Acceptable methods of payment for Corvair parts

Builders:

A slightly humorous story about “Acceptable methods of payment” for Corvair parts we offer; At Corvair College #34 in Mexico Missouri, at Zenith aircraft, 601HDS-TD builder Larry Nelson paid part of his parts bill with the 1,000 rounds of .22LR pictured below. While most experimental aircraft companies accept cash, checks, Cards and pay-pal, we may be the only one that also accepts ammunition. All part of a general policy of accommodating the builders who choose the Corvair….who are often highly individual characters.

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Benjamins, plastic or lead?  All are fine, as they all have understood value. Above, Larry Nelson’s engine on the bench at Corvair College #34.  The engine is a 2700 with a Dan Weseman bearing, outfitted with all our Gold System parts from our catalog.

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The photo isn’t meant to offend anyone, I am just using it to illustrate the connection we have with our builders is different than most companies. I had been communicating with Larry for many years, but CC#34 was the first time we met in person. While stories I share under ‘Thought for the Day” and philosophy are not part of normal business communications, they do serve to make connections with builders that go beyond typical customer-salesman contacts. Without ever have met me in person, Larry knew that we are both involved in shooting sports, and also I would not be offended if he offered to cover part of his tab with a commodity that is understood to be a form of ‘legal tender’ in his home state of Arizona.

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The concept of building your own aircraft engine isn’t for everyone. The majority of people in experimental aviation opt to know next to nothing about what is inside the engine they fly behind. Conversely, Corvairs appeal to those who have a life-long desire to understand how the mechanical devices in their world work.  This type of person also tends to be a bit further form ‘average’ on many fronts in their life, not just aircraft engines. Experimental aviation was developed and advanced by such people, and today we offer them an engine option, and a home among other individuals.

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-ww.

Ignition part #3301-DFI, a new optional system.

Builders:

We are now in the testing phase of a new ignition system, The “DFI”. The title stands for “Dual Fixed Ignition”.

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Above, the system installed on a running engine gathering data. This project is now about 2 years old, as you can read in the related link below. With some more testing, this will likely become the premium ignition system in 2016.  We will still offer our other ignitions – E/P and E/P-X Ignition systems, (3301E/P and E/P-X) – but there are several reason why I have developed this new system.

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At it’s core, the DFI system has 2 Crane units, and has no advance. The primary is set for the full advance, the second Crane is bolted into the housing with retarded timing, which aids in starting. I actually had six base plates CNC machines before we settled on the amount of timing offset we have on the first production plates.

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Here are the advantages of the system:

It uses a Ford, HEI style cap instead of the Corvairs 1960’s distributor terminals; The timing on this unit can be set at idle, there is no requirement to check it at full static rpm; The spark is more stable because it is tripped with a star wheel rather than a point cam;  The spark is not affected by shaft wear; proper operation and care of the system doesn’t require the builder to understand and follow directions on working with points; The system will be the basis of other systems for turbo engines and very high altitude applications.

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The down sides of this system:

It is more expensive; In theory, the diversity of an E/P system makes it more resistant to failure from something like an overheat or voltage spike (But in the last 10 years we have never had a single Crane unit fail in operation, only  issues were where builders pinching wires under the cap or wiring it backwards) ; It is new, and although we are testing it, it will be a long time before it has the track record of our E/P systems.

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Above is half of the system running in my 1947 distributor machine. The base plate is machined from .250″ aluminum. You can see the mounting holes for the second unit. The cap is head on by studs, just like our E/P-X distributor. I sketched the layout of this on a piece of paper, but the real CAD work was done by Corvair/Panther builder Paul Salter. Paul lives at our airport, and helps out on countless tasks from CAD work to loaning me his truck for the 3,400 mile trip to CC #34

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Above, a look at the main shaft with the star wheel in place. The wheel was laser cut for accuracy. It was made for us by Dan Weseman, who in the course of producing all the parts for their Panther kits, has become even more of an expert in many different types of aerospace grade production, like having parts laser cut.

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Above, a look at where the design was a year ago. You can read this story: Ignition system, experimental “E/E-T” for a look at how we make parts, and what the logic was.  This is a good photo of the Ford HEI cap used on the DFI.

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Above, the unit on an engine in my hangar. The primary tests have validated these ideas:

The engine can actually be started on either ignition, as long as it is being cranked by a 2400-L Starter. Any normal starter will start it on the back up/starting retarded ignition; When being run on the back up, the engine looses a certain amount of power, but this loss is only half of the loss of running on 5 cylinders, (and any application we promote will fly and climb on 5 cylinders); The retard on the back up is enough to greatly suppress detonation if a flyer found himself with a detonating engine; The DFI fits and operated with all our other parts and systems, including the recommended ignition coils.

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As a side note, the testing also showed that it is a complete fallacy that a Corvair will make it’s full power potential with only 25 degrees of advance. I already knew this from years of Dyno testing and flying planes, but we captured this test on film. At Oshkosh 2015, an “expert” who has never owned a flying Corvair told people that 25 degrees was all the engine needed, and claimed he learned this on a dyno, which seems unlikely, as I just tested this and showed the engine to loose more than 100 rpm just going from 30 degrees of advance to 25.  It is a fee world, and people can listen to whomever they like, but if you want to be successful at building and flying planes, perhaps it is best to restrict one’s sources of information to people who are aircraft mechanics, pilots and have own flying planes and tested them.

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Following a flight testing, we will have more information on our products page.

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-ww.