Corvair College #39 at Barnwell postponed. 

Builders:

We unfortunately have to postpone College #39 at Barnwell SC which was scheduled for November.  We have previously had 7 outstanding Colleges at Barnwell, and P.F. Beck and crew have set the gold standard for hosting Colleges. However, Barnwell is a county airport, and it’s operation is overseen by a local board. January 1, 2017 sees the arrival of a revised board which again welcomes our event. We looked at many dates, eliminating all the January and February dates because of the prevailing temperature We have selected March 10-12th, 2017 as the revised date for Corvair College #39. All other things about the event, the location, quality, facility and traditional welcome, will all remain the same.

The choice to reschedule did not come lightly. All of us understand the level of prep work that builders have put in, and the time off from work and travel plans, etc. If there was some way to avoid this, or any other area location that could provide the same quality experience, we would have gladly taken that option over a postponement. After looking at all possible options, postponing the College was the only viable choice.

I have spent many hours in discussion with Dan Weseman to provide options for builders who’s projects would be delayed by the postponement, or people who can not adjust their scheduled travel. We are very serious about trying to accommodate every individual who doesn’t have the option of attending the rescheduled event. While Barnwell has been and will remain the “flagship” Corvair College, and most people will opt to simply transfer their registration to the new date, Dan and I have spoken  about running a Finishing School at the SPA/Panther facility in Green Cove Springs FL on the same date that CC#39 was originally scheduled for. We are 250 miles south of Barnwell, and this event would not be a full scale regular college, but it will be an option for builders put in a bind by the rescheduled date.

After looking at your personal calendar, I need everyone who is signed up for CC#39 to choose one of the following options this week:

1) Select to attend Corvair College #39 at Barnwell on the rescheduled date in March 2017. Your registration costs will be directly applied, and you will be signed up for the new date, there will be no additional costs.

2) Select a refund for your registration costs. This will be sent back to you in full. Although we don’t control the factor causing the postponement, I am more than willing to refund any builders sign up cost, it is just part of treating people as fairly as possible. Keep in mind that we have about 70 people already signed up for #39, and the physical limit of Barnwell is 90 builders. If you opt for a refund, I will gladly provide it, but I am going to announce the revised dates on my website shortly, and if we refund your sign up fee and later fill the college to capacity of 90, I will not be able to fit anyone else in at the revised dates.

I understand this is short notice, but I really need everyone signed up for #39 to respond to with their choice by September 3rd. To make your choice, please click on this link and make your selection.  https://corviarcollegeregistration.wufoo.com/forms/cc39-updates/

If you think that your choice hinges on the ability to attend the Florida Finishing School on the original date, please contact Dan, Rachel and I at this address:  https://flywithspa.com/contact-us/   We will give you a quick answer on space available and if the phase of your engine build is better served by a full College or a Finishing School. Keep in mind that you can select to stay signed up for college #39 at the revised date, and potentially still attend the Finishing School.

Again, my humble apologies for the problems this change in schedule will cause. While I can not change the situation, I am very willing to try to accommodate builders needs. Thanks in advance for your understanding on this. We don’t control everything in life, but we do control how we react to it, and I am most appreciative of everyone’s positive attitude about this situation.

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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.

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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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Thank you, William Wynne.

http://flycorvair.com/ – https://flycorvair.net/

  

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Amphibian story

Builders:

Below is a flying story I wrote a long time ago. It has no technical information. If your time is valuable, don’t read it, I will not be able to refund your 15 minutes. It is a “fictional” companion piece to The Hypocrisy of Homebuilders. I have the quotes on the word fictional, because only the settings and the central character are imagined. Every other element, the people, the issues, the experiences, are all thinly veiled reality. I wrote it so builders, as individuals, might better imagine what future rewards lie ahead when the project in their shop transitions to the flying machine they spent several years planning, building and imagining it would be.

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 -ww.

 

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Above, sunset on Montserrat, British West Indies. 

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Lets us imagine a homebuilder in Florida, a man who put years of work into designing his own plane, a homebuilt amphibian. It took years more to build it, and because he liked the challenge, he powered it with an alternative engine. He got a seaplane rating, and carefully expanded his experience envelope getting to known his creation. In the year following the first flight, he accumulated 220 hours flying it around the state in all kinds of conditions, and he further refined his creation with improvements that reflected this experience.

