Bob Lester’s Corvair/ Pietenpol nears 800 hours.


I received an note from Bob Lester saying he is just a few hours from the 800 hour mark of Corvair power on his Pietenpol. He has done this in about 48 months. The airframe was built in the 1970s with a 65HP Lycoming, but bob bought it, did a lot of work to the plane, and has been logging hours on his 2,700cc Corvair ever since. Has off to Bob on this milestone.



Above, Bob and his plane at CC #39 last month. The planes large wheels are Harley front mag wheels with smooth covers.


For a look at some “Bob Stories”:


Bob Lester’s 48 flight hour, 3400 mile Pietenpol adventure


Power plant comparison:

Pietenpol Power: 100 hp Corvair vs 65 hp Lycoming


Landing gear change:

New die spring landing gear on a Pietenpol, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Our Piet discussion group:

Piet Vair discussion group update, notes on joining


Bob’s Piet and others at Barnwell:

Pietenpol Builders and Pilots at Corvair College #31.


A look at a College where Bob gave a lot of rides:

Corvair College #33: Behind The Scenes



Bob has been around Corvairs for a long time. Above he and Grace in 2005 at our old Edgewater hangar. They are eating ten pounds of boiled shrimp in the hangar’s “executive dining room.”



Above Bob Lester and Steve Makish. These two old friends attended a number of early Colleges in a pair of Corvair powered KR-2s. Today Bob has his Corvair in his Pietenpol.  They have known each other through 30 years of flying.




Above, Bob Lester’s Corvair powered Pietenpol sits on the ramp at Barnwell at sunset on Saturday night at Corvair College #31.




Above my favorite Bob Lester photo, where he naturally strikes the “Intrepid Aviator” pose with his Pietenpol at CC#25.  He is good at this because he has seen every old aviation movie ever made. I have to coach other pilots on getting the pose right, but not Bob.




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.

4 Responses to Bob Lester’s Corvair/ Pietenpol nears 800 hours.

  1. When I first saw the mention of a 65 hp Lycoming I thought that was a typo, you must have meant Continental, but I read one of the original posts that were referenced and see that it was correct. I had never realized that Lycoming actually built an engine in that size range so I learned something new. What was shocking though was the part where he had an aircraft that could barely do 300 fpm solo on a good day, that was a dangerously underpowered aircraft and it was a wise decision to make the switch to the Corvair. I can understand the desire to replicate old designs but no see need to replicate the very poor performance that came from the limited available power in those early days.

  2. jaksno says:

    The new Harley wheels give it a great nostalgia look…how does he like them? 200 hrs a year…most are hard pressed to get in 100. That shrimp needs a good hefeweizen
    to go with…{;^)

  3. Ed Lee says:

    William I hope things are OK with you. Not a usual thing not to see a post from you in a week! You provide a huge advantage to those pilots building and flying their own engines.

    • Ed, I’m still here, just been working on some projects and parts, and I have let a bit of time pass without writing. I have some good new stuff in the pipeline for this weekend. ww.

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