Corvair College #41, SC in November, filling up.

Builders,

College #41 will be our largest in 2017. It already is 3/4 full. We are just 74 days away from the event, but the sign up shuts off automatically when we reach the event’s capacity. Do not procrastinate if you are planning on getting something significant done in homebuilding this season.

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Corvair College #41, Barnwell SC, 10-12 November 2017:  This is a return to our flagship College at it normal time of the year. For a look at the 2015 Barnwell College, check this out: Corvair College #35 Barnwell builders video.

For a look at the EAA film about the 2013 Barnwell College, click here: New EAA video on Corvair College#27, Barnwell 2013.

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Barnwell has been the home of eight previous Corvair College. P.F. Beck and crew have the logistics down so well that we have no difficulty having a productive event for 90 builders. If you are planning on going, do not delay in signing up.

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here is the link for CC41:

https://eventregistration2017.wufoo.com/forms/cc41/

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Ken Pavlou holds the Cherry Grove trophy at CC#31 Barnwell 2014. His aircraft is named “The Blue Speedo.” Read more: Ken “Adonis” Pavlou advises aviators: “Life is short, Live Large”

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Late tech questions. This is about 1 am on Sunday, nearing the end of a 19 hour day. If you want to pack a lot into a College, good, that is how we do it. However, the free form of the lesson plans allow each person to take in and digest at their own rate and pace. Read a 2013 story here: Who is William Wynne?

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A prankster Bill Reynolds testing the ragged limits of the No Politics  rule we have a Corvair Colleges. Read about Bill’s son Jack building his Corvair here: Video of rebuild and run of Corvair, from a 13 year old.

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Above, The Weseman/SPA Panther and a ’66 Corvair Corsa on the flight line at Barnwell #31 . Read this to understand how SPA distributing  our parts for the last 20 months has greatly improved customer service: Outlook 2016, New order page and distribution method.

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Above, Bob Lester’s Corvair powered Pietenpol sits on the ramp at Barnwell at sunset on Saturday night, CC #31. Read more here: Bob Lester’s Corvair/ Pietenpol nears 800 hours.

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wewjr.

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Info page, Corvair College #43, Barnwell SC.

Builders,

This is the general information page for Corvair College #43. It is being posted on 6/12/18. The on line sign up link is attached below. 

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Background:

Corvair College #43 will be held at Barnwell SC, 9-11 November 2018:  This is our flagship College.

For a look at the 2015 Barnwell College, check this out: Corvair College #35 Barnwell builders video.

For a look at the EAA film about the 2013 Barnwell College, click here: New EAA video on Corvair College#27, Barnwell 2013.

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Barnwell has been the home of nine previous Corvair Colleges. P.F. Beck and crew have the logistics down so well that we have no difficulty having a productive event for 90 builders. If you are planning on going, do not delay in signing up, it is an excellent setting and they are very gracious hosts.  The Technical expertise at the College will be provided by myself and Dan Weseman from SPA/Panther.

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IMG_8756

Ken Pavlou holds the Cherry Grove trophy at CC#31 Barnwell 2014. His aircraft is named “The Blue Speedo.” Read more: Ken “Adonis” Pavlou advises aviators: “Life is short, Live Large”

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IMG_8776

Late tech questions. This is about 1 am on Sunday, nearing the end of a 19 hour day. If you want to pack a lot into a College, good, that is how we do it. However, the free form of the lesson plans allow each person to take in and digest at their own rate and pace. Read a 2013 story here: Who is William Wynne?

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31pod1380

A prankster Bill Reynolds testing the ragged limits of the No Politics  rule we have a Corvair Colleges. Read about Bill’s son Jack building his Corvair here: Video of rebuild and run of Corvair, from a 13 year old.

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IMG_9067

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Above, The Weseman/SPA Panther and a ’66 Corvair Corsa on the flight line at Barnwell #31 . Read this to understand how SPA distributing  our parts for the last 20 months has greatly improved customer service: Outlook 2016, New order page and distribution method.