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With the confidence in a proven creation and his mastery of it, he broke out a map of the Caribbean and carefully began planning a trip 1,400 miles south east to the island of Martinique, a place he had never been. Because he prepared, and would bide his time on weather, trip  promised to be a beautiful adventure. Along the way there would be stops in the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos, The Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Dominica and finally Martinique.

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While the flying would fill his mind with images of astounding beauty, His most vivid memories would remain all the people he met along the way. Even though most of them knew nothing about planes, they were all attracted to the person they intrinsically understood to be engaged in the adventure of a lifetime. This attraction became stronger when they discovered that this man had actually built this aircraft.  Invariably this delayed his departure as new friends took him to dinner or brought him to their homes. They looked at the images of his flight, and they were all impressed that he had made the engine also, and it had come from a model of car that some of them had once owned. Nearly every single person would ask for his email address, ask him to stay with them on the way back.

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Eating lunch in Brades on Montserrat,  a woman sat down beside him and asked if he was the person who arrived in the small plane the day before. She was 45 or 50, very tan, a geologist. She had a European accent he could not place.  In the afternoon  she showed him around the island, including the remains of the AIR recording studio. As the sun sank low in the sky, she asked him to take her for a flight. They went around the whole island, alternatively skimming the water and climbing to 1,000′.  They spent some time in a slow orbit at looking at the ruins left by the volcano. They landed back at Little Bay just after sunset. As they walked up the street to a restaurant, she reached over and took his hand.

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He awakened in his little bungalow at first light, and found himself alone; for a moment his thoughts were not clear, it all seemed to have been a very pleasant dream. He looked to the window, the sky had it’s first hint of blue. On the nightstand was a tiny note. In very elegant script it had her name and email, and the single sentence “Think of me as often as you like, but only write if you are coming back.”
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When he made it all the way to L’anse Macabou, on the south eastern tip of Martinique,  he sat in a tiki bar on the beach at sunset, lost in thought.  His bartender, and older man named Henri,  and asked if he was ok. It was a slow night, and Henri had the time to listen as the builder explained he was really moved by all the people he had met on his journey, and that it had been a great many years since he had known such warmth and kindness. Henri smiled and softly said “Bienvenue à la maison” It has been 35 years since the builder’s last French class, but he still understood Welcome Home.

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Upon his return, a friend convinced him to write a short piece about the adventure for an aviation magazine, and include a dozen of his of photos. The builder was reluctant, because he is something of a private person. He never did much on line, kept no builders log, his plane was one of a kind so these was no builders group to join, nor did he have a Facebook page. His friend reminded him of how much he was inspired by old magazine stories. Even though he had never met  any of the builders in the old black and white magazines he had poured through, he felt he knew something about each of them, and this was the connection that set him to sharing the story.

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His plane was made of wood and fabric, built with old techniques. Most of the magazine articles he had used for inspiration were from the late 1950’s and early 60s. In the photos, the builders wore collared shirts in their shops and hats outside. These details are a subtle reminder that five decades have past since the men were photographed, and they and their planes are likely just memories now. He ignored this and looked at the planes and studied  the smiles on their faces. He was the same age as they were then. They are his secret sharers: they know what others can’t; why he spent those years in the shop, how he felt on the hour it first flew. While the people on his Caribbean trip had been attracted to the exercise of freedom and idea of adventure, It seemed that only another homebuilder could really understand what burned inside him, that made him need to create and fly his plane.

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When the article is printed a few months later, his friend brought over a copy. He didn’t have his own because he never kept subscriptions to current aviation magazines. They looked at it together and agreed it was good, they even compared it to the old magazines. His friend mentioned the words “paying it forward.” They spent the evening sitting in the old chairs in his workshop, had some beers and just talked.  The friend imagined  a great number of builders reading the story and being inspired by it. Even after a few beers the builder didn’t like the thought of himself as being ‘inspirational’ to anyone, he couldn’t think of himself that way.

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 After a day or two of looking at the color pictures and the opposing pages with ads for glass cockpit stuff, Our builder did something that made him more comfortable: He put the magazine in the copier, and made a black and white copy of his story, and trimmed off the advertisements. He liked it more that way, and he put it on the wall of his little workshop with a thumb tack. It now looked timeless, just like the old stories he was inspired by.

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The invitation to Oshkosh came by phone call.  A very nice gentleman said that the magazine article generated a lot of talk on line, and if the builder was thinking of flying to Oshkosh, they would arrange a forum time for him.  He had already been once before, but it was almost 20 years ago. He thought about going again many times, but had always put it off because he wanted to go in the plane of his own design. He was a little reluctant to agree to public speaking, but the gentleman said it would likely be “A dozen or two guys just like you.” With this, he got out the maps and started planning the flight, about 1,400 miles, same distance but on the reciprocal heading as Martinique.

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The  six stops on airports on the trip were a reminder of how long it had been since he had been on a domestic cross country. All the restricted airspace didn’t bother him much, but friendly airports he visited 25 years before now all looked like prisons, with razor ribbon topped fences with cameras and gates with electronic locks. The people there seemed indifferent to being on an airport. At one airport the only person he spoke with was a person saying he was parked in the wrong spot.  In Tennessee the airport manager came out in a golf cart and told him “We don’t allow Ultralights here.”  The builder simply pointed to the foot tall N-numbers, required for his international flight, the manager just made a puzzled look and drove off.  None of this really bothered the builder. He had been around aviation a long time, and he knew that not everyone was passionate about it or overly friendly. Light aviation had always been segmented, and few people at airports knew much about homebuilts. It was fine, he was headed to the mecca of homebuilding, and soon he would be among his people.

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He arrived at Airventure the afternoon before his forum. The people at homebuilt headquarters were busy, but couldn’t have been nicer. He was unprepared for how many people were there. Oshkosh had grown a lot in two decades. While many of the people had to be homebuilders, most of them seemed like airshow spectators or people from other branches of aviation. He put a prop card with all the information on his plane. He sat in the shade under the wing and watched the people who walked down the row of planes.

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In the two hours before the airshow, at least 20 people came by and made a negative comment about his creation. This ranged from “What the heck is this?” to “They made a lot of these kits but they were no good.” These people never stopped to think the guy sitting right there might be the builder. People who recognized him as the owner, said things like “Hey, what brand is this” and “Does it come in any good looking colors?” and “What does it cost” and the ever popular “How fast does it go?” When this was asked, he politely pointed to the prop card which said “Cruise 90 mph at 5 gph at SL”.  The most common reply was “Why is it so slow?”  Some of these people were pilots, and mostly EAA members, but maybe not homebuilders. When he pointed out to one of them that this was the same plane in last months magazine which had flown the Caribbean, the guy actually asked “Are you sure it’s the same plane?”

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In the late afternoon, a man came by and asked a few questions. His name tag identified him as the president of an EAA chapter. His questions were a little more thoughtful. The builder noticed the man was wearing a Cherokee shirt. The builder mentioned that he had also owned a Cherokee, but found the amphibian more fun for himself now. The man said “Maybe, but I would never build or even fly in an experimental, they are dangerous.” The builder wondered why, if the man felt that way, he would be a chapter president, but he was not going to ask. He was never confrontational, and it had been a long day.

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  One of the last visitors for the afternoon was a man from Germany. Before he said anything, he read the prop card closely, and then walked over to the builder, introduced himself, and offered his hand. He complimented the builder’s design, and said he had really liked the magazine article, read it many times. He asked a question about how the vertical CG affected the location of the hull step, and the builder said he calculated it from Thurston’s book.  The visitor thanked him and shook his hand before moving on.  It was a nice note to end the day on, as the visitor walked away, the builder put the canopy cover on.

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His forum was at 8:30 am. He was surprised to see 40 or 50 people there. He thought these must be the real homebuilders. He introduced himself. Speaking into a microphone made him feel awkward, he had never like the sound of his own voice. He spoke for a few minutes, gave an outline of the specifications of the plane, how long it had taken to build, etc. He had planned on saying something about how the plane made him feel, how at sunset it was easy to loose track of time and place, and how small he felt on the overwater legs, but strangely not out of place nor in any danger. He had felt these things, but was never any good at putting them in words, and something told him that today wasn’t the day to try.

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The first question came from a guy who asked if he was selling plans, and the builders said he didn’t draw any, and didn’t plan to, but invited they guy to take any dimension off the plane he liked. The guy wasn’t really listening and he said he was “Going to wait for CAD drawings because they make the best plane.”  The builder thought people would chuckle when he said ” I made an OK plane, and there were no plans at all”  but no one got this.  The next guy asked “Why did you choose such a thick draggy airfoil?” The builder tried to explain that it didn’t have a lot of drag because it didn’t have much camber, and it had almost no pitching moment, but the guy who asked the question sat with his arms tightly folded. The man next to him offered “That is a “Killer” airfoil.” The builder politely asked “Who said so? My plane has docile stall behavior.” The man shot back “Ribblet knows a lot more about airfoils than you do.”

