The Barnwell SC Crew that brought you nine Corvair Colleges.

Builders,

Corvair College  #43 was the ninth College we have held in Barnwell SC. Although we have had outstanding events, both big and small from coast to coast and even in Canada, there is no question the Crew at Barnwell have lead the way on Colleges and have established an unbeaten record of service and good times to an entire era of Corvair builders. That type of contribution to our branch of aviation is exactly what makes traditional light aviation a real brotherhood.

.

.

L-R, Brandon, Cal, P.F. and Tim.  Brandon is the young guy with 2 of the 9 Colleges on his scorecard, but the trio of the old guard have been with us at all nine Colleges. More than a decade ago, P.F. flew his Pietenpol to Colleges 12 and 16, and suggested I come to Barnwell and see the airport and meet his crew. He was very confident he had just the location and people we needed. Now, a decade later, hundreds of builders have learned exactly why P.F. could speak with assurance for his team and his airport.

.

If you are one of the hundreds of builders who have beed a beneficiary of P.F and Crew’s hospitality and hard work, I really encourage you to share your gratitude in the comments section, its a mark of thanks they will appreciate.

.

Wewjr.

.

Carb Ice example from CC #43

Builders,

Over the years I have written a lot on this subject, but a couple of test stand photos can do wonders to illustrate a point that flight instructors rarely teach correctly anymore. For a much deeper look at the subject, follow this link: Critical Understanding #10 – Carb Ice.

.

.

Mike Loevin’s Corvair, running on my stand at Corvair College #43.  The white section of the intake manifold above the carb is solid white ice, and it is 48F outside.

.

.

The digital Thermometer shows the temp has dropped 30F going through the carb. There is identical ice on the inside of the manifold also. This is simple physics in action, and this is why planes have carb heat. Contrary to popular myth, injected engines do this also, they are jest less prone to quitting when the throttle is advanced when the pilot notices the rpm drop. No carb should be assumed to be immune to this. Popular hangar talk says Elison’s are not vulnerable, but cast right into the Elison body is the phrase “CARB HEAT REQUIRED”.

.

.

Another look at the engine. Look at the prop blade and the balancer; its running. the power setting is 2,000 rpm and 20″ MAP, to break in the cam. This is about 50% power. If anyone tells you to wait until the engine is reduced to idle to use carb heat, they don’t know what they are speaking of.

.

.

The picture above addresses one more myth, that it somehow need to be cloudy or rainy to get carb ice. Look at the sky in the picture, understand that anyone who claims you have to see dense clouds, fog or rain for ice to form is clearly mistaken.

.

Just to reiterate it one more time, this isn’t a Corvair issue. Rotax and to some extent, Lycoming, avoid this somewhat by having full time carb heat, but every competent pilot should understand the fact it can happen to any plane, and they should take the engine manufacturers recommendations very seriously and ignore they hangar myths.

.

Wewjr.

.

Oil Fill Cap, Part number 1905.

Builders,

Every part that goes into a flight engine has its own part number in my conversion manual. The first two digits are the group chapter in the book. For example, lets look at the simple oil fill cap, #1905.

.

Because it’s first two digits are 1-9, it is in chapter #19, the valve cover group. The manual explains how we set up engine valve covers, and how they have the crankcase vents on one side and the oil fill on the other. There are pictures and descriptions. The locations on the valve covers have very little internal oil spray, Oil can be added without removing the cowl, and you can also take the cap off and look at the #1 rocker and see which stroke the engine is on without the need to remove a spark plug. The locations on the covers have been evolved over time to make sure it clears all the cowls, etc.  A lot of thought goes into installation details that is not readily apparent at first glance.

.

.

Above, six parts go in a yellow powder coated #1905 oil cap. L-R The blasted and coated cap, brass spring disc, main gasket, central washer, inner gasket and AN rivet.  We drill new ones apart, to have them powder coated yellow, the traditional oil filler cap color on US certified engines. I rivet them back together when done. Its elaborate, but these caps are included in our powder coated valve cover kits.  These are the covers you see on most of the engines at the colleges. If you are a good welder, you could build your own copy of them, and paint them and use the stock oil cap and save some money, but most people pick a color and have us send a set to them.

.

Wewjr.

.

New engines at Corvair College #43, and the “Signature Move” contest.

Builders,

Pictured below are new engines on my run stand at Corvair College #43 in Barnwell SC last week.  Every new engine makes a very important milestone in a builders project, but more importantly, it is also the affirmation they have really come to understand their power plant at a level 95% of homebuilders never will.

.

