Eric Overton, aka: “Air Marshall Bidet”

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Above, Eric Overton at Corvair College #36 in Texas, stands with his 95% complete 2,775 cc Corvair. The engine is destined to power Eric’s Neuport 12,  a two seat WWI replica.  I am not sure how the nickname started, but Eric is self-confident enough that he actually likes and uses it.  We kid around that when his plane is done we are going to get him in a French officer’s uniform in front of it,  photo shop it in Sepia tone to make it look 100 years old, an label it  “Air Marshall Bidet and his personal Neuport”

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There is a serious side to all this: Eric has beaten Cancer three times in his adult life, fought the last battle just this year. We are not speaking of minor conflicts, we are speaking of the kind where your doctor tells you to get your affairs in order. What kind of guy keeps chipping away at a long term aircraft project when he is being advised that buying green bananas is too optimistic? A guy who is determined not to lose.

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Eric has been to every College we have held in Texas. He is an interesting cat with a lot of life experience. He is a Dartmouth graduate electrical engineer who works on rapidly developed electronic devices for industry.  He brought some of this stuff to #22, the first Texas college. Everyone expected that a guy with that background would drive something like a Tesla Motors car. Instead he drove in with his early 1960’s Ford Falcon.  Eric explained that America is addicted to high tech electronics, and his career is supplying the cutting edge of that need.  Then he added “like any successful drug dealer, I don’t use the product I push.”

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Think you have to have something in common with me to get along?  Guess again. I am a grease monkey, and Eric is a comparative rocket scientist. In five years, this is what I have found that Eric and I have in common: We like planes. Evidently that is enough, because we get along great.

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Think you may be too different to fit in with people at Corvair Colleges?  Maybe your friends have an even weirder nick name for you than “Air Marshall Bidet”? I didn’t think so. We have enough characters that you will be in little danger of sticking out.

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Think you will always have ‘next year’ to advance your dreams?  Maybe, but Eric could probably make a strong argument for not putting life off.  He would also tell you that succumbing to the negative little voice that says you can’t, you shouldn’t and dreams like that are not for guys like you is giving up, and there is nothing to be achieved by giving up, even when the odds are very long.

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-ww.

 

 

About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

6 Responses to Eric Overton, aka: “Air Marshall Bidet”

  1. Jimmy Mathis says:

    Well said

  2. Guy B says:

    I remember first meeting Eric at CC22. He is one those guys I look forward to seeing at the event. We installed out 5th Bearings side by side and he has been a great help to me as well. He is a shining example of the variety of people you meet at these events. A brilliant man with a great sense of humor with an excellent personality. I have never had an “issue” with the guys & gals at the colleges…because of the commonality of our goals. Your “no politics, no religion” rule goes a long way to allow the greatest diversity of builders to be served and the peace and comfort maintained (when you are freezing your ass off it not a good time to be pissed at someone). A true “Big Tent” mentality. When aren’t talking about airplanes or engines…it gives you more conversation time to find out who everyone is…not just what they believe.

  3. M.Lee Wachs says:

    Please forgive my using this to ask a question but i can’t seem to figure out how to post a question or bring up a new subject i am an 82yr old Troglodyte so please email me maishathelion@gmail.com with the how 2s for dummies.Thank you.while here ;are dual plugs unnecessary overkill on the Corvair and do i understand correctly that there is a custom crankshaft available?Thanks for your kindness to dumb animals

  4. David Swann says:

    Hey William, if i order a Bearhawk LSA engine mount can you get Travis to weld it?

  5. David Swann says:

    Im only joking I wish I could weld as good as you.

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