Running 3,000 cc Corvair for 750 – Ed Wang

Builders:

Below is a short story about the last engine to run at CC #37, a top notch 3,000 cc Corvair, built from FlyCorvair and SPA/Panther parts.  I am going to write a longer story about this later, but I just wanted to share the video we shot of it today.  Would you like an example of how dramatically improved delivery times are in 2016?  Ed bought his core engine just 7 weeks ago, and it ran today, completely rebuilt and converted for flight, 49 days later.  While previous part suppliers thought it was acceptable to make builders wait a year or more for a 5th bearing or set of heads, Dan and Rachel Weseman were determined to make a dramatic change in the market and make Corvair parts much more accessible to builders. Ed’s rapid timeline is evidence of their success, and their support and distribution of our products allows me to be out here on the west coast, on an extended tour directly working with builders like Ed to advance their goals in homebuilding.

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Code Monkey meets Grease Monkey:  Ed is a very sharp, accomplished 30 year old from California. He holds a masters in Computer Science, and has a strong mechanical background ranging from the shooting sports to putting a LS-1 in his Nissan 240.  Two years ago, he set his sights on aviation, and became a private pilot comfortable in the LA basin’s dense airspace, and got started on building a Zenith 750 cruiser. Although he could budget any of the available power plant options for his Zenith, including those costing several times the Corvair, Ed selected the Corvair specifically because it offered the greatest learning opportunity.

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Although his career operates with far more advanced skills, Ed mentioned being proud of the fact that he still possessed a mastery of the most fundamental skill set of the Computer Science world, being a “Code Monkey.”  There is a parallel in my craft; although I do a number of different things in aviation, they are all underpinned by my pride in mastering a skill set called “Grease Monkey.”

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While we live in a world where it is ever more common for those in management to not be able to perform the craft of those they are said to manage, there will always be a kind of person who prides themselves in knowing they can do all the tasks that make up the organization they run.  For some of us, at work, this means being a capable Code Monkey or Grease Monkey. When it comes to our hours in  homebuilding, the same type of person wants to posses the all the skills that go into building the plane, not just some of them. At it’s very core, this means not only knowing your airframe, but really knowing its power plant also, and this only comes from personally building it yourself. Possessing the fundamental “grease Monkey” skills to build your own engine sets you far apart from others who don’t have the same “need to know” in aviation.

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A video of the engine run. Note the obvious pride in the moment of accomplishment:

https://youtu.be/iWOiaJx18sA

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A few seconds of a Corvair with a 60″ prop at 2,600 rpm, pulling a pickup truck:

https://youtu.be/u0AmGPWQpFY

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-ww.

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