Production: #2802 – Gold Sandwich Adapter. 

Builders,

While I do put out all kinds of stories, behind the posts, production of parts marches on. Pictured below, a batch of #2802 Gold Sandwich Adapters, the fundamental part of a Group 2800 Heavy Duty Oil Cooling System.

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The #2802 goes between the #2601 oil filter housing and the oil filter. In the picture above, you are looking at the side which contacts the oil filter.

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Flipped over, this is the side which contacts the #2601 filter housing. The two blue fittings go to and from the Heavy duty oil cooler.

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Above, 26 of them being assembled in my workshop. They come with the AN fittings installed, and I hand assemble the bypass valve which is internal to the part. We have made these for more than 10 years, they are long proven to be excellent parts on hundreds of engines.

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wewjr.

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The Politics of Pouring Gasoline

Builders,

Today I went out and bought 3 new 5 gallon cans to store 100LL in. As most of you have noticed, in the last few years, we have all been subjected to “Safety” spouts and pouring devices on new gas cans. Speaking as someone who has spent a lot of days in the burn ward, these devices are stupid, and are not the way to prevent accidents. Obviously, education is. You can’t make the world “safe” for imbeciles, and I personally resent attempts to idiot proof everyone’s world, in a futile attempt to protect those who are working very hard to remove themselves from the gene pool.

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Here is something ironic: The bag above contains a normal spout that replaces the “Safety” spout. Look at the states in which this device is illegal: right at the start of the list is California, Aka: “The People’s Republic of CA“.  Notice that the actual Commies in China produce the device to defeat the pseudo-commie legislative “safety” spouts mandated in those 11 states and DC.  Yes, I own a copy of Das Kapital, and I know it is an economic model, not a system of gas spouts. I think of anything that seeks to remove an individual’s right to choose his own path in life and replaces this with forced compliance with the alleged good of the masses as, for the lack of a better term, “commie”.

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Before anyone from California or any of the other States starts typing, please understand I have been to all 50 states – (State #50, North Dakota), I love CA (just not it’s legislature Water Bomber at twilight) , I think of Albert Camus as a great man (he was a commie – Thinking of the people of France) and of course I am just an opinionated idiot –Lifestyles of Troglodytes.

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Something funny: Three 5 gallon containers, and two 30 round containers in the same picture. I don’t know who designed the gas containers, but the two others work with machines of George Hyde and Gordon Ingram (L) and Eugene Stoner and James Sullivan (R).  When looking at the list of states which forbid the use of regular gasoline pour spouts, it nearly overlaps exactly with states that forbid the mere ownership of the 30 round containers. It is all a misguided attempt to make the world ‘safe’ by removing anything that might be used by a fool or an evil person to cause harm, rather than removing the person who is doing the harm.

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One of the great things I love about aviation, is the fact it is one of the last bastions in American life, where the participants understand that it is a better investment in risk management to educate the participants rather than make a futile try to ‘idiot proof’ the machines.  While I can’t fix your gas spout if you live in a “safety” state, we should both have loud vocal objections when anyone suggests they have an idea for idiot proofing aviation…..unless that idea is escorting the idiots off the airport.

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WEWJR

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New Corvair/ Zenith 750, Vance Lucas, Canada.

Builders:

Word came yesterday that Vance Lucas flew his 3,000cc Corvair powered Zenith 750. It was a start to finish 36 month build, including Vance building his own engine at our Corvair colleges. Hats off to Vance, for a job very well done. His personal reward is amplified by being the master of his power plant, not simply it’s owner. He invested the extra measure of his own effort to achieve this. Corvairs are not for everyone, but if your individual path is driven to find out how much you can learn, not how little, you will find the engine and our program to offer a depth of understanding for those unwilling to settle for less.

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Above, Vance and his 3,000 cc / 120 HP engine during the perfect break in run. I took this Photo in Portland Oregon last year. If you are not a Corvair builder and wonder at times why we have a very strong following, this is an easy example to follow: I drove out from Florida with a trailer of tools and the test stand to cover colleges all over the west. (read: Back in Florida after 7,380 miles on tour.) The trip included a 1,000 mile extension to cover just 3 Zenith builders in Portland who were ready for a test run. Total Price I charged these builders for travel work and test run? Zero dollars. The great majority of companies in experimental aviation measure ‘success’ solely based on how much money they make. Since 1989, I have measured success by what builders have learned, and how they use this to safely operate their aircraft 

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 Vance drove down from Canada to Portland for his test run. He is a first class guy and good company. He also attended the Corvair College #30 we held at the Zenith factory in Mexico MO. For a look at the Portland story, read: A tale of three Zenith builders.

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STOL CH 750 First Flight

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From Vance: “Three days short of three years since I picked up the tail kit from the freight depot I have a flying airplane. Everything went according to plan, no surprises, thanks God.”

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wewjr.

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Paul Salter’s Panther; Outstanding Homebuilt Aircraft of SnF 2017.

