Texas Corvair College #36, April 1-3, sign up closes soon

Builders,

Our first college event of 2016, San Marcos on April 1-3, only has 14 more days for sign up. If you are planning on attending this event, the time to act is now: 2016 Corvair College registration pages.

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Blast from past, CC#22 in Texas, Blaine Schwartz’s engine nearing its test run. The above position, with the engine standing on its nose, is my preferred position in which to set the valves.  Read the rest of the story: Schwartz Engine Runs at CC #22. This engine is now flying on Blaine’s Zenith 750: Flying Zenith 750, 2850 cc Corvair, Blaine Schwartz.

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We are just 6 weeks away from CC #36. This is still time to sign up and make good progress, we are even willing to assist finding cores for builders who sign up. Our information network outlined in this story: Outlook 2016 – The Corvair ‘Information Network’ now in gear. can work for anyone, under the condition they decide to “get in the Arena.”

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Keep in mind that we will likely not have a Florida College this year, and the Corvair College we traditionally hold in Mexico Missouri at the Zenith factory in September will have it place taken by being the grand finale stop on the Outlook 2016 – Fall Corv-air-tour. So if you are a builder from the southern or middle of America, this Texas college is your best bet to get your hands dirty and your project started.

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There are many Corvair College links in this story: Outlook 2016, College #36 and Western building tour.

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Thought for the Day – “The Best Years of our lives”

Builders,

Here is a companion piece to Thought for the Day: “12 O’clock High”The Best Years of our Lives is a 1946 movie, an unflinching look at the lives of three men returning home from WWII. It was widely hailed as a masterpiece, winning 9 Academy Awards, but today 70 years later, it is gone from the national awareness.

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If you have never seen it, I highly recommend it. It really isn’t just a WWII film, the messages in it are timeless. The craft work of the film, the direction, the shooting and sound stand up decades later. Many people consider it Dana Andrews finest performance, but the film is captured by Harold Russell who had never acted before. He was a WWII veteran who lost his hands in an explosives accident. In the film he offers a brutally honest look at a disabled veteran returning to his home, family and fiancée, now a young man without hands. It is very difficult to watch.

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Opening scene of the film, where the three men are flying home in a B-17, to an uneasy welcome in the town they left. It turns out that it hasn’t changed at all, but the men are changed and can not find an easy path ‘home’.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scXCe1i_hJQ

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Above is a YouTube link to the best remembered part of the film. Dana Andrews, who has returned to find his marriage gone, his job meaningless, and outspoken civilians who mock his service, wanders out into an aircraft graveyard and questions why everything has happened.  He walks past hundreds of  B-17s and P-39s being scrapped. Sitting in the nose of a B-17 he dissolves into a flashback of being under attack on a bombing run.  Listen to how effectively the sound track supports the somber film.

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Your Aviation Connection: At Oshkosh, our booth is just 100 yards from the Warbird area. We are so busy during the day that I hardly leave the booth, but it stays light very late in the summer months in Wisconsin, and long after the crowds fade away I often walk over to the warbird area and quietly look at the planes. I find it a better setting to consider the struggles their crews faced, both in combat and coming home.

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If you have the emotional fortitude, read the chapter “Speaking of Courage” in Tim O’Brien’s 1990 book The Things They Carried.  Norman, the central character in the chapter, a young Vietnam vet returning to his small Midwestern town is destroyed by his inability to find anyone to listen to a bitter truth he knows. In some of his other writings O’Brien explains the genesis of the chapter, and how post war stories are a different set of experiences. It is the same relationship 12 O’clock high has to The best years of our lives.

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Outlook 2016 – The Corvair ‘Information Network’ now in gear.

Builders,

If you have been following all the developments under the title “Outlook 2016”, you have seen a lot of improved systems brought out, all aimed directly at giving builders better access to a more rewarding experience understanding, building and flying their Corvair engine. In this story, I will show how all of these separate elements are interconnected to work for the builders who choose the Corvair.

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For an example of how this works, lets look at a new builder’s path through 2016, and illustrate how having all the information connected will work to improve the new builder’s experience, and keep them focused on learning and progress. While we have many people contributing to the Corvair movement, let me take a moment to highlight two people who make things work smoothly, who’s understanding of IT work allows this new system to function for builders: Shelley Tumino and Rachel Weseman.

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Above, Kevin Purtee and Shelley Tumino receive The Cherry Grove Trophy at Corvair College #24.  Shelley runs all of our on line sign ups for Corvair Colleges, further developing the system pioneered by 601XL builder/pilot Ken Pavlou. The sign up system is much more than a simple list; Shelley handles all the websites, banking, disburses the funds to local hosts, and most importantly, has a system that supplies us at Flycorvair, the Weseman’s at SPA and the local hosts with both spreadsheets on builder information, but also daily updates on new sign ups for each college. Kevin and Shelley have also hosted four Corvair Colleges in Texas, and are very well known in the Pietenpol Community

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Above, Rachel Weseman from SPA. Among many other things, she is the organization and information at SPA. She works with builders every day, has attended a half dozen colleges, and co-hosted #23 and the Corvair Finishing School. In the field of communications she is particular skilled at making professional videos, which bring the ‘in person’ experience to larger groups of builders. Rachel is obviously known to every Panther builder, but also well known in the Sonex/Cleanex Community.

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 A sequential overview of our information network in action for a builder:

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Picture our builder selecting an engine. Perhaps he read a reprint of my incendiary story about the dirty little secret of experimental engines:

Selecting an engine for your experimental aircraft

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From there, he looks at our website:

http://flycorvair.com/

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And gets a look at some of  the 750 stories on this blog:

https://flycorvair.net/

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focusing on the latest ones:

Outlook 2016 – Reference page

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The builder has a few questions about his application, so he sends a question to my new email address:

Outlook 2016 – New Email address for Corvair Communications.

Because this new address is also accessible to Rachel and Dan Weseman, they can step in and cover a tech question if I am not available.

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With his question covered, our builder decides to buy my conversion manual, and goes to our new products page:

Outlook 2016, New order page and distribution method.

Because orders are now covered by SPA, he gets an instant order confirmation, and it heads right out. Both Rachel, Dan and myself can review the order and tech support from any location, so I don’t have to be in the same state  to be on the same page.

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If our new builder is a Zenith guy, he will likely join our private Zenvair list, or Pietvair if he is a Pietenpol builder:

“Zen-vair” and “Piet-vair” Discussion Groups, your resource.

These lists are run by Phil Maxson and Terry Hand, and they stay on top of them with an active hand. We set up the lists together, and if any tech issue arrives beyond the scope of normal stuff, Phil or Terry alert me with a call, so I can assist directly. Both Phil and Terry have been to many Colleges, and they know most of the people on their lists from meeting them in person.

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Of course if our new builder is a Panther guy, SPA will direct him to their group through their website:

http://flywithspa.com/

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Lets say our new builder decides to sign up for a Corvair College. He would do so through this page, which is run by Shelley Tumino:

2016 Corvair College registration pages.

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and lets say he decides to sign up for CC #37 in Chino California, hosted by Steve Glover:

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

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The sign up sheet asks a few questions to know if the builder is bringing an engine, and to know what stage in the process he is as, and what his goals are.  Watch this: This information is relayed immediately from Shelley to Both myself, Rachel at SPA, and to Steve Glover.  With this information, we can coordinate much better, making sure that the builder has everything he needs, from directions, to parts, table space and a warm welcome.