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The next person asked “Why didn’t you choose a better engine?” The builder said he thought he had an acceptable engine, because he didn’t have any issues with it. The guy who asked the question said “Well it isn’t as good as a Mazda engine.” The next guy asked what reduction ratio it used, and when the builder said it was direct drive the man said rolled his eyes and said “Oh brother. “ The next guy said the plane would be “20% faster and 30% more fuel efficient if it had electronic fuel injection.”  The builder patiently explained that the fuel system was a single, well baffled, 46 gallon tank that gravity fed the carb, and considering the mission, the simplicity seemed better than any theoretical advantage. The man who asked the question fumbled through the airshow program and didn’t appear to listen to the builders answer.

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Near the end of the forum, a guy asked what the prismatic coefficient of the hull was. The builder said he didn’t know. The guy with the question said that after the magazine article, a discussion group on homebuiltaircraft.com had a long thread on “How poor your hull design was.” The builder let the guy go on for 3 or 4 minutes, including all of the ‘fixes’ that could be done. When the guy stopped, the builder explained that the hull was an exact copy of a Wipline 3450 float, done in wood.  The guy who made the comments had a puzzled look on his face, having never heard ‘Wipline’ before. He has a momentary pause, realizing he had previously made 12 negative comments on line about the builders hull.

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 Clearly, there were normal, socially adjusted people in the forum, but the builder noticed that when the fringe people wanted to pontificate, the regular builders had nothing to say. In time, it devolved to the ‘homebuilders’ in the forum, disagreeing with each other, almost ignoring the builder. At the end of the time, he asked for a show of hands on how many people had flown behind an alternative engine, and not a single person held up his hand. Next he asked how many people had a sea plane rating, and again, not one single hand. He asked how many people hand finished a homebuilt, and 3 people held up their hands. None of these three had asked a question. He looked at the clock and said “Thanks for coming” even though he didn’t feel it.  When leaving, he overheard the two airfoil guys say to each other “That guy is really defensive – I’ll bet he knows his plane isn’t any good.”  The guy who said the hull was a bad design was speaking into his cell phone, and made the comment “The guy is just a  dumb mechanic, didn’t even know what a prismatic coefficient was, he tried to change the subject to the ‘water line’ on the floats.”

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The builder was in no hurry to get back to his plane and meet more spectators with ‘comments’. He wandered past other larger forms, and spent some time listening to the speakers and the questions they received. He noticed a funny thing: Some of the same people from his forum sat in larger forums from commercial companies, and said nothing critical. In general, the more lavish the product, or the greater the ‘celebrity’ of the name associated with it, the more likely it was to be hailed without question.  This wasn’t just at the forums, but was also at the commercial displays. He stood and watched a presentation where the salesman told a group of media people the prototype on display flew great, and had excellent performance. Yet the lack of an n-number, a tail data tag, an airworthiness certificate in the cockpit nor any brake fluid in the clear lines said the plane had never flown, but the display was slick, the presenter was sure of himself, and no one questioned anything he said, there was a small line of people writing deposit checks for a ‘Delivery Position”.

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The builder walked back to his plane after listening to the departure briefing. Right next to his plane was a two seat tandem high wing plane. The designer, a friendly guy with a gray bead, was talking to the guy from Germany. The designer asked  the builder “So, how was your first forum?” and added “Don’t take those clowns seriously.” The builder said he was leaving. The designer suggested stopping at his place, in the hills south of Roanoke, gave him the coordinates.

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While the builder was packing the tie downs, a magazine guy from AOPA stopped by. He claimed to love homebuilts, but when he noticed that the builders plane said “alternative engine” on the prop card, the magazine guy asked if there were any others of this model “with a real engine.” The builder pointed out that he had 600 hours on his engine, so it seemed pretty real, but the guy from AOPA said, “You know what I mean, a good engine.” The builder said ” Please don’t photograph my plane.”  Offended, the writer turned to the designer of the high wing plane and said “Guys like that with car engines give homebuilts a bad name.” The designer just nodded. The joke was the high wing airplane had the same engine as the amphibian.

