Pietenpol Project – Terry Hand

If you like any story here, please feel free to share it with friends. Every story published here also appears on the Corvair College FB page. That makes it easy to share as a link to other friends on FB. I write with the goal of reaching many aviators. I appreciate anyone who shares the stories. -ww

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Builders,

Below is a picture of Terry Hand’s steel tube aluminum spared Pietenpol project. It is in his hangar outside Atlanta. It is an outstanding example of a well thought out, one of a kind, experimental aircraft . For a look at the engine that will power it, read this: Terry Hand’s 2700 cc Pietenpol engine – w/Weseman 5th bearing

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Above, Terry’s bird set up for a final rigging before building the lift struts.  If you like the gear and want to see what first class welding looks like, read: Steel tube Pietenpol fuselage with landing gear and 12 x 4.8″ tires.. The mount on Terry’s plane is a little different because it has a steel tube fuselage, not wood, but it has the same dimensions as out production Pietenpol Motor Mounts, P/N 4201(C).

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Something ironic and retarded about internet comments: Last month, a guy on the web told Terry that the combination of wooden ribs and aluminum spars doesn’t work and the wing would have no rigidity. As a factual source, he citied a guy with no name, in a place he couldn’t remember, some year in the 1970s. I told Terry that I had personally seen a 4 Place, 2,200 pound gross Wag Aero sportsman with the same rib/spar arrangement, fly with my friend Gus Warren at the controls…oh and it was powered by a very angry 200hp angle valve 360 Lycoming. But you have to weigh that fact against a story a guy heard about a unicorn…..

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Are you a fan of Pietenpol’s? So am I, over the years I have spent a lot of time writing factual stories about them. Get a look at this link to see about 30 of them: Corvair – Pietenpol Reference page

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Terry Hand is a very good guy. He runs our Pietvair discussion group: “Zen-vair” and “Piet-vair” Discussion Groups, your resource.. He is also a highly experienced Aviator, with ratings than run from CFI, to ATP, Helicopters, and 767s. Terry is usually pretty humble. I have actually seen him patiently endure a lecture from an inactive private pilot that started with the phrase “when you know more about flying….” You can read some of Terry’s thoughts here: Guest Editorial, Pietenpol builder Terry Hand.

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The Next Event on the Schedule:

FlyCorvair/SPA – Joint Workshop/Open house, May 18,19,20

Read the link now and make a plan today.

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WEWjr

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Steve Wittman – “Like Mars at Perihelion”

Builders:

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There are many greats in aviation, and homebuilding has it’s share, but there was only one life that stands out “like mars at perihelion.”  This is Steve Wittman, greatest air racer who ever lived, builder and designer, pilot of incredible talent. He relentlessly evolved for 70 years in aviation.

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When I was 31 years old, he took me flying in the Olds-Tailwind, N37SW. He wrung the plane out for 25 minutes in a display of skill that I was hard pressed just to fathom. Wittman was 91 years old. Afterward, he took me in the hangar and showed me some new ideas he was incorporating into a brand new set of Tailwind wings he was in the process of building.

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Above, Steve Wittman in his “Buttercup”. He built the plane in 1937. Through out his life he changed many things on the plane, the gear, the engine, the span, the wing tips, adding leading edge devices, making the tail cantilever, etc. Although he was a brilliant designer, and won 375 air races in planes he designed and built, he never rested on his laurels. He was deaf to praise and past glory when there was anything new to try or learn.

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From my 2014 story: Thought for the day: Challenge of an open mind

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The term “Like Mars at Perihelion” is from the essay  Message to Garcia written by Elbert Hubbard in 1899, Describing a hero of the Spanish-American war, Lt. Andrew Rowan.

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WEWjr.

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