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In the past, we did a good job, but it heavily relied on the builder coordinating the separate elements. Before 2015, I had our previous Cylinder head suppler and an alternative 5th bearing guy at many Colleges, but they had a mixed track record of having builder’s parts ready for the events, and they were never going to participate in joint efforts. I did the four 2015 colleges without them, Covering the Colleges like #34 and #35 with Dan Weseman’s support. It worked out great:

Photos from Corvair College #34 at Zenith A/C and Corvair College #35 Barnwell builders video

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Today, We have moved from the four ‘Corvair all stars’ to having just Ourselves and SPA supply every part builders need, and it has worked to get all the suppliers and hosts on the same page:

Sources Reference Page

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Now the builder can stay focused on learning and progress, and we can stay coordinated in support of his work. Since both SPA Corvair parts and our parts come through the same order and warehouse system, 2016 will see a dramatic improvement is accessibility of the Corvair for homebuilders

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To stay on top of the new about Colleges in a discussion format, Shelley Tumino runs a very popular open Face Book Page for all the aspects of Corvair Colleges. You can find it here:

https://www.facebook.com/CorvairCollege/

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Grace and I always attend Oshkosh, and every year we have the same booth, #616 in the north aircraft display area:

Corvairs at Oshkosh 2015 – Colleges #34 and #35 sign up info – Unicorns for sale.

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This is right next to Dan and Rachel with the SPA booth in #615. Over a number of years we have coordinated to inspect and pick cores there, and deliver builder’s parts. Rachel always organizes the builder cook out after hours. It is one more small element of how builders benefit from having us work in a coordinated, joint approach.

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We are still in the planning stages of the Fall air tour: Outlook 2016 – Fall Corv-air-tour, but one of the elements that will have a great impact on the success of the event, is having it covered in real time, and making many of the stops accessible to area builders. This is exactly the kind of task that Shelley and Rachel with their logistical skills can do very well, and the tour will reach many more people because of it.

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The Corvair season in 2016 will wrap up with our 7th college in Barnwell: Outlook 2016, Corvair College #39, Barnwell SC, 11/11/16.  Like the three other colleges in 2016, this one will also be fully coordinated between all the people working on it.

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While we have had many good seasons in the past, I am personally looking forward to having a very good year in 2016, because the developments we have put in place will not only make things go much smoother for builders, but myself also. At my core, I am just another homebuilder, exactly like our builders, with the same thoughts, ideas, goals and dreams. Grace and I are very lucky to have many supporting people who make the Corvair movement much more than it could be just run by us.

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If you are reading this, and the operation sounds like it will serve your personal goals in homebuilding, I say welcome aboard, make the Corvair movement your home in Homebuilding.

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Thought for the Day: Feminism in Rural Florida

Builders

Since the topic of Feminism has been bantered about on the election circuit this week, I thought I might share a perspective from rural Florida. While celebrities and urban national media try to claim the right to define the word, perhaps some consideration should be given to women, many of whom live in rural settings, who see Feminism as self reliance.

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The internet is filled with fake photos of people without names, but this isn’t one of them. Above is my friend Suzanne, in a picture taken in our small rural town last year. For perspective, Suzanne is 5’3″, weighs well under 100 pounds. The gator is 10’6″ and weighs well over 500 pounds. Suzanne is a very independent, experienced hunter. She caught this gator on a snare, and finished it with single, well placed thrust of a 6″ sheath knife. She abhors waste, and the majority of the gator was prepared and preserved as food.

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Suzanne is very knowledgeable and accomplished in hunting fishing, and field craft. Unlike most people, her supermarket is the great outdoors, and she is particularly healthy, at attributes this as a major factor.  While the depth of her skills is respected, her values and choices not considered unusual in our small town.

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Suzanne is a regular neighbor here; She works at the auto parts store, she is a grandmother with accomplished kids, she has a number of friends who would all attest to her being kind and thoughtful. If you asked them to define her with one word, I am pretty sure almost all of them would choose “Independent.”  She often hunts alone, the company of others being a choice, not a requirement.  At the very core is Suzanne’s self reliant nature, she doesn’t rely on any man for support nor protection. She doesn’t need to, she can count on herself. In my view, this is what makes her a real feminist, and frankly, American.

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While that is a pretty simple definition, it is far more inclusive than litmus testing women by requiring they always vote their gender and have a subscription to Cosmopolitan.  But what do I know, I live in rural Florida.