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The builder decided to hit marinas on the route home, opposed to airports. Because he had an amphibian, he departed to the east, crossed lake Winnebago at low altitude, and was shortly over lake Michigan. Eighteen years earlier, he took this same path in the Cherokee, but he had climbed to 9,000′. On this day he flew  across the lake at 75′. It is the reverse of most pilots, he is far safer flying over water. In a short while the Michigan coast showed up and he followed it down south. Much of the time he was lower than the dunes, but 1,000′ off the beach. He has a large muffler above the wing, and he wasn’t disturbing anyone. At 75 mph, the plane is burned about 3 gallons an hour.  He had 11 more hours range at that setting. With the stress of crowds and critics fading behind him, he didn’t feel any rush to be somewhere else.

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He turned a smooth arc around South Bend, and 25 miles later he over flew Lake Winona. The chart showed a sea plane base. He didn’t need to stop, but he thought about overflying it to check it out for later trips. Nearly as soon as he formed that thought, he realized that he probably wouldn’t be coming this way again.  He flew over at 500′ anyway. It was a weekday, but great weather had a lot of boats out on the lake. As he looked down at all the different types, Ski boats, pontoon boats, Kayaks, and sailboats, all out having their own fun, he wondered why in aviation pilots have to be so compulsively critical of the planes of others? In 30 years of boating in Florida, he couldn’t remember people spending a lot of time concerned about what other boaters chose to do.

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The GPS showed 369 miles to the little airport south of Roanoke. With the 15mph tailwind, he would be there with many hours of fuel and three hours of daylight to spare. The designer said no one would be there, but he was welcome to stay as long as he liked. “There are no locks on the house or hangar, the pickup keys are in the ignition.” It was a good reminder that he had met countless good, generous people in aviation.  To some people, it was a brotherhood like he wanted it to be, but they were a lot farther apart than hoped. He used to be more tolerant of negative people, but one day when he was watching an old film he heard the dialog “There are times you suddenly realize you are nearer the end than the beginning.” The actor was speaking about realizing your life was already mostly over. From there forward he was unwilling to throw away hours of his life by spending them around the compulsively negative.

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After tying his plane down and getting a look around, the builder decided to go find dinner in the small town he had seen when looking for the airstrip. The pickup was a late 60’s F-100, ‘three on the tree’. He liked the way the designer had just assumed everyone knew how to drive this kind of transmission.

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 At the restaurant, the waitress was very friendly, but he knew she was just passing time on a slow night. Away from his plane, his rumpled clothes and tan made him look just like any other guy who had been camping or on the road for a week.  The man at the cash register asked “Are you friends with Bob?” It caught him off guard, and the builder just looked blankly. The man followed with “You are driving his truck.” The builder was temped to tell him they had met at Oshkosh, but tried a disarming smile and simply said “Yes.” Walking out to the parking lot the builder felt funny that he knew a lot about the designers planes and work, but until standing at the register, he had not known the man’s first name. This wasn’t the first time this had happened. It wasn’t that he was particularly bad with names, it just some part of him wasn’t really listening during introductions, perhaps because the probability of getting to know someone new on a first name basis seemed pretty low at this age.

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 It was a really a very nice town, all old brick front two story buildings, gas stations with 1950s architecture, and a little park with a civil war obelisk with ‘Bivouac of the Dead’ inscribed on it .  Sitting in the park he imagined moving here, but a moment later remembered he didn’t have the accent, and he was too old to be ‘the new guy in town’ for a decade. He liked his town in Florida just fine, but it wasn’t his hometown either. Belonging was made of something else.

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It was the same old thought: the more comfortable you are in your own skin, the more independent, the less likely you are to feel at home or needed anywhere. It was the ultimate irony of the builders life: He had spent all his adult years carefully preserving his freedom, avoiding marriage, kids, lasting friendships and debt. He had honed his independence and self reliance, and had modest needs that allowed ‘retiring’ before he was 50. Theoretically, he was to have total freedom to wander and travel as he pleased, stay as long as he liked, meet new people without reservation. He had achieved this, but belatedly come to understand that people most often travel to people or places they are attached to, and most humans like being needed, and rarely feel comfortable with the rare person who really is totally independent. He could travel anywhere he liked, but spent vastly more time sitting at home wishing he had someone out there who was longing to see him. Years ago he had confirmed the past is better left in the photo albums and it isn’t out there to visit anymore.

