Needed: Core motor close to running.

UPDATE: Several people called to generously offer the use of their flight motors. Let me clarify what I am doing. I am going to run a destructive test on the engine. The term “core” doesn’t mean the middle part of a flight motor, I mean core as in the rebuild able unit as removed from a car.

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I am going to first put a prop hub and a starter on it, and run it as a base line. Then I am going to set the timing with 8 degrees too much advance on car gas, and I am going to show that it will run for 15 seconds before going into detonation, and when it does the power will decline rapidly. Before it blows, I will stop this. Next, I am going to differential compression test it. Then I am going to drill a 1/16″ hole in 3 cylinders just below the head gasket, and run a differential compression test to show each of these cylinders reduced to 0/80 compression. With the timing set correctly, I am then going to prove that a motor with zero differential compression on half it cylinders will still have plenty of power to fly a plane. when this is done, I am going to set the timing with too much advance, and run the engine that way until it blows. All this will be filmed and documented. This is why I need an old engine out of a car, not a newly rebuilt motor. If someone was planning on using their core for a rebuild, I will replace any part I break or render unusable from my own core parts collection.  

Builders:

I am going to run a very specific test on the run stand, and I am looking for a regular, stock 95 or 110HP car core engine to do this with. I need the results in a week or so, thus I am asking for help finding a test motor.

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All I need is an assembled case, pistons and cylinders, and heads for the test. It doesn’t need to have carbs alternator, nothing else. It will just save me a bunch of time over assembling a greasy core from worn parts to run a 20 minute test on the stand.

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I will gladly buy this motor, or if it is a builder core I will come and pick it up, or you can come to my hangar for a day of interesting testing, and then we will tear it down and get it started being processed into any flight engine you would like. Several different options here, the only critical element is I need to move forward this coming week.

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If you can help, use the comments section, send me an email to WilliamTCA@aol.com, text 386 451 3676, or call. Glad to listen to any options.

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Above, Grace takes apart a core engine at Corvair College #3 at Spruce Creek Florida, 2002.  With her is Gus Warren and Mark Christmann. The engine I need today could be just slightly more assembled than this.

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New 2,775 cc Corvair for a Zenith 601XLB

Builders,

Below are picture of a newly built 2,775 cc Corvair running in my front yard today. It came to life at 3:45 PM after 2 seconds of cranking, and put down a perfect cam break in run. The engine is completely built out of FlyCorvair/SPA parts, and represents a great example of Corvair power at a moderate cost. The engine was ordered by a Zenith owner who bought a complete and flying 601XLB with a older, tight budget built, 2,700 engine. The owner liked the combination, but realized that his existing power plant was not state of the art a decade ago, far less today. Ordering a fresh engine from us was the fastest way to correct this.

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Although we make engine in several different displacements and outputs, we make them at only one quality level. The 2,775 is the smallest of our production engines, but it has long proven to be plenty of power for a Zenith 601/650. The first 2,775 Corvair was the engine I built for our own Zenith 601XL in 2004. Thirteen years later, it has a great number of refinements, but it is still a smooth running American, designed, built and Converted aircraft engine. If you would like to find out more about buying a Corvair for your plane, please call Rachel at the engine hot line 904 626 7777, extension #1.

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Above, the head on view. Someone smarter than myself about digital cameras will have to explain how the image is reconstructed that places the prop blades at such angles. Please do not try to explain it to me, I am a simple aircraft mechanic who barely understood how chemical film worked.

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Above, this is what a valve cover finished in “Retro Black” looks like.

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Engine in operation, viewed from rear quarter. This engine features all the same quality parts inside as larger Corvairs we build, but just in a smaller bore size.

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Above, engine a few minutes into it’s 30 minute cam break in run. This is followed by an inspection and a longer run to make sure the cylinders pistons and rings are set.

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A special note of thanks goes out to the owner of this engine. He ordered is a while back, before my father passed, and he was pretty civil about waiting for me to come back after the services and CC#39 to finish. After tomorrow’s runs, the engine will be crated and on the way to him shortly.

