Eyeball Exhaust Evaluations

Builders,

For as long as I have been working with Corvairs, I have had a segment of ‘experts’ tell me their opinions about the  Corvair exhaust such as ” It would make 30% more power with headers” All of these people were basing their misguided theories on ‘eyeball evaluations’ and the were just sure they were right. I knew they were wrong because I have testing on my side.

.

Below is a very interesting video showing how eyeball evaluations of exhaust systems are worthless. It shows a very potent 6,000 rpm V-8 on a dyno, in back to back tests where they flatten header tubes horribly, and it has next to no effect on the output. And that is on an engine making one and a half HP / cubic inch. The effect is even lower on engines like your Corvair flight engine.

.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azPKIjxmmdU

.

Engine exhaust requirements depend on cylinder head design and camshaft design. Typically, low rpm engines like your flight motor, have modest cam profiles with short duration, to build torque. These engines are not punished for having the backpressure of a muffler, nor are they rewarded for having perfect free flowing balanced tubes. In our application, the systems we use are the correct balance of reasonable flow, matched to the cam profile, with the two critical factors: Low surface area and stainless construction to prevent it from heating the inside of the cowl, and having low weight and a stiff design that will not resonate and crack. The systems we offer are made of the best materials, with the best welding, to long proven designs. Sorry if reality offends the ‘eyeball evaluation experts’, but that is reality.

.

Get a look at some of our exhausts here: http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/3901-a-zenith-exhaust/

.

Read about our designs here: Stainless Steel Exhaust Systems

.

Above, An exhaust evaluation as part of an Electronic Fuel injection test on a 2,700cc Corvair in 2007. It is shown running at power on my dyno. The urethane wheel directly reads foot pounds of torque off the digital scale. Note the engine has headers on it, that could be swapped in minutes for other exhaust. The EFI allowed the air/fuel ration to be corrected to optimize the exhaust instantly at the twist of a knob, giving the fairest scientific evaluation of exhausts. The air / fuel ratio was read on a laboratory grade digital O2 system. The data conclusively showed that headers make very little difference on a Corvair, and EFI was not impressive either. Read more here: Testing and Data Collection reference page

.

-ww.

.

Outlook 2016, New order page and distribution method.

Builders,

On February 1st, I activated an entirely new catalog page on our Flycorvair.com website. You can see it with this direct link:

.

http://shop.flycorvair.com/.

.

The second sentence there also contains this link to a visual catalog of the same parts:

.

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

.

————————————–

.

.

Above a 2013 model 3,000 cc engine, built from FlyCorvair.com and SPA/Panther parts. This engine now has 130 flight hours on it. It is a solid performer, based on 27 years of development.

.

——————————————-

.

Several things have been accomplished here:

.

The catalog page has been fully updated with better photos, linked stories and pricing, including new items like the Group 1100 cam kit and the 2400-L Starter kits.

.

We have an agreement with Dan and Rachel Weseman of SPA/Panther, where they will handle the sales and shipping of our catalog of parts. They are well known for their prompt, professional service and excellent communications. This agreement will allow me to focus on making parts and teaching builders, the two elements I do best.

.

IMG_2295

.

Above, a front quarter view of a 2015 engine: Notice how much more compact the 2400-L starter is on this engine than the our traditional lightweight stater in the top photo. The modern starter is 3 pounds lighter and uses less power. The engine at the top has since been upgraded with it’s own 2400-L starter. 

.

——————————————-

.

Questions:

.

What motivated the change? Both Grace and I both are very fortunate to still have both our parents, and we regard it as our duty to care for them. In my family we have many kids, and we all contribute to my parents care. In Grace’s case, she is the only child, so she is the first line of support, and there are no ‘reserves.’ While we have been very grateful for the patience our builders have shown in the last 24 months, the situation required a realistic permanent solution to provide consistent service.  Having Dan and Rachel take care of the sales and distribution of our parts is the solution that provides builder service while allowing us to meet our family commitments.

.

Is this a merger of the Companies? No, FlyCorvair and SPA are still entirely separate companies, it is just a distribution agreement between trusted friends. We have long worked on complimentary parts and products, supported builders with common events like the Corvair Finishing School, and had adjoining booths at Oshkosh, but we are still, and will remain two different companies.

.

How does this affect orders and shipping?  Our inventory of parts has been moved to the SPA warehouse, and when items are ordered from our new page, they will be shipped from SPA.  Rachel is known for her IT skills, and orders will receive automatic email confirmations, inventory control and sales support far beyond what I was capable of. We will jointly handle technical support with Dan’s assistance. SPA is a mid sized aircraft factory in it’s own right, with all the commiserate business hours and practices.  Comparatively, I have always accurately told builders that my work was a regular ‘mom and pop’ operation.  The new arrangement will allow full project support for builders because it combines the best of each of our assets with coordination of the parts flowing to builders as they need them.

.

What about existing orders for FlyCorvair parts? These are my responsibility. Anyone looking at the new site will see a 10% price increase, which is part of how SPA is compensated for all the time and effort they will invest in this, but all existing orders will be filled at the previous cost.  We have not had a price increase on most catalog items in more than 10 years.  For this modest increase builders will get the very tangible improvement of greatly improved service.  If you have an existing order, feel free to send us a note on the new website’s contact page, but be respectful of the idea that I am obligated to fill the existing orders that pre-date our agreement, Dan and Rachel are glad to assist these builders just as a courtesy.

.

Does this change anything about the College schedule? No, it does not. We are now less than 60 days from the first College of 2016 and the start of the 50 day Western tour. The new arrangement allows us to do an excellent job of coordinating all of each builders need for every college from here forward. Between FlyCorvair and SPA, we have every single part any builder needs to convert, run and install his Corvair. We fine tuned and tested this support with our Corvair Finishing School #1, Video report. It worked great, every person attending had everything they needed in advance and all the engines were completed and test run.

.

————————————

.

IMG_9120

.

Above, a 3,000 cc Corvair at power, on our test stand. In the last quarter century, I have assisted hundreds of builders to understand build, run and fly their Corvair engine. It sounds like a large number, but it was done over many years, one builder at a time. While other companies came and went, I have stayed in it for the long haul. If you are new to Corvairs and question why I have a strong loyalty from our old builders, it was because I treated them as fellow individual homebuilders, not as a ‘customer base.’

.

The Corvair engine isn’t for everyone, but if you get a good look at it’s qualities, and our system of information, parts and support with 27 unbroken years of work, and find it to match your goals in aviation, I will be glad to work with you.

.

 -ww.

.

Zen Vair discussion group update, notes on joining

Builders:

24 months ago, We started the ‘Zenvair’ information board, a place where we could collect and share a large database of information on Zenith aircraft powered by our Corvair Conversions. Initially, we restricted the participants to those with flying Corvair powered Zeniths, and Zenith builders who had reached the point where their engine had been run. The logic was to build up the data base with people with first hand experience, and those who had already been though our engine build process. This phase is now complete, and we have made the decision to open the membership to all Corvair- Zenith builders. The only requirement is they must have a Zenith kit or set of plans, and they must have a Conversion manual from us.

.

Above, Phil Maxson with his Corvair powered 601 XL at Corvair College #24 in Barnwell SC. He has worked tirelessly as the moderator of our ‘Zenvair’ discussion group. Like our ‘PietVair’ group, the content is not secret, but it is private, available to group members only. Inside, the discussions are technical, but friendly. This is driven by the fact that there are no anonymous people, every single member has a profile and uses their real name. Many of the members already know each other from Corvair Colleges, and the groups reflect the positive attitudes of the Colleges. 

.

If you are a Zenith Builder, you have one of our Conversion manuals and would like to be part of the discussion group,  please contact Phil or myself by email.  Signing up is simple and it is absolutely free. There are no costs nor ‘donations.’  Please be advised that if anyone contacts Phil with an email that says “Sign me up, I’m Flyboy26@gmail” they are not getting access, because all real builders are going to send an email that looks like “My name is Mike Smith, I am building a Zenith 650, Kit number 6524, and my corvair conversion manual is #9923, thanks.”

.

Phil’s email is:    zenvairforum@gmail.com,

Mine is: WilliamTCA@aol.com

.

Before anyone asks, The group is specifically for supporting our Corvair conversions, and therefore we don’t extend memberships to people who chose other engines or are stuck with engines from now defunct LLC’s.  This is nothing new, although I have been in business 26 years and know a lot about flight engines, builders understand  that I have a strict personal code of never offering advice on an engine or installation which I have not personally worked on.  The internet is full of “engine guru’s” who claim to be able to offer valid advice on any engine, not just ones they have worked on. In my book, that is not a morally nor logically defensible position. My work is just to share what I know from first hand proven experience. The subject of building and flying planes can have serious consequences, select those that would advise you carefully.

.

——————————————————–

.

To read the stories about the original formation of the Zenvair group, read these two links:

‘Zenvair’ Information board formed

and

‘Zenvair’ information board, part #2

.

—————————————————————-

.

608626

Above, Phil and I in my front yard the night we finished his 3,000 cc engine as an upgrade for his 601XL, which had flown on a 2700 engine since 2006. Phil is a pretty smart guy, but truth be told, it is his son who has the PhD in physics from Cornell. Phil just has the shirt.

.

mmmmm

Piet Vair discussion group update, notes on joining

Builders:

Three weeks ago, we launched a private discussion group to specifically serve as a central location where builders of the Pietenpol / Corvair combination could share building and operational information, in a friendly setting. For builders working on the combination, we have a link on signing up at the bottom of this story.

.

Moderator Terry Hand and I are impressed with the start, as it now has 65 members, 136 active threads, and more than 410 posts have been written on a great number of topics specific to the airframe engine combination.

.

That is a pretty good start for a specifically defined small group in homebuilding. I attribute it to a combination of the Corvair movement attracting serious ‘Learn, build and fly’ people, and also the appeal of a group where everyone uses their real name and the tone is friendly. Here is a link to the original launch story: Piet / Vair internet builders group, started 4/24/15 .

.

Terry’s email is: pietvairforum@gmail.com,

.

———————————————————–

.

68209

Bob Lester strikes the “Intrepid Aviator” pose with his Pietenpol.  He is good at this because he has seen every old aviation movie ever made. He built his 2,700/Weseman bearing engine at CC #17, and it has 290 hours in the plane now. Bob is now an active member of our ‘Pietvair’ group

.

—————————————————————-

.

Who is the group for?   It is for builders who working on the Pietenpol Corvair combination, either one of our installations or one of the traditional Bernard Pietenpol arrangements. My definition of ‘working on’ means having a conversion manual from us and having a set of plans for the plane. This keeps the group focused on the specific topics, and means that 100% of the people are active builders, even if some of them are new or just in the planning stage. Having the plans identifies a person as a builder, different than all the people on the net who are “going to build something someday” There are countless websites for the latter people, Our Pietvair group is for the builders who are actively working on improving their aeronautical understanding and skill set.

.

We have had a number of people to sign up who didn’t read the directions close enough:

1) You must be a Corvair guy, 2) You have to use your real actual name in the sign up, (Flyboy26@gmail isn’t OK)  3) you have to be focused on building a Pietenpol. If you are a Zenith builder, we have a different group for you:  ‘Zenvair’ Information board formed The sign up instructions are very detailed, but if you have any questions, you can directly contact the moderator Terry Hand, at Jarheadpilot82@gmail.com.

.

What if I am putting a Continental A-65 or O-200 my Piet?  Continental Motors, Inc. has their own Piet/Continental discussion group their contact information is:- 2039 Broad Street Mobile, AL 36615 Phone: 251-438-3411 When calling ask to speak with Mr. Zhou Enlai, customer service director from the main office. He is a very helpful guy, his last name is pronounced “In -Lie”, but he goes by his first name pronounced “Cho”)

.

How does this help me if I am not building that combination? Part of the greater purpose of the group, just like our Zenvair group, is to build a solid database of accessible proven information, and have builders available to share what they have learned. This greatly assists me by providing a river of good information to new builders, something which previously took a large amount of time for me to do individually. This allows more time for advanced support, R&D, production and testing. In this way, the groups directly support the builders of all Corvair powered airframes.

.

——————————————-

.

A very detailed visual, step by step sign up instructions can be found here:

.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-sW1jQ2-f5_MWRacWdnWWhUSEU/view

.

(They are nearly computer-idiot proof, I tested them on myself. )

,
————————————————————-
.