Builders,

Paul Salter’s 3,000 cc Corvair powered SPA Panther was awarded the title “Outstanding Home Built Aircraft” at Sun n Fun 2017. It is a well deserved reward, going to a guy who is respected by all who know him.

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To see photos and videos of Paul, his Panther, and projects:

Paul’s Panther

Corvair Thermal Image Testing

Short Run Video; Panther.

Testing at Sensenich Propellers

Would you rather be friends with a turtle or win an academy award?

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Paul’s Panther on display at the SPA booth in Lakeland.

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Before SnF, three Panther’s in front of Paul’s hangar. L-R – Paul’s, Steve Pedano’s and Bob Wooley’s.

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Who has the hardest working Corvair? Look at the belly of Paul’s plane and see the oil streaks; This was a result of intentional inverted spin maneuvers. Paul’s plane has a Ellison EFS-3A carb, and it does not quit when inverted.  Although it doesn’t have an inverted oil system, it will not run out of pressure during brief inverted flight.  The oil is a few ounces trapped in the breather pipe expelled when the plane is rolled upright. The test was done by Bob Wooley. Read more :  Understanding Flying Corvairs Pt. #2, Hardest working engine.

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Paul’s cowl with oil access door open.  SPA/Panther Cowls and FlyCorvair KR-2 cowls are all fiberglass, all other models we work with are composite nose bowls with metal cowlings

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Above, at the SnF awards dinner.

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wewjr.

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Compression and Detonation Testing, #2

Builders:

Here is part #2 of the series. Part #1 can be read here: Compression and Detonation Testing, #1

I am currently assembling the test motor, but a builder wrote in with a valid question: He asked why was I so sure that the motor would make flight power with very low differential compression? The answer is this: I have 28 years of experience on this, and there have been plenty of chances to see builders’ engines running after they made a mistake that blew out a head gasket. Below are two examples pulled directly off my traditional website, long ago documented. However, after our current tests, we will have sharp comparative numbers on a back to back test. For today, some older evidence that provides the basis of my understanding.

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Above is a cylinder pictured at Corvair College #20. This is the cylinder that was removed from John Neff’s engine with a blown head gasket. The commentary on the original 2011 photo says this:

“If you look closely you can see that it has molten aluminum stuck to the side of the iron cylinder. Again, this did not stop the engine from running or producing power.”

You can read the full comments here, where they have been for the last 6 years: http://www.flycorvair.com/cc20.html  The fact the ignition timing on this engine was not set with a light before it was flown was the root cause of this. This is what severe detonation does to a Corvair flight engine. A large part of why the engine keeps running is the forged pistons do not blow out first, thus the engine can keep turning and making power. 100% of original Corvair cars had cast pistons which tend to break or get holed before the head gasket fully blows. Thus Corvair car experience and opinion has no value when looking at flight engines and evaluating them for detonation. If car mechanics were qualified to work on aircraft installations, an ASE car mechanic could do an annual on a Cessna 172 engine. They can’t because the two different experiences don’t overlap very much, and in some ways work against each other.

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Above is Gary Coppen’s Corvair Skycoupe. I have been friends with Gary for nearly 20 years. He will gladly tell anyone the story of how he flew a 90 mile cross country in the plane pictured above, with ZERO differential compression in cylinder #4.

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In 2004, Gary had the plane based at Spencer airfield in north central Florida. It is a rough 2,000′ grass strip surrounded by 50 foot trees.  At the time our shop was at Edgewater airport, 10 miles south of Daytona Beach. Gary called to say the airplane seemed slightly down on power, but he had been operating it that way for 10 hours or so. I told him I would come up and get a look in a week. His solution was to fly it down to our shop. I tested it when he got there, and it has absolutely zero differential compression in #4. At the time the plane had bolt on head pipes, and instead of using the specified Clark’s C-12A gasket, he had made one, and it had caused a vacuum leak that leaned out and detonated #4 until the head gasket was blown. The plane had flown the cross country without issue, Gary just said the ROC was down from 800’/min. to 600’/min.

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These are but two of many stories I know that show the engine will run and produce flight power with a blown head gasket and zero differential compression. The secondary moral of these examples is they were both preventable.

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Beyond this, I have has cases where builders forgot to put a base gasket under a cylinder, or even missed a head gasket. I have had cases where car head shops failed to deck the bottom of the head after cutting the head gasket areas, so the cylinders ‘shouldered’ on the underside of the head. When these motors run, they let out a distinctive ‘chirp’ sound, but people miss this, even though it is audible over the open exhaust and prop. Again, if you use our parts, and follow the directions, these are not issues you will encounter. On the other side of the coin, people who don’t use timing lights, nor respect direct warnings have trouble in their future.

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wewjr.

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Snake Season Returns

Builders,

This week brought the magic Florida spring combination of rain and warm weather that awakens all the snakes. Below is a 26″ “juvenile cotton mouth” ( they have greenish tails ) who greeted me in the workshop, and then made a bee line for the crawl space under the house. As unpleasant as chasing him was, it was better than trying to sleep thinking about all the ways he could get in, or having to worry about him crawling in the clothes  dryer hose for a little night time warmth. Living in rural Florida has things to be vigilant for, but in our neighborhood none of them involve humans.

