Outlook 2016 – Fall Corv-air-tour


Here is a plan I have been working on for a long time. the “Corv-air tour.” In a nutshell, We are planning on gathering Corvair powered planes to make a 14 day, multi state tour of the US in 2016. I have spoken with a number of Corvair pilots, all of whom really liked the idea. I am sharing it here, well in advance, because we are now taking suggestions for destinations on the tour, and I invite builders to write in the comments section with ideas.



Here are the elements that we do have set;

The dates are the first two weeks of September 2016. I want to make the last stop on the tour in Mexico MO, at the Zenith open house, which will also be Zeniths 25th anniversary in Mexico.


The tour will form a loop, made up of 200-300 mile daily legs. It need not start exactly at Mexico, MO, but the idea is to lay it out so guys who can’t do the whole tour can intercept it for a few days of flying on the segment that passes by their area. I have five guys who have said they intend to fly the whole thing, but many times this have said the are going to catch 4 or 5 days of the tour.


The idea is to alternate nights between grass airstrip camping with the pilots on the tour enjoying the evening, and then on alternative nights, the tour stops at an EAA chapter, where area Corvair builders can drive in, see finished versions of the planes they have at home in the shop, maybe do some flying in them, and get to know other builders in person. We can have catered dinner brought to the airport and hang out late, and pilots on the tour can head to motels to take a night off from camping. This way the tour can serve both flyers and builders alike, and over the course of the tour, several hundred people can be a part of it. I would also like to get individuals to cover it with posts, videos, and notes, as it is happening.


If the course is set out in a pattern that looks like a star shape, it is easy to scrub a day’s flying for weather without having to double the next days distance. We can also have extended legs  where guys with faster planes can travel out further, expanding the envelope, so the range of the tour isn’t planned around a 75 mph Piet with a 12 gallon tank. While I assume that some types of planes will fly together for fun, the flying between points will be a loose affair, at the pilots discretion. A pilot with a 150 mph plane can sleep in and have a very leisurely morning compared with the Piet pilots. The idea is to have a fun tour, not to run an airline or plan a strike mission. I want it to be casual about everything but safety.


On general geographic limits, I was thinking about keeping it between Kansas and Kentucky, Wisconsin and Louisiana, but I am open to ideas. To builders outside this area, I will point out that I already have pilots from Florida, California and New England who are planning on flying the tour, and with some planning, their stops traveling to intercept the tour route can be made into ‘satellite’ tour stops and a chance for builders to meet in person.


A thought: I have been going to aviation gatherings for more than 25 years, and they are fun, but they are all focused on things being done on the ground. The Corv-air tour is an event that can rebalance this by bringing half the focus back to flying. Going to Oshkosh is great, but it doesn’t really have any of our flying at it, and a Corvair builder can’t even hear an engine run there. Conversely, the tour will be the perfect opportunity for a builder to see up close and personal, what he is working towards, to meet others and have a good time. It can be the perfect mesh of building and flying experiences, something completely focused on the purest elements of homebuilding, removed from all the consumer pollutants that fill up “airshows” and too many of our magazines. It can be anything we wish to make it, and I believe that this format will prove to be a great return to pure homebuilding.


I look forward to reading ideas in the comments section, or you can email them to me directly. -ww.


13 Replies to “Outlook 2016 – Fall Corv-air-tour”

  1. Hi William;
    If you get as far west as Washington State, EAA Chapter 818 has it’s meetings on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon located in the terminal building of the Skagit Airport [KBVS]. We are always looking for good speakers for our meetings. We also have a strong relationship with the Concrete Airport (Mears Field) [3W5], which has one of the best pilot lounges in the area and informal camping.
    Cheers! Stu.

  2. On Sept 10, 11, 12, 2016 we will hold the 42nd annual Ky EAA Sport Aviation Weekend at Rough River Airpark (2 India 3) at Falls of Rough, Kentucky. This is a state park airport, paved, with airport camping with showers. The lodge has rooms and restaurant and there are nearby motels. We have a social hour on Fri evening, grill set up for Sat lunch, with a banquet on Sat evening. Plenty of space. We welcome all types of flyers to attend, and a gaggle of Corvair powered planes would be a spectacle to behold.

  3. Sounds like a HotRod power tour type of event. Ive been to two of them and we had the time of our (family) lives. Looking forward to it!

    1. Actually, you are right on the money, I followed the power tour for years, and always thought it was the most brilliant way to promote hot rodding. What we are doing is a shameless tiny copy with airplanes, and if it works half as good as it does with cars we will have a great time.-ww.

  4. Brand new builder here but hope to be well on my way by the time this rolls around. Closest to me will likely be Michigan or upstate New York, perhaps Ohio? Either way, I’d love to attend whichever ends up being closest.


    1. Jason are you located in Canada? If there is interest and their schedule allows I could easily find a host in upstate NY. A field trip to visit niagara falls or a photo op in front of the tonawanda engine plant wouldn’t take much either. I’m with you, a stop up here would be fun!

      1. Yes Sir eh?

        I’m in northern Ontario, near North Bay, but don’t mind driving to upstate NY to take in part of the tour. Might even be ready to bring an engine to work on 🙂

  5. Fredricksburg Virginia is a great place to stop with EAA Chapter 1099. They operate out of Dogwood park but Shannon airport in Fredricksburg may be a better option with both a paved and grass runway. All is close by with a lot of history in the area.

  6. Great idea. I would like to participate. I will put additional effort into getting my plane finished and hours flown off by then.

    If my airplane is not completed perhaps I could drive the circuit and provide ground support!

  7. I would like to make part of this flight, keep me posted about the logistics and I’ll join up.

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