Above,Randy Bush of TN. at Brodhead with Miss Le’Bec (it is a combination of his girls’ names). His aircraft was seven years in the making.  The most successful builders I know understand that hours spent in your own shop, creating things with your own hands, is a vital part of a worthwhile life. Learning to make things is a crucial investment in your own sanity. Does it surprise anyone that really happy people always have a way of being creative? The plane has more than 600 hours on it. Randy is one of the builders on our ‘Pietvair’ group sharing what he has learned from years of successful operation.

Current Corvair Installation in a Pietenpol, part #1

Builders :

Below is a look at the Pietenpol project of the CC#32 local hosts Kevin Purtee and Shelley Tumino. It is about 85% done. It is an extensive update on their old Piet. The photos offer a good look at what the most current Corvair installation on a Piet looks like.

.

In the descriptions, I am going to demonstrate how the modern part numbering system we use in our manuals, Web sites and communications makes describing and understanding the engine and its installation much more accurate and allows builders to visualize their own installation. The numbering system is universal: It applies to all Corvair powered planes, not just Pietenpols. You can get a general overview here: Group Sources for the new numbering system.

.

IMG_1380

.

Above, a general view of the engine. It is a 2700cc / 100hp engine with a Weseman Gen 2 fifth bearing on a GM 8409 crank. It was test run at CC #24  ( Corvair College #24, reviewed in pictures, part three. ) All the information on cranks in our numbering system is in Group 1000. Weseman 5th bearings is Group 3000. Both of these are covered in this discussion : Jump Start Engines – part #4 , which is just one of the links from typing the term “group 1000” in the search block on our website. The group in covered in great detail in our new manual as chapter #1. ( Brand New 250 page 2014 Manual- Done )

.

IMG_1383

.

Above, the other side of the engine.  Visible at the top is the starter. Everything on starters is Group 2400. Kevin’s engine is equipped with one of our new ultra light weight systems: 2400-L Starter . This system is a complete group, and ordering one off our products page covers everything in Group 2400, including the ring gear #2408, the mounting brackets #2402-L  , the top cover #2405, the gasket #2406 and the hardware #2407.

.

The valve covers shown are an example of the ones we modify and powdercoat. Everything about valve covers are in Group #1900. read more here: E-mail Now: Custom Valve Covers Available Through Monday and here: http://www.flycorvair.com/products.html

.

Kevin’s plane has one of our Electronic / Points ignition systems, #3301- E/P. The ignition systems are in Group 3300.

.

IMG_1384

.

Above, shows the Stainless Pietenpol exhaust we make.  Exhaust systems are Group 3900. We have sold a number of 3901-C exhausts to Piet builders with standard motor mounts, but our high thrust line mount does not fit that exhaust because the mount is 3″ longer than the one that was in the Pietenpol plans. Thus we have developed a new part number 3901-E, just for Pietenpols with our #4201-C motor mount.

.

Oil pans and installation parts are Group 2200. The Gold billet oil pan pictured is #2201-B. The new manual covers every detail of the engine, not just the parts we sell. For example, the motor mount bushings are #4203 and the mounting bolts are #4204. The book explains what they are and where to buy them directly. These parts have a #42xx number, because they are in the chapter with motor mounts.

.

IMG_1387

.

Above, Kevin’s simple panel.  Do not mistake his panel for an indicator of his skill set with aircraft. He has spent 25 years as a combat Helicopter pilot, he holds an ATP, and has several hundred hours in Pietenpols. Often, the most experienced pilots make the most appropriate choices when it comes to instrumentation in particular planes. Almost without fail, when a guy tells me he is going to put “Full IFR” instruments in a plane like a KR-2 or a 601, It means he has 0.0 hours flying on instruments in light aircraft. I do not blame these builders for such choices. Homebuilders have been bombarded with countless stories and thinly veiled marketing campaigns promoting excessive instrumentation in homebuilt planes for the last 25 years. Put what ever you like in your own plane, I am only suggesting an honest and careful evaluation of what will serve you, in place of just going with what is in magazines or is being promoted by dealers.

.

IMG_1389

,

Above, the back side of the panel, and the passenger seat. The name is a reference to the film, “The Great Waldo Pepper.”

,

, IMG_1390

.

Above, the pilots seat.  Kevin’s planes was one of the 30 Pietenpols that I weighed for the Weight and Balance project. ( Pietenpol Weight and Balance project ) Many of the planes we measured that had Continental A-65 engines had chronic aft CG issues, partial because that engine is lighter than a Corvair or a Ford Model A, but mostly because few Piet builders took the time to read the plans carefully, including the Weight and balance sheet provided by the Pietenpol family. Kevin planned better, and his plane could take a 300 pound pilot without going out of the aft CG limit.

.

On to part #2….

.

-ww.

2014 Conversion Manual Notes

Builders,

Some quick notes on 2014 manuals:

.

If you are the original owner of an earlier manual, and you would like an upgrade, Send a check for $50 to 5000-18 Highway #17, suite #247 Fleming Island FL, 32003. If you are outside the US, sorry, the additional postage is $20. I am ending this upgrade period on Dec. 15th, after that, all manuals will be regular price.

.

A while back we asked anyone who wished to upgrade to the new manual to send in their address. We sent out a notice of the $50 reduced price of manual for upgrades. Because of the increased cost of the size and color printing of the manual, and the low rate that builders sent in the payment, we didn’t even cover the cost of sending out the first 200 manuals. I am not going to try to “make up for it on volume,” so we are just going to send out manual upgrades we are paid for .

.

We goofed up about 10-20 of the several hundred requests ourselves. This fall, we have had two large colleges and both Grace and I have been caring for parents. We have staggered our time to try to have one of us here to deal with orders, but we have had less than 15 days out of the last 120 where both of us were here together in the office at the same time. This is not an issue on any regular order through our normal system, but the “on request” idea with manual upgrades, led a handful of requests getting missed.  If you are one of these builders, and you sent in a request before this week, we are still glad to send you one, just let us know, you can send a direct email to me at: WilliamTCA@aol.com.

.

—————————————————–

.

In our house, the walls are lined with book shelves. On the sun porch, I have about 40′ of shelving holding nearly every technical textbook and notebook from my 5 years at Embry-Riddle. Even 25 years ago my tuition alone was about $60K. With this and my hours, the $4-5K in textbooks seemed a very small, but vital part of my investment. There were people who were there just there for the diploma, they didn’t keep a single book. I was just there for the education, and kept all of them.

 

.

In order to graduate from Riddle without student debt, a vital requirement to allow me to pursue any part of aviation I wanted, regardless of it’s pay, and to stay focused on education, I intentionally lived a very Spartan life in my college years. I lived in a 1907 house without heat nor a/c; I rode a bicycle most places; we cooked everything at home. Rent was $87.50 a month; I lived on $3,500 a year, total. This said, I never was reluctant to buy any book that expanded what I knew about aviation. My copy of Brun’s Analysis of Flight Vehicle Structures cost more money than I spent on food in two months. 24 years later the book is sitting on the shelf 8′ from me.

.

I wrote the new manual over 18 months of countless late nights. Ignoring the time it took to learn the data it is based on, it took about 2,500 hours to write and edit. At the last College, I had one person who told me he didn’t want to spend $50 because he “just wanted to get his motor done.”

He actually said he would only get one after his engine was finished. Another person with an eight year old manual, of which he was not the original owner, told me he felt “entitled” to a free new manual. These two people do not represent the majority perspective, but I have to acknowledge that many people who wish to be a homebuilder do not place the same value on printed information that I do.

————————————————–

.


Blast From The Past. I stand next to my 1967 Monza, above, in Monument Valley in the four-corners region during the summer of 1992 8,000 mile circumnavigation of America. This was between my junior and senior years at Riddle. Look at the car and understand that I lived very frugally in those years, intentionally, to stay focused on my education.

The 110 hp engine in this car was remanufactured into our original 2,700 cc engine installed in our 601XL in 2004. Today the same engine is the 3,000cc engine in our Wagabond.

.

Blast From The Past circa Winter 1993: Look closely at the photo: It’s Corvair builder and Northrop Grumman E2D expert Chris Welsh with much longer hair. At the time, his daily driver was a ’67 Beetle. He’s holding its hood ornament in this photo. In the foreground, a corrosion damaged Corvair case roasts in a roaring fire. I shot this photo in the backyard of 1235 International Speedway Blvd., a 1907 two-story coquina stone house that a number of us rented during our five years at Embry Riddle. It was the end of a semester, and we were blowing off steam with a backyard party highlighted by a bonfire fueled by Corvair magnesium blower fans. The case and a pile of heads ended up as a little puddle by daylight.

People often hear me speak with pride of our years at Embry Riddle. I had a previous history degree that was a more typical college experience. Embry Riddle was far more challenging and was an immersion environment shared with other very serious students. Consider what our other friends who shared the house with us are doing today: Kurt Fabragass, A&P and aeronautical engineer, is a production engineer on the 787 Dreamliner. Chris Benweigh and Ed Hemmy are both ATPs and captains with Continental Airlines. Andy Mel has a PhD in physics and works for the Naval Weapons Lab. Jennifer Kimbell has a masters in physics, is fluent in Russian, and is a Mission Controller on the International Space Station out of both Houston and Star City, Russia. Not bad for a bunch of college kids in the backyard drinking beer.

 

750 Mount 4201(B) for sale, Story by Scoob E

Hello Builders!

Scoob E here with my own story about a 750 motor mount ready to ship.

.

se0836dad26-19Yesterday I was hanging out on a lawn chair thinking about writing a story for the family blog. Funny how the words Blog and Dog should rhyme but really don’t. English isn’t my primary language. I much prefer tonal languages like barking or my native Italian.

.

IMG_0125

Sunset on my back porch, a little slice of heaven in rural Florida. On the right, I am looking at two Zenith 601/650 mounts. They are part number 4201-A, you can read about them at Zenith 601/650 Motor mounts, P/N 4201(A). These and several other mounts are already on their way to builders who had them on order.

.

IMG_0126

Now, this one I’m looking at is a Zenith 750 mount, #4201-B.  You can read about it at this link: Zenith 750/Cruiser Mounts. P/N 4201(B). Today we sent out those on order, but we have one more on the back porch ready to go. If you need one, you can order it at this link to the products page: http://www.flycorvair.com/750mount.html. I am not old enough to drive it to the Post Office, but I will go along for the ride when it is sent right out.

.

22C0108

Hey, down here! … My favorite Sport Aviation magazines are from the 1960s. That is why they are on the bottom  shelves. Yes, I read that copy of The Nightingale’s Song.  It is an important historical commentary more people should have read. Robert Timberg is a real journalist.

.

IMG_0197

The next story is going to be about the 1100-ww camshaft group. I would write that one too, but it is already past the time I am supposed to get my rawhide chew. Journalism is great and all, but I have my routine to stick with.

.

22c0095scoobe

Thanks for tuning in to my story! Off to chew rawhide!

Scoob E

 

 

 

 

Instrumentation: Perspective on Risk Management

Builders:

The letter at the bottom below is from Ken Pavlou, Who’s 601 XL has a dual Dynon display. It is some clear thoughts on how instruments are just a part of an experimental aircraft’s flight capability, I think it is worth considering in detail before making a decision on which level and type of instrumentation will be in your plane.

.

In the paragraph immediately below is a link to a story about the crash of Air France 447 several years ago. It was sent to me by builder Terry Hand, who has the perspective of being a former USMC flight instructor and having also flown a global career with a major airline. He has logged more than 20,000 hrs, but critically his experience spans the change discussed in detail in the article.

.

Because the black box of 447 was recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic 2 years later, a great level of detail is known about the last 5 minutes in the cockpit. I have read countless accident reports, and it breeds a certain dispassion, but this article is different, I read it 3am. I had nightmares the rest of the night.

.

What does this have to do with light planes? Easy: earlier this year we had CH-750 pilot with 60hr on his plane fly it into the ground by the exact same method that the Air France crew used to kill themselves. To avoid repeating this it is worth studying and discussing.

.

The pilot took off with his first passenger and climbed away from the runway. At several hundred feet the plane began to sink and would not respond to back stick and climb. Unaware, he responded in the exact same manner as they did to excessive angle of attack, by pulling the stick back and holding it there, not understanding that the planes sink rate was caused by slow airspeed and massive drag, not a reduction of power. He and his passenger lived. Put them in most other light planes, with sharper stall behavior, a Cub or a C-150, and they die.

.

The builder initially told everyone he has a power loss that allowed him to sink into the ground, but after reflecting on the behavior of the controls he quietly realized that he had held the plane at an excessive AOA and let it sink all the way into the ground. contrary to what many people were told, the follow-up tear down  and test run on the engine showed that there was nothing wrong with it, but it was too late for most people to learn that, what they ‘learned’ instead was ‘Corvair engines are unreliable.’

