Inexpensive carb testing

Builders,

Inexpensive carbs, the testing of the day. Dan Weseman had been looking at an adaptation of a specialized carb for a while. Today was the day we ran it for a long time and ran a lot of flow and hot start tests. It worked pretty good. It is made in America and costs about $400 new.

.

.

Above, the carb feeding a 2700cc Corvair on my run stand outside the SPA/Panther factory.

.


.

Above, The carb and adaptor to our standard Corvair manifold.  The carb is aimed at 200 cid industrial forklift engines. It is not approved for aircraft use by the manufacturer, so if you need support from their tech department, it has to asked in a way that doesn’t threaten the job and livelihood of the guy answering your questions. For people who have a hard time reading between the lines: Don’t call nor email the manufacturer.

.

The 1/2″ thick aluminum adaptor was drawn by Dan at is desk, sent to his CNC machine, I tapped the holes, and it was on the run stand start to finish in 60 minutes. Note the carb mounting holes are recessed below the gasket line.As Dan said, some days it is fun to be at work.

.


.

Above, the carb in action. On the same engine, under the same conditions, it gave up less than 40 rpm to a perfectly tuned MA3-SPA. This is the stuff you learn testing. Visually, you can see from the adaptor above, the carb has a much smaller throat diameter than the MA3.  If I show an internet discussion group the smaller carb, 90 percent of the people would state that it would be a terrible power loss. Testing proves that it isn’t. This is why talk is cheap, testing costs money, and being ignorant costs a fortune.

.

-ww.

.

Testing at Sensenich Propellers

Builders,

Yesterday, Dan Weseman, Paul Salter and myself drove 150 miles south with the Panther prototype to Sensenich Propellers. The task was to have their engineering staff test the combination of their Composite ground adjustable prop blades on the most powerful Corvair, Dan’s 3.3 liter stroker engine. It was a productive and interesting day. Dan had long planned this, and we wanted to squeeze it in before the end of the year. Sensenich has designed a specific prop for The Panther, but the testing paves the way for existing Composite props to be used on Corvairs. We have used Sensenich wood and wood/composite fixed pitch props on Corvairs dating back to 2003, and we extensively tested them on Zeniths, KRs, Pietenpols and even our Wagabond had one. But Yesterdays efforts were directed at Sensenich’s hollow, molded composite blades, recognized for their outstanding performance and their ability to be used in ground adjustable and constant speed hubs like the Airmaster.

.


.

Above, Dan in the panther, while an engineer logs the data. it isn’t like a simple prop balance, this information is vastly more complex, and will require many hours of analysis.

.

.

Above, Paul standing with one of Sensenich’s air boat blades. It is hollow composite. Three of these will effectively work on a 380hp GSIO-540. Half of their business is airboats, and they have a lot of work from it. The factory is highly automated with all types of CNC equipment, but still employs 30 craftsmen. A tour through their facility is a very effective demonstration that much of the “Conventional wisdom” spread on the internet and in hangar flying sessions is BS, modern props are doing many things ‘internet experts’ say will never happen. So much for props that are tapered to eliptical toothpicks at the tips.

.

.

Above, to be said with a Marlin Brando accent: ” I cudda been a propella” . This is a 10 yard dumpster filled with cut offs and scraps of yellow birch, sourced from the US, mostly in New York state. It is a fairly dense wood, and what most of their fixed pitch wood props are made of. Sensenich is an actual FAA certified aircraft prop manufacturer, whos products have to meet certified standards. This isn’t a nice guy with a draw knife and a cult following, it is real American manufacturing.

.


.

Above, The office had a super cool cut away of a Sensenich skyblade adjustable prop from the 1940s. This is not an Aeromatic, notice the diaphragm at the top. This was designed for certified aircraft.

.


.

Above, a series of intricate strain gauges attached to the blade root, the highest stressed part of the blades. The connections were soldered to wires leading to a radio transmitter in the prop hub, so the data they read was transmitted wirelessly to the computers on the bench. If you look at the first photo, you can see the receiving antenna attached to the blue bucket in front of the plane.

.


.

Above, opposite blade, with it’s strain gauges installed on the node lines of the blades. This is looking for resonant frequency data. The node lines were previously established on a shaker table inside. The silver writing is upside down here but it shows the fist second and third lines. These blades are incredibly stiff, and these frequencies are very high, well outside the rpm range of the prop. The testing went all the way to 3600 rpm in 50 rpm increments.

