Fellow Floridian Mike January sent me the following pictures today. We had been speaking over the last few days about details of operation and his condition inspection on his aircraft. Mike’s Waiex was originally 2180cc Aerovee powered, which Mike found to be a good power plant. After Meeting Dan Weseman many years ago, and seeing the performance of Dan’s Wicked Cleanex” Mike made a long term plan to re-engine his aircraft with a 3,000cc Corvair. The work was completed about 18 months ago.
Mike is a technical guy with considerable aviation experience. His comparative evaluation comes across as simple factual numbers, and an analysis that the new power plant suits his expectations and mission very well. The most dramatic difference is Rate of Climb; With the VW solo it was 750 fpm, with the Corvair it is a solid 1,400 fpm. (If you are new to aircraft performance and wondering how a 35% increase in power doubles rate of climb, please read this story: Pietenpol Power: 100 hp Corvair vs 65 hp Lycoming.) Florida doesn’t have elevation, but it does have green runways of very thick grass, short fields, surrounded by trees, and very hot and humid days. The extra power of a Corvair adds a great margin of safety to many operations down here.
If you have a Sonex/Waiex airframe, and are considering Corvair power, Know that Between myself and SPA, we have complete compliment of parts for the installation, it has been flown in several dozen examples of the type, for many thousands of hours. For an older look at the complete combination, read this: Corvair power for Panther and Sonex reference page. I wrote it in 2013, but it is still good info, and shows how long Dan and I have steadily supported the combination.