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IMG_8733

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Above, Bob Lester’s Corvair powered Pietenpol sits on the ramp at Barnwell at sunset on Saturday night, CC #31. Read more here: Bob Lester’s Corvair/ Pietenpol nears 800 hours.

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Is there an on line sign up for this College?

Yes, this is it: https://eventregistration2017.wufoo.com/forms/cc43/

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Is there a fee for this College? 

Yes, Signing up on line for College #43 is required, and the fee is $99. 100% of this money goes to the local hosts and the Barnwell airport, they provide food an drinks while we are there for three days. The technical support we offer at the College is provided without cost to builders.

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 Will there be a chance to build an ‘Engine in a Box’ at this College?

We are looking for two builders who would like to buy, assemble and test run a 3.3L “engine in a box kit” For an overview of the 3.3 engine read this story: Build a 3.3L Corvair at the May 18-20 Workshop/Open house. If you are interested in one of these motors, Contact SPA/Panther at 904-626-7777.

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OK, my project needs progress, what do I do? 

First, sign up for the on line registration. Second, SPA by calling 904-626-7777, or call my number 904-806-8143. We will be glad to speak with you about making sure you are prepared for the event. Making plans early is the key to making progress at the event. At the last hour of a College, prepared builders often say some version of ‘I can’t believe how much I learned and accomplished.’ No one has ever followed that statement by saying ‘I regret being smarter and advancing my goals.’

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Keep in mind:

 We will also be glad to transport for parts like cases cranks and heads back to Florida.  Even if you are just planning on having these worked on a few months later, sending them back with us gets them in the system and gets the ball rolling.

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Will you be test running the motors?

Yes. We will have my test stand with us, and perhaps run as many as 10 of the engines being worked on.  The goal is positive exposure and progress, but above all else, learning.

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Will there be flying Corvair Powered planes there?

Yes, we have had 6-10 every year for the last 10 years.

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Is there on site Camping? are their Motels? 

Yes, the Barnwell airport has good camping, but no hook us. The town is a mile from the airport, and it has a number of hotels and motels. Do not wait too long to plan, they fill up.

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 For more general information and Corvair College Links:

Corvair College reference page

Corvair College History….in photos

College engine build options for closing the case

Basic Corvair College Skills, examples of learning

College Tech

Running an Engine at a College, required items. #2

Running an Engine at a College, required items. #1

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Wewjr.

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New – M.O.P. Manual, a required technical document.

Builders,

Below is a quick look and a video introduction to our new “Maintenance, Operations and Procedures manual

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Above, the cover: If you ar building or flying a Corvair powered plane, you need to own one of these. It is made up from data pulled together from my experience and that of Dan Weseman. Once or twice a month, we have a builder who calls us who has completely missed missed critical technical data we have previously presented in many formats. Here we have gathered critical information into a single, easily followed location. This is thousands of hours of testing, hundreds of hours writing, and all we ask of builders is to spend one hour reading it, and keep it on hand at all times, and follow it.

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Above, a look at the table of contents.

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Above, Three of the people who made the greatest contribution to getting this document into print.

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Above, a video explaining the content of the new MOP manual, and what its different about it.

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You can get your copy here:

http://shop.flycorvair.com/product-category/manuals/

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Thank you, William.

Zenith/Corvair – Year round in Newfoundland.

Builders,

Jeff Moores of Newfoundland is our most remote builder/Corvair pilot. His plane is a Zenith 750 cruiser powered by a 3,000cc/120 HP Corvair engine, built straight from my manuals and our parts catalogs. The really unique element of Jeff’s approach is to fly the plane all year. This is made possible by two factors: He flies it with Full Lotus floats, and second, he is one hearty guy, even by Canadian standards.

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Above, Jeff demonstrates what it takes to just get into the man door on his hangar in the winter. Going flying in the winter can involve serious snow mining.  In his hand, Jeff in holding “Stick and Rudder”, the greatest book on flying ever written. It is a classic you should own and study also.

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Jeff’s hangar is by the side of a lake. In the summer, he rolls the plane out on a special cart to the water. In the winter, the inflated rubber cells of the Full Lotus floats work equally well off snow or glare ice. The installation keeps his his Zenith operational all year in a climate which can be very harsh. While Newfoundland is ‘just’ 50 degrees north latitude, it is known for very windy conditions. Jeff reported that his record short take off on a very cold day, directly into a very strong wind was just twenty feet.

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Jeff’s 750 Cruiser now has 200 hours on it. He specifically built it as an upgrade from his previous plane, a Merlin GT that he also flew on floats, logging more than 300 hours of Corvair powered flight time on that airframe. Jeff said the GT was an honest plane, but the Cruiser is a serious, across the board improvement for his operations.  He pointed out the speed of the combination is important in a location where high prevailing winds can really reduce ground speeds to windward.

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Jeff is an instructor of mechanical arts in the Canadian educational system He really knows machines. While he can appreciate high-tech in some settings, the simplicity of the Corvair makes the most sense to him in the harsh conditions of Newfoundland. Direct drive, carb, gravity feed, air cooled, etc, when you think about inspections and preflights, the simpler the better is his perspective.

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I happened to spend 1/2 hour on the phone with Jeff this morning.  It was a good chance to catch up, discuss things in the future. Some people will ask why I didn’t put up a picture of his plane, or some detailed list of performance specifications, but the picture above reflects the focus of this story; A very individual builder, who carefully considered both his airframe and the power plant, a guy who expanded his skills and talents, who is now out savoring the fruit of his endeavors. Just like Jeff, you deserve the same story.

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William.

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Cooling failure caused by ego

Builders;

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What you are looking at is the bottom of a Corvair/Zenith Cowl. It is upside down, the rounded part is where the nose gear strut exits the cowl.  The right side is the part closest to the firewall where the air exits.  The orange level and square is there to visually show what 45 degrees looks like. To the right of the end of the level is the 2″ exit lip of the bottom of the cowl. This forms a fixed cowl flap, which makes the low pressure zone on the bottom of the cowl.  I have relentlessly specified that this must be at least 2″, and it absolutely must be 45 degrees to the bottom of the cowl.

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Look at the picture and see the builder set it to 20 or 25 degrees at most. The effect? His 601HDS ran hot, he overheated the motor more than once, he publicly complained about the cooling and implied that other builders like Larry Nelson, flying the exact same combination in Yuma AZ was lying about his cooling success. He questioned if any Corvair ran cool, he was willing to search for any excuse, except the obvious one: the part of my advice he was unwilling to follow was the exact cause of his hot motor. This is a Cooling failure caused by ego. 

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I spoke to this builder many times on the phone and pointed him to cooling articles I had written, and asked him just to copy it exactly instead of questioning every bit of it and treating the information as if it was all a big conspiracy theory to some how keep him from using his plane. In the end, he flew about 100 hours, and then took his plane apart and sold it in pieces. The wounded engine? he sold it to another builder, without clearly saying that he had overheated it badly. 

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This isn’t a case of a kindly old guy who wasn’t good on the internet and missed a detail and we let him down. No, not that at all. Try this, He was an A&P mechanic in his 30’s who had attended a big Corvair College and seen plenty of working planes. His issue was simply not being willing to listen to my experience when it conflicted with his perception of what should be happening. That is not a failure of engine nor materials, it is a failure caused by ego.

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The stupid move above was not the only thing he needed to do differently. he tried running his engine on the ground with no cooling ducts for 30 minutes and never thought to shut it off as the rpm decided. That was $3,000 for new heads and pistons. The is the same individual who made his cabin heat muff right up against the bottom of the head impending airflow. He used a blunt spinner, arguing it didn’t effect cooling. He did put 5″ inlet rings in his cowl, and then bitched they didn’t work. Doing this but having no working cowl flap on the exit side is akin to complaining about the radiator in a pickup truck not cooling, and saying you have the grill clear, but neatly failing to mention you have a piece of cardboard between the radiator and the fan. All of these actions were not caused by lack of information, it was simply because he was unwilling to follow information that was readily presented to him. 

