Ignition timing at Zenith 2018


Below is a snap shot of setting the ignition timing on a running 2700 cc Corvair on my run stand at the 2018 Zenith open house.



Above, the 2700cc Corvair of Mark Miller, getting its timing set with a $50 strobe light at the Zenith open house. Although the procedure is something we demonstrate at every college and I have written about extensively, we still have people who fail to do this.  In the case of Mark’s engine, it took me less than 30 seconds. I showed about 20 people watching how easy this is.  Just as you should never get in a Lycoming or Continental powered plane if the owner didn’t set the magneto timing, you should never fly a Corvair were the timing was not set. No A&P does an inspection on a certified plane without checking the timing. Because the plane is experimental and the engine started life in a car is no reason to cut a corner.


For the last 29 years, I have made a business of sharing what real builders need to know. I have left the goal of showing what some people get away with to others, not all of whom are still here.






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 www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

4 Responses to Ignition timing at Zenith 2018

  1. Michael Loeven says:

    I think you may have written more on setting the timing than any other topic (using the correct oil might be a close second). Surprising to see how often it is still an issue despite this.

    Are there any updates to particular brands or models of timing lights that you like / try to avoid?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: