NPR vs Conservative radio, a journalism-free contest

Builders,

In my previous story: Thought for the Day: Idiocy on the airwaves. I tested the theory that your mind could remain neutral by subjecting it to equal amounts of NPR and Conservative radio. I found instead they combine to form a particularly strong mental poison. To validate my findings, I again conducted the same test while driving back to Florida.  Please don’t try it, it has the same horrific results headed southbound as it did going northbound.

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job as van Gelder goes

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NPR- They spent a lot of time covering tragic event where an Ohio police officer shot and killed a 12 year old boy who had a “pellet gun”.

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The story was repeated numerous times but failed to mention two critical elements: The Officer who shot the boy had previously been determined to be too emotionally unstable for duty by a different department, and the “pellet gun” was actually an Airsoft gun, which are intentionally made to look exactly like specific models of actual guns. Any intelligent writer or producer would understand that any story, even a brief one, should contain these salient facts.

When I was 12, we lived at Quarters ‘C’ Hale Alii drive, about 1/4 mile inside the main gate of Pearl Harbor. I walked through the gate every day on the way to school. My father warned me in the harshest terms, NEVER to goof around in any way near the Marines who guarded the Gate.  While we were there, two people where shot and killed, one an Officer who refused to show ID, and the other was one of the Marines. He bet a fellow Marine he could kick an M-1 carbine out of his hands before he could close the bolt and shoot him. He wasn’t right. My father, who was acting base commander that night, used the event to reiterate to me, in harsh terms, that I must never fool around near the gate, and that not all Marines had perfect judgment. To this day, I am very careful around police officers and other armed people. In an ideal world, it wouldn’t be needed, but we don’t live in that world.

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Conservative Radio:  – They covered the story of the Korean and Japanese government’s coming to an agreement about “Comfort Women” They mentioned several times that the Japanese Government is going to pay a total of 8 million dollars to 50 women, over some type of complaint they have that is 70 years old. They made it sound that four dozen 90 year old women are trying to cash in of some government hand out reparation payment.

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In reality, what is euphemistically called “Comfort Women” was a Japanese Government program that systematically abducted women from their conquered lands, mostly 15-17 year olds, to be sex slaves servicing the Japanese soldiers in their expanding savage empire. It wasn’t 50 women, there are reliable estimates that it was two hundred thousand women who were abducted in a 20 year period. Also not mentioned, was the fact the program had a 75% fatality rate, and that the Japanese government has spent 70 years systematically lying and denying that any program existed at all. They used women as young as 12; on average, the slaves were raped more than 10,000 times, and then considered worn out, they were ‘disposed of on location’ (bullet to the back of the head, dumped in a ditch.) Many people consider this the largest single crime committed against women in history. If you think I am making it up, read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women. I spent my childhood in Thailand, there Japanese tourists were detested, because this crime had affected countless families just 30 years earlier.

As horrific as the Holocaust was, everyone understands that the Germans of today, make absolutely no attempt to cover it up. The ‘own it’ and take responsibility for it. Today only a tiny group of people in the world are “Holocaust deniers”, and those people are considered sick. Conversely, the entire nation of Japan, it’s people and government, have engaged in an absolute denial of the holocaust they inflicted on Asia in WWII. I am not just speaking of sex slaves, but of the millions of civilians they intentionally killed. To this day in Japan, serious death threats are made against any individual who dares to criticize anything about the nations behavior from 1931-45.  For this exact reason I have never owned a Japanese car. I have friends who own Toyota Prius cars, and they often state the made the purchase they believe it shows people they care about the environment. It might, but it also shows me that they either don’t read enough, or they are just fine with holocaust deniers, as long as the holocaust only involved Asians not Europeans.