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You don’t know his name, but you have met him many times: He is the guy standing there with his arms tightly folded for 15 minutes as I answer a question he asked, but I’m not saying the words his ego needed to hear to feel vindicated. He is the guy who will not follow advice for a guy with 800 hours of Corvair time without incident, but spends hours studying an old website from someone who quit Corvairs a decade ago, after having a long series of failures. He is the guy who’s ego needs to make his engine ‘different’ or ‘unique’ because the positive comments from internet tolls mean more than successfully flying his plane with a proven system. He is the guy who blames everyone body but himself when he exits Corvairs, and issues a earnest sounding warning to other builders that doom is in the future, because a brilliant guy like him couldn’t succeed, so they have no chance. 

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I have said countless times, new builders and the eternal ‘I’ll build one day’ people are fascinated with every story of people who claim to have issues, but they will spend next to no time studying the Builders who are out successfully flying the same combination that the guy exiting claims will never work.

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William.

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Like to see more on good cooling on the same plane? Check out this video:

 

Outstanding Deal on New 3.0L Corvair.

Builders;

I have a new, 3,000cc Corvair in my shop. It has 2 hours of break in time on it only, done on my test stand. It is built directly under my supervision from a complete parts kit from myself and SPA. The engine is set up for a group 2800 heavy duty oil system. They are not in the picture, but the engine comes with an E/P-X distributor and a front alternator system.

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The engine belongs to a very close friend, but I will back it as I would any engine built in my shop. I am going to do further break in runs on it this weekend, and write a full set of test logs for it. If the buyer chooses, they can come for a free day in the shop with me and run their engine, and get a day of familiarization trainning. I can crate and ship this if the buyer isn’t picking it up in person, but the new owner needs to cover the costs.

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This is an excellent running start at the 2019 building and flying season. The typical cost for this engine at this stage, with a day of running and trying in my shop is close to $14K .  This is a one time deal, and it will be sold for $11,500 this week. To be the new owner, it just needs to be paid for, I’m willing to store it until spring if the new owner can’t pick it up right away.

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Above, the engine in my hangar. It is built around a forged 8409 crank, billet rods, SPA gen II 5th bearing, and all our components. It has all the latest detail upgrades and would be a fine Powerplant for any Corvair powered homebuilt.

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Call or text me, 904-806-8143 or email WilliamTCA@flycorvair.com if you need more information or would like to be the new owner.

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William

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PS, Anyone who thinks this motor is too expensive and somehow proves I don’t care about rank and file builders, please read the comment section and reply there. 

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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.”

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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..

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Wewjr.

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Need Help Contacting the Builder of this Aircraft ASAP.

Builders,

I was forwarded the image of the modified Pietenpol pictured below.  It is Corvair powered, and I have been told it was signed off by the FAA, but I don’t have a record of working with him.

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UPDATE: The builder of the plane has sent a request saying that he wanted the image removed from this story and from our FB ‘Corvair College’ page. He prefers to not discuss his plane in public. I offered to help, meant it. I’m leaving the rest here because first time builders need to understand having a 100 people tell you on FB your plane looks nice isn’t an endorsement of the details.  

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Above is the Plane in Question. I do not consider it airworthy, even though the FAA signed it off.  The first thing Piet builders will spot it the tiny weak diagonal cabanes, as I discuss here: Pietenpol Fuel lines and Cabanes and here: Fuel lines and Cabanes, part 2. But that isn’t the main point, it is the Vee shaped lift struts on a parasol with near vertical cabanes and a center section. It is not structurally sound.

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In 1989, a guy in my EAA chapter, #288, named Bob Spenk, built a steel tube Grega with a nearly identical lift strut arrangement. To my then-uneducated eye, it looked fine. The Embry-Riddle department chair of engineering was also a #288 member, and he sat down and explained that the new strut arrangement had almost no ability  to resist the wing rotating in relation to the fuselage, and any differential load, such as deflected ailerons, would impart this.  He explained that in a cabin airplane with the same lift struts, the upper longerons contacting the rear spar and the diagonals in the fuselage resist the twisting, and he showed us that one of the largest tubes in a J-3 fuselage does this.  He went on to show that a heath model V parasol has no center section, but it still requires diagonal brace wires from the rear spar lift strut attachment to the motor mount.  He pointed out that a it was superseded by the Heath N, and follow on airplanes like the Baby Ace, with parallel lift struts are required to have the diagonal brace wires between the lift struts, even though they have no center section.  Aircraft structures is a very complicated business, and it doesn’t care if all the local hangar fliers say “I will be alright” and it doesn’t care if all the people on the internet say “Its just a low and slow plane’.  neither of those statements will make the plane right. it doesn’t work that way.

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“Hey, William Wynne, you are a jerk, mind your own business, the guy is probably very nice and you are only pissing on his parade. He probably isn’t even a customer of yours. This is why many people think you are an ass.”

 …….In 2016, a lawsuit for $350,000 was tried against me. It came from a person who had a Corvair in their plane, but never bought a single thing from me. If you thought that couldn’t be done, I understand, I didn’t previously believe it was possible either, but yes, it can get to federal court.

  ……..If you work in aviation, or even spend time here, you will have to decide at what level you are Your brothers keeper?  I have long ago decided that I’m fine with many people thinking I’m a jerk for pointing out something like the plane above, but I am unwilling to go to bed at night and try to sleep with a pillow made of justifications and rationalizations.

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If you want to read the story of the exact day I learned this, 25 years ago, look here: Effective Risk Management – 2,903 words

“This was the first time I can clearly say I understood the cost of keeping your mouth shut. This was the first step to me becoming the kind of “Bastard” who publicly points out people doing dangerous things.”

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wewjr.

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“A thought on Easter” revisited

Disclaimer; Contains no technical information.

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Builders,

I wrote this five years ago, and it has been reprinted several times since, if you have seen it before, forgive the repetition that a builder who came on board in the last year or two might have a chance to read it, not just for the story itself, but to read the comments that other fellow builders left in the postscript. It is a reflection of the cross section of thinking people we have in the Corvair world, and an indication that many people regard being an aviator as part of an approach to life, not just another consumer experience. -ww.

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“Two days ago I had to run up to an old school machine shop that we use in the heart of industrial Jacksonville. The place has been there for 50 years, and in that time the neighborhood has gone to hell, but the family has stayed. Many people who live in gated communities with strict property owners associations think a long lawn or a car parked outside means things are bad. I am speaking of really bad here, burned out cars sitting on the street, several people per block who are either on powerful drugs, mentally ill or both, and  endless boarded up houses with squatters living in them.  When NYC was the murder capital of North America in the 1970s, my teenage friends and I thought it was a great playground; In the early 1980s when Newark was still burned out from the ’67 riots we used to hang out there for the illegal street racing. In the same years I worked in East Orange, a city that barely remained functional. I know what bad looks like, and this is the setting on Beaver Street in Jacksonville.

Yet when you get to the machine shop, everything is different. It does have an 8′ chain link fence topped with razor ribbon and all the windows have long since been bricked up, but the lot actually has trimmed grass and an orderly look about it. Going inside gives the feeling of being inside a very industrialized cave. When you walk back outside you get the same feeling of leaving a movie theater and walking outside, not expecting to find a sunny afternoon.

In the parking lot with a rake or a broom is a thin, quiet man in his 50s. He is polite, and always offers to help carry your parts and tells you that locking your truck isn’t needed, he will keep an eye on it. You will never find a man like this at an ISO-9001 compliant company or a corporate facility, his existence here is solely due to the kindness of the family run business.

Given a minute this man will carefully explain that the shop owner has entrusted him with the job of watchman, and provided him with a small motor home, feeds him lunch (and has him take as much as he needs for dinner) and buys him a pack of cigarettes every other day. He also can take all the scrap metal to the recycler next door and keep the money. This man is too healthy to be a drinker or a drug person. He has a very kind way about him. I am embarrassed to say this, but first I thought he was mentally handicapped, but after a minute I realized that he is just polite and a good listener, and has been freed of the illusion of self-importance that infects almost everyone you met this week.