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Your Aviation Connection: Behind all my work on learning, building and flying, what I am really seeking is the independence and freedom that comes with self reliance. This is intrinsic to homebuilding, and combined with the expression of craftsmanship, is the essential core of Homebuilding.

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About a week ago, a woman I know who lives in an urban location and perhaps mindset, shared a post on Face Book that was purported to be a set of instructions for women, to avoid being sexually assaulted or raped. These included cutting one’s hair short, always being in the company of men after dark, etc. As I read these I thought merely following them, altering ones appearance, demeanor and mindset, was already being the victim. The predators got to dictate behavior of the women. Living in fear isn’t winning.

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I am no expert on martial arts, my limited pugilistic understanding solely derived from teenage years spent in a high School where fist fights were very common.  I will plainly state that people who tell women a few hours of training will allow them to thwart a determined attacker with 2 or 3 times their body weight are selling a sick fantasy.  Many people may be uncomfortable with this, but the only reliable way a 100 pound person defends themselves against a violent 250 pound assailant is with a handgun. I am not suggesting that anyone must own one, I am only commenting on the low odds of small or older people defending themselves in hand to hand fighting.

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I understand statistics well, and there is little case to say that suburban and rural men will ever need to defend themselves. Sadly, when one factors in sexual assaults, the most under reported violent crime, the same can not be said for women. Looking at how some sports celebrities have been given a pass,  and how we tolerate having the same person who waved his finger and said “I didn’t have sex with that woman” now on a national stage as the arbiter of what disrespecting women is, unfortunately tells me that the issue will not be taken seriously any time soon.

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In such a reality, the individual should retain the human right to refuse to be physically victimized, by whatever means necessary.  It is not my right to question anyone who chooses to seek their protection from a husband, a police officer or a judge.  It is just my observation that my friend Suzanne is a free spirit, and I believe that much of this is derived from the inner knowledge that ultimately she can count on her own skills and judgment, and she will not have to beg the indifferent for protection nor beg the evil for mercy.

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Outlook 2016 – New Email address for Corvair Communications

Builders:

Although I will still have the same traditional email, I am making a concererted effort to move all of my work with Corvairs to a new email address, which is integrated with our new products page /web store  and our new ‘Communications Network’, which I will describe in a longer story next.

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New address:

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Support@flyCorvair.com

 

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Blast from the past: Oshkosh 2013.  6’5″ Pietenpol builder Mark Chouinard and myself, in the booth on Sunday setting up. If you look closely, you can see the face of a tiny white dog hiding in the trailer.  Mark finished and ran his Corvair at CC #32 in Texas last year, his plane is closing in on completion.

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Thought for the Day: “12 O’clock High”

Builders:

I had not seen the film in 30 years. In the middle of the night, fighting a round of insomnia, I stumbled over the beginning and watched it start to finish. It was much more powerful film than I had remembered. It dealt with a lot of uncomfortable topics for a film made just 4 years after the war ended.

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Dean Jagger and Gregory Peck. The film contains a particularly disturbing scene where Jagger is drunk and he says he can no longer remember the faces of all the men from the squadron who have perished, and to him they have all blurred to just one face and “it looks very young”. Jagger won the academy award for his performance. The film was well reviewed, Including by Curtiss LeMay, then head of SAC. LeMay said that he “couldn’t find much wrong with it.”, for him, it was a rave review.

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If you have not seen it, it has little flying in it, it is instead focused on the human element and cost of flying daylight bombing missions into Germany. It isn’t ‘nice’ nor uplifting like John Wayne movies. It is a harsh look at the brutality of command, navigators pressured to suicide, cowardice, fear, ptsd and many other unpleasant aspects of the work done by the 8th Air Force.  People who like simplistic flying movies with lots of CGI action and uplifting moral messages, and story lines that have enough survivors to allow a sequel or franchise opportunity, 12 o’clock High will disappoint. If you like thinking films, make sure you see it.