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This was the last engine on the order sheet to be assembled. The “Engine in a box” kit engines are selling very well, but with the Weseman’s covering the distribution of my parts, I am now actually caught up on orders for fully assembled engines. I have not been able to type that sentence in several years.

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The combination that made fixing this possible is two fold: Today the Weseman’s work is complementary to mine, they provide every Corvair part I don’t,  particularly the heads. For many years every engine I build used Falcon heads, and they were good, but produced in a trickle that left people who ordered an engine from me waiting. Today the Weseman’s make heads which are every bit as good or better, and they do it on an industrial scale. They have made more heads in the last 2 years than Falcon did in ten. Second, having the Wesemans distribute my parts has allowed me to focus on building them and teaching at the colleges, and left me the time to spend with family. So while the picture above may look like just another running Corvair engine, it is a milestone I am most grateful to have reached with the help of friends.

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As seen at CC #39 Barnwell…

Builders,

A few photos to share the flavor of Barnwell. Again, hats off to PF and crew for their eighth College.  We are already making plans to return for CC #41 in November. Don’t miss it.

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Use the comments section to share your questions , thoughts and thanks.

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PF’s Pietenpol. At the College he flew his 300th different passenger, Chris Pryce.

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Bob Lester shows the Harley kick starter that he rigged up to light off his engine.

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Dale Williams 3000cc Cleanex on its 4th visit to Barnwell

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Don Harpers Pietenpol.  Don had a stunning upset political victory over an entrenched incumbent last year.  We need someone to print shirts that have a Pietenpol picture and say “Harper4POTUS2020”

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The Barnwell terminal is very plush inside.

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Bob Dewenter contacted EAA headquarters about proper recognition for the crew for all the work they have done in support of “learn build and fly” This came from the Chairmans office.

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Attention Piet builders; PF has some very nice parts for sale, including this center section with fuel tank, a set of Riblet ribs and a set of tail feathers

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Shelley Tumino wins the award for most elaborate campsite with her hand made tear drop trailer brought in from TX. CC #40 is at her place in October.

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Tail on Don Harpers Piet shows he is a native of the Palmetto state.

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Tim Hansens custom shirt on home building.


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Above three Corvair Piets in typical Barnwell weather. Don’t miss the next one.

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WEWJR.

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“Captain Morgan” Contest at #39

Builders.

We have a long College tradition of having your photo taken with your running engine. Often, after two or thee intense days of building, learning and fun, builders posture reflected exhaustion rather than the internal elation they were feeling. To make a better picture, I told each of them “Picture yourself standing the same way as the pirate in the Captain Morgan rum ads.”  It worked very well, and ever since we have had much more jaunty pictures of first engine runs. Use the comments section to vote for your favorite “Captain Morgan”.

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Lou Cassella, Pietenpol engine.

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Joe Pringle, Zenith engine.

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Bill “Snow suit” Beauvais, Pietenpol engine.

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Terry Lambert, Zenith engine

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Bill Mills, Zenith engine

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Charlie Johnson, Dragonfly engine.

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CC #39 Medical Update. 

Builders,

As of this evening, the builder who fell ill at Corvair College has been successfully transported the 700 miles to his home state. This is good news, as just a few days ago, there was a question if his doctors in Aiken would release him for the trip.

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This man has a very long journey back to being healthy which we have been told will be months of hard work with professionals and the support of people who care. A number of people, mostly from his home EAA chapter have spoken to say they will assist in this journey.  This, and the out pouring of support on the fund have been very moving. It restores faith in ideals like “The Brotherhood of Aviation “.

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The picture above hangs in the Barnwell airport terminal. It is an original work by a local artist. It is very appropriate that it pictures aviators coming to the rescue of a aviator lost alone at sea.

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WEWJR

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Last Engine of CC #39

Builders,

Charlie Johnson of UT, aka “One Sky Dog” was at Barnwell, but didn’t get a chance to finish his engine. Since Grace and I have known him for 18 years, I extended an invitation 275 miles south to our home to spend a day or two to finish and test run. Charlie has a flying Corvair powered dragonfly he is upgrading to a 3,000 cc Corvair.