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An interesting pattern that kind of looks like a bunny. The coloring makes me think digital desert camouflage had to be inspired by this.

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Bottom view, different pattern, green tail evident


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Topside view.

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Common tools of rural Florida, L to R ;

H&R 1871, 20 gauge 3″shell, 20″ (modified) barrel. Great all around yard tool, thumb break and powerful ejector allow opening and closing with one hand and loading with other. 6.5 pounds In an era of liability suits, it is nice to have a firearm actually designed with no safety, because you used to be able to expect people not to point loaded guns at themselves or others. Purchased new in St. Augustine sporting goods store.

Savage 24C, 1980s vintage. .22LR over 20 gauge 2-3/4″ shell (cylinder bore). 18″ barrels. An American classic in a rare compact package. Very well balanced, surprisingly accurate with .22 shorts. 6.75 pounds. Purchased used at a pawn shop in Green Cove Springs.

Ruger anniversary edition 10/22, .22LR, 16″ barrel. This isn’t modified, it came from the factory this way. It is a take down model with the short threaded barrel.  The only thing I added was fiber optic sights. I have owned a number of 10/22s in the last 30 years, I had more fun from simple ones than modified target guns. 5.25 pounds. Purchased at Jacksonville gun store.

Note, all the firearms above were made in America. Contrary to media myth each purchase required a full background check (which the buyer pays for) Lying on the form will get you arrested, likely before you leave the parking lot. Felon’s can not buy guns in Florida again. The media wants to portray my state as lawless to fit their narrative, even if it has nothing to do with reality.

The Ruger Mini-14 is in .300 Blackout, it is on loan from a friend. It is much better than the one I owned in the 1980s. Even using 220 grain subsonic ammo it is still loud without a can on it.

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Chris Pryce visit

Builders,

Over many years, builders have followed the exploits of 3,000cc Corvair / KR-2S builder Chris Pryce. He was just at Corvair College #39 in Barnwell, where he was PF Beck’s 300th passenger in his Corvair powered Pietenpol, but Chris’s involvement with Corvairs goes much further back.

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Chris got his Private Pilot license at age 18, just before he enlisted in the USAF. We met in person at Sun n Fun nearly 10 years ago,  where he explained his passion for experimental aircraft goes way back, as his father, a global commercial pilot, first started planning on a homebuilt about the time Chris was born. In spite of deployments, starting a family, becoming an officer, and a KC-10 tanker pilot, Chris has still made a lot of progress on his KR. He ran his Corvair at Barnwell college 18 months ago, and his airframe is now nearing completion.  It has all been a lot of hard work and well earned achievements in a life of a young American we can all be proud of.

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While on TDY in Florida, Chris rented a Cessna 152 and flew over to our little airport for a visit. I was glad to invite him as a small thank you for his returning work at the Barnwell College as a volunteer assistant. We had some fun around the airpark, went to dinner on the water in St. Augustine, and Chris got a chance to fly some hardware from a time before the USAF even existed.

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An officer in the USAF, flying 600,000 pound aircraft around the globe, but he still has a sense of humor. Here Chris at my backyard range brings the concept of the Captain Morgan photo op (“Captain Morgan” Contest at #39) to a new setting.

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Above, short 15 second film of .410 pistol in action.

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Above blast from the past, Chris at CC#24, Barnwell with Kevin and Shelley. You can see a film of Chris’s engine running three years later at Barnwell at this link: https://youtu.be/xDfX78pa6ug

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Above blast from the past #2, with Chris at CC #20. There is a very funny inside story about Chris flying a light plane this day, his first time in the cockpit in a number of years. He stayed to the very last hour of the College before driving home 1,000 miles to the Florida Panhandle. He drove the furthest distance to the College.

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Above blast from the past #3, Chris and I at Sun n Fun 2009. What kind of a guy buys a Corvair manual while wearing a VW shirt?  Evidently one with a great future ahead of him.

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Above, back to 2017: On left Pat Amble, on left, production manager at SPA/Panther got to meet Chris at CC #39. When Chris showed up at our airport, Pat took him out for a several hour flight in the family 1942 Stearman. Pat’s father is a Vietnam era USAF vet. and liked the idea of sharing the experience with a current USAF airman.

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A week after Chris left, a got a short letter in the mail, It was from Chris’s father on the west coast (Jerry Pryce was at CC #38 in Cloverdale CA in 2016, he is building a 3,000cc Corvair / Sonex. Dad is also a DC-10 pilot, a nice connection. ). It shared a few words of thanks for things we have done with his son. I sat at my kitchen table and read the note a few times.  While I think of Chris as a friend, truth be told I am a lot closer in age to his dad.  Holding that piece of paper in my hands, it was very easy to understand how immensely proud Jerry must be of his son’s efforts and achievements. It was one of the very few times in my life where I wished I had children of my own.

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