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When watching, I kept thinking about the B-17s and other war birds that come to Oshkosh and do the flyby’s and pyro shows for the general public, and how this is billed as a ‘tribute’ to WWII aviators. Yes it is nice to see the hardware, but I suspect that the men who actually fought in those planes might rather have everyone watch this film to better understand the human costs of flying these planes on their intended missions, it might be a far better tribute to those men, to invest 2 hours to see something of how emotionally cruel the actual missions were, something the war bird show at Airventure does nothing to capture.

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Storing a completed engine

Builders,

Some of the most frequently asked  questions are about storing a completed engines. The following notes cover these topics.

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The last engine run at Corvair College #21 at Barnwell SC belonged to Robert Caldwell who came all the way from Texas with his lovely wife Barbara. This engine’s long block was completed more than 10 years earlier at CC#2. It started and ran perfectly. It was a nice moment, it was also Roberts birthday.

Read more here: http://www.flycorvair.com/cc21.html

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How long can an engine sit after it was assembled without being damaged? Indefinitely, as long as it is protected from moisture and corrosion. Look at the engine above, proof that your Corvair is great, but it isn’t capable of understanding calendar time. If it is stored properly, it would have no issue waiting 50 years to be started.

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If we do a break in run on my engine at a college, do we have to treat it with preservatives or something before it gets stored? No, this isn’t an issue. At Colleges, we run engines on unleaded fuel for a very specific reason: The byproducts of the combustion of Avgas are corrosive in the presence of moisture. If you run an engine on 100LL and then store it in a less than dry atmosphere, it will attack the combustion chambers and seats. Unleaded auto fuel does not do this. During the break in run we keep the oil temp way above the boiling point of water, and it boils out the entrained water, and coats the inside with oil. If it gets sealed up as it is cooling off, the engine is set to be stored, as is. I do not drain the oil. If I cut open the filter, I replace it with another, or seal it with a small plastic bag.

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What about ‘Fogging’ the engine like people do with outboards in the fall? Not required. Because many outboards have open exhausts in the lower end that lead right to the cylinder bores, fogging is a good idea, but you are not going to keep your Corvair outside like most boats are kept over the winter. Outboards face condensation issues even if you wrap them with tarps. I have fogged Corvairs in the past, but I do have some question about the compatibility of our rings with fogging, and since there isn’t a need for it, we don’t do it.

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What about dehydrator plugs? You don’t need them. They are a good idea on aircraft engines which are still stored on the airframe, but you are not doing this, you are putting your masterpiece indoors.

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What is the right way to store it? First, put four ‘feet’ on it, these are made from four 1/2″ x 4″ carriage bolts and eight 1/2″x13 coarse thread nuts. You put these through the four mounting points in the bottom of the case, and they prevent the weight of the engine from sitting on the pan. Then tape off the six exhaust ports, the two intake tubes, and the two breather ports. Seal up all the oil ports and the filter area. Put the entire motor in a very thick (8mill) Clear plastic bag.

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Catch why the bag has to be clear: Just before you close the bag, you put in a 4″x 4″ piece of mild steel sheet, completely stripped of all finish, either sand blasted or wire wheeled clean and bare. You put this on top of the engine, in the bag, where you can see it at a glance walking by. This way, six months later, if you notice that the plate has rust forming on it, you know you need to reseal the bag, move the engine or both. If the bag is a dark color, you will not be able to see it until it is too late. Even though this makes a lot of sense, I have done it this way since before the first Gulf War, many people will just wrap it up in a blue tarp and put it in the pool shed, because their better half didn’t like the idea of putting it under the glass coffee table top in the living room.

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On the day that was going to be the glorious moment where the pristine test run masterpiece was to be unveiled and mounted on the equally magnificent airframe of craftsmanship, and Horrors! some evil-doer has taken your tribute Tonawanda and replaced it with a rusty, corroded artifact from Robert Ballard’s warehouse! Don’t let this happen to you. Store your masterpiece properly.

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