WW Flycorvair Fly-in

Builders,

On Friday May 21st, I will be hosting a one day gathering of WW Flycorvair planes and builders in central Illinois, at Shelby County airport ( Identifier 2HO ). This event is aligned with the regional the Corvair society of America/Corvair Preservation Foundation Mini Convention , themed: “Corvair – The Next Generation”. Its in Springfield. I’m the guest speaker at their dinner on night of the 22nd.

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The land based Corvairs that attend the CORSA meet do several area road trips, and on Friday the 21st, the cars and their owners will come out to the airport so we can both appreciate each others machines. Over the years we have looked for an opportunity to do this, but until now, have never had the perfect setting to accomplish this connection.

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Above, the central location of the event puts in close proximity to a number of Corvair powered planes in the midwest.

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I will be at the airport on the 20th, stay all day on the 21st, and mid-day on Saturday head over to the CORSA meet. If you are building a Corvair, or even thinking about it, this is an excellent opportunity to see flying planes in person, in a relaxed setting. I love Oshkosh, but it can be a logistical challenge to park, pay, get through the gate, refinance your house to pay for lunch, and then find the aircraft that interest you and then talk over the sound of overspending props on T-6s. Shelby County is going to be the exact opposite of this. Make plans to attend today.

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Please note; This is a fly in of WW Corvair planes so you can get a look at the layout and performance of these conversions, and directly speak to their builders. Logistically we will not be set up to run a ‘Corvair College’ type event. However, I will be very glad to inspect core engines and pick up cores. I’m not bringing inventory. I will have manuals for sale there, but if you are seriously considering building your own corvair in the future, the best thing to do is order your manual well in advance of the event, and read it closely. You will be much better prepared to get the most out of our hours there is you have done some reading first. If you have a spare core motor you would like to offer another builder, bring it, oof you have core parts you would like me to take back to Florida, bring them.

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Our local host is airport manager Scott Jeffson. He welcomed this idea from the beginning. If that doesn’t impress you, perhaps you have not been in aviation long enough to understand that most airport managers are preprogrammed to say “NO!” to every question asked of them. Jeff has been gracious about every aspect of this, and we are going to demonstrate our gratitude by maintaining a very high safety awareness, leaving the place cleaner than we found it, and cheerfully and immediately following every thing he asks, no matter how big or how small. I have written about my fathers standards of how guests behave, we will still have fun, but will do so while meeting my father’s deffiniton of ‘guest’.

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Special thanks to Eva “The Corvair Lady” McGuire. She has been the driving force on getting this event to dovetail with the CORSA meet. If you are on FB, check out her documentation on “Meet the Makers of the Chevrolet Corvair” , it covers stories and interviews with the men and women directly connected to the design and production pf the Corvair.

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More news on this to follow, please ask questions in the comment section.

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WWjr

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Pictures from a full day of Corvairs;

Builders,

A few photo highlights of today.

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Above, one of the parts that came up on my Sunday scratch and dent sale. It was more of selling off some good and useful orders design stuff in a hangar cleaning. Builders responded in a way that was a little surprising, most of the stuff sold in a few hours.

Above, a pile of stuff going out at the Post Office today. I’m trying to develop a reputation for fast service.

First weld of the day, an O2 sensor port added to a Zenith Exhaust. This is for a Innovate 3918 Air/fuel unit. This pipe was purged inside with argon before welding.

Guest welder Bryce Gilbert using my home made (25 years ago) rotating welding stand to weld up pipes to carb flanges for intake manifolds. The picture didn’t capture it well, but there is a argon purge line going through the top of the clamp feeding inert gas to the inside of the part, otherwise it is a very poor weld. 304 stainless requires this. When we work together one or two nights a week, generally I fabricate and Bryce welds. The parts here have already been band sawed to rough length and squared up on my lathe. The inside gets turned again after welding. There are about 20 more steps to make a rather simple looking intake manifold.

Above, the weld beed on the carb flange to intake pipe. When I TiG weld a part like this, I use the pulser and hand motion to produce the ringlets. Bryce prefers to go old school and does this purely with pedal manipulation.

Up pipes for 18 intakes in process.

We also worded on oil pan installation kits. The center piece of the kit is a fabricated deep sump pick up. They start with brand new chevy pickups from a regular small block.

The fixture for accurately welding them is made from 1/4 of an old case. the ghosted structure is the same exact shape as the oil oil pan. The clamping bolt that holds the tab in place is an old distributor shaft, easy to turn without tools which gloved hands.

In the middle of the day I took a crated engine up to the huge freight terminal north west of Jacksonville, On the way I stopped my my fiberglass shop and picked up another five STOL bowls. When shutting off the lights I almost forgot to bring them inside. Would not have mattered, they are obviously water proof. End of long day, except a few more phone calls, 2 emails and typing this.

WW

Hangar clean up sale;

Builders;

I cleaned up the shop today, and found a 1/2 dozen items that may assist budget builders in advancing their project. These Items are listed on my products page, you buy them like any other product. I’m covering the shipping on these items anywhere in the US. Get a look, there may be something your project needs.

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https://flycorvair.net/shop/

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WWjr.

Can carb ice form at 64F and a 4,000’ overcast?

Builders.

Those were the conditions, and I let the test engine idle with no carb heat for 5 minutes at 850 rpm. We were testing the Stromberg the builder is going to use on this engine. Look at the white patch of ice on the manifold. …… and no, this isn’t a Corvair thing, Continentals are prone to this also, and if your going to be a real airman, you need to have a good understanding of the physics here.

WWJR

Differential Compression testing.

Builders:

One of the things I do to test motors after their first run is a quick differential compression test. The two gauges show the regulated supply air at 80 psi, and the other shows the pressure in the cylinder at TDC. there is a tiny calibrated orifice between the gauges. If the leak down is less than the tiny orifice, the cylinder is said in A&P slang to “Blow 80 over 80”.

In reality this is not common, and many manufacturers have service limits like 60/80 (said “sixty over eighty”) . These are the numbers you see in log books of planes at annual. My MOP manual discusses these at length, but here is a quick look at the test run motor blowing 79/80, a near perfect score, after a one hour break in run.

Other engine companies talk about what they can sell you, and that’s OK if you are just going to buy a motor, and honestly that is what the majority of todays builders want. But I’m not a salesman, I’m an instructor, and for this reason, I mostly speak of learning.

WWJR

First engine of 2021: – 2,700cc Corvair for a Piet in Canada.

Builders

This 2,700cc Corvair puts down a perfect break in run in my front yard. A super nice winter day in Florida, a very nice setting for an auspicious start. This engine is slated to be flying in a Canadian Piet my early summer this year.

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This is the replacement engine for the “Jewel of Barnstormers”. I assembled it for the trusting neighbor to the north who put too much trust in the brotherhood of aviation. This engine will serve him for years, and provide countless great memories.

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If you have not seen it, here is a link to the video of the original rip off engine sold on Barnstormers for $5K. After I made the video, the seller refunded the great majority of the $5K. Perhaps because he understood what he had sold, or perhaps he saw how many of you watched the video, and wasn’t looking forward to seeing a sequel with his name used in it. In the words of Prince Faisal: “ I’ll let you decide which was the more reliable motive”

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WWjr

Tach Pick Up

Builders:

Below a look and an integrated system I developed. I’m holding a front alternator bracket. Threaded into the bracket is a very high quality sensor for a tach. It is tripped by two small AN-3 bolts, in precision CNC drilled holes in the ring gear. This is a compact arrangement using parts like the bracket and ring gear which are already doing a primary task. This gives 2 pulses per revolution, compatible with virtually all glass cockpits.

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The sending unit is not cheap. It is made in the US by a very reputable company. I have it on my website as a service, the price I sell them for is $2 over what it costs me to buy them hand have them shipped to my place. But I like the way it works with the other parts to be a very simple and elegant installation. If you got a ring gear from me in the last few months, it came with the 3/16″ holes, alternator brackets have the 3/8-24 thread for the sensor. If you have earlier brackets or ring gear, you can drill these holes carefully in your shop. I’ll include the locations in a later video.

Several months ago I shared a look at testing eight different pickups and various locations on the ring gear. The is the final result for anyone building a plane with a glass cockpit.