Leaving the shop on Thursday, I was in a big hurry to beat the traffic and get back to our CC#25 prep work. I had 10 things on my mind, and I was behind schedule on the day. Walking back to my truck the man approached me to say something. My first thought was I really don’t have time to speak with him today, but I find it very difficult to be short with someone so kind. He wanted to speak with me because he had seen our dog Scoob E when we had driven down here before. He asked if I had a minute to see something.

He walked me around to the far side of the building where there was a little pen made of scrap metal. In it were two small white dogs. They were overjoyed to see him. In a city where everything is filthy, they were very clean. They had shade, water and food. He wanted to show me his dogs. In the presence of this simple man, my day kind of seemed a giant self-made exercise in stress. Walking around the building I had thought “I can spend a few minutes to be kind to this person.” As I sat down on a milk crate, I realized that this is the exact same thought that this man has with every single person, every day. The distinction being, in my case I thought I was doing some charity, and in his he is living as a genuine human being.

I sat there for 15 minutes while this man told me of growing up in Tullahoma, Tenn. He told me about how the shop owner took him in and found a place for him. He spoke of how he found the dogs in a cardboard box. It was sunny out, but we are still sitting in a scrapyard in an inner city with sirens and smells, noise, trash and barbed wire around us.  During these few minutes, this man used the phrase “I am really thankful for..” at least 10 times. Every time he said it, he looked me right in the eyes. He really wanted me to know that he meant it.

As he spoke and petted the dogs, I thought that it was ironic that in a week I would be standing at Sun ‘N Fun for my 25th consecutive year. I will meet many friends there old and new. But with them will come the third of the people at the show, the ones who are just a single sentence away from telling you how terrible life is these days. The people who tell you that life in America is ending, flying is going to become illegal, everything costs too much, the government this and the government that. They will have this litany of complaints on the sunniest days at the best airshows in really good company. Although they live in the greatest place, enjoy tremendous freedom, have very small threat to their existence, 1/3 of the people at Sun ‘N Fun will have a reason to blame someone else for their unwillingness to pursue their own happiness.

The poorest of these people will have ten thousand times more money than the man in Jacksonville. The thinnest of them will have never have gone three days without food. The one with the most modest camper will have a better place to stay in the campground than the man in Jacksonville has to live in every day. Any one of the people who will complain have an infinitely more comfortable life, but not a better one. Everything the complainers have is poisoned because they are thankful for none of it.

Every single person who is reading this in America has the infinite good luck, totally unearned, to be born here instead of in the 50% of the world that lives under a police state. Things are not perfect, but there is outstanding opportunity for those who will take it. It is utterly ridiculous to have the most blessed of people stand at a great setting like an airshow and have them spend their hours their complaining that they just can’t do anything to pursue happiness anymore.

I am not suggesting that we should all be happy with the way things are. There are many things today that no one should be complacent about. A friend recently said “cynicism allows complacency but knowledge demands action.” I really believe this, but first and foremost, I have a long list of things I am thankful for, and one of them is having a man of humble circumstances but very large spirit decide that I was worth 15 minutes of his time. -ww”

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the mail:

From Anthony Liberatore:

“Fantastic posting William. In a blessing of spending Easter with some friends in their home, the Dad Ted and I discussed are girls, their pursuits, and their futures. He mentioned their activities they engage in now and in the future especially if they are broad with give them perspective. This meeting with this humble gent and this article adds to my perspective and blessings. Well done Sir, My best to you and Grace on this Easter Day. Anthony”

From Sprint builder Joe Goldman:

“William have you read the book of editorials called “For two cents plain” This is about, and I forget the gentleman’s name, his writings in the Carolina Israelite. I think it was in the early sixties. You would find a kinship in the writings. Musings like why I never send back dinner when the waitress brings peas instead of the ordered string beans. See you on the 12th. Joe”

From builder Jackson Ordean:

No one ever flew higher than those on the wings of Love. You got it! Happy Easter, and Thanks! {;^)”

From builder Dan Branstrom:

“Thanks for your powerful words”

From Zenith 750 builder Blaine Schwartz:

“William, Your message is right on the point, as usual. We all have so many things to be thankful for. The very fact we can think about building and flying airplanes is evidence our daily lives have been blessed to the point that our cups runneth over. You mention those who can’t seem to find happiness; we should all view the cup as half full instead of half empty. Thank you for you thought-provoking expression.”