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Your Aviation Connection: Between TV and Radio, the average adult American male consumes more than 2 hours of programing per day, about 800 hours per year. If the exact same person made the willful decision to put that 800 hours into something productive, such as the construction of the homebuilt aircraft in their garage, they would make some real progress. As a side benefit, they would be a lot less negative and pessimistic, since the real goal of almost all “news” is to get the public to blindly mood swing between abject fear (Ebola, ISIL, Sharks, tornados, etc.) and righteous indignation at anything the other team (party) is supposedly doing. It is a hamster wheel that many people spend a life time running on, righteously indignant at the poo on their paws, not making the connection that it is the same substance that came out from beneath their own tail on a previous revolution, when they were told to be afraid and run faster.

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2016 Corvair College sign ups open soon

Builders:

I have been speaking with Shelley Tumino, and we are going to have the on line sign up for the 2016 Corvair Colleges open on 1/10/16. We will post the info on this website that day.

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In addition to co-hosting 4 colleges and being awarded The Cherry Grove Trophy, Shelley has also run the on-line sign up for many Colleges. She has offered to cover this same task for the 2016 season.  She made a good case that we should have a dedicated, year round, web location for this, as we had previously run the sign up through a site we rented by the month. Having our own site will actually lower the overhead cost of this, while having longer sign up periods. If that explanation wasn’t clear, try this one “Things will be smoother in 2016 because Shelley is in charge” 

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I have done some work to update many of the links on the main college page. When you look all the way down, it has many linked stories on how to get the most out of colleges. Get a coffee and give it a long look:

Corvair College reference page

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From our Oshkosh 2015 coverage: “Above, Shelley Tumino, Co-host of Corvair Colleges #22, 25 and 32, stands in front of the tear drop trailer she hand crafted at Brodhead.  Nearly everything in the picture was packed into the trailer for the trip from Texas. The woman is seriously into organization, logistics and deployment. Shelley had a long career in the Armed Forces.  Shelley takes having fun and camping more seriously than some countries take mobilizing for conflicts.”

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Forming a PAC to support the best candidate to represent you.

Builders:

The title above may sound like politics, but it is just the reverse. My own version of “PAC” is “Personal Aviation Constitution”. It is your own individual written document where you define what your personal goals in aviation are.

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Most people in homebuilding spend several hundred hours a year, listening to other people’s ideas about people in aviation should be doing, or be envious of. I am merely proposing that it is more productive to start the new year, investing several hours in yourself, defining your own path, and affirming your right to do so, even in the face of almost certain criticism and peer pressure. If someone tries to mock or judge your work to define your own goals in writing, quietly know this: They are the enemy of your dreams and plans, no matter how strongly they portray themselves as ‘helpful.’

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You don’t need the prose nor the penmanship of the founding fathers; start by writing down the things you plan to do this year. This can be broken down into books you read, events you attend, and things you will build.

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Be bold enough to write down the next 3 planes you will build and finish. Ignore the inner negative voice, trained by others, which interjects pessimistic budgets or possible negative outcomes. This is a valuable exercise in believing in yourself, and taking a moment to notice how everyone, you included, have unconsciously absorbed many of the attitudes of pessimistic people.

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Go ahead and write down the 8 airports you will fly your airplane to when it is done. Get maps of these places, print Googe earth satellite views of them, and make it a goal to visit two of them by land this year, and arrive at one of them in a plane (flying in with a friend in his C-172 is just fine) This will keep you focused on what you will be doing with the plane when it is done.

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Last actually write down a pledge to yourself that you will not take advice from anyone this year unless they have personally built and flown a homebuilt 100 hours. This includes not even reading posts from alleged people like “Flyboy26@stupid.com” Go ahead, and write down the names of one magazine, one website, and one discussion group, that because of their alarmist or negative attitudes, you will not read once in the next year. While your at it, make a list of the four people who have built and flown the exact same airframe/engine combination you are working on, who you will follow, get to know by asking polite and thoughtful questions by email, and decide to meet at least one of these people in the next year

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Thinking that this all sounds funny, like work, and worse like thinking? That line of thinking sends you back to blindly wasting hours reading about “industry trends”, makes you feel like a spectator, and gets you to alter your path instead of carefully defining it, then you have sold your dreams to another person for the great sum of….. absolutely nothing. I may never have met you, and I may sound like I have strange ideas, but I think your dreams are valuable, and that makes me a better friend to you than anyone who though direct or subtle attack, or infusion of negativity would have you give up or mutilate your dreams, just because they gave theirs up long ago.

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Forming your  “PAC” to support the best candidate to represent you, is merely defining how you will come to be the champion, protector and provider of your own dreams and plans. Making this transformation to be in charge of this facet of your life is an enormously important benefit of successful homebuilding.

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A young person in my family recently asked me about Jimmy Carter. All they knew of him was repetitions of judgments pundits had made 35 years ago.  I surprised them by saying I admired the man, not because I agreed with everything he did, but because he wasn’t fake. He promised only to be an honest simple man, and even if you don’t like some of the things he did, one must admit he kept his word.  I pointed out that he was followed by a man who traded arms for hostages, a pathological philanderer, a man who stated the longest and most expensive war is US history, and a man who proved to bring very little of the change he spoke of. There are good things about each of these men, but they didn’t set the bar on honesty, Carter did. When the people get really tired of politics, the most frequent cause is being near continiously  lied to to, not the lack of effective action.

If anyone is tempted to consider the positive works of a leader first, please take a minute to read this story: Thought for the day: Virtue vs Depravity , it includes the quote below and some good notes on who not to get into a plane with.

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 “One should judge a man by his depravities. Virtues can be faked. Depravities are real”

Klaus Kinski, German actor and artist, 1926-1991.

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Outlook 2016, Corvair College #39, Barnwell SC, 11/11/16

Builders,

I am just putting this out as a long distance place holder now. Right after CC#35 in November, I had a personal meeting with P.F.Beck, the leader of the local teams that have hosted 6 colleges at Barnwell, and he told me to put his team down for a 7th event in November of 2016. It will fall on November 11-13th. I will further update this page in 2016, you can expect the sign up to open just before Oshkosh in July.

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Above, Bob Lester’s Corvair powered Pietenpol sits on the ramp at Barnwell at sunset on Saturday night at Corvair College #31.

There are many links to Corvair College stories here: Corvair College reference page.

For a look at the 2015 Barnwell College, check this out: Corvair College #35 Barnwell builders video.

For a look at the EAA film about the 2013 Barnwell College, click here: New EAA video on Corvair College#27, Barnwell 2013.

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Ibrahim Parlak Granted 90 day extension.

Builders,

Would you like some great news for Christmas that confirms the power of good people speaking up on behalf of an individual they have not yet met?  Ibrahim Parlak has been granted a 90 day extension to his deportation case. This Christmas, he will be with his family. I would like to personally express my great gratitude and admiration for everyone who shared this story and signed the petition. It worked.

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Reform Immigration FOR America's photo.

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This man is Ibrahim Parlak, pictured with his daughter. The image doesn’t indicate that he is only 52 years old. He has been a resident in the US since he was 28 years old. Read the story behind the picture at this link: On the eve of Christmas, spend 5 minutes to save a man’s life.

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On the eve of Christmas, spend 5 minutes to save a man’s life.

Builders:

On the eve of the second holiest day of the Christian year, a simple question: Would you take 5 minutes of your time to save the life of the man pictured below?

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Reform Immigration FOR America's photo.

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This man is Ibrahim Parlak. Pictured with him is his daughter, a US born and raised citizen, Who’s mother is a member of my extended family, herself born and raised in the US. In 1991, Ibrahim was brought to the US, and in 1992 he was granted political asylum by our Department of Justice. He is an ethnic Kurd, the only group in the entire Arab world that has been a reliable friend to America, and willing to fight like dogs for their own freedom.

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He had previously been imprisoned and tortured by the government of Turkey, for simply advocating an autonomous Kurdish homeland, a policy that the US was also in favor of. After 24 years as a model US resident, the Obama administration has opened his deportation back to Turkey on December 24th. He faces certain imprisonment and probable summary execution.

