Thought for the day: Being simple and done.

” The most simple flying Plane, even if it is not aesthetically pure, or record light, provides more satisfaction than any masterpiece that is over budget and years behind schedule, sitting in a garage, that will fly “someday.” We flew the Skycoupe and its funky looking trailer tires to many airshows. In the second incarnation we even had a turbo on it. Practical people loved it. The 1 of 500 who made a negative critical remark was treated to me getting “New Jersey” on him, and asking in front of everyone, to show us all his own plane, which invariably didn’t exist.”- ww.

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Above is a shot of the Turbo Skycoupe in it final test form. This was taken at Corvair College #9.  It was our test bed from 2002-04 naturally aspirated, and made a second appearance with a turbo in 2005-07.  The fabric was damaged in a windstorm, and after some storage the plane was bought by Craig Anderson of SD. It is restored to glory with a 2,850 engine Craig built at Corvair College #22. Note the 3″ turbo outlet pipe on the pilot’s side of the cowl.  It was a lot quieter than people would guess, turbos work by extracting energy from the exhaust stream in the form of heat and velocity. They are natural mufflers.

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The trim on the plane above is blue and yellow, the earlier photos below and in the link shows the trim green and black. After dinner one night we stopped by walmart and bought $.97 a can spray paint and off-brand masking tape and changed the paint job for a $12 investment. After examining the results I said “A $12 paint job…that could easily pass for one costing twice as much.”

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 2005 at our Edgewater hangar: The Skycoupe with a complete turbocharging system retrofitted to its existing engine. The turbo was a Garrett TO-4B with a .58AR housing, no waste gate. It worked very well. Many people admired the cool custom stainless heat shroud over the turbo. It actually was a $7 ice bucket from Wal-mart that said “Made in Pakistan.” Grace’s polish job on our 601 stands out in the sunshine in the background.

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With the turbo in boost, the brakes couldn’t even come close to holding it. It’s chained to my blue pickup truck in the photo. It was a specifically modified Garrett turbo on a draw through Stromberg setup. The fuel didn’t even require a pump, it was gravity feed. The exhaust system was 304 stainless. The ignition curve was modified to restrict the total advance. It has passed all of its tests with flying colors and flew well (for a big boxy plane) It’s first public airshow in this configuration was Sun n Fun 2005. This installation was quieter than many aircraft sporting full mufflers.

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A glance at the instruments tells an interesting story. At 40″ MAP and 3,000 rpm, the engine turns its 66″ Warp Drive prop 400 rpm higher than it did when it was naturally aspirated. It was probably 120 hp in this condition. The second needle on the MAP gauge is reading the pressure between the carburetor and the turbo. Even though the intake air was being compressed from 25-40″, the evaporative cooling of the fuel kept the upper intake manifold cool to the touch. The engine ran smoothly without missing a beat. The Hobbs meter shows the 115 hours the airplane has logged on natural aspiration Corvair power.

 (Historic Note: The first person to fly a turbocharged Corvair engine was Waldo Waterman in 1968.)

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for more old Skycoupe pictures look at this link:

2,700cc-Skycoupe-2002 Photos

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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 www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

One Response to Thought for the day: Being simple and done.

  1. Jeff Moores says:

    Hi William,

    Love the Skycoupe!! Looks very similar to the Merlin. Having seen it on your website several years ago along with the 701 helped to convince me the Corvair would work well for me.

    Jeff

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