.

What can be done about this? Training. Start by reading this article on departure stalls:

http://flighttraining.aopa.org/magazine/2006/June/200606_Departments_Accident_Analysis.html

————————–

.

“Here is a link to an interesting article on the Air France 447 crash. Note the writer’s last name. (He is the son of the man who wrote Stick and Rudder-ww.)

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=website#

I thought you might find this an interesting discussion, based upon your studies at ERAU. -Terry”

.

—————————————-

.

“William,  I love flying with my glass panel, but the truth is 99% of my flying to date was done behind a standard six pack of instruments. The bottom line is they work and they work reliably. The reliable part is what interests me more than anything. Glass cockpits can be reliable and often times reduce cockpit workload significantly.

The caveat is you have to know how to use the equipment and understand what they are telling you. I’ve been witness to pilots increasing their risk flying behind a glass panel, even in perfect VFR conditions, simply because they didn’t take the time to master the equipment which led to a lot of fumbling around and taking concentration away from the primary task of flying the airplane. No matter how sophisticated an instrument panel is, it will never improve basic stick and rudder skills, turn you in to an IFR pilot, or replace prudent judgment.

I spent countless hours sitting in my plane after I built my panel with all the instruments on together with their operation manuals making airplane noises and familiarizing myself with all the knobs, buttons and features of my equipment. An important part of knowing your equipment is it’s failure modes. Just like a simple mechanical altimeter can read high, low, or level depending on different pitot-static faults, glass panels can at times produce inaccurate information. For example, On my flight back from Barnwell my Dynon EMS indicated my oil pressure was high. It would blip from the usual 45 PSI to 55 or 60 and back. At first I thought maybe my regulator spring and piston were getting stuck. As a precaution I removed the spring and piston at my next fuel stop. Both items were in perfect condition and functioned as they should. The problem turned out to be some electrical contact corrosion on my oil pressure sending unit.

The point is that computers can’t take the place of critical thinking and decision making. Whether the data they report is valid and how its used is really up to the organic computer embedded inside our heads. -Ken”

.

31pod1398

Grace took the above photo in Ken’s Cockpit at CC#31, before taking off a few minutes after sunset for a local flight.

Bearhawk LSA Engine Mount, P/N #4201-E

Builders,

.

Last year we worked with Bob Barrows, designer of the Bearhawk series of aircraft to make a Corvair Engine mount for his LSA model. In our Catalog, this is part #4201-E. The story of making the mount can be found at this link: Corvair Motor Mount for Bearhawk LSA

.

We built mount #1 on a factory welded fuselage. I knew that it would be a while before the first one sold, and it did this week, more than a year after we built it. Vern and I took the time to make a very heavy duty fixture off the mount before we sent it out. In the picture below, the mount is powder coated Haze Gray and the fixture is painted DD Alpine Green.

.

I did a rough mental calculation and figured out between the 2 day trip to GA with the truck and trailer to make the first mount, the materials in it, and the shop time making the fixture, I have about $2,500 in mount #1 and the tooling. We have set the price on these mounts at $549.

.

This is a good indication why most companies in experimental aviation fail: because the ownership are salesmen who can not physically make nor develop the products they wish to sell, thus they have to hire out every task, and they are often unable to tell if they were done correctly. Additionally they are often fixated on revenue, so they could never develop anything and wait a year to sell the first one. If you ever see a guy in a polo shirt at Oshkosh selling planes using financial buzz phrases like “return on investment” I will bet you 100 dollars to a doughnut his operation tanks in 36 months.

.

In our case I am a home builder, a craftsman and an instructor at heart. Yes I sell things, but they are things that we developed and made ourselves. I can afford to work on R&D projects that will yield interesting, but not lucrative results; I can invest hundreds of yearly hours in free teaching; I can deficit spend on projects for months, or even years without having to answer to any investor. When an opportunity to work with a top notch designer like Bob Barrows comes up, my only thought is about what I can learn from the man, not how much money can be made.

.

We are here for the long haul. The Bearhawk LSA is a great plane, and over time I hope a big number of them are Corvair powered. When these builders need mounts, we have the tooling and will gladly produce them. But for today, I am very happy to have #1 head out the door, and to have had a great opportunity to work side by side with Bob.