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He checked the weather after driving back to the airstrip; it was going to be perfect for the next few days. Staring at the maps he had to fight the urge to see how many miles it was to directly return to Florida. He understood that everyone felt this way near the end of every long adventure, the feeling that it is done before you have made it all the way back. But he had to remember that most other people had family to return to, a sense of belonging that wasn’t to be found by rushing home. He went back to his original plan of flying the 250 miles to Kitty Hawk, and then exploring Pamlico sound for a day or two. He had not been there in 30 years, his amphibian was the perfect way to see it again. His quiet house in Florida, with it’s empty refrigerator, was indifferent about waiting a few more days for his return.

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He sat out on the front porch and watched the sun sink off the western end of the airstrip. The sky and the mountains were incredibly beautiful at that moment. He started to take a few pictures, but stopped himself after a few when he realized he couldn’t think of anyone he would show them to.  He sat there staring at end of the day, and he kept coming back to the voice saying “Suddenly you realize you’re nearer the end than the beginning.”  After a long hesitation, he did something that he had previously been able to resist doing. He took out his wallet and carefully extracted a little piece of paper that said “Think of me as often as you like, but……  

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Front Alternator Belt, Part #2904, new source.

Builders:

In our conversion manual, (http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/conversion-manual/) , The front alternator group is #2900, and the belt itself is Part #2904.  In the manual we specified a Continental AVX10-710 belt. A number of people have asded about another source, as Conti, now lists their number as obsolete, and people had a hard time at their local auto parts store getting an interchange.

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The issue is that most countermen don’t know enough about the parts they sell. Conti is a German company, and the “10” in their part number is 10mm wide, and in the US that is a 25/64″ width belt. “710” is the pitch length in mm’s, which is pretty close to 28″. The belt pictured below, available from any NAPA store, is a valid interchange. Please write this note in your conversion manual.

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Above the correct replacement belt.  This has been verified to work on a Gold hub, with a Front Alternator bracket set and a front alternator.

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-ww.

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Part #3901-A Zenith/Bearhawk Stainless Exhausts, now on shelf.

Builders:

Out of the many different models we offer, our best selling exhaust system is #3901-A, the model that fits all Zenith 601/650/750 aircraft, and also coincidentally fits the Bearhawk LSA. Because of it’s quality and popularity, it has usually on backorder for all 13 years we have offered it. The average delivery time has run something like 90 days. However, as another sign of the progress of 2016, we have made a very large batch of #3901-A’s, enough to cover all the existing orders and put about 10 more sets on the shelf.

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Above, a picture of a bin with 8 sets of exhausts in it waiting final inspection. The picture was taken in the SPA/Panther shop. Over the years I have personally welded several hundred stainless steel exhaust systems for Corvair powered planes. Welding stainless is a skill that most welders never develop to a standard required by aircraft exhaust systems. They rarely understand the requirement for continuous internal purging of the weld, nor do most “local experts” understand the benefits of low hydrogen filler rods and pulsed welding.  Fortunately for me, when my plate is full, I can have Travis, the head of welding at SPA/Panther weld many of the parts in our catalog. He is professionally trained by one of the nation’s oldest welding schools, he now has a number of years of experience, his uncorrected vision is perfect, and his concentration and focus are phenomenal. This most current batch of 3901-A’s are Travis’s craftsmanship. I inspected them closely, and I have to admit that the workmanship is as good as mine ever was.

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If you would like to learn more about #3901-A exhausts, follow this link: http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/3901-a-zenith-exhaust/. If you know that you will need one of these systems for your aircraft, and you would like to avoid any type of future delay, you may consider ordering one soon.

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-ww.

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New Front Spinner Bulkhead 

Builders:

For the last 15 years we have made a part called the “Front Spinner Bulkhead”. In our conversion manual numbering system it is Group #4000, Part #4002.  It is just for Corvairs using Warp Drive Props and the Van’s 13″ spinner. The part has traditionally had a molded fiberglass bulkhead with an aluminum crush plate. Below are pictures of the latest version, it has been modified to be 100% Aluminum. All of the existing backorders on this part have been filled with this new design.

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Above, a look at the part from the engine side. This is the 3/8″ thick crushplate required by Warp Drive Props. It is a precision CNC part.

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Above the spinner side of the part.  The six large holes allow getting a socket on the prop mounting bolts. The spun aluminum part starts out life as a Van’s aircraft part, but it has been fed through the CNC router at SPA/Panther to produce the correct SAE#1 bolt pattern and enlarge the holes for clearance. The complete assembly is put into a lathe, and checked for trueness. These Aluminum assemblies are slightly lighter and more true than previous Aluminum/fiberglass models. The sticker on the part shows that it has passed the final assembly check.