The other side of this is more lighthearted; it is a great moment of fun when the engine which was just a collection of parts before, becomes a running, living creation, with just a second or two of cranking the starter. Ask anyone who was these, all of the engines pictured cranked up and ran in one or two seconds. Factory built engines bolted on by homebuilders without training or guidance don’t do that well. The difference is support and understanding. When your motor cranks up at a college, there are cheers and handshakes, and shortly after there is the traditional “Captain Morgan Pose” for the photo. Its all in good fun.

.

This year, one of the six male builders pictured below Tracy had such a moment, but after a minute with the video rolling, I leaned over and said “Cowl Flaps are Open” aviation speak for your fly is down. This corrected, we took the “CMP” photo, and afterward he humorously added “Its my signature move”. We made some jokes about how this photo could go in his album with others from his 6th grade graduation to his wedding which would all have his fly open. Colleges are both serious training and good times with new friends.  If you think you know who had the ‘signature move’, use the comments section to cast your vote.

.

Tracy Sheradin, with her Pietenpol engine. Tracy and her husband Dan we outstanding volunteers at the college.

.

.

Larry Harris, who’s engine got off the stand before I got a photo. Thus I have the temp gun to show it is still hot on the bench form the Saturday morning run. Our pit crew worked so well the engines were hitting the stand on 65 minute intervals.

.

.

Mark Spang with his Zenith 750 engine. He has attended all 9 Colleges we have held at Barnwell.

.

.

Dale Sleep and his Zenith engine. Brisk weather and a smooth break in run.

.

.

Grant Ziebell, and his 3.0L upgrade for his flying Zenith 750.

.

.

Mike Loevin, and his new Sonex power plant. Mike attended several Barnwell Colleges, but brought his engine across the finish line at #43.

.

.

Thomas Clepper, on the right, with his Corvair. He is setting the ‘Friends and Family plan record, because he has 5 other people started building their own Corvair. His running engine makes a powerful case for building your own.

.

Wewjr.

.

25 years after warning people, cast pistons still show up in planes.

Builders,

More than 25 years ago, long before the internet, I wrote my first Corvair manual, and printed it on a then modern dot matrix printer. In that manual, and in every one since, I have told builders not to use cast pistons in aircraft motors. I have never built a single flight engine using them, and this is not a new position. Yet, after all these years, people still put them in engines, and if they later resell that engine, it is frequently said to be ” Built to Wynne’s Manual”, a statement we would generously call “misleading”, the polite word for “dangerous lie.”

.

The two reasons people put cast pistons in motors are they are cheap, and they are advised to do so by a “Local Expert”. If you want to read a direct story of this, follow this link:“Local Expert” convinces builder to use cast pistons. When you are done, please get a look at this story, and the links in it before buying anything: Junk you should not buy..

.

Many people believe in “Let the Buyer beware” and I sort of do, but not in aviation where the penalties are pretty stiff. Truth be told, I have another angle also: When junk like cast pistons fails in a Corvair, none of the people who look at it say “That was not compliant with how William teaches people to build engines”  In almost every case, nearly every witness will only learn Corvairs=Bad. Most people are not very sophisticated in how they develop opinions these days, and they bring that to aviation, complete with a ‘facts don’t matter’ attitude.

.

Many people know that a very large effort was put out by a law firm to blame me for a non-fatal accident several years ago. This is an extreme example of how people who don’t want to listen to my experience will not take personal responsibility for that decision. The facts: I didn’t sell the person a single part. I sent him 11 emails saying his plane was un-airworthy, including one the day before his 45 second flight. He refused, in email, to buy a timing light saying the previous owner must have set the timing. He was a 60 hour powered Parachute pilot with no transition training. He brought a passenger on the first flight. His Dynon recorded the CHT at 628F in 45 seconds into the take off.  He used low grade car gas for the flight and failed to conduct a two minute test.  All of this made no difference, they still wanted to get it into Federal Court in Arkansas. So If I sound heavy handed on this and not very libertarian, it is because after something goes wrong, the guy who made the choice almost never stands up and publicly says “This was my fault.”

.

.

Above, these came out of a motor which a guy was actually building to fly. The motor was based on a Short stroke early Corvair, with a weak early crank, no 5th bearing, and plenty of other things I have told people to never do. If you look above, an irony: they guy used billet connecting rods with Chinese cast pistons. If you look at the underside of the piston there is a mark that is a G outside and N. It is a Chinese brand.  This engine was sold to a builder, who fortunately treated it as a core motor. It came to Corvair College #42 as parts. But someone who owned a manual of mine actually put this together to fly. If it was flown, it would have almost certainly broken, and caused a crash. How would you like it if a wealthy law firm claimed this was your fault? Welcome to our legal system. As I have said many times, I am a devout believer in the ideals of our nation, but the execution of those ideals can fall pretty short at times.

