JAG-2 Corvair powered twin; Now Airborne.

Builders,

Jim Tomaszewski called this afternoon to say he took his Corvair powered twin, the JAG-2 for its first flight. It was a carefully planned 15 minute test flight the went flawlessly. The two things he commented on was it having enough power to leave the ground in just 600′ and the smoothness second only to a turbine engines.  Jims observations are backed by more than 15,000 hours in multi engine aircraft.  I have seen old pictures of twin Corvair projects, but as far as I know, this is the first one to fly in the 58 years of Corvair powered flight. 

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Over the years that Jim worked on this project, he has been cheered on by the Corvair community, but it was something of a lighting rod for many negative comments from internet keyboard warriors, particularly from Van’s aircraft owners. While the aircraft does share some parts with the RV-6/7A aircraft, Jim has always directly said it was not a Van’s product, it was his design, and he was solely responsible for its outcomes. I find that attitude to be at the very core of what it means to be an American Aviator. The willingness to follow your creative drive while accepting the full responsibility is exactly what Teddy Roosevelt meant in his “Man in the Arena” speech. Today Jim has very effectively demonstrated the reward of being that Man, and the wide and permanent gulf which exists himself and petty critics who Roosevelt called “those cold and timid souls.”

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A recent photo of the JAG-2.  ( The name is an abbreviation of “Jim and Ginger” ) For an in depth look at the origins of the design and Jim and Ginger’s work at Corvair Colleges, follow this link: JAG-2 Corvair Twin, running on film

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Over the next few days Jim is going to have a more detailed announcement and include links to videos of the flight. For today he just wanted to call and share the moment. Far from being centered on himself, he was full of gratitude for the assistance of Grace and myself, and also Rachel and Dan Weseman at SPA. He additionally wanted to thank our old friend Arnold Holmes, the DAR from Florida who flew to NY to inspect the plane and issue the airworthiness cert. But above everyone else, Jim wanted it clearly understood that it has been the continuous and direct support of his wife Ginger who has always been the irreplaceable element in the path to the success of the aircraft. 

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wewjr.

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Feel free to use the comments section to congratulate Jim and Ginger. 

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Thought for the Day: Opinions based solely on Opinions

Builders,

For me, it was impossible to watch he news coverage of John McCain’s passing without being overwhelmed by memories of my father, William E. Wynne Sr. 1925-2017. While I could write at length of differences, they had far more in common than not, particularly on the matter of showing ones devotion to the ideals and values of our Nation. While my father graduated from the Naval Academy a decade before McCain, and his tombstone in Arlington lists two other wars besides the one he shared with McCain, the crucible and tests of character remained unchanged, and for this reason, produced many men of similar character, perhaps your father or grandfather among them.

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If you were not fortunate enough to have one of them in your family, let me offer this observation: There is a wealth of particularly good literature, both autobiographical and the work of historians which will offer you a harsh and unflinching look at the character and values of such men. Diametrically opposed to this is the shallow wash of opinions offered by our ‘journalists ‘ and media, people who rarely put any effort into understanding any topic in depth, and the partisan axe grinders they use as ‘experts.’  One of the weakest things about our nation isn’t the divisions of opinions held, it is the fact that 90% of the people in this country only use the opinions they heard in broadcast media to form their own opinion. If you doubt this, just ask the next 10 people who offer you a strong opinion which book they read had the greatest influence. You will have your unpleasant answer

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Above, a great book, 1/5 of it offers and incredibly insightful look at the motivations of John McCain.  Timberg was the ideal journalist to write this highly influential look at the mindset of five Naval Academy graduates and their actions around the Iran Contra Affair. Timberg was a 1964 Academy graduate, a Marine horrifically wounded by a mine in Vietnam.  The book pictured was my fathers, now sitting on my dining room table. It has a very warm inscription from Timberg to my father inside.  Fair Warning: If you want to keep an idealistic view of President Reagan, do not read this book, it shows in great detail the president throwing a blindly loyal Marine Lt. Col. under an ugly bus of political expediency.

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Our 2008 Presidential election pitted two very different men as opponents. Ask 75% of Americans, and they will share glowing admiration for one man and often very harsh criticism of the other.  Each of these candidates had previously written a very strong account their fathers, McCains “Faith of My Fathers” about expectations he couldn’t meet, and Obama’s “Dreams of my Father” about a man he longed to know. They are both moving books, but you will find that almost no one with an opinion has even read the book of their champion, far less read both. Instead they were all too willing to simply listen to media, (who in most cases never read the books either)  and simply parrot the opinions and pathetically shallow commentary of their media branch which offers them warm fuzzy validation.  They hold opinions, based solely on opinions.

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xxxxx

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For a simple example, notice how many times media people call McCain a “fighter pilot.” He was nothing of the sort. He is also erroneously called a “bomber pilot.”  It takes very little understanding to correctly refer to McCain as a “Naval Aviator in Attack aircraft”  The difference is very important to people who were in the Navy, like my neighbor who was sitting in the A-4 next to McCains on the deck of the Forrestal. If you want a valid opinion, read a few books, particular ones you find disagreeable, and they listen to a man who was there. Alternatively, you could just watch people on TV.

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Your Aviation Connection:

People in aviation are at least as bad as the national average for avoiding reading and repeating old wives tales. They frequently hold and repeat opinions about aircraft, aerodynamics, power plants, history, maintenance, safety, etc which they directly learned by listening to people who also had no understanding of these topics. I have been in aviation for 29 years, and I have no explanation for this. On evenings where sipping beer and looking at the sunset offers inadequate solace, I resort to softly repeating the mantra “God has a sense of humor I am yet to understand.”

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ww.jr.

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Thought for the day: