Larry Nelson’s first Engine run for his Zenith 601.


In 2015 I wrote about 150 stories for this website, and they, and the older stories drew about 350,000 page reads. Out of all new stories, this one was clearly the most popular story of the whole year: Acceptable methods of payment for Corvair parts . It was about how a Zenith builder from Arizona named Larry Nelson paid his parts bill at Corvair College #34 (Photos from Corvair College #34 at Zenith A/C) in ammunition………




“Benjamin’s, plastic or lead?  All are fine, as they all have understood value. Above, Larry Nelson’s engine on the bench at Corvair College #34.  The engine is a 2700 with a Dan Weseman bearing, outfitted with all our Gold System parts from our catalog.”


Today Larry send word that he ran is engine on the front of his plane this weekend.  He send this you tube link for everyone to get a look at:

(Notice that it does have the new engine required cooling baffle on top of his engine)


Larry is an Aviator, outdoorsman, and a family guy. He has long proven himself to be the kind of guy who shows up early, and works to make sure events are made better for other builders, most of whom he is yet to meet. He does this stuff without anybody asking him, it is just his style to put back a bit more than he got from things. He is living proof that taking rugged individualism and liberty very seriously is completely compatible with gregarious service to communities of others.





Something to consider: About a week ago I got an email from a builder asking why I occasionally  had pictures of with firearms in my web stories, particularly after a number of violent incidents in our country in the last year. Instead of writing the guy back, or being ‘offended’, I walked out to the shop, picked up the phone and called him so we might actually communicate.


I explained that I come from a very diverse family, and some members have very strong opinions against firearms ownership, which is their right, but the opinions are unfortunately based of media provided myths and stereotypes rather than personal exposure. I pointed out that when any of these members of the family say “Gun owners are…” They are making a blanket generalization about 100 million people, based on maybe meeting 5 of them, and in some ways it is just as repugnant as people who make blanket statements about ethnic groups.


I shared that I also found the violence of criminals in our society horrific, but I said that my photos of responsible  sporting or utilitarian uses of firearms to have absolutely zero to do with the actions of criminals.  I don’t think husbands and wives should stop being intimate because we have a serious sexual assault problem in this country, I think they have nothing to do with each other. I pointed out that many people who knew nothing of general aviation wanted to end it after 9/11 because criminals used it as a small part of their plot, but no one suggested we take down our J-3 cub pictures because they would be ‘distasteful’ after the terrorists struck.


In a few minutes, I shared that even though Florida was considered a ‘pro firearms’ state, most of the things he had heard about it were wrong. The state has real time background checks on sales through a state wide database, you have to have ID, and fill out an extensive BATF form, the entire process is videotaped, and if the info on the form doesn’t agree with the database, you not only are denied the sale, you will likely not make it out to your car before you are arrested. You also have to sign a form saying that if you buy the gun for someone else who is not eligible, you will go to jail for 10 years, no plea bargain, period. I explained that every “buy a gun on the internet” story is also a myth, because it has to be shipped to a federally licensed dealer, and he will do the above checks and forms.  While theoretically one individual can sell to another, no rational person does this, because they have no way of knowing who the buyer is or what they are going to do, or why they are not buying from a licensed dealer, and the civil liability follows the seller. I pointed out that it isn’t “the wild west” down here in the sunshine state, because since the 1970s Florida has a law called “10-20-Life” expressing what happens to people who display, discharge or kill someone with a firearm in the course of a crime. It is law in this state that even displaying a weapon” in a rude, careless, angry or threatening manner” gets one a guaranteed year in prison. For these reasons law abiding Floridians don’t screw around, and criminals here get a lengthily all expenses paid trip to a gated community. These are all facts, but they are rarely brought up because they don’t support the national urban media narrative that my home state is populated with dangerous red necks.





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 and in more than 50 magazine articles.

2 Responses to Larry Nelson’s first Engine run for his Zenith 601.

  1. Stuart Snow says:

    Congratulations Larry! Someday it will be my turn. I’ll bet that thing is fast with those stubby wings. 🙂 I’ll have to fly down and see it.

  2. Congrats, Larry on your engine run!

    And thanks, William, for the thoughtful discussion of firearms. Having been around firearms all my life, and shooting competitively for many years, I am disheartened by the way they are portrayed as “evil” by the media and many others. Sadly, I guess the same thing can be said about general aviation! Since 9/11, I no longer make a big deal out of being a pilot, and I also seldom mention my comfort level with firearms when chatting with people I don’t know well. I guess I don’t want to explain that I’m not a terrorist or nut-job just because I fly planes or own firearms.

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