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This improved part is another example of how builders have benefited from my collaborative work with the Wesemans. 2016 has been a year of progress on the manufacturing and distribution of a number of products, all of which adds up to builders having a better opportunity to Learn Build and fly.

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To learn more about the part, follow this link: http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/4002-front-spinner-bulk-head/

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-ww.

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Corvair Case sale, 36 available, $100 each.

Builders:

Below is a picture of 36 Corvair Cases I pulled out of my hangar over the weekend.  I gathered these is the last three years without even trying, just picking them up by running an occasional ad on the Jacksonville Florida Craigslist. I have moved these to the Shop of Dan and Rachel Weseman, where they will be available for sale to supply our builders with an option for getting in the game or making progress on their project.

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Above, thirty-six 1964-69 Corvair Cases pictured on the patio between our hangar and house. They have since been moved to the SPA/Panther factory.

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Here is the idea: The cases sitting in my hangar don’t support my mission of getting people building Corvair engines. They only do this when they are part of a builders active project. Since Dan and Rachel already process 8409 cranks and offer Billet cranks, and also supply the finest remanufactured Corvair flight heads, having the cases at their shop allows them to coordinate a number of different build options, and integrate these cases into their plans.

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Let’s look at a few build scenarios these cases might serve:

Picture a guy who wants to build a 3,000 cc Corvair (3,000 cc engines and parts going out the door.), but has not yet found a core; He could start with one of these cases, have the Wesemans prep the case and bore it, he can pay the core fee on a 8409 crank ( The Wesemans have a number of these on hand) and get things in the works so he can assemble his case at home or at a College.

Picture a builder who wants to get started on a 3.3 liter stroked Corvair (3.3 Liter Corvair, a Smooth Power House): he needs a case, but because all 3.3 engine have a new billet crank, he doesn’t need a crank nor does he have a core fee. Just having a case available gets him started with a 3.3 liter crank order and a group 1300/1400 piston-rod-cylinder kit.

Picture a builder who wants one of the Wesemans new “Engine in a box” Kits, (https://flywithspa.com/product/corvair-engine-box/)  these cores can support those engine kits.

Picture a builder who sends his case to the Wesemans for modification to a 3,000 0r 3.3 liter, (https://flywithspa.com/product/corvair-3-0l-case-machining-service/)  but it is found to have an issue that is uneconomical to repair. Such a builder can simply get one of these cases from the Weseman’s rather than go back out and look for another core.

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Keep in mind that for $100, the cases are not “mint”, they are serviceable. Most of them need at least some studs replaced. Good news is that the Weseman’s are experts at this. They can prep any of these cases to make sure it is ready to be the foundation of your Corvair Flight engine.

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There are many ways these cases can serve a wide variety of builders plans and needs. If you have questions about how one may serve your building needs, please contact the Wesemans : https://flywithspa.com/contact-us/

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-ww.

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Just in case the guy at your airport who has an opionion on everything but obviously knows nothing, has a comment about Corvair cases, let me share a little factual data: Both Continentals and Rotaxes are good engines that work, but they have astronomical prices on parts by comparison. Neither of them have a spotless record on case issues, and when they have one, it can cost an astronomical amount of money to solve. For example, ten years ago, Rotax 912’s an engine that is relentlessly fictionally  portrayed as always going 3,000 hours between overhauls, has a serious case issue, where a great number of them fretted the case to needing a replacement in less than 1,000 hours. The case on these engines is more than $5000. Read the thread below to understand that it was an issue that could be caused by issues as slight as excessive prop pitch or even unsynchronized Bing carbs. It was not usually covered by warranty. Rotaxes are fine engines, but they are not for people on a budget:

http://www.rotax-owner.com/en/rotax-forum/3-4-stroke-technical-questions/2271-rotax-912-uls-fretted-crankcase

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Lest any expert claim that Continentals are “inexpensive” Look at the two adds below, the used case on barnstormers is $1200, the one on Ebay is $2,000. These are not rip off prices, they just represent market values for a high demand, limited supply item:

TELEDYNE CONT’L O-200A CASE • $1,200 • OFFERED FOR SALE Excellent first run case for O-200A • Contact Stephen E. DunbarVIKINGOK, Owner – located Broken Arrow, OK USA • Telephone: 918-568-8880 . • Posted August 24, 2016 • Show all Ads posted by this AdvertiserRecommend This Ad to a FriendEmail AdvertiserSave to WatchlistReport This Ad

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TCM-Continental-O-200A-Crankcase-P-N-643250-W-Data-Plate-915-24-/141878151225?hash=item210898c839:g:IAYAAOSwQTVV8dkN&vxp=mtr

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The next time anyone wants to tell you about magic engines that have no issues or how inexpensive other engines are, please understand they are just speaking of unicorns: Unicorns vs Ponies.

