvair, and functions as our personal Corvair powered plane. It is a 5 gallon per hour, 100 MPH plane with a very large baggage compartment. With Grace, the dog, myself and 36 gallons of fuel loaded, it can still carry 275 pounds of equipment and stay in CG.

 .

Below is a youtube link to the plane flying:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7XhuWmqcPw

.

—————————————————————

Merlin:

Below is a link to film of Jeff Moore’s Merlin flying on floats in Newfoundland. The airframe has a strong following in Canada. This particular plane was originally powered with a Rotax. Jeff’s plane uses most of our Gold engine parts and one of our stainless U-2 exhaust systems. The engine is a 2700 cc motor with a Weseman 5th Bearing.

.

Jeff and the Merlin with Corvair installed.

.

 Film:

Jeff’s story is at this link:

Corvair Powered Merlin Flying Over Newfoundland

.

—————————————————————–

Buttercup:

The plane was originally Designed by Steve Wittman in 1937. It was vastly ahead of its time. Later modified to have full span movable leading edges.  Grace and I worked on the Buttercup pictured below with the intention of finishing it for ourselves before we had a change in direction. Our standard intake and U-2 exhaust fits the plane, along with all of our gold engine components.

Above, the motor mount for our Wittman Buttercup. It is an intensely complicated mount because it incorporates Wittman’s tapered rod landing gear sockets (the modern Buttercup actually uses RV-6 landing gear legs). Earl Luce, the plans provider gave me all the operational data and weight and balance info for his O-200 powered plane, which I mathematically worked out to the Corvair installation. The Mount resembles the O-300 mount for a Tailwind.  After completely welding it, I took it to our local powder coater, and had it done in U.S. Navy gray. It was the 40th different Corvair Motor Mount Design that I have built. Today two builders are closing in on finishing the Corvair Buttercup combination, but none have flown yet. The plane above is being finished in Wisconsin.

.

———————————————————————

Rebel:

The Murphy rebel is an all sheet metal Canadian design almost 25 years old. It is not currently in production. It is a complicated plane to build compared to other all metal designs like a Zenith. Below is a link to a story I wrote about how people who know nothing often say the Corvair will not work on utility planes like the rebel, in spite of all the evidence on this page that speaks to the contrary. The commentary and data in the story is worth reading for anyone looking at a Corvair engine for their homebuilt.

The case of the Murphy Rebel, “eyeball vs. testing”

.

———————————————————–

Bearhawk LSA:

I consider this plane to be the best flying plane in it’s category. I worked directly with the designer Bob Barrows to develop a Corvair motor mount for it. I flew Bob’s prototype, and it has excellent handling qualities. The design uses or standard intake manifold, and a stainless exhaust common to our Zenith installation.

.

Corvair Motor Mount for Bearhawk LSA

Bearhawk LSA, Corvair motor mount in development

Bob Barrows to Fly LSA Bearhawk to CC #27, Barnwell, S.C., Nov. 2013

.

———————————————————-

Kitfox:

The only Kitfox model that has flown with a Corvair was the model 5. The builder had a number of issues, related to using a poor choice in carbs. Below is a link to a Kitfox 4 mount we made in my shop. The engine is slightly too big for the model 4, but it is a good match for the series 5 and up.  The factory likes to promote engines they sell cowls for and have a dealership on.  Kitfox has had three different owners in the last 25 years. The current ones did not sell the bulk of the unfinished model 5’s which are available second hand from internet sources like barnstormers.com for less than 50% of their original sale price. Combine one of these with a Basic Corvair, and it is possible to build a good plane for less than $18K, airframe and engine.

.

Kitfox Model IV with Corvair mount

———————————————————-

Stits SA-7D Skycoupe:

Ray Stits, the man behind the fabric covering system designed a series of very successful planes in the late 1950s. The Skycoupe was once one of the most popular 2 seat planes in the EAA.  Several hundred were built, and their was even a FAR-23 type certified model. It is a stout plane, but it is small inside by modern standards. We put about 200 hours of flight testing on ours, it is a natural match for the Corvair. Below the photo is a link to pictures of turbocharging the design.

.

Above, the Skycoupe on the ramp in front of our Edgewater hangar in 2007. We made every component ahead of the firewall on this plane.

.

Read more at this link:

More Turbo Skycoupe photos

.