.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

.

Something funny: Earlier in the year, a guy was telling a few people that he had some combination of a Chinese crank and a bearing that would be the only way to put a complex prop on a Corvair, and the Weseman made inUSA billet crank and Gen II 5th bearing was not up for it. Here’s the joke: The cost of yesterdays run of testing on Dan’s products, and the development of parts is covered by Sensenich.  These blades are already in New Zealand at the Airmaster factory in a test prop specifically designed for Dan’s 5th bearing and our prop hub. Real propeller companies with staffs of actual engineers who have spent their entire careers looking at these specific issues, working on the combination, Yet one idiot with a keyboard and access to a discussion group can claim that he and his Chinese crank are the ‘solution’.

.

Custom Corvair Motor Mounts and installation components. 

Builders;

Over the years 1996-2016 I built about 50 one of a kind motor mounts to install a Corvair in unique or limited popularity airframes.  If you look back over the old photos on my traditional site: http://flycorvair.com/ you can see pictures of mounts on airframes like the Pegzair, Eich/J-2, Buttercup, Tailwind, Jr Ace, Stitts Skycoupe, KR-1, Kitfox #4, Skylite,  and Varieze.  There were a number of designs that started as one mount, but took years for a second one to sell, these include the Dragonfly, the 701, the Flybaby and the Wagabond. 

.

While just four designs, the Zenith 601/650, the Zenith 750, the Pietenpol Aircamper and the KR-2 and 2S make up 90% of the total mounts we have made over the years, I still wanted to support the airframes choices that some builders made. As a general policy, if it was a good match to the airframe, and the builder seriously wanted it, I was willing to make it.

.

The plan got a number of interesting planes going and was a good way to demonstrate both the versatility of the engine, and our technical ability to support builders. But it also had several serious flaws: Although most custom mounts take four times as long to build, and a lot of planning, I typically only charged builders the same rate as the closest “big four” mount, and second, I didn’t always get builders to acknowledge that custom mounts took time, and were not the highest priority in the shop. This meant I lost money on every one of these mounts, and was often rewarded by having an impatient customer complain to on line discussion groups, without ever mentioning the price, nor the fact his was building an obscure, obsolete airframe. Let those mounts stand as “Exhibit A” that I am both dumb and a slow learner.

.

Under the principle “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese” , Dan Weseman is now trying his hand at offering custom motor mounts and exhausts. Because he believes it isn’t required to repeat the mistakes of friends, he is making these mounts, but requiring the builders to understand they are going to cost more than standard mounts, and they are not in stock like the “big four” mounts. He is glad to look at doing mounts for builders as long as conversation starts with the understanding of these to points.

.


.

Above, It looks like a number of other mounts, but this is a picture of a Savanna S mount.  It was built by Dan Weseman at SPA/Panther. Note that it has it’s own custom exhaust that fits it like a glove.  While the mount is built around the same basic “tray”  as other mounts, and the exhaust system uses our decade prove stainless steel subcomponents, they still take a lot of time to design and build. These items are shown on my dummy engine, installed on a rotting stand, because all kind of components have to be check for clearance and the ability to be routinely serviced. Additionally, calculations for both weight and balance, thrust line and stress must be done. This is why a one of a kind mount has to cost a lot more, because a popular mount can have these cost spread over many of it’s kind.  Builders interested in talking to Dan about a mount can call him at 904-626-7777.

.

-ww.

.

Zero back ordered Motor Mounts.

Builders,

I don’t have an exact count, but I am pretty sure we have welded and sold 400-425 motor mounts in the last 20 years. While the Zenith 601/650 leads the all time popularity contest, I have also made almost 40 one of a kind mounts for the Corvair.

.

Over the years there were times we made large batches of the popular mounts, but almost always the less popular or one of a kind mounts were back ordered. Most builders were ok with a reasonable wait, but in the last two years, I was getting further and further behind on mounts, and the lead times were getting unacceptably long. When I asked Dan and Rachel Weseman to take over the distribution of our products back in January, I told them that my #1 goal was to eliminate all the back ordered items, particularly the motor mounts. On February 1st the day we got started, I had almost 25 mounts on order, with new sales being made every week.

