Revised sources, listed by Group numbers, Aug. ’15

This is part one in the ‘new sources’ series.

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Builders,

One of the most common question builders ask is for a clarification of where to get each of the Groups outlined in the Conversion manual. ( Brand New 250 page 2014 Manual- Done ) The Chapters in the manual are organized in “Groups.”

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Each group is a logically collected set of parts that can be discussed as a single chapter. The groups are also organized so that a builder can order everything in a group from a single supplier, greatly simplifying collecting all the parts for a build.

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Above, Front quarter view of a modern 2,850 cc Corvair. This engine was built and run at our shop about a month ago. The new sources reflected in this series allow builders a much easier path to building their own engine, they are the exact ones I used to build the above engine.

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Groups 1000 through 3300, are the parts needed to get an engine running. (read more:   Running an Engine at a College, required items. #1  and Running an Engine at a College, required items. #2 ). Groups 3400 through 4600 are associated with airframe installation. For this discussion I would like to stay focused on where the parts come from for each group in getting your engine running.

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While the conversion manual discusses in detail possible sourcing options, I am going to focus here on what 90-95% of builders are choosing today, the people making progress and getting engines going. Although plenty of engines have gone from greasy core to running engine in 30 days, the norm for many builders is to integrate their engine build with their airframe build, and work on both at the same time. Most of these builders spread the engine over 6 to 9 months, often attending two colleges. To get to the finish line, two things have to happen: You have to start, and you have to work with people who are serious about supporting your learning and progress.

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Keeping the above paragraph in mind, we will see that some of the sources from years past are no longer my primary choice, we have better ones today. Some of the old sources are upset about this,  but my allegiance is to builders, not ‘friends’ who were once an option for builders. In the 26 years I have been doing this, sources have changed over time, but my allegiance to builders has never wavered.

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We will Cover this group by group over this weekend. Get your manuals and check lists out, particularly if you are heading to a College. Using the best, most reliable sources is the path of progress at Colleges and on your project.

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-ww.

Corvair College #35, Barnwell SC, only 20 seats left

Builders,

If you are thinking about attending College #35 in Barnwell SC this November 6th to 8th, the time to act is now. This will be our 6th College with P.F. Beck and crew as local hosts. Barnwell is always the largest College of the year, but it does have a size restriction, based on the Saturday night dinner capacity of 115 people. We set the builder limit a bit below that for logistics, but we are already within 20 seats of the limit of builders. These will likely fill in the next week or 10 days.

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Ken Pavlou holds the Cherry Grove trophy at CC#31 Barnwell 2014. His aircraft is named “The Blue Speedo.” 

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P.F’s crew is always ready for a first class event. I spoke to Dan and Rachel Weseman, (SPA / Weseman 3.3 Liter Corvair now running) and they are planning on attending, and will be glad to transport any item ordered before the college, to the event. Last years Cherry Grove Trophy recipient, Ken Pavlou, (The Cherry Grove Trophy, 2014) is planning another 1,500 flight (1,500 mile Corvair College flight in a 601XL) to Barnwell. Bob Lester will be returning in his Pietenpol, (Pietenpol Builders and Pilots at Corvair College #31.) fresh from a 50 hour Midwest tour. There will be many old friends and some new ones. The will be much to learn and build. You can even see planes like this: Dale Williams – 3,000 cc Cleanex at CC#31.  There is even a rumor that Shelley Tumino and Kevin Purtee ( Guest Writer: Pietenpol builder/flyer Kevin Purtee)will show up. Barnwell is sure to be a great event.

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Above, CC#31 tech discussion: these take the form of 15 to 20 minutes of presentation and questions and answers, and then the group breaks up and goes directly back to hands on work. Here I hold the prop and A&P mechanic Katie Fox works the gauges to teach differential compression testing on Chuck Cambell’s 30 minute old Pietenpol engine. This is real hands on learning.

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Sign up:

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

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-ww.

A very generous gift….601XL-B

Builders:

Here is a story that will tell you something about the quality of people we have in the Corvair movement. Just before Oshkosh, I was contacted by  builder Rick Koch, who had been working part time on a Zenith 601XL project for several years. The complete airframe was done, but Rick, a veteran aviator of many years experience, came to the conclusion that he was busy enough with work and family, that he wasn’t making it out to the airport often enough to finish the plane any time soon. He called with a very generous idea: If I knew the ‘right person’, someone I was confident had the motivation to finish the plane, Rick would give it to them.

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After giving Rick some time to be sure of his decision, I told him I had his man: Tim Hanson. If you have not read this man’s name before, take a moment to read this story: 100 HP Corvair, Tim Hansen , Persistence Pays .

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I knew that Tim was the right guy, because life had already tested him, and it had never diminished his determination to be an aviator. People can start a project or a process with many ‘assets’ in their bank. The can be smart, educated, have financial resources, etc. but until they are tested, it is just speculation on how they will respond to the road getting rough.

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I have long said that Homebuilding is a continuous series of challenges. It is 1,000 chances to quit, that all come up when you are surrounded by people who tell you that everything you are doing is wrong and flying planes is foolish, building them is insane. To succeed, you must be the kind of person who shrugs this static off, and stays steady on the path. Tim Hansen is such a person.

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If you are getting the idea that Rick Koch is some sort of aging, super wealthy philanthropist, let me correct that. He is a hard working successful professional, but he is not Howard Hughes nor Warren Buffet. He is a regular American middle class guy in his fifties. I particularly like the idea that Rick didn’t need nor want to know anything about who the recipient would be, other than they needed to be determined.  Rick has never met Tim, yet he was moved by Tim’s track record of persistence. To Rick’s perspective, all people are individuals, and to him it doesn’t matter what the claim, look like or where they come from, all that matters is how they act and the responsibility they take for those acts.

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If Rick is notably ‘wealthy’, it is in this sense: He holds a particularly strong sense of the value of individuals, and exercising his will, to make an effective contribution of his choosing, brings him the ‘wealth’ of living with fidelity to his own personal code. And that, to a man of character, is particularly valuable.

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-ww.

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Above, Tim Hansen, stands next to Grace in our hangar the night his engine ran. Because of a particularly generous donation, Tim will take this engine flying sooner than he thought. When I told him about the plane, Tim wrote this note:

“William,
I have tried to come up with the right words to express just how
incredible and generous this is, and as I have had no luck coming close, these
will have to do for now. I am humbled that someone who has never met me, thinks so much of what little I have done, that they would offer such an extraordinary gift sight unseen.  I would definitely like to meet Rick Koch, and thank him in person for giving me the chance to live up to the story you wrote, by writing the rest  of the story and finishing and flying the airplane. I appreciate all the efforts that you, Grace, and Phil Maxson have put forth on my behalf I and I doubt very much I will ever be able to repay it all, though that won’t stop me from trying.”

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Above, Rick running an engine outside my hangar several years ago. In discussing his gift, he mentioned that he has had countless hours of good times in aviation, from ultra lights to flying skydivers. Although he plans on returning to flying at some point, he chose to make his 601 project a ‘gift’ to a promising builder as an expression of how much flying has meant to him. Over the decades, Rick spent a ton of money in aviation…..but that was because he felt it was worth it. In the end, the money he could have gotten for the project would have hardly decreased his total spending in aviation, but conversely, making it a gift greatly increased what he personally got out of being an aviator.

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