Corvairs at Oshkosh 2015 – Colleges #34 and #35 sign up info – Unicorns for sale.

Oshkosh:

In the next 12 hours, Grace, the dog and myself will be getting on the road for Oshkosh. We will be out of the shop for 14 days. It is about 1,300 miles from our grass strip, this is my 22nd year of going to Airventure. It has changed a lot over the years, but to me this remains constant: I always like going to see friends, both old and new. That single factor more than makes up for all the annoyances, including always getting stuck in Atlanta road construction traffic, even if it is 3am.

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Above, myself, Grace and the legendary Chris Heintz, at Oshkosh 2014. One of the best things about Airventure is being able to speak in person with many of the most creative people in homebuilding, it is a great learning opportunity. While it has formal moments like the dinners, during the day it is casual.

( Note to the guy who told me I should “Make your wife dress conservatively,”  Oshkosh is America, not Saudi Arabia, and my marriage vows were about supporting my wife, not “Making” her do things.  )

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Some common Questions:

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Our booth is the same one every year, #616 in the north aircraft display area, across from Zenith aircraft.

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We have over 5,000 pounds of stuff packed in the truck and trailer; Yes, we have manuals and parts for sale

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I am giving several forums, you can check the EAA program for dates and times, or stop by the booth for info.

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I will always make time to inspect core engines and parts. Bring them, photos and questions, we are going to Oshkosh to share what we know, Helping builders is our #1 priority at the event, I am there to teach builder not entertain spectators.

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Colleges:

We have given  33 free colleges in the last 15 years, and builders have built hundreds of engines at them. This is the most unique aspect of Corvairs. There are plenty of engine options for people who don’t want to learn anything nor get their hands dirty. If you are in aviation to find out home much you can learn and build, not how little, you may be a Corvair builder Learn more about colleges here:

Corvair College reference page

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Sign up for College #34 At the Zenith factory in September has been open for almost 90 days: It is 80% full, and will undoubtedly fill by the first 2 or 3 days of Oshkosh. If you were planning on going, sign up here:

Corvair College #34 sign up – Open now

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Corvair College #35 will be at Barnwell South Carolina for the 6th time in November. The sign up is now open, Here is the link:

https://corviarcollegeregistration.wufoo.com/forms/cc35-registration/

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Please note that we do not work on unicorns at corvair colleges. I am an aircraft mechanic, not a magician, I can not turn a unicorn into a hard working pony in one weekend. If you want to build an engine, start with good information and a plan. I do not offer help to people who really wanted a unicorn.

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Unicorns for sale:

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To learn what a ‘Unicorn’ is read this story: Unicorns vs Ponies.

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To understand how potential builders waste their days looking for a unicorn, read this:

Waiting for the bus from Unicorntown to Cyberville

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There will be a number of Unicorn salesmen at Oshkosh this year, and some of them will be offering great tales of imaginary creatures you can buy. Unfortunately, some of these salesmen will be trying to work with potential Corvair builders. I would like to think that I have taught Corvair builders better, but experience has shown that a percentage of builders will always listen to a line of BS, just because they want it to be true. In years past, this bothered me, but today I am a much happier person because I accept that there are stupid people in the world, and I can’t change that fact, and these people will believe what the want regardless of what facts and tests you show them.

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Common Characteristics of Unicorn Salesmen:

They have a ‘New’ LLC: If a guy is there with a new LLC from the same town he was in with his last 2 LLC’s that went bankrupt, chances are, his new unicorn sales operation is going to fail also. Yet people will write them checks for unicorns without even Googling their name to learn anything about them. People who assume that just because a company has a booth at Oshkosh they are good people are fools. Jim Beede took 3,000 EAAers money in the 1970s, yet he almost always has a booth at Oshkosh. 80% of the companies displaying at Oshkosh 2005 are now bankrupt, and I am going to guess that 90% of the new LLCs debuting at Oshkosh 2015 will be bankrupt in 36 months.

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If a guy tells you that he has discovered a magic 25% HP gain with a special secret modification, He is a unicorn salesman.  If the same guy tells you the engine has a torque peak at 2500rpm, he is a unicorn salesman. If he tells you he can make a 2700cc engine make the same power as a 3000 or 3300, he is a unicorn salesman.  If he claims to build the best Corvairs is spite of having no A&P license, no pilots license and having never owned a Corvair powered plane, or any plane for that matter, he is a unicorn salesman. You can not advance your progress in aviation by listening to unicorn salesmen, but many people try every year. Don’t be one of them.

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Woody Harris and 601XL at Arlington Airshow

Builders:

For Corvair builders heading to the Arlington airshow, be advised that our “Man on the West Coast” Woody Harris, is on the airport with his green and yellow 601XL. Woody is our West Coast rep, and he has a full selection of manuals and DVDs with him.