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Many of you know my brother in law, Col. John Nerges.  John served 30 years in the US Army, including two years as the head of Intensive Care nursing at Walter Reed and a tour in Iraq. John knows Ibrahim, and states that he is fine human being, a man who came here legally, who has been a model immigrant, who’s deepest wish was to earn a place here, and to be an American citizen. This same man’s life is now a bargaining chip in the hands of this administration, to be used to appease the corrupt government of Turkey, the very same country we saved him from 24 years ago, when we still had a government which stood for human rights and individual liberty.

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Below are several links, and a very important petition to sign. Read them and decide for yourself. If you pause before signing it because the administration might keep that list, let me point out that that is exactly how they want you to feel, afraid to speak up for what you know to be right. 

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If you read it but don’t sign because it isn’t worth 5 minutes of your time, I ask just this: When your own family gathers on Christmas eve, look at your own children and imagine that it is the last night you will spend with them on earth, That you will be sent to a torture cell in a merciless Islamic country unless, by chance, someone who has never met you, reads about your story, and is a good enough human being to spend 5 minutes reading and signing a petition for your life. If it was your last hours with your child, imagine how you would pray that this country still had decent people in it. Tonight is the hour where you discover if you are one those people.

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From the family website:

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“We are asking you to READ, SIGN and SHARE the petition below to stop the deportation of our family member, Ibrahim Parlak.

This situation is as urgent as it can be. Information has been shared with the family that the impending arrest and deportation will be occurring within the week.

Please read this Chicago Sun Times editorial for more information and backstory: http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/7/…/1192382/editorial-53

Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/dhs-secretary-jeh-johnson-barack-o…

And join the Facebook page for more information here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/442413885946426/?fref=nf

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If you choose to do nothing, and in a few weeks you read that a tragedy has happened, please don’t be reluctant to privately share your inaction with me. If you read my story: Thinking of Mike Holey, an Aviator and a friend. you understand that I have bitter personal experience in living with the burden of not having done enough to save the life of a good man. Having made the identical moral error, I will not judge anyone for it, and I will share what I have learned about coping with things one can not apologize for.

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Merry Christmas.

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Outlook 2016, Ordering a Completed Engine.

Builders:

Although our work is primarily about providing the parts, information and training to builders who are assembling their own engine, we have always had a complimentary line of completed and test run engines for builders who elect to have us assemble and run the engine.

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Over the years I have built a great number of these engines, and 2016 will be no different, however the procedure for ordering one will be new. The new path will smooth the process, and organize the scheduling, but it will also allow builders to specify the exact engine they would like.

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Previously we offered 3 different engine outputs, and a few options for each choice. We are moving to a new system, where any sensible combination of parts can be selected, and we will assemble these, and test run the engine for a fixed labor cost.

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After reviewing the manual, and this web story: Sources Reference Page, and writing or calling us or the Wesemans, a builder proceeds with the following steps;

Contact Dan and Rachel Weseman at SPA/Panther (http://flywithspa.com/contact-us/) and order these parts:

A) Group 1000 crankshaft  either Billet or GM forged. prepped for a ‘Gen II’ 5th bearing. Sources: Group 1000, Crankshaft

B) Group 3000 5th bearing assembly

Sources: Choosing a 5th Bearing

C) Order a set of heads Group 1500

Sources: Group 1500 – New cylinder head source

D) pay the Core engine fee, which covers the cost of the engine that your engine will be rebuilt from. What is a core engine worth?

Paying for these items has several functions; it acts as the deposit on the engine, it gets the process going on the long lead items, and gets a projected date for the engine’s assembly and test run.  The Wesemans also offer several other options, such as Group 1300/1400 3,000 cc engine kits, and Group 2950 rear alternator kits.  Rachel will be glad to cover the options.

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The second phase is working with us to specify all the other components for the engine, such as all of our Gold Systems., the Group 1100 cam kit and ignition.We will provide a detailed list of every part going on the engine.

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The assembly labor will be priced at the following fixed rates:

Closing the case, installing the 5th bearing, installing the safety shaft, hybrid studs prop hub and ring gear, putting on the HV-2000 rear oil case and installing the balancer: $600.

