Zenith 750 engine; Andy Mechling’s 3,000cc/120HP Corvair
The third engine to run at Corvair Finishing School #2 was Andy Mechling’s 3,000cc Corvair destined to power his Zenith 750. The engine assembly was finished on Saturday, and the engine put down a full break in run during the4 afternoon.
The engine features virtually every part in the FlyCorvair and SPA/Panther catalogs. The engine started after less than 2 seconds of cranking. I made a quick check of the timing and it ran smoothly through the 30 minute break in. Although the finishing school is just 3 days long, Andy left with a sense of accomplishment and understanding which 90% of experimental aircraft builders never get from their engines. By deciding that he would not be satisfied to simply be the engines owner, that his personal standard was understanding and being a very skilled operator, Andy set his path apart from other builders.
Above: 90% of experimental aircraft owners settle for just buying an engine and being its owner. That is OK, but if you, as an individual, are looking for more, the Corvair offers a different experience. Get a good look at Andy’s expression the minute his engine fired up on the run stand. That is the pride and satisfaction of building, not buying. People who simply write giant checks for engines which they have little understanding of don’t make faces like that.
Something about working with Andy: Andy is an experienced builder, having previously completed a VW powered Sonex. This gave him a better understanding of what he wanted out of his Zenith power plant choice, the Corvair proving to be the engine that made the most sense for him. Andy’s methodical and analytic perspectives likely date all the way back to being a 1973 graduate of the US Naval Academy.