.

Wewjr.

.

The ‘two months salary’ rule applied to “Made in America”

Builders,

My neighbor Ryan called and simply said “It is here.” There was 15 minutes of daylight left, and we went out to my backyard range to experience an American masterpiece, a Freedom Arms Model 83, chambered for the mighty .454 Casull cartridge.

.

.

Freedom Arms is company from Freedom Wyoming, and they make some of the finest revolvers in the world. The finish, fit and function on the 83 is unreal. I have been around firearms my whole life, and have not put my hands on better. The cylinder gap is less than .002″. For people who pathologically believe that everything imported, including their Prius, is ‘better’ than American made products, this is 3 pounds of evidence they are delusional.

.

The accuracy and handing on it showed themselves right away. The fact this isn’t a target gun and it has more power than most rifles made its quality that much more impressive. I asked Ryan what he spent, and with a smile he said “I just went by the two months salary rule, because if you are really in love…”

.

While it is a valid consideration that buying an American made firearm is an ethically superior decision to sending thousands of dollars to the DeBeers family so they can dig compressed carbon out of the ground in Africa with labor being paid slightly above slave wages, we can examine that at another time. My aviation connection is simple: We are surrounded by incredibly high quality mechanical products made right here by our fellow countrymen, and this includes a wide variety of aviation products, including good old Corvairs. 

.

Besides, ask anyone who spent two months salary buying a diamond for someone they are no longer married to, if they would have rather purchased a Model 83, and I suspect the answer would be near unanimous.

.

Wewjr.

.

 

Thought for the Day – ‘A Vessel of Human Courage’.

Builders,

The following story is an observation; How we as Americans, often fail to appreciate what it cost our Fathers and Grandfathers to provide the world we live in today.  Below is a simple example of how a media image, by inappropriately grouping two things together, ‘dumbs down’ a part of our history, and unconsciously dilutes our respect for a sacrifice we should still remember with profound reverence.

.

.

Above, a photo taken at Oshkosh 2018. The image was very popular in the EAA.

.

The bomber is a B-17, the very symbol of American courage, the willingness to invade in worlds most defended airspace in broad daylight to attack the most evil regime in history.  The US 8th Air Force  flew those missions, and they cost the lives of 26,000 Americans. Next time you are attending an airshow, walk up and place your bare hand on the skin of a B-17; it is just .040″ thick aluminum. This offers no resistance at all to a 20mm cannon round, none to a 13mm machine gun bullet, and effectively nothing to the fragments of an exploding 88mm flak shell. Our country once commonly produced young men who had the courage for 10 hour missions of this. Today, all that is left is a tiny fraction of them, old and withered, who you may have seen walk up to touch the skin of a B-17 once more. In 5 more years we will still have the planes, but the men will be all gone, and an element of our national courage will have left with them. We still generate good people, but its fair to say we will not have men like the 8th Air Force crews again, and this is what people at airshows should consider when they see a B-17.  It isn’t just a plane, it is a vessel of human courage, We made 12,000 B-17s, and we once had more than enough men of exceptional courage to fill them.

.

The other aircraft in the picture is a Van’s RV-12, this years ‘one week wonder’. I am a person with different perspectives, and I find it being pictured with a B-17 a mistake. It may not matter to almost everyone else, but if your thinking doesn’t neatly fit in the ‘almost everyone’ box, maybe the reason will resonate with you. If you see it differently, thats fine, I present these ideas as “thought provoking, not thought providing.”

.

Putting a fun plane in the picture with a B-17, draws the common idea they are both planes, and the EAA is all about planes. Good?…..I don’t think so. As I said above, a B-17 isn’t just a plane, it is a symbol of national courage, and it should alway be presented as this, if the sacrifice of the men who flew them is to be understood.  I find this particularly critical while any person who flew them in combat is still alive.  You would not present a picture of a Starbucks mug with the Holy Grail.  A proper “Salute to Veterans” isn’t the overbearing airshow announcer and the pyrotechnical ground show, it is quietly understanding, and respectfully addressing the courage these men had, and the RV-12 has no place in that presentation. To picture them together is shallow at best, and arguably disrespectful.

.

I have attended 30 years of airshows since I started my work in aviation, and have seen hundreds of hours of warbird ‘airshows’.  The four hours I spent watching two films “Twelve o’clock high” and ‘The Best Years of Our Lives” provided more appreciation for the price the aircrews paid. If more Americans understood that in the fall of 1943 the loss rate on B-17 missions was so high there was less than a 10% chance of surviving 25 missions, perhaps we would have the taste not to include toys in pictures of aircraft which a best understood as vessels of human courage.

.

ww.

.

.

.