To do the work listed above, and also install the rods, pistons, rings and cylinders, $1,000 ($600 for closing the case, plus $400)

To do all of the above, plus install the heads, valve train, and finishing components, and test run the engine $2,000. ($600 for closing the case, plus $400 for the pistons/rods/cyls., plus $1,000 to finish and run the engine.)

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In the next few weeks I will give some examples of builds and costs, and link them to the bottom of this story

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Top view of a Corvair built in our shop, showing 2400-L starter arrangement. Engines built in 2016 will follow the path of ordering the main parts from the Wesemans, selecting the systems parts from us, and choosing the level of assembly labor. This format offers better scheduling, customization, and a better understanding of which items are included on a finished engine.

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Thought for the Day: Idiocy on the airwaves.

Builders:

It is 990 miles door to door from our house in Florida to my parents house in New Jersey. In the 31 years since I moved south, I have driven the FL/NJ/FL round trip about 100 times. Most of these were done without a radio, phone or any kind of distraction. It was just long hours to think without interruption.

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In a lapse of judgment, I stuck an old radio/CD player in the Suburban’s dash before departing on this last trip, thinking listening to the radio might keep me awake on the drive that I always do straight through. In some perverted sense of fair play, I spent a hour listening to conservative talk shows and then an hour listening to NPR.  I would like to issue a mental heath warning not to try this, as they do not cancel each other out. The cumulative effect is closer to what I imagine drinking whisky and eating amphetamines might do to one’s mind.

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The Conservative talk hour was all about world pollution and global climate issues. They spoke with a dozen ‘experts’, who proposed a dozen different actions, and had a dozen different factors to blame. I listened to the full hour, and not one single person mentioned that the worlds population going from 3 billion people to 8 billion in my lifetime played any role at all in polluting the planet or accelerating the depletion of its resources.  (Evidently speaking of this is some cross party taboo, as Gore hardly mentioned it in his film) Thesis: the planet we are custodians of will be saved by solar panels built in ‘Green’ factories in China.

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Second hour, NPR discussion on gun control in America, where oddly, all the commentators are women from other nations. One of them advanced the theory that “Canada and the US are interchangeable in attitudes and politics.” At the risk of sounding negative, I have been in 49 US states and 10 of 13 provinces and territories of Canada, and I feel there is some difference between Alberta and Alabama. (I suspect that their respective residents are also both happy about that.) The commentator went on to say that ‘we were the same because we were both proud of being British colonies’ neatly skipping small differences like Canada still having the Queen of England of their currency, and the US fighting 2 wars to be independent, having the 2nd amendment, and Washington on our dollar. America has plenty of ‘character’ that I am sure nearly all Canadians are thankful they are not afflicted with, but only an idiot would suggest the two countries are interchangeable.

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The experiment over, I reached in a pile of old CD’s in the dark, and stuck in the first one I found. It turned out to be the original Blind Mellon album. I spent the next 100 miles listening and thinking about all the music Shannon Hoon could have made, if he had lived past 1995. His artistry and commentary on the human condition has brought more to my life than anything I have ever heard on talk radio.

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Aviation Connection: Building a plane requires many things, but crucial among them is the solid belief that the world will be here, and in reasonably good shape 24-60 months from the day you start the project.  I have heard many things on talk radio, but I have never heard a guest come on and say “We predicted the end of society every day for the last 40 years, but it has never happened, so today’s dire warnings probably are bull shit also.” If you listen to talk radio, try quitting for a month and see if the future, and the concept of you flying your plane in it seems a lot more plausible. It will not help their ratings, but it most likely will improve your attitude and optimism.

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Above, R. Shannon Hoon, 1967-1995. Blind Mellon can be seen on this Letterman clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4H5vsQM7z8. Hoon has a question mark drawn on himself, to ask “Why?”. The performance was taped the day Kurt Cobain was found. The song he is singing is ‘Change’.  The words to the song where put on Hoon’s tombstone the following year. In spite of the fact neither man lived to see 30, I find their lives and music less depressing than listening to the drama/hate factories commonly called “media news sources”.