.

The issue could not be solved by just heading out to the shop and welding for a month; doing so would just push other items behind, and derail events like the Western College tour. The solution was a bit more complex: It involved hard work, but it also included making a careful CAD study of our Pietenpol mount design, and converting it to CNC milled tube sets. These cost more, but critically they take a lot less hours to fabricate. I also cross trained Dan and Rachel’s weldor, Travis to make many of the mount designs, so production would continue while I was on the western tour. Get a look at this story: Parts Production improvements- #4201 Motor Mounts and this one: #4201-C Pietenpol Motor mounts, now on the shelf, ready for shipping.

.

The Pay off comes this week: We now have reached the point where we have Zero motor mount back orders, and we have a number of the popular mount designs on the shelf. We will not get behind again because I have more hours in my day, I have Travis to weld as needed, and all of the most popular mounts we offer are now made from CNC tubing sets. Keep in mind that since February first, there have been plenty of new orders on mounts, and that Dan and Rachel have their own lines of Corvair mounts for the Panther and the Cleanex. To get caught up, I had to get production well above the existing rate that was already flowing out to builders.  It didn’t happen overnight, I owe a big thank you to Dan and Rachel for their help, but it is actually now done.

.

I gave some thought to this today, and I actually can’t remember how long ago it was that I didn’t owe anyone a motor mount. It has been a number of years. On one hand I could easily say that builders willing to wait is strong evidence that builders understand the value of our designs, and trust me to produce items they ordered. But today, it feels a lot better to simply say we are caught up on mounts.

.

-ww.

.


.

Above, a part number 4201(E), this is a  KR2/2S mount, tricycle gear mount. Over the years I have made about 40-45 of these. This one was photographed on the shipping floor at SPA/Panther a few days ago. It is not powder coated, but it has a twin that was just finished that was. These two mounts had been the last two on the back order list. My humble apologies to the builders that waited for them. They were late, but the quality will not disappoint.

.

If your progress this fall includes mounting your engine, Please get a look at this page: http://shop.flycorvair.com/product-category/airframe-accessory-parts/

If you are headed to one of the upcoming events, and you would like to pick up a mount in person, contact Rachel at SPA, 904-626-7777 (extension #1) about an order, she will be glad to help.

.

_________

Below is the numbering system for mounts that we use in our manual, and in the ordering system. The links in color  can be clicked on to read the story about the parts:

.

Motor mounts (4200)

4201(A)- Zenith 601/650 mount, all models

Zenith 601/650 Motor mounts, P/N 4201(A)

4201(B)- Zenith 750/Cruiser mount

Zenith 750/Cruiser Mounts. P/N 4201(B)

Zenith 750 Mount Sale, only 5 avail.

4201(C)- Pietenpol mount, high thrust line

Pietenpol Mount on airframe

Pietenpol Products, Motor mounts, Gear and Instalation Components.

Pietenpol Motor Mounts, P/N 4201(C)

Three Pietenpol Motor Mounts

4201(D)- KR2/2S mount, conventional gear

4201(E)- KR2/2S mount, tricycle gear

4201(F)- Custom mounts

4202- Tray and spools


 

 

 

New Front Spinner Bulkhead 

Builders:

For the last 15 years we have made a part called the “Front Spinner Bulkhead”. In our conversion manual numbering system it is Group #4000, Part #4002.  It is just for Corvairs using Warp Drive Props and the Van’s 13″ spinner. The part has traditionally had a molded fiberglass bulkhead with an aluminum crush plate. Below are pictures of the latest version, it has been modified to be 100% Aluminum. All of the existing backorders on this part have been filled with this new design.

,

.

Above, a look at the part from the engine side. This is the 3/8″ thick crushplate required by Warp Drive Props. It is a precision CNC part.

.


.

Above the spinner side of the part.  The six large holes allow getting a socket on the prop mounting bolts. The spun aluminum part starts out life as a Van’s aircraft part, but it has been fed through the CNC router at SPA/Panther to produce the correct SAE#1 bolt pattern and enlarge the holes for clearance. The complete assembly is put into a lathe, and checked for trueness. These Aluminum assemblies are slightly lighter and more true than previous Aluminum/fiberglass models. The sticker on the part shows that it has passed the final assembly check.

.

This improved part is another example of how builders have benefited from my collaborative work with the Wesemans. 2016 has been a year of progress on the manufacturing and distribution of a number of products, all of which adds up to builders having a better opportunity to Learn Build and fly.

.

To learn more about the part, follow this link: http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/4002-front-spinner-bulk-head/

.

-ww.

.

Parts for Oshkosh 

Builders

We are 15 days away from arriving at Oshkosh.  We have a number of items on the shelf, particularly large items like motor mounts, which we will be glad to bring to the event, but if you would like to make sure we have it for you to pick one up at the show, the best idea is to buy it in advance.

.

This is the link to out products page:

http://shop.flycorvair.com/shop/

.

When you place an order on this site, it is directly logged with the Weseman’s at SPA/Panther, where the inventory is actually stored. Thus, it can be shipped, packed or organized for pick up right away, no matter where I am in the country. This is the system we have had in place since February 1st, and it works great, and allowed excellent service to continue even while I am doing things like Back in Florida after 7,380 miles on tour.

.

If you need to ask about a specific part or check available inventory, you can call SPA at 904-626-7777.

.


.

Above, a set of Group 1900 valve covers. We had a special run of ten sets done in Black wrinkle finish (this is powder coating not paint) , and we have 7 sets left. If you were around hot rods in high school, you will remember the very popular M/T (Mickey Thompson) valve covers for V-8s, which had this same look.

.


.

Above, a close look at the finish on the valve covers. They can be supplied with graphics for any HP output, 100-110-120.

.


.

Above is a high thrust line Pietenpol motor mount. There are currently two of these on the shelf, and I am going to bring them to Brodhead on Saturday, were I am giving my traditional afternoon forum.  If you wish to insure picking one up, paying for it in advance is a good idea. Shipping on motor mounts is substantial, and we save builders this cost when they pick it up in person. For more info, read this: #4201-C Pietenpol Motor mounts, now on the shelf, ready for shipping.

.

IMG_0125

.

Above ScoobE with Zenith mounts on our back porch. Read the 2014 story he wrote on them: 750 Mount 4201(B) for sale, Story by Scoob E  . Over the years I have made more than 100 zenith 750 mounts, and more than 250 zenith 601/650 mounts.  That is a proven product from a stable source.

.

We also have 6 Zenith 750 mounts and one 650/601 mount on hand. Read Parts Production improvements- #4201 Motor Mounts. These are very popular at Oshkosh, and often sell out by the second day.  If you would like to pick one up and save the shipping, order in advance.

.


.

Above , Sunset in the dry part of eastern Washington, 75 miles south of Spokane.  The arrangement with the Weseman’s to distribute the Corvair parts in our catalog has worked incredibly well. Crucial to my goal of teaching builders skills is being able to travel to them, and I can now do this without taxing customer service.  Six months ago, I had a very long back order list, including things like 44 E/P-X distributors and 27 Zenith and Pietenpol motor mounts. Today we have no back orders on these, but that is just part of the story. I have also done the Western tour with three colleges, continued on a high pace of R&D projects, kept up with communications , and most important, been able to spend a significant amount of time with my Father. My gratitude for the efforts of the Weseman’s this year is particularly based on this last item. When good people assist you in making the right thing happen at a critical time, perhaps the only way this can be described is as a blessing.
.

-ww.

.

#4201-C Pietenpol Motor mounts, now on the shelf, ready for shipping.

Builders:

These motor mounts are a good example of advancements in our 2016 operations.  Over many years, I developed and hand made several dozen of these mounts. They are on many well known Corvair powered Pietenpols, and the design allows the plane to be flown with larger pilots without having aft CG issues common to other engines. The only drawbacks to the mount was that it was difficult for me to meet demand for them, and second, because of builder variations in fuselage width, we ended up making them in two slightly different widths. Both of these issues have now been eliminated, we have filled all the back orders, and we now have these mounts on the shelf, ready for immediate shipping.

.

To make the availability better, the solution was to advance the production from hand fitted tubing sets, to using full on CNC cut tubing sets like we do on all our Zenith mounts. There is a significant tool up charge for this and the tubing sets cost much more than the raw tubing, but it removes a lot of labor from the job and increases the quality of the finished mount. It also allows us to use SPA resources as I wrote in this related story: Parts Production improvements- #4201 Motor Mounts

.

The second innovation actually came from the mind of Dan Weseman. I was explaining to him how many Piet builders miss the plans specified fuselage with of 24.00″ because they don’t put the plywood on the fuselage until later, and only then discover their finished width is 24.25″. Because of the style of the fuselage attach points, this would normally require two different mounts. After looking at this for a while, Dan offered the idea pictured below, which allows one mount to cover any fuselage between 24.00-and 24.25″ width.  This allows stocking mounts that will serve all fuselages.

.

From here forward, we will build several batches a year of these mounts, with the intention of keeping the on the shelf to stay ahead of orders. Right now we have a small number on hand, extras from the first CNC batch that filled all the existing orders. If you are a Pietenpol builder, and you would like to advance your project by purchasing one of these mounts, you can order it directly from the link below to our products page. If you order it today, it can be at your location in 2 or 3 days. That is a serious improvement, and typical of the many advancement we have made in 2016.

.

.

Above, a top view of the mount. They are all powder coated haze gray. To understand the development of the design, read this story: Three Pietenpol Motor Mounts.

.

.

Above, the detail that makes it work on both fuselage widths: The mount is held to the airframe with four AN-5 bolts. ( The bolt illustrated is just for reference, it is not the correct length nor is it an AN bolt. ) On each of these four bolts there are two AN-960-516 washers, acting as spacers. If they are installed as above, on the inboard side of the mount, the mount fits a 24.00″ wide fuselage like a glove. If the washers are installed on the outboard side of the mount, it will fit a 24.25″ wide fuselage perfectly. This even works for the one guy who made a 24.125″ wide fuselage, as he can put one washer on each side.

.

Although this seems like an obvious idea, it has actually been checked very closely on CAD drawings to make sure the tube shown doesn’t contact the ears on the fuselage attach brackets on either fuselage width. A special note to other Pietenpol builders: The 1960s revisions to the Piet plans show a much more elaborate straps and finger patched on the mount legs. If you are building your own mount, particularly if you are not a professional aircraft welder or you are using a gas welder instead of TIG, follow the plans, do not try to imitate the design shown here. What makes it work for us is the fact we are using very thick wall 5/8 tubing for the bolts to pass through, the 3/4 tubing welded to it is perfectly CNC’ed  to fit, The material is all US made tubing, it is 100% TIG welded with state of the art machines, and most critically, it is all welded by Travis, Vern or myself. This is not a particularly challenging weld, nor is it highly stressed, but I have seen a lot of guys who say “I’ll get my buddy to do this, he had been welding for 25 years, and he works cheap” and the guy isn’t capable of reliably making that weld, nor honest enough to admit he can’t. If you are not going to get the mount from me, use the style of fitting shown in the plans, not the welding style pictured here.

.

.

Left side view of the mount. It is 100% 4130 aircraft steel, 100% TIG welded. We have never had any steel of unknown quality (Chinese) in any aircraft mount we have sold. If you are looking at tubing for sale, even in aircraft catalogs, and it doesn’t specify the country of origin, there is a fair chance it is from China. The CNC factory that supplies our tubing kits is the #1 suppler of aircraft tubing kits in the world, I know the owner personally, and he has plenty of evidence to show that Chinese tubing isn’t made to the same standards no matter what it is marked. None of the kits he supplies to any of his customers use tubing from China.

.


.

Bottom view of the mount. The diagonal brace on the mount is required on a Pietenpol, but not all other Corvair mounts. The requirement is mostly driven by the narrow with of the from of the Pietenpol fuselage.  The diagonal tube make the mount very stiff in torsion.

.

Related stories:

Current Corvair Installation in a Pietenpol, part #1

Current Corvair Installation in a Pietenpol, Part 2

Steel tube Pietenpol fuselage with landing gear and 12 x 4.8″ tires.

Pietenpol Products, Motor mounts, Gear and Instalation Components.

.

If you are a Pietenpol builder, and would like more information on the Corvair/Piet combination or the life of B.H. Pietenpol, look at this link:  Corvair – Pietenpol Reference page

.

-Ww

.

Link to products page:

.

http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/4201-b-engine-mount-pietenpol-high-thrust-line/

.