“Coming on like a Hurricane”


As wind and rain picks up in front of hurricane Mathew, work goes on while we have power.  Yesterday this included final test run on the engine we assembled and ran for 40 minutes at the Zenith 25th open house.  This engine is a 3,000 cc 120hp engine featuring a Weseman billet made in the USA crank.  It was easy to completely build at the Open House because it was one of the Weseman’s “Engine in a Box” complete kits. If you are interested in purchasing this engine, you are too late, it is already sold, but Dan and Rachel have other “Engine in a Box”‘s  ready to go. Contact them at 904-626-7777 for more info.



Above, the engine on the run stand in front of my hangar. It was raining lightly, but it doesn’t bother a Corvair. During the second run in Florida, the piston ring break in was completed, the oil filter was changed and the first one was cut open and inspected, compression was evaluated and the timing was set with a light, and the adjustable oil pressure regulator setting was fine tuned.   It ran like a champ, and then I took it to the SPA/Panther factory for crating and shipping.



Above is a short clip of the engine running at 1,500 rpm or so.


Eariler at Zenith, Dan briefs observers on what we are going to do. The assembly had about 25 guys who followed every step, and about three times that many they checked in to see how it was done. When we took it outside to run it on Saturday, about 75 people stood there to watch the first fire up. In the hour before, they had heard a Continental 0-200, that was on a flying plane,  that was poorly tuned take two minutes of cranking and stuttering to run. Other engines put on a few less than stellar starts. Many of the 75 people, most of who thought that a brand new engine, made of parts that had not yet ‘met each other’,  would be difficult to start. I’m sure they thought is was full of it when I said it would start and come to power in 3 seconds. These people were slightly stunned when the motor started, instantly, as in less than one second. Much of this is the ignition system I build being vastly better than a magneto, but it is also knowing the engine, as we teach builders to make and operate it. It is a very different mentality that the person in another cockpit, relentlessly grinding on a starter hoping it will light off. Hope isn’t a mechanical strategy, understanding and performance is.



Above, 30 minutes into the test run at Zenith.



Above, after the show, the EAA’s Charlie Becker speaks with Dan Weseman as we packed up late night on Saturday night.  The Conversation was a bit about what had taken place, but much of it is always aimed at the next event, the future, and things that can be put in action. On this night, much of that revolved around the November 3-5th Aviation Showcase in Deland Florida. Dan and I got up at 6am Sunday morning and drove the 1,100 miles back to Jacksonville.



If you are of a certain age, you will recognize the title of the post as lyrics from the opening song on the seminal 1980 AC/DC album “Back in Black“. Although the band is from Australia, the album was recorded in the Bahamas, where the production was besieged by tropical storms, which created the tone for the song “Hells Bells.”


In the summer of 1980, I was 17 years old and living in New Jersey. Although we were less than 15 miles from Manhattan, the world wide center of fashion, we all thought there was nothing more stupid than people who were slaves to caring about what others thought of their appearance. We were the total opposite, individuals expressing ourselves, which we chose to do by each and every one of us having long hair,  dressing in black tee shirts, Levis 512’s and Timberland boots, while all driving Chevys with cassette decks that all had a copy of “Back in Black” permanently stuck in them. We honestly were oblivious to the idea this was also conformity, but the music endures better than 1980s NYC fashion.



For my purist builders down under, know that I am actually a bigger fan of Bon Scott, the 1974-79 AC/DC singer. Someone pointed out that is Scott had lived past 1980, he would be the same age as Trump and Clinton today. Without the slightest hesitation, I will say that Bon Scott’s singing on “Highway to Hell” was a greater contribution to the betterment of humanity that anything Donald or Hilary will ever accomplish:

Bon Scott, Paris 1979 ;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_KzeQ639b0

It is one of the few elements of teenage years I hold any nostalgia for.





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 “Coming on like a Hurricane”

  1. Dan Branstrom says:

    I hope everyone stays safe and there’s no damage. I’ve been thinking of you & everyone in Florida.

  2. I have given up on the rear installation and ordered your front starter system. looking forward to it.

  3. dan glaze says:

    Angus Young must have Corvair wrist pins holding his head on, FOR THOSE ABOUT TO FLY,WE SALUTE YOU

  4. Stuart Snow says:

    Thank you for making me laugh after a long week. May your coming days not be filled with Water Moccasins. Here I have scorpions which can “Rock you like a Hurricane”.

  5. Kevin Purtee says:

    Best band ever and always. And they still rock, even with Bon dead, Cliff retiring, Malcolm in a home, Phil in jail, and Brian on medical leave. I’ve built a lot of airplane parts listening to “Riff Raff,” “Problem Child,” and “Have a Drink on Me.”

    In 1980, when I was 6 months older than you (as I still am), I refused to acknowledge the power and talent of the band. I was “too sophisticated.” I came to realize, well into my 40s, that I was actually too stupid. They’re amazing.

    I love Celine Dion, too, of course.

    Be careful in the storm.

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