———————————————————–

Fisher Horizon 1 and 2:

Both of these designs have flown on Corvair power. I built the motor mount for them, and most of our off the shelf components fit the installation.  The plane has strong appeal for builders who like wood, but it is not as rugged as steel tube designs or all aluminum ones.

———————————————————–

J-3:

The first plane ever to fly with a Corvair was a J-3 in 1960.  The Corvair would make a very good power plant for any of the J-3, J-5, PA-12 family of airframes.

————————————————————-

Just Highlander:

Below is a photo of the first Corvair/highlander to fly. It was not a success because the builder insisted on using a left over cowl from a Jabaru 3300, and the Bing Carb from the same engine. He also ran the engine was a display without any form of cooling for a long period on the ground prior to the first flight.  With the wrong cowl and carb, it should come as no surprise that the plane overheated. From the pictures above, we have plenty of evidence that the Corvair can easily power larger heaver and slower planes than the Highlander when it is equipped with the correct cowl and carb. .

.

————————————————————

Christavia:

Is an older design that is somewhat similar to a champ. The plane has many fans, but it would not be my first choice in a utility plane. It is called a STOL plane, and it is by Lancair standards by not by Zenith standards. The plane pictured below was powered by a 2700 Corvair with a Rinker Gearbox, a design from the 1970’s. The gear box failed in 28 hours because the machinist employed by the builder decided to omit a keyway critical to the design. The combination will work much better as a direct drive plane.

.

 .

——————————————————-

Taylorcraft BC-12D replica:

Below is a one of a kind plane, built from some BC-12D parts. Today the FAA has cracked down on this practice, but with a friendly DAR this could still be made. The plane below is powered by a 2700 and has clipped wings. It topped out at 130mph.

.

.

This very slick aircraft is the handiwork of Gary Loucks of New York.

.

 

 

More Turbo Skycoupe photos

Builders:

While cleaning up some of the older parts of our website I came across a few more pictures of Our Stits SA-7 Skycoupe test bed aircraft to go with the ones that I put on this link: Thought for the day: Being simple and done. The information is applicable to many aircraft.

.

Here’s what the Skycoupe looked like with it’s final cowl, on the ramp in front of our Edgewater hangar in 2007. It had our nose bowl and a Van’s FP-13 13″ spinner. The rest of the cowling is made from flat wraps of aluminum. It does not take much imagination to guess that the airplane was significantly faster with this cowl than the one that came with the airframe pictured at the bottom.  Notice how much more of the prop is working. It’s the same 66″ Warp Drive prop in both photos. It even cooled better. Statistics aside, it looks like a missile, compared to a tugboat. If you’re building a Corvair powered airplane, do not handicap it functionally or aesthetically with an ugly cowling.

.

.

Above is an overhead shot of the turbo installation. It is easier to see the stainless heat shield over the hot side of the turbo in this view. It had a blast tube 1″ in diameter porting cooling air too it off the back of the baffling.  The plane used a stock 12 plate oil cooler, but it did have high oil temps. Note that the plane was built before we had Gold oil systems , Gold prop hubs, or even 5th bearings. It was the very last plane I ever built that didn’t have welded on head pipes for the intake. The value of many of those developments was confirmed by testing on this plane, that is one of the was this plane worked as out test bed. If anyone looks at this photo and thinks about using our old methods, they are not getting the value of our testing from that era.

.

.

Above: One day we brought the plane into the hangar for a maintenance. I removed the cowling and put all the sharp PK screws in a plastic shoebox on top of the wing. Whobiscat, the hangar cat, promptly settled in for a six hour nap. This as not a normal cat. She was particularly cruel, even for a female Siamese, but I found it interesting that she was also cruel to herself at times.

.

Above is the Turbo Skycoupe with its original cowling from a Lycoming powered Pacer. Not a bad cowling if you have an engine 36″ wide. It had come on the Skycoupe when Gary Coppen put the airframe on long term loan to us in 2002. The photo above was taken at Sun n Fun 2005. The modified cowl in the top picture is the one we used from 2006-07.  Every year a hand full of Corvair builders elect to use some off the shelf nose bowl like this one or one for a Continental on their planes and end up with a “esthetically challenged” plane.

.