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December Schedule Notes

Builders,

Today I am in New Jersey for my Fathers’ 90th birthday.  I will be returning to the shop in Florida the week after Christmas. While here, I answer some email, but stay primarily focused on family. To refresh your perspective on 2016 operations, get a look at this series of links:  Outlook 2016 – Reference page.

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We had originally planned to open the sign up for the first three colleges of 2016 this week. However, most people are focused on family at this time of the year, and we have chosen to open the sign ups the second week of January instead. Review the links below, as the dates and locations for the colleges are firm:

Outlook 2016, College #36 and Western building tour

Outlook 2016, Corvair College #37 Chino CA, 4/22/16

Outlook 2016, Corvair College #38, Cloverdale CA, 5/6/16

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Above, my father’s official USN photo circa 1975. Although he is a 1949 USNA graduate, and served as an officer in both Korea and Vietnam, Father was also an enlisted man in WWII. In the closing months of that war, Congress opened the Naval Academy academic applications to enlisted men in the fleet, and waived the age limits. This resulted in the class of ’49 being 92% former enlisted, giving them a different perspective on leadership that followed them through their service.

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His service remains the centerpiece of his life’s work. Please take a minute to read: William Edward Wynne Sr. –  Father’s Day Notes; it is a story I wrote about father on his 84th birthday. If you have ever wondered why I am intolerant of police states without human rights like China, the story will be illuminating.

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Over the years, I have written a number of stories about my father. It is my hope that everyone understands that I have shared these to explain my great respect and affection for my father, and have wished the stories might spark many thoughts and memories of all the men who made us who we are.

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Dad would be the first person to say that he was no one special, he was just a man of his generation, doing his duty for his country, living in a manner he hoped would make his father proud. My Father, born this day in 1925, was the only son his father had, the recipient of all the hopes and expectations a man could have for his only son. In a quiet hour today, my father shared a story of how he has strived to live his life by a code his own father would understand and admire. My father was 35 years old when his father passed from this earth in 1960. As I listened to Dad speak of trying to keep the respect of a man who has been past for 55 years, I thought this might be the best explanation of the bond between fathers and their sons.

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Further reading: Thought for The Day – Have we squandered the great gift?

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Weekend work, December 2015

Builders,

In our week, the normal work runs through Saturday at noon, as this is when the local post office closes. We mail almost everything by USPS, as 20+ years of trying everyone in the shipping business mailing tens of thousands of packages has conclusively proven “If it needs to get there economically, send it with the Post Office, if you need the item smashed, send it UPS, everyone else falls in between.” The hours between noon on Saturday and when ever we shut the shop down late Sunday night constitute “the weekend” but almost all of this time is spent in the hangar anyway, we just shift to projects instead of production parts.

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Above, Ignition testing in action. Corvair/Panther builder, friend and neighbor Paul Salter works as an aeronautical engineer for the US Navy on the EA-6B prowler program at NAS Jacksonville M-F. Since Paul is a graduate of Embry-Riddle’s rival Parks, and he is a dyed in the wool Ford guy, it is nothing short of a miracle that I have talked him into using a Chevy on his plane.

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 On Weekends, Paul spends all the hours at the airport here, and he has long proven to be a great asset, and if you have a Corvair in your shop, you are a beneficiary of his contribution if you have met him or not. His contributions run from loaning me his truck for the 3,400 mile Corvair College #34 tour: Back in Florida – 10 / 5 / 2015 to running ignition tests on retard boxes for these Ignition part #3301-DFI, a new optional system. Shown is “Dinosaur meets space program.” My 1947 Sun distributor machine is running the DFI distributor, while Paul’s laptop is programing the delay box that can control the timing curve electronically. This will be of use for planes in high altitude cruise, planes with turbos, or ones using N2O injection. The white box is a digital  DC power supply. The spread sheet on the laptop is displaying the information while also allowing the curve to be altered due to RPM and MAP.

