The Zenith 650 Corvair engine of Jim and Patty Raab.
The second engine to hit the run stand at Corvair Finishing School #2 was Jim and Patty Raab’s 3,000 cc /120HP engine destined for their Quick build Zenith 650, which will take to the air next year. They did some of the assembly at home, but came to the Finishing School well prepped to finish, run and learn more about their power plant.
The engine was on the stand early Saturday and put down a good break in run. We made some small adjustments, but the smaller nature of the Finishing School gave a more relaxed pace than a traditional Corvair College. By the end of the afternoon, they had a great running engine, their confidence as skilled builders and operators was confirmed, and we all headed off to our local small town bar and grill for a dinner in high sprits.
Above, Jim and Patty with their engine on the run stand. They are priming the oil system for 15 minutes before the first start. The red drip pans on the heads allow the visual confirmation that oil is reaching every single location in the engine. All Corvairs have hydraulic lifters and high strength head studs, neither of which ever need adjustment during the life span of the motor.
Something fun about working with the Raab’s: Jim is skilled with tools, but earns his living as a nurse. On the other hand Patty spent 20 years in the USAF, working ordinance on strike aircraft. Not only is she the safety wiring guru in the family, she is well versed in following literature and procedures. When your day job in aviation is installing guidance units and fuses in bombs that weigh more than a light sport aircraft, it contributes to making you picky about methods and practices.