New 2850cc / 110hp Corvair in photos.

Builders,

Below is a look at a 2,850cc engine I built and test ran the first week of June. It is now in the hands of the owner, bolted on his Bearhawk LSA project.

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The engine was built around one of our 2,850 piston and cylinder kit. It features a Weseman billet Crank and rods, and a Gen II 5th bearing. It ran like a banshee. It was on the test stand for about 2 hours of break in runs.

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Every year I build a number of example engines like this, to demonstrate how “state of the art” Corvairs can be custom configured to a particular builders project and needs. The great majority of Corvair flight engines have always been, and will always be, made by the hands of the builders themselves, with our manuals, training and parts, building their own example of a proven engine, like the one above.

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These builders are not motivated by the money savings available, their primary motivation is the be in command of their own project, to learn, understand and know every part of their aircraft. The desire to be the master of your creation, rather than just it’s owner, is at the very core of homebuilding…..

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Many people know this, but the settle for far less, and for a variety of excuses they cede control and understanding of their power plant to a commercial provider, who essentially puts the “no user serviceable parts inside” sticker on their product, demoting the potential of the builder from “master motor head” to ‘consumer’. 95% of the people who put an engine on the front of their homebuilt this year will settle for that. Many people find comfort in doing what the masses do, they need to know that the ‘trend’ is. For the small minority who don’t concern themselves with the ‘choices’ of others, Only interested in what will advance their own mastery and control, we have the Corvair.

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If that sounds like you, welcome, we have your seat at the table ready, and you will join the company of the small group of builders who have chosen to discover how much they can learn and get out of homebuilding, not how little.

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Top view showing 2400-L starter arrangement.

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Back view, showing standard intake manifold, HV-2000 oil case, and E/P/X distributor.

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Front quarter view: The only used parts in this engine are the case halves, the head castings, the oil case casting, the distributor body and some misc. hardware. The rest, including the cylinders, pistons rods, crank, and all conversion parts are brand new.

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Rear quarter view: This engine has both electronic and points ignition.

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Front quarter view: The oil line feeds the 5th bearing directly.

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Side View: Corvair is only 16″ tall, the carb adds to this depth slightly, but this is not a ‘blunt’ motor.

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Close up showing Weseman Gen II billet 5th bearing.

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Rear view of 2400- L starter. It does not need a tail bracket. It is more powerful than standard starter while drawing less amps. It is 3 pounds lighter.

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Standard Gold oil Filter Housing. Large blue plug is for test run. In service, this is the oil temp location. Accommodate either electric or mechanical instruments.

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Opposite view of Gold Oil Filter Housing. Port on top is location of oil pressure sender on aircraft.

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Starter in place: The small gold bracket behind ring gear is the inboard section of the front alternator bracket.

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Rear quarter view.

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Engine running on the test stand in our front yard.

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New Jersey, June 2015 and 65 years ago …

Builders,

Last week, Grace and I drove from Florida to New Jersey, joining 60 other members of our family to celebrate my parents 65th wedding anniversary. It was a family reunion that extended over several days. On the 20th, we had a formal party at Mayfair Farms, in the exact location of the original reception in 1950.

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Above, my Parents are seated before their four children and our spouses. It is a complement to my parents that many people who encounter the family often cannot tell who was born into the family and who married into it, as my parents treat us all with the same kindness, respect and love.

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Lisa Craig Heuer's photo.

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Above, 4th and 5th from the left, My Father and Mother. The fireplace on the left in the photo is the same one we are standing in front of in the top photo. 

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My Parents met by chance at the Jersey shore the summer after WWII ended. They waited until my fathers graduation form the Naval Academy in 1949 to be married in the spring of 1950. Seventy years after they met, they remain the joy of each others lives.

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My parents wanted everyone on hand to understand how blessed they felt to have each other for all of these years. My mother and father both came from homes of great love, but their own parents only had 34 and 37 years respectively before their marriages ended when their spouse passed. My parents wanted to say that their years together were a gift, not earned, just bestowed by fate, and they accepted this with great humility in the presence of others not so fortunate.