I didn’t even find this attractive nor functional enough for a test mule airframe we didn’t own. When it had the above cowl at airshows, the first thing we did was take the whole cowl off so people could look at the engine installation. In the same period we had our 601XL and the Wagabond as test aircraft, so we had limited time and call for improvements to the Skycoupe, but eventually we switched it over to our nose bowl and cowl design that we already had on the 601XL and the Wagabond.

.

If you look at photos, the nose bowl also appears on our 750 installations, it is on the Pegzair photos, and variation of the design are on many different Corvair powered planes. If you look at Dan Weseman’s Panther, it uses the same 13″ spinner and the very front of his cowl has the same DNA as our nose bowl. It is a good looking design that works on many planes. -ww.

 .

3,100cc Corvair in Pegzair

Builders,

Below are some notes on the first Corvair powered Pegzair, a plane that was finished and test flown in 2007 at our old Edgewater hangar. It was owned by Gordon Alexander. A Pegzair is a complex STOL plane, and I would rate it as a very tough build, evidenced by how few of them were completed in the first 15 years of the design. Gordon had never built a plane before and was not yet a pilot, but he is an exceptional person, and likes learning, and I think that was his biggest asset that got the job done.

.

All of the info here originally appeared amongst the info in our  monthly news installments on our flycorvair.com site in 2007. I have collected it here so builders interested in STOL planes can review it, and I can give it a place on this link: Planes flying on Corvair Power .

.

.

In the above photo, Gordon Alexander’s 3,100cc Pegzair complete and running has just passed its FAA Airworthiness Inspection. To understand something of Gordon’s sense of humor, its N-number is N129LZ. LZ129 was the Hindenburg.

.

Gordon’s airplane was seven years of hard work in the making. In January 2007, Gordon brought the project down on a trailer from Minnesota to the main hangar in Edgewater, where he commenced a savage 14-hours a day for 100 days to finish it. Inspired by his commitment, Gus, Kevin and I each worked to assist him. Gus guided him through covering the fuselage. I built his motor mount, and Kevin did an enormous amount of work ahead of the firewall. But in the end, it was Gordon’s determination that got it done, and the day belonged to him. The Golden Rule of Homebuilding: Persistence Pays.

.

.

.

Gordon Alexander in our shop at a serious moment. Actually, he spent much more time smiling and laughing. He is first class company with an enormous range of life experience. A former infantry officer, he’s prepared to discuss strategy from the second Peloponnesian War, or sing you his favorite obscure reggae song. The kind of guy who made a long evening in the hangar entertaining and productive.

.

.

Above, Kevin clowns around with Gordon, holding up the newspaper and making a joke about proof of life and kidnapping. Gordon came from Minnesota to escape winter’s wrath, but some of his friends couldn’t understand why he was going for the full immersion experience, working day and night with the hangar gang and sleeping on a cot. Gordon well understood that to get a complex plane done in the shortest time, he had to relocate to where skilled people were. At the time there were several builders working on the Corvair/Pegzair combination, but the other builders spent every day speaking on the Corvaircraft discussion group, talking about what they were going to do. Gordon’s plane was finished in 100 days of work. Seven years later, not a single one of the other builders is finished.

.

.

Above is a photo of Gordon’s Pegzair. The design was introduced in 1995 in Canada. Although it’s often said that it was an offshoot from a 701, we had both of them 10 feet apart in the hangar at the same time;  they might have only been common in concept, as I couldn’t see a single part they shared in common. Gordon had a 3,100 engine ready for it, but we took the top of the engine apart to check it. (3100s had very complex valve geometry, 3,000cc Corvair have a completely normal configuration) The Pegzair is a plans built design, elegant, but perhaps not simple.

.

.

Above is our “Hangar Gang” in 2004 with our 601XL. This is who was working in the Edgewater hangar while Gordon was there. L to R, Grace, myself, Kevin, Whobiscat, Upson Gus and Dave the Bear. We were an ass-kicking team of plane builders, but after hours socializing with us was not for the polite, faint of heart, insecure nor the thin skinned. Gordon was the only person (besides 601XL builder/pilot Lynn Dingfelder), who fit right in. Many people like sausage, far fewer want to see how it is made, and still fewer decide to work in the sausage factory.

.

.

 Gordon covers his fuselage in Stits (polyfiber). The motor mount I designed and built for the plane is visible. I actually built 3 for this plane. #1 needed the thrust line corrected after the windshield proved to ride lower than we thought (we didn’t have drawings of this). #2 was made from about 50% of #1, but it didn’t look like my best work, so I built #3 from scratch and made it perfect. Keep in mind that Gordon was not a paying customer, he traded a few hours of answering phones each day and computer work for the shop space and support.  It was a good bargain going both ways, based on the fact that Gordon is very good company.

,

If you look at the aluminum valve cover it has a weld bead on it that says “Gordaki”, which was Gordon’s Hangar Gang nickname. He was the kind of guy who got up off the cot in the morning to find that Kevin and I had adorned his valve covers, but didn’t complain nor grind it off later, he just viewed it as part of being accepted.

 .

.

Above, the Pegzair in its last week before inspection. It will finished up at 830 pounds. This is fairly light for a Pegzair. Note this includes a stainless muffler, electric start large tires, leather seats and paint. It is rare that auto engine versions of aircraft are among the lighter examples. The Corvair makes for a fairly light installation because it’s direct drive and air cooled, and we don’t give out misleading statements like “dry weight.” The photo shows how the cowl was made by using one of our fiberglass nose bowls, and sheet metal behind it.

.

.

Above, a stainless Supertrapp muffler on the bottom of the plane. This is very similar to the muffler we had on our Pietenpol. It has a stainless ball joint to allow it to flex. We welded the two stainless exhaust pipes into a smooth flowing Y, and then the ball joint before the muffler. My Piet had the same ball joint and it never cracked anything. What most people miss is that cranking the engine is often the hardest motion on an exhaust. Long arrangements with streamlined mufflers need the joint because of the wagging dog tail motion. The alternative it to mount the muffler laterally inside the cowl, an idea that I dislike because it keeps too much heat under the cowl.

.

.

The Plane had an airbox that functioned just like the ones we have for Zenith’s. This houses the air filter, forms the bottom of the cowl, and controls carb heat and cabin air. 2″ hole is input from carb heat muff.

.

.

Here’s the end where incoming air flows through. A lever arm controls the ram air scoop door, which is sealed with felt. Flight proven on our 601XL this was later adapted to many different installations we did. The original concept was sketched out on a napkin at a burger joint in Edgewater by Hangar Gang member Gus Warren in 2003.

.

The plane was completed and flown by several pilots at the old hangar. It worked very well. I flew it and thought it was pretty cool. The major issue was the design had many zealot fans on the internet who made idiotic claims like “It can fly at 15mph”, something no homebuilt STOL plane can do. In reality it could land fairly short, it could do an easy 100mph with the slats retracted, and it had pretty good ergonomics and handling. But there were a number of people at keyboards on the net widening the envelope with every story they embellished. Measured in reality, it is a good solid plane, but a very complex one, not to be undertaken lightly. I am sure the popularity of the Zenith STOL planes lies in the fact you could build several CH-750s in the same time as building one Pegzair. The Pegzair could come close to the minimum speed of a 750, and I am sure it is faster on the top end, but not by nearly enough to justify the extra work.  There still may be a builder who loves the design, but if he is thinking about it, it is my strongest recommendation that he make sure his decision is based on real data, not internet fantasy stories about 15mph stall speeds.

.

Eventually Gordon sold the plane to a second owner in the Midwest. Continuing his life of adventure he returned to Florida, bought a 45′ wooden fishing boat and reworked in a marina and departed to the Caribbean. I have not heard from him since, but I suspect he is having a heck of a good time wherever he is today.

.

 

New voltage regulator source. ( #3501)

Builders,

Zenith 601XL builder/Pilot Ken Pavlou sent me this information to pass along to builders. Ken has one of these in his own plane, and it works perfectly.  In our numbering system Group 3500 is the airframe charging group, and part #3501 is the voltage regulator.  This partical manufacturer part number is J4900, made in the USA by Jimco: http://www.jimcotest.com/ . It is Just $65 direct from Jimco.

.

Anytime a part is made in America, works great, and costs 25%, (yes 1/4 the price) of the John Deere part that is made in China,  you can see the hand of grotesque corporate profiteering revealed.  I see countless examples every month where the American made item is actually lower priced than the Chinese one. I bought a Class 3 trailer hitch a while back: most expensive one, Reese, made in China, lowest priced Curt, made in Wisconsin. So much for the argument that exporting jobs was the fault of US labor costs.