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 Charlie is a very interesting cat. An aerospace process engineer, he is literally a “Rocket Scientist” who has done a lot of work in composites, particularly rocket motor casings. His aviation exploits go all the way back to flying an Easy Riser glider in the mid 1970s. Have you ever met a hang glider pilot who has been to 19,000′ or flown a 125 mile cross country? If you have met Charlie, you have.

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Engine running in my front yard at sunset.

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Most visitors take a chance to sample our back yard range. Charlie said this was the first time he picked up an AR-15/M-16 platform weapon since Qualifying with one in Germany in 1971. He shot a very tight group. A very classic US kneeling position.

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Charlie testing his Glock .380 .  Wearing a lab coat makes it a scientific test.

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Charlie and the running engine, striking the “Captain Morgan” pose.

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WEWJR.

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Builder Medical Emergency Update

Builders,

While we were at Corvair College #39, one of the builders present had a very serious sudden onset of a medical problem. We took him to Aiken (SC) Medical Center. For obvious reasons of privacy and human dignity, we asked that none of the people present at the college discuss nor reveal the man’s name or his specific condition. Because he is without family, of modest resources and 700 miles from home, three of us stayed behind at the beginning of the week to arrange his care and transport, which initially looked like it could be done on Wednesday morning.

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On Sunday night, several builders opted to stay over and assist cleaning up after the College. We ate dinner together and discussed what could be done for the man in the hospital. Peter Jhones was the first to suggest a fund drive and contributed $100 to start it. In a few hours I had Shelley Tumino, who does our College registrations set up a formal Go Fund Me account, and send a notification and the privacy request to everyone who attended the College. In a few hours this was also posed on the Corvair College Face Book page (You can read this here, you don’t need a FB account: https://www.facebook.com/CorvairCollege/ ) This was then shared with larger groups of aviators, and within a few hours, the inherent generosity of aviators came through and we had nearly $7,000 in the operational budget to get the ailing man home and give him a small start at recovery. Along with the funds came a number of private notes from Corvair builders offering services from driving to ER doctors offering to assist. It was very moving, and brought some light to a man without family, lying in a bed far from home. As it turned out this was the only good news on Wednesday.

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His doctors tentatively approved his discharge for Tuesday at 9am. They ruled out travel by air, and I doubt any airline would have accepted him. Corvair/Panther Builder Chris Michaelis, who had been incredibly good at the man’s bedside offered to take a shot at driving him the full 700 miles on Wednesday. With that plan in place, I drove back to Florida in Tuesday night. When Chris arrived in the morning to get the discharge started, he was told our man had a terrible set of related complications hit him at 8am, and that we was not going anywhere this week.

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What is needed now: Aiken is located in the corner of South Carolina between Augusta GA and Columbia SC. We need 2-3 people, willing to stop my and spend a hour visiting with this man, so we have someone there for him every day until he can be transported him. The Nursing staff in Aiken is excellent, but this isn’t the same as having another person from the outside. This person would also be able to relay messages to the group of us about what he might need. The man can communicate in person, but the nature of his issue precludes using a telephone. If you think that you could be this person, please call me on my cell phone at 386 451 3676. or send me an email to WilliamTCA@flycorvair.com  If you are far away and would like to help, consider a donation to the fund on the FB page.

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Although I have only briefly known the man in the hospital, and am glad to share that he is a kind and thoughtful person, his reputation in insider and old school homebuilding circles is well known. In 40 years of working with planes in our corner of aviation, he has long developed a first class reputation as an extraordinary builder and pilot. As I sat in his quiet hospital room and looked at a small sleeping man wired to monitors and plumbed to IV’s , it was disturbing to think of how such a once bright and vibrant life in flight was now dimed to a tiny glow. My mind offered a stream of rational defense mechanisms, ‘things happen’; ‘you can’t fix everything’; ‘some people choose to lead solitary lives’ and so on, but in person in the room, none of these offered any emotional armor. The pervasive understanding that filled the room is the simple understanding that barring a few simple twists of fate and fortune, it could be any of us lying in that bed.

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