Photos from Corvair College #34 at Zenith A/C


Here are a few photos from Corvair College #34, which was at the Zenith Aircraft factory in Mexico MO, this last September. As cool weather sets in throughout most of the northern US, it is good to look back to a great event held on a very sunny week,….and decide now, that 2016 will be your year in aviation, and that you will be in next years sets of photos, in the Arena, having a great time with like minded friends. You will note that most pictures are of people, not engines; this is because Colleges are about people, learning and building among friends.



Above, Dr. Steve Minart flew in with his 601XL from Iowa.  Would you like to see a picture of the two of us 10 years before with the plane as a project in Steve’s garage? Read this: A decade later: Midwest tour, winter 2005



Above, We elected to hold the College in a very large industrial tent, right next to the Zenith Factory. This made it easy to plumb in power and compressed air, and have acess to tools like drill presses. This was our third College with the Zenith Aircraft crew as local hosts, and it was a great event. For space reasons we limit the Mexico MO colleges to 60 builders, and the #34 sign up filled up about 45 days before the event.



Above, Paul Visk’s Corvair comes to life. It is destined for his KR-2S. Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith aircraft, welcomes all homebuilders to colleges we hold at his facility, not just Zenith builders. It is a demonstration of his family’s across the board support for homebuilding through 2 generations.



Above, A look at the great weather, and the fact that we eat all together, all of the meals at colleges are catered and fully paid for by the modest fee charged at sign up. The events are educational, not profit making exercises.  When you consider the cost of expenses like tent rental, an accountant would question the value of the College, but as an educator, homebuilder and friend, I find these events to be priceless, and beyond putting a dollar figure on.



Above, A look at the low calorie, fat free, ‘vegan’, low cholesterol dining provided by Steinman’s catering in Mexico MO. At least that is what I told myself. We work long hours at Colleges, you have a chance to burn the calories.



Above, We ran from 7am until 11 PM most nights. The evening weather was just as pleasant as the days. He is a look at Mike Maury, last guy in the hangar on the second night. The white tent was surprisingly bright at night when lit up with halogen lights.



Above, Two new friends. These two did not know each other before the college. If you find yourself at aviation events, and don’t feel like you ‘fit in’ because you are an ‘old school’ homebuilder, then come find your home in homebuilding among the tradition homebuilders at Colleges.



Above, Sometimes people who have never been to a college ask about the nature of the events, mistakenly assuming from a few politicaly incorrect photos that the Colleges are not civil events: Here is reality: The of the better halves, comfortably enjoying the afternoon. I am willing to bet we have a far higher percentage of women builders than nearly any group in experimental aviation.


People who wish to be offended, before they even learn about events can certainly find all the evidence they need reading a few words on my site and looking at a picture or two. I have gotten letters from people who assumed the events were drinking events for males, letters from those offended by the “No politics, no Religion, no Communism” sign,  and letters about how they assume people behave. Here is reality: The Woman in the center above is Edi Bickford, She has been to a half dozen Colleges, including the ones at Barnwell, where all evening meals are started with a Prayer of thanks. BTW, Edi is a minister, and so is her husband, and they are both comfortable with the people and atmosphere of the Colleges. Maybe people wishing to be offended have no idea what colleges are really like.



Above, another shot of the beautiful weather, and the outdoor setting for dining.



Above, Our Friend Dave Bally, on hand for the whole college, broke down many cores and brought lots of parts for builders. He went out of his way to make the event great for others, all the while doing no work on his own personal engine. Dave also showed up out of the blue the day before Oshkosh and was a ton of help setting up our booth when we were too tired to think. He is the kind of selfless guy that always puts back a bit more than he received. He is a pleasure to simply know.



Above, an engine, one of 15 that had their 5th bearings installed un the direct supervision of Dan Weseman and myself. Great progress was made on many engines, including a half dozen run. Don’t miss your chance to be at a college next year.



6 Replies to “Photos from Corvair College #34 at Zenith A/C”

  1. Thanks. I want to thank you on your work to provide homebuilders access to the knowledge of your R & D. Of all the engine options I have researched none have provided the knowledge of the system and the theories of the designer to make me fell comfortable with there product. My best wishes for you, Grace and your parents this holiday season. Dave Bally

  2. For us the CC at Mexico, MO is an annual event for the reasons outlined. The Zenith open house is a neat way to cap the week. And yes, the girls do build engines.

    A happy thanksgiving to all!

    Harold and Edi

  3. Some people would complain if you hung’em with a new rope, let them seek enjoyment elsewhere. Corvair College’s are FUN. Just my 2 cents worth, dan-o

  4. Guys like William (and Paul Poberezney) are exactly right. The best part of aviation is the People. The social experience and “esprit de corps” has very deep meaning for us, and getting the spouses involved in goes a long way towards them supporting the success of our endeavors.

    Best thing I ever did in Aviation was getting my wife involved with the people, and I try to encourage other guys to get their wives involved as well. A good way to start is by encouraging your spouse to be part of the “social experience” of being around airplane people.

    Patrick Hoyt

    1. Pat, You and I are some of the guys who are blessed by having better halfs who really like flying and the community of people in it. One of the things in my mind when planning events is always having them so everyone of both sexes feels welcome, because I think many spouses who would have a great time around flying but they haven’t found a good group or setting. I can’t change the rest of aviation, but I do put the effort into our events. -ww.

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