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-ww.

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Zenith 25th open house, Mexico MO, Sept. 23-24.

Builders,

Zenith Aircraft is holding their 25th annual open house September 23 and 24th, in Mexico MO, to celebrate 25 years of kit production at that location. (the company’s origins date all the way back to the early 1970s in Canada.)  This is a landmark event in an industry noted for short lived businesses.  The event will be well attended by builders, but many industry people associated with Zenith will be on hand to celebrate and make a contribution to the success of the event.

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I have been working directly with Zenith and the Heintz family since Grace and I bought our 601XL kit in 2003. You can read the story at this link: 12 years of Zenith’s powered by FlyCorvair Conversions.  We are writing new chapters in this story all the time, such as this one: A tale of three Zenith builders. But for the 25th, We are planning on something new.

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At the open house, Dan Weseman and I will be on hand, and We are going to start to finish, assemble and test run a large bore Corvair on Friday the 23rd. We will demo run the engine on Saturday also.  We will be on hand for the whole event to answer any builder question and inspect builders core parts. While we have previously held four Corvair Colleges at The Zenith factory, this demonstration assembly is a different event, it is open to all interested builders, and unlike colleges it does not require signing up in advance. Want to learn a lot more about Corvairs? Just show up.

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To learn more about the Zenith open house, follow this link provided by the EAA: http://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/eaa-news-and-aviation-news/news/07-07-2016-zenith-aircrafts-25th-annual-open-hangar-days–flyin.

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Here is Zenith’s own page with a detailed description of the event, including directions and area information: http://www.zenith.aero/profiles/blogs/planning-open-hangar-day-25

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Above, Dan Weseman and I in 2012 at the test run of his 3,000 cc Panther engine. We have been friends for 15 years, neighbors for 10, and for the last year, He and Rachel’s company, SPA/Panther has marketed and distributed our line of Corvair products and components alongside with their own Corvair stuff. This collaborative effort serves builders as a one-stop resource for everything they will need in building and mastering the Corvair.

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Important points:

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Everyone interested in homebuilding is welcome; you do not need to be a Zenith builder to be welcome at their open house. The Heintz family has a 40 year history of supporting homebuilders of all kinds, not just their current builders.

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Dan and I will be demonstrating all of our assembly techniques; we welcome builders taking pictures, notes and video. While I will have plenty of Conversion manuals on hand, anyone seriously interested in getting the most out of following every detail of the build and test run should read the manual through in advance. If you don’t have one, you can order one here: http://shop.flycorvair.com/shop/ and it will be shipped out right away.

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We will have a limited selection of Corvair parts and installation components with us, but if there is something specific from either the Flycorvair or the SPA/Panther catalog you would like to pick up at the event, the only way to insure that we have it there is to order and pay for it in advance. The single most popular items to pick up at events are motor mounts, because you can save nearly $100 on shipping by doing so. If there is a specific item on your shopping list, contact Rachel Weseman at 904-626-7777, about making sure it is ordered and in the trailer before we leave Florida.

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We will be conducting “Parking lot Inspections” which means any part you have for your Corvair that you would like us to look at, bring it, and we will.  If you have a case, crank, heads or any other part that you would like inspected, bring them, and we will be glad to give them a look. This is also an opportunity to get in the game and save the shipping on sending these parts in for overhaul or modification. We will load them in the trailer and bring them back with us to Florida. This saves packing and shipping, and gets you started and ready for the coming Corvair Colleges.

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If you have never met Dan or myself in person, and you are still in the decision process of which engine will power your homebuilt, the Zenith Open House is an outstanding opportunity to come, look and make a much more informed decision. I have always said that Corvairs are not for everyone, but for the traditional learn build and fly homebuilders with the goal of mastering their engine, not just owning it, the Corvair is an excellent option. I welcome the chance to meet new potential builders in the relaxed setting where they can get a very good look at how much Dan Weseman and myself have to directly share with builders.  The very best relationship between a builder and his engine provider is one based on mutual respect. Come meet me in person and get a much better understanding of why I have been continuously working with homebuilders for 27 years.

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-ww.

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