Zenith Open House Mexico 2014 Part 1



Below are a few more photos from the Zenith Open house that followed Corvair College#30. Again, mostly people photos, but builders are the major part of what makes such events memorable. As you look, note that there is no ‘Corvair Type’; it is a diverse cast of characters with room for many new types. The common bond is espousing the traditional homebuilding values of Learn Build and Fly.




Above, three of the birds that flew in on Corvair power: L-R, The Hoyt’s 2700cc 601XL-B w/650 canopy from MN.,(read more about it at this link: Patrick Hoyt, new Zenith 601XL, now flying, N-63PZ), Ron Lendon’s 2850cc 601XL-B imported from Detroit, and Lynn Dingfelder’s 2700cc 601XL-B from Corry PA. This is also a good view of how peaceful and well kept the Mexico MO airport is.


If you are building a plane and looking forward to flying it places to enjoy it with other builders, catch this idea: Mexico MO is about 1% as stressful as flying into Oshkosh. Personally, I would look forward to flying to CC#34 and next year’s open house, but I can’t say that flying into Oshkosh is something that a personally look forward to doing. The quieter the airport, the better I like flying there.


I keep a comprehensive introduction to the Zenith 601/650 combination at this link: Zenith 601/650 – Corvair reference page November 2013, please feel free to share it with other builders interested in the combination.




Above, Pat and Mary Hoyt keep an eye on ScoobE. He has seen them at enough events that he can recognize them in a crowd. In the background, Corvair Zenith builder Ken Smith relaxes on the Zenith golf cart.




A closer look at Ron Lendon’s 601. Note that his plane has a one of a kind, hand formed sheet metal nose bowl patterned after our #4102 fiberglass nose bowl. Ron is a metal smith, and wanted to give it a try. The plane is plans built, not a kit.




Phyllis McDaniel stands beside her 650. This was the very first amateur built 650 to be registered as a flying plane with the FAA. She and her husband Shane also have a Corvair powered 601XL. You can see it with many other Corvair-Zeniths at this link: 16 Flying Corvair powered Zenith 601/ 650s




Edi Bickford is a walking, flying breath of fresh air and a relentlessly positive person. Even at a College, in a hangar full of interesting characters, she is a stand out.


At a big show like Oshkosh, you meet several hundred people in a day, it is just an endless stream. Many are memorable in a good way, but I would be less than truthful if I didn’t also say that there are a number of negative people that also work to make themselves memorable, just not in a good way. After 25 years of airshows, I am a little tired, not of questions, but negative people and those who want to tell you all about things they know nothing about.


But I have a small trick that I quietly use in the presence of such people to remind me that everything considered, the good people I have met vastly outweigh the bad, and if I had chosen some other path in life, I would know a tiny fraction of the good people I have met through doing our work in the public arena. My trick is simple, when I am having to tolerate some ‘special’ person for a few minutes at an airshow, I just look over to the corner of our white display box, and there is Edi’s nametag from some long past event she attended. It has been there for a long time. It is a reminder that negative people may pass through for a minute, but good people stay around to enrich the world of Corvairs and all the good times ahead. Look at the photo and see that Edi’s current nametag is right by her old one.




If you are reading this and have never met me in person, it may be hard for me to accurately convey what I am moved by in the human condition and the variety of experiences life offers. If I had to pick one story about humans I wrote to try to express this, it would be this one: A thought on Easter….. It isn’t a particularly about the holy day, it is a reflection on what people are thankful for in life. The builders comments at the bottom are a good indication of the quality of humans which the Corvair movement attracts.-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 www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

2 Responses to Zenith Open House Mexico 2014 Part 1

  1. Harold says:

    The best memories are with those people who inspire and encourage us. That is what we build on in the corvair colleges. The zenith open house and cc30 were certainly worth the trip. Next event, barnwell.

    Yes, edi is relentlessly positive.

  2. Dan Branstrom says:

    I know that this is redundant but I’m writing it in the interest of safety.

    Flying into Oshkosh can certainly be stressful. I would suggest that if you are going to fly into the airshow that you have another pilot with who has done it before. If that is not possible, then at least have another pilot or someone else along to spot other planes.

    Be sure to read and thoroughly understand the latest procedures published in the NOTAM. There are different procedures, depending on what Runway is being used. Be sure to listen to the ATIS as far out as possible to determine which Runway is being used.

    Be prepared to divert to another close by airport. Remember that Oshkosh is closed during the afternoon air show as well as during weather or accidents on the runway.

    I would also advise that you look at Google Earth to see what the landmarks look like.

    To me, the most dangerous parts of the flight in and out of Oshkosh are the approach turn to final, (that means, pay attention to your airspeed) and the departure. The reason the departure can be dangerous is that so many planes are departing at once with different airspeeds on similar courses. It is easy to overtake or be overtaken when you’re leaving.

    Flying into Mexico, Missouri has got to be a lot more fun.

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