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Above, a test of how low a voltage the Crane ignition unit will work at. Look at the distributor machine, the red flashes are the firing indications shown by a strobe, projected onto a degree wheel. It is doing just great, and note the power supply is only showing 4.3 volts! Most computer ignitions on modern cars, that also involve electronic fuel injection, loose their ability to work below 10.5 volts. Our system works at far lower voltages (It actually needs slightly more than 4.3 to run the coil to send powerful sparks but the brains still work at 4.3V) The crane units and simple coils also use very little power, allowing a Corvair to run many hours off a battery that had just enough power to crank it. Many electronically dependent automotive conversions will run less than 20 minutes after the alternator throws a belt or the voltage regulator gives out. As responsible people, we test things to know that we promote a system with a great margin of safety.

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Above, our test stand, under constant refinement since we made it in 2004. It replaced the original stand that served from 1989-2003. Together they have run hundreds of engines. In 2016, this one will make the great western tour, covering these events:

Outlook 2016, College #36 and Western building tour

Outlook 2016, Corvair College #37 Chino CA, 4/22/16

Outlook 2016, Corvair College #38, Cloverdale CA, 5/6/16

To refine the stand and make it work better, and also get a N2O port in the intake, we spent some of Saturday afternoon working on it. One of the improvements was junking the cable throttle that it has used for years and replacing it with the lever and rod arrangement, which is much more positive. Alright motor heads, prepare to date yourselves: You are officially middle aged if you know the throttle arm is a Hurst Shifter: you could be approaching middle age if you know what a Hurst shifter was, and if you have never heard the term, you are likely a millennial, which is ok, but know that you missed the good cars. A Prius doesn’t make the world a better place in the same way that a W-30 455 cid Hurst Olds did. The rest of the linkage is an AN turnbuckle and a used Corvair pushrod, TIG welded to a ball socket.

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Above, Vern Stevensen’s latest transportation project, in my front yard. What is good about Florida? Get a look at how green the grass is, on December 5th. On weekends, Vern is ‘On Call’ in our shop. He works on his own stuff, but is available 12 hours a day to jump in as required on flight stuff. Vern’s original trike: Fun with Agkistrodon Piscivorus and Vern’s Aero-Trike now has more than 20 thousand miles on it. It gets about 60-65 mpg, but Vern wanted to shoot for 100 mpg, in a vehicle built out of purely recycled tras….ahem, ‘Treasure.’ Thus the new “light trike.”

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Above, The powerplant is a Honda 250 elite scooter driveline. In stock form, these will drive a large scooter to 70+mph. The frame is random tubing cutoffs from my hangar pile. The front suspension is a widened 4 wheeler ATV, steering is a rack and pinion from lawn equipment. Front hubs are Geo metro rear brakes, which I turned down the ATV spindles to fit. The canopy is RV-3 flymart buy. Front tires are space saver spares from a Geo. Thus retains the full electrical harness and instrument panel from the scooter. In Florida, this is an entirely street legal vehicle that requires no insurance, special paperwork, nor inspections. Vern is thinking about putting stringers on it and making the ‘body’ from fabric aircraft  covering. The canopy and frame lift to get in and out, but the canopy also slides forward 18″ while driving for optional ventilation. The weight right now is about 200#s but he wantes it to stay under 300 done.

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Above, ScoobE checks the mailbox. It is a half mile walk from the house. Our business address that we use for work is actually 10 miles from the house, but that is where the closest grocery store is, etc. It gets checked just about every day. The neighborhood box is just for family letters. My Dad who turns 90 this month, is one of the worlds great letter writers. Since I first moved to Florida in 1984, he has send me about 200 a year. I have every single one of them carefully stored. The are often just regular news, but they are the glue that holds the family together, and they are also the documentation of all the family history, going back to all the stories my father’s  grand parents told him 80 years ago, like how my great grand mother walked alone, the 90 miles to Belfast, and got in 4th class steerage to begin work as an indentured servant in a wealthy home in NJ. It was 1868, and she was 12 years old. Through years of toil she was able to bring her siblings to America. She never saw her parents again. Somber, but a great reminder of how comparatively wonderful my life has been.

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-ww.

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