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Woody Harris and Sebastien Heintz in front of Woody's 601 at QSP open house May 5, 2012

 Woody needs little excuse to fly places; Above he is speaking with Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft, at a West Coast Zenith fly in at Quality Sport Planes in Santa Rosa. This facility was the site of Corvair College #11.

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 Woody’s plane is sharing space with Quality Sport Planes, Zenith’s West Coast dealer based in Cloverdale CA. It has flown to more states than any other Corvair powered plane. He is a fountain of good experience, as he has nearly 500 hours on his plane. It has been flown from coast to cost, Oshkosh, and countless west coast trips with many appearances at Copper States in AZ, and Arlington in WA.

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Although Woody’s plane has been flying for seven years, we keep him supplied with the most up to date parts for his 2,850cc Corvair, such as our new 2400-L ultra light weight starter, so builders studying his installation are actually looking at a current, state of the art, Corvair installation. If you are headed to Arlington, stop in and introduce yourself, you will find Woody to be a fun, first class aviation and a great guy.

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For more reading on Woody’s adventures, check out these links:

Woody’s 2,850cc Corvair/601XL hits 400 hours.

Zenith 601XL-2,850cc, Woody Harris

16 Flying Corvair powered Zenith 601/ 650s

Zenith 601/650 – Corvair reference page November 2013

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What the 4th of July means to me.

Builders,

July 4th 2004, found Grace and I living in a tiny cottage directly adjacent to the New Smyrna Beach FL airport.  On that day I walked outside with her and asked her to marry me. I chose this day because I hold it sacred.

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Many people are conflicted over their identity or ideals; I am not. My great grandparents, decided they were not Irish nor German, they, and all of us that would come from them, would now be Americans. I have friends from many other lands and cultures, and I respectfully appreciate them, but I personally feel no identity other than being an American.

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After Grace said yes, we had a small cookout that brought in a few neighbors. Our next door neighbor was a 90 year old man named Albie. He was difficult to understand because he had a very strong German accent combined with the effects of a stroke that stole the much of his fluid speech. In the middle of the gathering he made it clear that he wanted to share something very important.

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With great difficulty, he explained growing up in Berlin, and having cousins in Chicago he visited as a child; he wanted to be a chef, but was conscripted. On December 7th 1941, he asked to be sent to the Eastern Front, as he could never imagine fighting against the land where his cousins lived. In 1958, he came to America, and his ship entered New York harbor, passing the Statue of Liberty. It was the 4th of July.

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In our small cottage, in front of his neighbors, Albie raised a beer as a toast, and declared that this was one of the best days of his life, for living to 90 meant he had now been an American longer than he had ever been anything else, and it was his wish that all his neighbors understand his great pride in this, and that he chose to be an American, because of what our country meant in the world. Albile passed from this Earth the following year, but his slurred and struggled words remain a very eloquent tribute to the America which lives in my heart.

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Above, Grace and myself, the year we were married.

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A year later, on July 4th 2005, Grace and I were married on the beach, a few miles from Albie’s house. I had many thoughts that day, but with them was my great fortune of being born here, and the awareness that many immigrants, My great grandparents and Albie among them, have had a far stronger appreciation for this nation than others who simply found themselves born here. On this day, our 10th anniversary,  The date draws my thankfulness for having Grace, my parents, and being an American.

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Several years ago, I was present when a man was being publicly ridiculed for stating that “America should close its shores and allow no immigration of any kind.”  I came to his ‘defense’ by pointing out that in 1491, most ‘Americans’ were indifferent about immigrants, but in a few short decades the same Americans were largely unanimous in being against any further immigrants, based on issues with the new arrivals stealing things and lacking any kind of respect for long established social and religious customs and commonly spoken languages.

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Put aside any thoughts you may have on the late Mario Cuomo, and take one minute of your day on this July 4th to watch 60 seconds of his comments on the dreams of his mother, an immigrant from Italy:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aWqdLFbo5o

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Happy 4th of July, -ww.

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Emails and Phone machine are back up.

Builders,

As of 3:50 am today, we have an active shop phone and email service again. I just finished setting up the new phone and machine after repair crews worked on the lines all day.

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While we were in New Jersey, the power pole at the end of our driveway took a lightning strike, which didn’t hurt the house nor hangar, nor get anything related to AC power, but it did burn out everything related to the phone and internet service here. It took ATT several days to get all of it corrected, as it burned the box on the pole, the down lines, the connection at the house, the modem, the internal lines, 3 phones and the answering machine, which died with all the messages it took while we were away.

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We do all our internet work over the same lines, so it was not practical to get this message out in the last 48 hours, nor to cover much email.  If you left us a phone message in the last 14 days, please take a moment to  call back or send us the message by email.  Given a few days to catch up, I will be glad to answer all of them.

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When sending an email, please remember to include your phone number, and the latest hour it is OK to call you back. Many emails are better answered by phone calls, and I can answer in depth and at length in the evening when things slow down.

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Thanks, William