.

Visual ID
J4900

PART NUMBER

J4900

Replacement for

JOHN DEERE

AM101406

.

Airframe charging group (3500)

3501- Voltage regulator

3502- PMOV

3503- Master solenoid

3504- Power bus/fuse box

3505- Main electrical pass through

3506- Battery

.

Thought for the day: “Censorship” on the net

“If your reading this, and you have never met me, let me teach you one single important thing right now that most people don’t yet know: Censorship is the rank amateur way of controlling people. It is not effective at all, especially in the information age. However, it has three highly effective off spring that are the tools of the professionals. These are Disinformation, Self doubt and Fear. These three are far more effective, and they work even when you are later exposed to the truth. If you look at it, negative people out there do all three.  They claim to know of failures, but have no names nor dates; They cite nameless “experts” who disagree with what has been shown to work; they make new builders doubt all the positive and factual reports, and gradually over years, they get you to be afraid to trust things that have been well proven to work. These efforts would have had little effect on our grandparents, but several decades of intense consumer marketing along the same lines makes all of us more prone to distrust, more likely to see some truth in the plausible lie. Unwittingly, many of the people who cry censorship are actually employing  the tools of the real propaganda artist.”

.

——————————————————

.

For a number of years I harbored the delusion that I could participate in on-line aircraft discussion groups, and write some things that would allow new builders to understand that we had pioneered  very effective and reliable ways to build an operate Corvair flight engines. I freely admit that I was wrong. On any discussion group where people who are known only was “Flyboy26” or “RVguyCN” have the exact same size soap box as people with real names, specific experience, links to photos, there is no chance for new people to sort useful reality from dangerous fiction.

.

On discussion groups I tried to advocate that people should use real names and they should never ‘recommend’ anything that they had not personally and specifically flown behind. I also advocated that all references to third party experts, require also stating that persons name, so people couldn’t say things like “A local expert here who has built 25 planes says that will not work.” These sounded like very reasonable ideas to me if we were going to talk about Corvair engines in planes for the purpose of getting people flying. I was wrong about that, and a number of very vocal people always claimed that I was “Censoring” them buy not supporting their ‘right’ to say anything.

.

As you might imagine, I was quite a thorn in the side of people like ‘flyboy26’. I merely showed how things they advocated had long been proven by our testing not to work. Over time, these people hated me. They switched tactics to making wild claims about our products failing, they claimed to be in touch with ‘experts’ who assured them that a wave of failures was eminent, and they constantly tried to make people afraid to follow things we had long proven to work.

.

These tactics didn’t win builders to their ideas, but they were very effective in getting a large number of new builders to do nothing. Probably without knowing it, ‘flyboy26’ and his buddies were employing real propaganda tools, Disinformation, Self doubt and Fear. Before getting kicked off discussion groups for life, I wrote the quote above in hopes that new builders would understand.  I look back today and see that hope as delusional also.

.

—————————————————

.

BlogAdonis053114

Left to right, Three Corvair powered Zenith 601XL’s. Ken Pavlou, Roger Pritchard and Louis Leung’s planes in a row. Ken’s plane had just concluded phase one, 40 hours without the slightest issue, or need for adjustment. Roger and Louis have already flown their planes to Oshkosh. The builders of these planes are all members of a private discussion group that I formed as an alternative to open internet groups that allow comments from ilk such as ‘flyboy26’. You can read about the group at these two links:

.

‘Zenvair’ Information board formed

.

‘Zenvair’ information board, part #2

.

Ken had never built a plane nor engine before. The reason why his flight testing was without event, is because he followed our proven path, and took no advice from internet ‘experts’. The same week that Ken flew off his last hour, another 601 with a Corvair in it took it’s first flight.  That builder chose to listen to many people, but follow very little that I had to say.

.

His first flight lasted just 6 minutes, one trip around the pattern. Many of the things this man tried, like cooling plenums on the engine and a carb off an old British car, were championed by people on open discussion groups, the same people who called me a Censor for pointing out they had never tried what they advocated. When the builder got on the ground 6 minutes later, 1/10 of an hour, 1/400th of his testing done, perhaps he had greater respect for my efforts to ‘censor’ the speech of dangerous fools.

.