The essential vs the accessory


I wrote the commentary below five years ago. If you are new to Corvairs or homebuilding, they are worth a few minutes of your time to consider.


“A conspicuous consumer only has the admiration of the envious spectator. A craftsman, an innovator and a champion have the admiration of real aviators. I have not devoted my working life to experimental aviation to chase pointless trends and distractions. I am in aviation to find my place in the timeless truths that any real aviator since 1903 would immediately understand. Charles Lindbergh passed from this earth in 1974 having never seen a glass cockpit. His understanding of the awe inspiring beauty of flight was not diminished by the lack of a screen to stare at. This is a good way to evaluate the essential from the accessory.” -ww.




The above is not judgmental about people with glass cockpits. It is simply this: The mastery of the same basic skills Lindbergh had is the foundation of all the rewards of flying. Without them, all the accessories of a plane are just another consumer experience. If you want to have a glass cockpit in your plane, good, but possession the nicest panel ever, or an award winning paint job,  isn’t a substitute for being a fundamentally sound stick and rudder pilot, or really understanding your power plant either. Real reward comes from the improvement of self, one’s understanding and skills, not the possession of things.


Everyone should build the plane they really want, not the one they are told to like, either by magazines or by opinionated jackasses from Florida. Decide for yourself. These paragraphs are meant to be ‘thought provoking’ not ‘thought providing’




“Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved. There was science in each curve of an airfoil, in each angle between strut and wire, in the gap of a spark plug or the color of the exhaust flame. There was freedom in the unlimited horizon, on the open fields where one landed. A pilot was surrounded by beauty of earth and sky. He brushed treetops with the birds, leapt valleys and rivers, explored the cloud canyons he had gazed at as a child. Adventure lay in each puff of wind.

I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of the earth to which they were bound. In flying, I tasted a wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days? I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary life time.”— Charles A. Lindbergh

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