WWJR

Nason Switch

Builders ,

Below is a Nason switch, something I pioneered into an aircraft safety system nearly 20 years ago. It is a very high quality pressure switch, from a company with makes very rugged electrical sensors. Its job is to cut off the primary electrical fuel pump automatically, in case the pilot has a mishap and forgets to or is unable to shut off the critical master putting power to the primary fuel pump.

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Picture a 650 just touched down at a busy airport, and running into the wake of a jet that had landed previously. Aircraft gets blown off the runway and the pilot gets knocked out. In this instance, any airplane with a running electrical fuel pump, (not just a Corvair powered one) will continue to pump fuel. If a line is ruptured, it’s a very bad leak. Here is where the Nason switch works: It cuts off the power to the primary pump when the oil pressure drops below 5 psi. Engine stops, fuel flow by the primary pump stops.

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I say primary, because on a corvair installation, the Nason switch is just on the primary pump, the back up pump has no switch, to make it as simple as possible. This also allows the engine to be primed and started on the back up pump, as it will flow fuel on command, even without the engine running.

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Cars have similar systems, but they don’t have simplicity shown here. 15 years ago I had one builder who loved German things go out of his way to show that he could rig the ignition timing switch from a VW Jetta ( A car that makes the MGB appear to have a reliable electrical system) to do the same function with a bunch of relays and wire. Yes, the Nason switch isn’t the only way to do this task, but when people put their ego aside, its probably the best way.

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Again, these just apply to Corvair Powered planes running two electrical fuel pumps, like a 601/650. They don’t apply to gravity feed planes.

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WWjr

Zenith 750 install in a Box.

Builders,

I wrapped this up on my back porch today, It is most of the components to install a Corvair on a Zenith 750. It heads to southern California tomorrow. The order is only a few days old, and truthfully it should have left on Friday because I had everything in stock, I just wanted to take some time to pack it carefully.

Visible is the gray motor mount, and the stainless intake, below it is a new Rotec 34mm TBI Mk,2 , the long box has the STOL nose bowl and the stainless exhaust. Recent inventory increases, all the way down to having specific shipping boxes mean almost all orders will go very quickly. Remember, we don’t take orders for items that are not on the shelf ready to go. If you order it on my shopping page, it’s going, the system is set specifically not to accept payment for anything not in immediate inventory.

Shipping several items together like this has its economy: The 750 mount needs a 40″x30″x30″ box, but there is a lot of left over room for the other items, and the cost dent go up because the weight rarely exceeds the threshold allowed for the volume.

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Although the cost to cost shipping on this came up as $322 on UPS’s calculator on my site, we were actually granted an $80 rebate on the shipment by UPS because the package was lighter than their algorithm projected. We refunded this to builder. I’m in the engine education business, I’m not doing this work to mark up shipping costs. If you have questions, call 904-806-8143.

WWjr

First Engine of 2021

Builders,

First engine of 2021, on my run stand, It needs a 5th bearing oil hose to prime it, but otherwise its about ready to check oil flow to all the rockers and to pre oil it for 15 minutes. Starter goes on in the am, some other details and a break in run in the afternoon. Next week this engine heads to western Canada.

This engine is actually the replacement for the “Jewel of Barnstormers” engine this trusting builder bought sight unseen from a guy in the eastern US. To his credit, and maybe because he understood the next video might use his name and location, he refunded most of the buyers money.

After some phone time, the builder and I came up with this engine as a replacement. It is a 2700cc, It has virtually all of my gold parts on it, but the cost was held down my utilizing some very lightly used stuff that I had in my hangar. I built the engine from having every single part separated and inspected, before reconditioning and careful reassembly. The Jewel of Barnstormers as more than $5K for absolute junk; this engine has finished below $8K for a very solid power plant.

The test run, the compression test and the oil sample will confirm the engine to be in first class shape. a Few hours on the stand and into the crate it goes, along with a new motor mount and a few other items. I good start to a new year in aviation, my 32nd working on Corvair flight engines.

Red oil pans catch the priming oil that will drip off the valve train. Green fuel tank is on brackets that parallelogram to raise it up 12″. The retracted position allows it to go in my trailer. The car is my 1966 Corsa I have owned for 25 years. I restored it in the late 1990s, but it needs it again. The car will do a little more time as a driver, but will not get much attention this year, as I am planning a very busy year in Corvair powered flight.

William.