Piet / Vair internet builders group, started 4/24/15

Pietenpol builders,

Here is the genesis of a new on line discussion group for people working toward, building and flying Corvair powered Pietenpol aircraft. Getting started, this group is the work of Terry Hand (your host and moderator) and Phil Maxson (the IT expert). With each positive contribution, the group gradually belongs to the builders using it.


 Please read and consider the goals carefully, and make your participation along the same lines. I did not come up with these goals in a vacuum, I have been around Pietenpols for more than 25 years, and in recent years I spent a lot of time listening to builders speak about what they felt was missing or could be improved upon in the experience of building and flying one.


 I have tried in other formats, such as the newsletter or the matronics list, to make contributions to the larger Pietenpol building community with important information like the weight and balance project and notes on landing gear, cabanes and fuel lines. I put several hundred hours of work in those projects with the hopes of improving all Pietenpols, not just Corvair powered ones.

While people read it, I would be hard pressed to say it was received without pushback, often from people who’s comments reflected how little they understood about BHP’s work and that the origins of most of the concepts were directly from BHP’s, writings and careful examination of his planes. A number of the most vocal adversaries of my contributions were motivated because I do not look/sound/act/think like they did. I have written extensively on how the subject of aircraft construction has consequences, and thus one must use all the good information available, even if they personally don’t like the source. Evidently they rejected that idea also


Rather than debate with them, a different, private group, with better focus is in order. We will now have a place where successful builders can directly share factual data with new builders who understand that the likely hood of their own personal success goes up many fold when they read from a source which is made of proven techniques and data instead of old wives tales and rumor from people often using a fake name.


The task at hand, building and 85 year old plans built design, actually requires the acquisition of far greater skills than building almost any kit plane. In this respect, calling the Pietenpol a ‘simple’ plane is misleading. No popular kit requires the builder to learn anything about welding today. Additionally, the nature of the plans, and the passage of time combine to require the builder to make decisions about many details on his own plane. Traditionally the new builder had to build up his skills and make these decisions while being the recipient of advice that ranged from spot on, to criminally wrong.


Because he is a new builder, he is not in a good position to tell the difference between the two with 100% accuracy. This leads to giant wastes of time and materials, people quitting when the find our the have been on a goose chase, and worst, poor or unairworthy examples of the plane. To simplify this for the new Piet/Corvair builder, we are going to have a site where 100% of the information and advice is proven and valid. Builders will be able to read the insights from welding parts on several hundred flying planes without having to sort through the comments of people named “Flyboy26” and “Toolbuilder” who have never touched a welder.


I contend that this will not only increase the completion percentage and the quality of the planes, but critically it will also shorten the build time. Not just because builders will avoid detours, but I know that builders work with much greater speed and confidence when they know the data they are working from is proven.


The new group is not intended to replace any other group. The matronics group is for anybody who wants to talk about Pietenpols, and the two competing Face Book pages are largely social sites. What we are doing is different, it is a well focused builders site for those who have selected the specific Pietenpol/Corvair combination and have the goal of making serious progress toward it. It will be done in a civil and friendly way internally, but it will not be just another social chat site. Over time I would like it to generate a tight knit cadre of new and experienced builders. This will also tend to build new friendships, but the will come from working toward common goals, not pressing a ‘like’ key on a social media page. I don’t care how big the group is, I only care what people learn in it and what they build with this knowledge.


The membership is not secret, nor is the content it will generate. However, I do regard it was private, and the archives of this group will not be available to the general public. If there is information that we develop that may benefit Pietenpol builders who selected engines other than the Corvair, either Terry or myself will share it with them in other forums, but I intend the membership of this site to be 100% Corvair builders, with very few exceptions.




Who the group is for:


1) Builders/flyers that have first hand flight experience with the Corvair/Pietenpol combination, either traditional BHP conversions or the methods I have taught people. We will share with new builders how to build replicas of engines and installations that are long proven to work.

2) Builders who are currently working on the above combination. The minimum standard to join the group is owning one of my Corvair conversion manuals and a set of Pietenpol plans. I am OK with having the GN-1 builders aboard, but I want all the builders to be operating from current Corvair manuals. (Asking outdated questions because someone is trying to work with a 3rd hand 14 year old manual isn’t taking ones project nor this site seriously.)




A very detailed visual, step by step sign up instructions can be found here:




(They are nearly computer-idiot proof, I tested them on myself. )


Above,Randy Bush of TN. at Brodhead with Miss Le’Bec (it is a combination of his girls’ names). His aircraft was seven years in the making. A consistent work of craftsmanship, the plane’s creation spanned both easy and hard years in Randy’s life. Many people new to homebuilding think that it is something you do if life is treating you great and you’re rolling in dough. Here is reality: The most successful builders I know understand that hours spent in your own shop, creating things with your own hands, is a vital part of a worthwhile life, and that this reality will be most evident at the hardest of times. Learning to make things is a crucial investment in your own sanity. Does it surprise anyone that really happy people always have a way of being creative? The plane has nearly 600 hours on it.


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.

7 Responses to Piet / Vair internet builders group, started 4/24/15

  1. Ray Klein says:

    Screw the naysayers and press on through the mire of self important, over-inflated egos. Contrary to their own belief they are vastly unimportant to self reliant, thinking people. I would gain more from two minutes of your time than hours of their ramblings.

  2. Harold Bickford says:

    Unable to access the link as Google indicates that it violates the terms of service.

  3. Bill Reynolds says:

    In a self centered world it is refreshing to see people making contributions that are largely for the benefit of others. I can say without reservation that I have truly enjoyed every minute I have spent with the Corvair/ Pietenpol crowd. It is my hope that this new group will give us many more opportunities to learn from each other and make many new friends along the way.
    Thanks William, Terry and Phil

  4. Dennis McGuire says:

    Still can not log into it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: