More Turbo Skycoupe photos


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.


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.

2 Responses to More Turbo Skycoupe photos

  1. Dan Branstrom says:

    What happened to Whobiscat?

  2. Gary Ray says:

    Last known living in Michigan with Gus.

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