From Builder Bruce Culver:

“You see, William, this is why I make it a point to read everything you write, whether it’s strictly about airplanes and engines or not. This is the sort of deeply meaningful philosophy we don’t get in most places in popular culture, but this kind but poor man exemplifies the best of the human condition. And you’re in good company: Rabbi Harold Kushner, perhaps best known for his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”, is quoted, “I used to admire people who are intelligent; now I admire people who are kind.” Intelligence is a gift; kindness is a virtue. The gift is nice, but the virtue is priceless. And for the record, that watchman may not have much in material things, but he is far richer than most in spirit. He does indeed have much to be thankful for…..”

Builder Jon Ross writes:

“William, I fully agree with you. Having traveled the world I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have been born here in America. As I get older, I have taken notice of many things that in my younger years I was way too rushed to notice. Happiness comes in the most simplest of things; for me it is good time with friends, making a beautiful weld or some other type of craftmanship. I enjoy your observations as you wax philosophical; perhaps this is because I share many of the same observations as you do.”

KR2/Corvair builder/pilot Steve Makish writes:

“William, very good post. I also knew men like the person you vividly describe. I was in Detroit during the 1967 riots and last year at my Fathers funeral I saw nothing has taken place of the destruction of 1967. The old man I knew was in his eighties when I was a kid and he was the only one around with a chain saw and would cut our winter wood for us. He lived in a tar paper shack and drove an old Hudson “terraplane” He had many truisms but the one that sticks in my mind was “do you understand all you know about it?”  Warmest regards your friend,   Steve. “

Builder Allen Oliver writes:

“William: FYI: The book “For Two Cents Plain” that Joe Goldman referred to is by Harry Golden (1902-1981).
Good luck at SnF. Regards.”

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Golden–  ww)

Piet builder Harold Bickford writes:

“Hi William, Printed out the numbering system list and added to the manual; that is the best way to say thanks to you and Grace for your work (aside from actually building up the engine).

The Easter comments were appreciated. There is so much to be thankful for rather than complaining about things often out of our direct control. I also think too many folks just don’t get involved in things bigger than they are so it becomes really easy to miss the people and opportunities that come our way daily. Off to the shop…..Harold”

Tim Gibbs, Kansas 750 Builder writes:

William, what an amazing story on your encounter with that man at the machine shop. As I read how you thought you could “spend a few minutes to be kind to this person”, I realized that people like this do us more good than we do them. This man truly understands the idea that problems and troubles are inevitable, but misery is optional. Thank you for sharing, I must admit I enjoy reading your insightful stories as much as I do reading about Corvairs! Have a safe trip.

 

Zenith 601XL builder/flyer Dr. Gary Ray writes:

“William, you and Grace are from a small part of humanity that I am lucky to know.”

Zenith 650 builder Becky Shipman writes:

“William,I very much like stories like this. The truly important people in my life always have time – although the people who are considered important generally don’t have time for anyone.

This story reminds me of a man I knew in my youth – “Uncle” Elwin. No relative, but he was everyone’s uncle. He started out farming (in Maine – not very lucrative). In the summers he ran a small group of cottages on the Maine coast by day, and was a maintenance man in the local sardine cannery by night. In the winters he and his wife took a trailer to Florida and picked fruit – a migrant worker from Maine. I knew him because my parents rented a cottage from him every summer of my life. On dump day, uncle would put the trash in the back of his ’47 Chevy pickup, put his two dogs in the cab, and several of us kids would jump in the back with the garbage. We’d go to the dump, and help him unload, and then he’d help us scrounge for material to make a go-kart or whatever. On the way back something would generally fall off the pickup – it was showing its age.

