Oil Change video

Builders,

Kitti Politi and I shot a new video on oil change information today, and evidently I got the coffee/sleep ratio pretty close, because it looks pretty good, I hit it in one take, and I did it straight off the top of my head with no script.  Kitty, who is relatively new to the team, had not previously seen my idiot-savant capability to transform into the caffeine fueled ‘abominable showman’, a performance honed over thirty years working on Corvairs and giving more than 600 public forums on the topic.  She thought this was pretty cool. As long as the Coffee/air ratio stays right at 12:1, we will have many more videos to come.

.

Kitty  emailed it to Ken Pavlou in Connecticut, and Volia! just like magic, Ken makes a professional video appear on my Youtube page an hour later. Use the link below, and look under the “Operations” playlist:

.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtg0vELIaWV7NoSEHNzpHwQ

.


.

Above, my favorite Corvair Flight oil pictured in the middle. All of the supplies shown above are discussed in detail in this story: The correct supplies for engine building 

.

For a printed story with detail on oil, read this:

Corvair Oil Change interval….. Lessons part #1

and get a look here….

Notes on Corvair flight engine oils.

and here also:

Oil Change interval, meeting the challenge

Below is a broad overview on oil temps in operations:

Thoughts on cold weather operation, minimum oil temps, etc.

.

thanks, WW.

.

Welding on Earl Brown’s gear.

Builders,

A week ago, Earl Brown was here, and we worked on the gear for his Pietenpol. This is the fifth or six set of Pietenpol gear I have welded. to learn more, please read: Pietenpol CG and gear welding. and Pietenpol Products, Motor mounts, Gear and Instalation Components.

.

.

Above, the gear on Earl’s inverted fuselage back home in Pennsylvania. It fit like a glove, because Earl had made a very exact wooden fixture, and because I have been welding since 1979, and aircraft parts since 1989, I understand weld sequencing to hold shrinkage and distortion to absolute minimums.

.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, beard and indoor
.
Above a shop photo from last week, Ken Pavlou, Kitty Politi, and Earl Brown, who Ken has re-named “Sig-Sauer Bratten” (even though he is a Walther .40 kind of guy)

.

.

Above the joint between the axle and the front gear leg. This is quality Tig welding. I am 56, and part of being middle aged is having a bit of difficulty producing the weld beads above at the same rate as I did when I was 36. I drink too much coffee, and my hands are no longer perfectly stead for hours at a crack;  I wear progressive lenses to correct my vision, but weld beads like the ones above require depth perception to 1/16″ of an inch on the height the tungsten is above the puddle, and this requires a bit slower work than uncorrected vision.  Even so, this gear was made in three casual days in the shop.

.

I have heard some really stupid things said about aircraft welds, but the dumbest was a guy who said “These are like a gorilla, ugly but strong”.  If a weld is ugly, it wasn’t done correctly, and if it wasn’t correct, it isn’t strong. If you hear anyone talking about “Gorilla welding” be polite, its the classy thing to do around mentally ill people.

.

To get a look look at Earls gear in video, look at our new youtube channel under “Parts”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtg0vELIaWV7NoSEHNzpHwQ

.

ww.

,

The essential vs the accessory

Builders,

I wrote the commentary below five years ago. If you are new to Corvairs or homebuilding, they are worth a few minutes of your time to consider.

.

“A conspicuous consumer only has the admiration of the envious spectator. A craftsman, an innovator and a champion have the admiration of real aviators. I have not devoted my working life to experimental aviation to chase pointless trends and distractions. I am in aviation to find my place in the timeless truths that any real aviator since 1903 would immediately understand. Charles Lindbergh passed from this earth in 1974 having never seen a glass cockpit. His understanding of the awe inspiring beauty of flight was not diminished by the lack of a screen to stare at. This is a good way to evaluate the essential from the accessory.” -ww.

.

——————————————–

.

The above is not judgmental about people with glass cockpits. It is simply this: The mastery of the same basic skills Lindbergh had is the foundation of all the rewards of flying. Without them, all the accessories of a plane are just another consumer experience. If you want to have a glass cockpit in your plane, good, but possession the nicest panel ever, or an award winning paint job,  isn’t a substitute for being a fundamentally sound stick and rudder pilot, or really understanding your power plant either. Real reward comes from the improvement of self, one’s understanding and skills, not the possession of things.

.

Everyone should build the plane they really want, not the one they are told to like, either by magazines or by opinionated jackasses from Florida. Decide for yourself. These paragraphs are meant to be ‘thought provoking’ not ‘thought providing’

.

——————————————

.

“Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved. There was science in each curve of an airfoil, in each angle between strut and wire, in the gap of a spark plug or the color of the exhaust flame. There was freedom in the unlimited horizon, on the open fields where one landed. A pilot was surrounded by beauty of earth and sky. He brushed treetops with the birds, leapt valleys and rivers, explored the cloud canyons he had gazed at as a child. Adventure lay in each puff of wind.

I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of the earth to which they were bound. In flying, I tasted a wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days? I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary life time.”— Charles A. Lindbergh

3.0L Corvair/Waiex – Mike January

Builders:

Fellow Floridian Mike January sent me the following pictures today. We had been speaking over the last few days about details of operation and his condition inspection on his aircraft. Mike’s Waiex was originally 2180cc Aerovee powered, which Mike found to be a good power plant. After Meeting Dan Weseman many years ago, and seeing the performance of Dan’s Wicked Cleanex” Mike made a long term plan to re-engine his aircraft with a 3,000cc Corvair. The work was completed about 18 months ago.

.

