Aviation house calls in a time of ‘Social Distancing’

Builders,

I am well known as Experimental Aviation’s most prolific provider of house calls. In 31 years of business, I have made hundreds of house calls to builders. Today the list got one call longer, as I went to see Tom Kodey and his newly flying 3.3L Corvair powered SPA Panther. 

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Above, Tom and I follow national guidelines and stay six feet apart during my 2 hour visit. It was a good time, his aircraft is magnificent. I had not seen Tom since we ran his engine at one of our finishing schools last year. It is a 3.3 Liter (3,300cc) 125+ hp Corvair built from an ‘Engine in a Box’ kit. It took just 2 days to build start to finish.  Tom’s plane has about 2 hours of flight time, and everything is going great. His previous plane was an RV-12 with a Rotax. Tom is a very successful guy and could afford any of the optional engines for his Panther. He selected the Corvair, and a little bit of flying has affirmed his choice. 

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The centerpiece of Tom’s power plant is the SPA, Billet, made is the USA from a Timken Billet, stroker crank. The strength of these cranks is long proven, they have been doing Aerobatics in Panthers since 2012, without a single flaw failure of any kind. If anyone suggests you can import a comparable crank, be polite, it’s the best way to deal with mental ill people.  Read more here: SPA Billet Corvair Cranks.

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The Panther has many features, and one of them is being very quick to build. Tom’s plane was in the works a little over a year. It took just 1,200 hours to completely finish, including building the engine. That is not the record, Brent Mayo’s Flying 3,000 cc Panther, was built, including the engine in just 830 hours. It isn’t a competition nor a race, but the success of these two men illustrate both Dan and I have worked very hard to make out products buildable. Keep in mind, these are not ‘just buzz around’ planes, they are very capable aerobatic planes with great utility, and a perfect safety record.

If you are out there practicing social distancing, make sure you are making progress on your project. It is an excellent self investment. 

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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 30 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.

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