Sometimes people would just treat him like he was stupid. One day he was digging holes and putting birch trees in the ground that had been cut off the stump, and someone said to him “You know, those will never grow like that.” And Uncle rubbed his chin, looked at the tree, and then looked at the person, and said “Ayuh, you know I think you’re right”. And went on with putting them in the ground. They were there to support some kind of pea vine, but Uncle didn’t feel the need to bother pointing that out.

People would come by while he was in the kitchen, cat in his lap, dogs at his feet, smoking a pipe in his rocker, and they’d tell him the water didn’t work in their cottage. ”Ayuh” was all he’d say. The person would go away frustrated, and uncle would sit and rock, and about half an hour later he’d get up, and go fix it. He wouldn’t go fix it until he figured out what was wrong, but lots of people felt he was just lazy.

Maine grows blueberries, and they are picked by migrant workers during the summer, who lived in tar paper shacks in the blueberry barrens. In his later years, Uncle had some land on a river near there, and when he drove through he would leave some food from his garden at the shacks. When he passed away, he willed his land to the local native american tribe “It was theirs to start with”.

Anyway, your story reminded me of Uncle Elwin, and a number of really important people I met during my life who were never in Who’s Who. Thanks for reminding me about what’s important. Becky”

Memorial Day Thought

Friends,

On this Memorial Day I would like take a moment to share a bit of wisdom from my father, William E. Wynne Sr. 1925-2017.

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Above, 1967 photo from Vietnam, my father is second from the left. The aircraft is a C-123 Provider.

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First, as most members of the armed services will remind us, and the public has mostly misunderstood, Memorial Day is not Veterans Day, it isn’t for thanking those who have served, it is intended to be a day of remembrance of all the Americans who lost their lives, and everything they might have ever done on this earth, in service to our Country.

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My father spent the years 1943-76 on active duty and last year he has laid to rest at Arlington, but he was no militarist.  He very rarely spoke of his views outside the family. He had one personal value that I’d like to share here: He adamantly believed that no American should express an opinion on a conflict until they have memorized the name and personal story of at least one fellow citizen who lost their life fighting in it.

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My father lead by example on this, and even when he was ninety, the could, given an hour of your time, tell you the names of 100 people who paid a terrible price and should be remembered on Memorial Day. If the number seems exaggerated, I can assure you it isn’t . WWII provided him with a somber start, as it took the lives of several dozen of his high school classmates, 23 in a single day.

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My fathers strongest bond to service was born of his years in the Seabees. Perhaps for this reason, he selected the name and story of Marvin G. Sheilds for me to learn. By the time I was nine I could share a brief biography of Shields. If you are among the Americans who cannot name a single person lost in Vietnam, perhaps spend 10 minutes of this Memorial Day reading his Wikipedia page and find out how his this man’s name became engraved on panel 2E of the Wall in DC.

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As he became older, my father developed a ritual. At the very end of a good day, he like to take some quiet time and reflect on men he once knew. To outsiders this was a mystery, but to dad it was the only way to come to terms with his unearned fortune of having a life that was taken away from them. Below is an excerpt from a story I wrote about my parents 65th wedding anniversary:

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 “Sunday night, with most of the family and friends on their way home, found my parents home suddenly quiet. While all of the afternoon’s conversations had been on family and good memories, my father, now almost 90 and somewhat frail, took the last hour of the evening to meet an obligation he finds very important;  I sit beside him and listen while he looks back through the decades to remember and speak the names and the stories of good men, who’s devotion to their Shipmates, the Navy and our Country cost them everything, including a chance to grow old with the families they loved. This spoken remembrance is central to my father’s gratitude for the great fortune of being married for 65 years.”

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If there is a particular American who died wearing the uniform of our country you wish to be remembered today, please take a moment to share their name in the comments.

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Wewjr.

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:)