Understanding Flying Corvairs Pt. #5, Two Minute Test

Builders:

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If you have not seen the Intro to this series, you can read it here: Understanding Flying Corvairs Pt. #1, Intro., It will explain the goals of the articles. Please take a moment to read it, including the comments section.

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Absolute rule of flight testing #4, from the Corvair Flight Ops manual by ww, 2009,  Section 8, PG 70:

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“4) The plane must run perfectly at wide open throttle for at least two minutes at the climb out angle of attack with all of the flight systems, like the cowl, in place. There is no reason not to do this. If anyone objects, tell them to go away. If they are from the airport and they object, switch airports.”

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In the flight ops manual, I use the testing and first flight of Zenith N601LV as the case in point for the discussion of the two minute test. The aircraft was finished in our hangar that spring by Louis Kantor. Below is an excerpt from the manual:

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“We took the plane out and blocked it up at the climb out angle, and ran it for two solid minutes. We had already done the fuel flow tests for the FAA, but this was a running test. During the test, Louis tried in every way to get the engine to stumble by switching all four tanks and both ignitions and pumps. It did not let out even the slightest blip, and the temps were well within range despite no forward airspeed and an OAT of 95F.”

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Below are a series of photos from our main website. They trace the long flights and adventures Louis had in his 601XL in the summer and fall of 2009. All of this was done with zero maintenance issues, just oil changes. It all stems from conducting the two minute test by the side of the runway in front of our house. This is the reward for building an engine that 100% utilized the information we provide on Corvairs.

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Above is a photo of Vince Olson and Louis Kantor’s 601 XL N601LV sitting in our front yard just before its maiden flight from our airport, June of 2009. In the center is Grace’s Taylorcraft. On the right is Dan Weseman’s Wicked Cleanex, which functioned as the chase plane. There were no issues in the flight test period. The full 40 hours were flown off in 11 days.

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Vince, above left, and Louis, far right, just after the first flight. They had purchased their Zenith kit slightly less than five years before. Busy schedules and several moves around the country greatly extended the project calendar-timewise. In the end, the Golden Rule that Persistence Pays was the final factor. Working with myself, Dan Weseman and Grace, both above in blue shirts, and Chris Welsh, they planned and executed a flawless first flight. Dan and Grace flew the Cleanex as the chase plane. The information on how we conduct flights is detailed in the 2009 Flight Ops Manual, including a section written by Louis. Both Vince and Louis are airline pilots. Today hey have almost 30,000 hours between them, back then only 20,000 or so.

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A thorough post flight inspection revealed absolutely zero adjustments to be made. Their first flight is on You tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSadGnsvmFc. Their engine, above, is a 2,700cc Corvair that utilizes all of our Gold system components and a Group 3000 Weseman fifth bearing. The engine was finished at CC#10 at our old hangar in Edgewater FL.

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In our Booth at Oshkosh 2009, Zenith newsletter editor Jon Croke shoots a video interview with Vince center, and Louis, left, co-builders of N601LV, displayed in front of our booth all week at AirVenture. This was about 45 days after the first flight. It had about 60 hours on it. Louis flew it up from Florida. His first leg was non-stop from North Florida to Pittsburgh, Penn. This 5 hour and 58 minute non-stop flight burned 38 gallons of fuel. The engine required zero maintenance beyond oil changes.

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That October, Louis’s 601XL was the centerpiece of the Zenith Open House in Mexico MO. He was visiting friends near the Open House, but after the event, he left Mexico, Mo., and flew non-stop all the way back to Pittsburgh. His plane has the four-tank, 48-gallon system. Confident in the plane, he took off after the event at Zenith  at 5pm and flew into the night on his way home.

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In November 2009 Louis flew the plane down to Corvair College #16 in White Plains SC. Above, Louis arrives after a 4.5 hour direct flight from Pittsburgh. Notice how his custom “luggage” matches the paint job on his aircraft. This is the kind of touch that marks the professionalism of an airline pilot.

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This photo shows Louis a minute before his return flight to Pittsburgh. As a professional pilot, a real CFI, and holder of an ATP rating with 12,000 hours logged, Louis is a good source of technical information on the human aspects of flying. Although he put the 601XL up for sale last year, we are still friends, He and his Father Phil flew into out airport yesterday in Louis’s RV-7A, down to tour Florida. Phil owns a Corvair powered Sonex he bases in Pittsburgh. -ww.

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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.

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