Mike is a technical guy with considerable aviation experience.  His comparative evaluation comes across as simple factual numbers, and an analysis that the new power plant suits his expectations and mission very well.  The most dramatic difference is Rate of Climb; With the VW solo it was 750 fpm, with the Corvair it is a solid 1,400 fpm.  (If you are new to aircraft performance and wondering how a 35% increase in power doubles rate of climb, please read this story: Pietenpol Power: 100 hp Corvair vs 65 hp Lycoming.) Florida doesn’t have elevation, but it does have green runways of very thick grass, short fields, surrounded by trees, and very hot and humid days.  The extra power of a Corvair adds a great margin of safety to many operations down here.

.

If you have a Sonex/Waiex airframe, and are considering Corvair power, Know that Between myself and SPA, we have complete compliment of parts for the installation, it has been flown in several dozen examples of the type, for many thousands of hours.  For an older look at the complete combination, read this: Corvair power for Panther and Sonex reference page. I wrote it in 2013, but it is still good info, and shows how long Dan and I have steadily supported the combination.

.

Call Dan at SPA:  904 626 7777

or myself: 904 806 8143.

.

.

Mikes plane, it has a very sharp finish.

.

.

.

Out flying with a design sibling.

.

.

Mike likes a bit more than average in the cockpit

.

.

Very proud guy, and justifiably so. Mike is the man behind the Florida Sonex Association, check out his group: http://www.floridasonex.com/

.

Hats off to a man who made a plan, stuck with it, and is out enjoying it, and sharing it with others.

.

-ww.

.

Hangar siblings meet 13 years later.

Builders

In the picture below, Phil Maxson’s Corvair/601XL ends the day my hangar in north east Florida. In the foreground is the tail of my Corvair/Wagabond. Both of these planes were finished in my old hangar in Edgewater Florida, 100 miles south of here. Their first flights were in 2006 and 2005 respectively.  For several months they were hangar siblings. The last time they were at the same spot was Corvair College #10 in November of 2006. Today, 13 years later, they are together in my hangar on a quiet day.

.

.

.

Last night at sunset. 

.

Phil was here last week. He flew down to Florida, spent a few days here, then drove his dad up north. He’ll come back in a few weeks and fly home.  I’m close friends with Phil, but don’t see him often. The relaxed time here was good, but it did draw the conversation to all the things which have changed in our lives in the 13 years.  The most profound element being losing parents.

.

But this also required looking at what had lasted, stood the test of time, and proven to be undeniable asset agains the slings and arrows of life. Prominent among these: Real Friendships, Exercising your craftsmanship and skills, and a love of Simple Flying. 

.

ww.

.

Please check out our new Youtube channel and subscribe:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtg0vELIaWV7NoSEHNzpHwQ

.

Our new Youtube Channel

Builders,

Something I have wanted to do for years, gets started tonight: I now have a youtube channel, a home base where we can share visual stories from the world of flying Corvairs. Below is the direct link:

.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtg0vELIaWV7NoSEHNzpHwQ

.

.

Above, In my front yard last week, some of the friends who helped launch “WW Flycorvair” my Youtube channel; Earl Brown, who’s landing gear is a subject,  Phil Maxson, who’s 13 years of flying his 601 is featured,  Ken Pavlou, who put all the videos together, and Ron the drummer, who’s band played the intro music. I have also had behind the scenes support from Terry Hand and Dan and Tracy Sheradin, and encouragement from many friends.

.

Comments and suggestions: Please use the comments section here to share your feedback, input and suggestions. I will be very happy to hear it. I used the word “Our” at the start of this story because I would like be the sharing point for video on Flycorvair engines, events, planes and builders.

.

Because elements of the general public compulsively say evermore inane things in Youtube comments, Ken has chosen to disable the comments section directly on the videos. He said he did this because he is a medical professional, and he is just protecting my blood pressure, but I suspect he was just saving himself from having to hear me complain after morons wrote in about their grandfathers 4 cylinder Corvairs, how Ferdinand Porche designed it in 1958 (seven years after he died) and how Ralph Nader was actually the second man on the grassy knoll.

.

ww.

.

Ken Pavlou 601XL / 3.3 Corvair; Then there was two…

Builders,

At 6pm yesterday we stood in my front yard and listened for a smooth sound from the north; You could hear him before we saw Ken. A low pass and a trip around the pattern, and he was shortly in my front yard. Two fuel stops earlier he left the middle of Connecticut, his Zenith now brought him to north Florida in 7.25 hours aloft.

 .

.

Above, my front yard with two Zenith 601XLs, Phil Maxson’s and Ken Pavlou’s.  Combined they have more than 1,000 hours of Corvair powered flight. Phil’s represents a simple solid plane with a very good billet cranked 3.0L Corvair, Ken’s is a high end bird with a Billet cranked 3.3L engine and all the whistles and bells.  I serve both ends of the building spectrum.

.

Seriously, if you want to read a really entertaining profile get a look at this: Ken “Adonis” Pavlou advises aviators: “Life is short, Live Large”. It will restore your faith that experimental aviation has some real characters.

 .

.

Above, a mischievous band of pranksters: Earl Brown, Phil Maxson, Ken Pavlou, Ron the drummer, and your humble narrator.

.

.

Few visits are complete without a trip to my back yard range. Phil was joking “Maxon Airlines” doesn’t mind if you have firearms in your carry on baggage. Ken Pointed out that “Pavlou Airlines” allows weapons and smoking on his flight.  We were teasing Phil because he had the most expensive 1911 I’ve held in a while, but he pointed out that if you build your own aircraft engine, you can use the savings for some really nice “hardware”.

.

.

Ken is a very illustrious character who has been a fixture in Corvairs and a good friend for more than a decade.  Just one of the really good humans I found in my 30 years in experimental aviation.

.

ww.

.