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 Sunday night, with most of the family and friends on their way home, found my parents home suddenly quiet. While all of the afternoon’s conversations had been on family and good memories, my father, now almost 90 and somewhat frail, took the last hour of the evening to meet an obligation he finds very important;  I sit beside him and listen while he looks back through the decades to remember and speak the names and the stories of good men, who’s devotion to their Shipmates, the Navy and our Country cost them everything, including a chance to grow old with the families they loved. This spoken remembrance is central to my father’s gratitude for the great fortune of being married for 65 years.

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-ww.

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Any qualities of character I may have are directly attributable to my parents. When I encounter anyone my age in a terrible position in life, my first thought has always been, and will always remain “Without the fortune of being born to my parents, that could be me.”

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Dick Navratil Passes from this earth, June 4th, 2015.

Builders:

Greg Cardinal shared the terrible news that noted homebuilder Dick Navratil passed from this earth on June 4th. He was 66 years old.

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Dick made a great place in the world of Pietenpols, building more of them than any other person I ever met. I got to know him many years ago, long before he was a Corvair builder. In the Pietenpol community, there have been, and will continue to be many people who have worked to ‘put back’ far more than they have taken, but even in a distinguished and storied list of such men, Dick’s name would be near the top.

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He was a modest guy who would have cringed at anyone saying that publicly, but it doesn’t make it any less true. He was not only a prolific builder, he was a great resource of information, but most critically, he was the source of encouragement for countless builders, if he knew them well or not. In the final measure, he was just a simple easy going guy, a joy to spend time with on a sunny day at the airport.

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He always left me with the distinct feeling that all the hours building in the shop would be well worth it, simply because when you were done and flew your plane somewhere, there was a possibility that when you got there, Dick would be there to greet you and make you feel welcome. I am writting this at 4am in the middle of the night, and at this moment, such a reunion seems just a flight away. In a few hours the daylight will return and it will be Sunday morning here, and all the memories of Dick will seem much further away, harder to reach, washed out and muted by the sunlight of another day.

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But in the times ahead, there will be many quiet hours in the shop, alone, long after dark, where I will remember the hours spent in his company, the sound of his voice, his humor and stories, and he will not seem so far away. And in those times I will take out my collection of memories of Dick and give thanks for how much richer my life is to have known him.

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-ww.

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From the coverage of Corvair College #30 in 2014:

“Above, my favorite photo and story from #30. On the right, Dick Navratil. These two guys worked on Dick’s engine and had a great time together. I have known Dick for 10 years (He has built 7 or 8 Pietenpols) and just assumed that the fun they were having was because they must have known each other since high school…..It took until the end of the second day for me to learn that before the first day of the college, they had never met each other. This is the kind of friendship and fun that naturally happens when two builders have the same values in a fun productive setting. The friendship these two guys struck up makes me feel the Colleges are worth all the effort put in.”

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you can read the whole story at this link: Corvair College #30 Good Times

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Below is the note that Greg Cardinal shared with other builders:

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“Richard M. Navratil
Navratil, Richard M. Age 66, of Arden Hills. Died suddenly on June 4, 2015. Survived by wife, Joan; son, Jason (Sara) Gillet; daughter, Jen (Justin) Vojtech; grandchildren, Boone, Judah, Renley, Wyatt & Colton; siblings, Chuck Navratil, Neil Navratil, John Navratil, Mary Bergh and Anita Ziebarth; also many nieces and nephews. Mass of Christian Burial 11:00 AM Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at the CHURCH OF ST. STANISLAUS, 398 Superior Street, St. Paul. Visitation 4-8 PM Tuesday at Willwer-scheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Ave., St. Paul. Memorials preferred to the Wounded Warrior Project. Willwerscheid Funeral Home & Cremation Service 651-228-1006”

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Above, is Dick’s best known creation, his Rotec radial powered Pietenpol. It was one of many he built. The caption below is from our Brodhead 2011 notes, where Dick let us use his plane in our Pietenpol Weight and balance project.

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“For the second year in a row, we gathered data on weight and balance for a wide variety of Piets at Brodhead. The 14 aircraft that we measured last year were worked into a highly technical set of articles that ran all last year in the BPAN, This year we had a chance to pick up data on eight new aircraft that we will also publish in the newsletter. Above, Dick Navratil’s Piet sits on the electronic scales that I brought up from Florida to do this task. Special thanks to the crew of volunteers who assisted me in collecting the data. One of these people is John Schmidt of Minnesota, sitting at left above.”

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