.

As I handed over the mount at the post office counter I gave it one last look and wondered how many months it would be until I saw it again, at a College or Oshkosh, bolted on the front of the builders plane. -ww.

.

————————————————–

.

kr2mountjig

.

————————————-

.

For further reading:

Bob Barrows to Fly LSA Bearhawk to CC #27, Barnwell, S.C., Nov. 2013

and

Bearhawk LSA, Corvair motor mount in development

.

——————————————————

.

c79864

Above, Bob Grace and myself in our tent at Oshkosh 2013. Bob holds the distinction of having flown to every single Oshkosh, all 45 of them. All of his designs have been Continental or Lycoming powered. Opening the option for Corvair power to his LSA builders is a milestone in the Corvair movement.

Shop Notes, 10/26/14

Builders,

Vern and I were welding in the shop last night until 1AM. In a few minutes, I will be back out there and working all day. Vern and I are working on a very large batch of motor mounts slated to go into power coating on Wednesday. We have less than two weeks to CC#31, and we are in the phase of back to back 14 hour days. It is productive, and many parts are headed, to builders this week, not just to people headed to the College.

.

I have laid off writing in recent weeks as we move closer to the College and the end of the year. Some people miss that I do most of the writing when I am on the road, and don’t have access to the shop. I also go through phases where I am convinced that few people read the stuff in detail. The counter on this site is nearing 700,000 page reads in 33 months, but at a recent college I asked 40 builders if they had seen the detailed story Balancer Installation.  Exactly zero out of forty had read it. Not very encouraging.

.

If you would like to review your own reading list, click on this link to 200 of the 589 stories on this site, they are listed in groups. 200 Stories of aircraft building. In the last 5 years, I have seen less than 5 hours worth of television total, but I have read more than 200 books. Everyone can spend their time how they like, but I get a lot more out of reading than entertainment. If you want to have a Corvair powered plane that serves you, that you really know, reading will be the best path to get there.

.

Behind the scenes we have had some real advancements in parts and shop ability.  We have had a long wait for intakes because the friend of mine who owns the robotic tubing bending company that made them for us for 10 years has become astronomically wealthy by switching from producing parts for the aircraft industry to the medical industry. O2 concentrators are much better revenue that fuel injection lines. By appealing to our 25 year friendship I have gotten him to agree to make 3 years worth of intake pipes in a single run, and we should have these just after CC#31, and will shortly be sending them out as the flanges and brackets for them are already made.

.

This fall I have invested countless hours in getting our Jacksonville cylinder head source perfected. While Mark at Falcon still makes fine heads, his back order list is at least 6 months, and in many cases it has been well over a year. For builders moving faster, we have our new source here. We have had several rounds of test and production heads and we are close to having heads on the shelf to exchange. Right now I have 36 pairs that I own personally lined up to be processed. More news shortly.

.

Even shop capability like our cleaning and blasting cabinets are being upgraded here to shorten the time on items like 2000HV oil cases. I bought a compressor so powerful that it can relentlessly  hold 175 psi against an open 3/16″ blast gun nozzle. Yesterday the electrician was in the hangar installing a dedicated 100 amp line to run the unit.  You can never have tools too big or industrial.

.

If you have an important question, please send it to my personal email directly, with a number and time I can return the call. It will likely be too loud in the shop today to hear the phone, but I will be glad to get back to you. -ww.

.

——————————————————

.

From our website in 2011: “For the greater part of his years on earth, Vern has been a welder. In the world of experimental aircraft, when a company wants to  sound impressive, they always tout that their welders have “Built race cars.” I welded the frames of lots of NHRA legal dragsters before I was 21, and this experience taught me nothing about aerospace welding. Vern has welded countless race cars together, but that  has nothing to do with why we utilize his skills making Corvair parts. What counts is the little piece of paper on the orange board.”

“If you look closely, it shows that Vern has every aerospace material welding rating in every thickness recognized by his employer, the United States Naval Aviation Depot. In this facility inside NAS Jacksonville, Vern has welded every kind of material that goes into modern combat aircraft. This includes titanium, Hastelloy X and magnesium. While some people can weld this when it is new in a purged box, Vern can weld things like the inside of a jet’s burner can while looking through one bleed hole and feeding the rod through another.”