Brodhead 2021 -One month away

Builders,

The annual Pietenpol Gathering at Brodhead Wisconsin is just a month away. It is held the weekend before Oshkosh, 90 miles south east of air venture. It is the very definition of a grass roots aviation event, held at one of America great small airfields. I have only missed it twice in the last 26 years, and I will be there this year.

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Above, a picture that hangs on my shop wall, it is my Pietenpol, photographed at Sun-n-Fun 2000.

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You need not be a Piet builder to attend Brodhead, but you might be when you leave. there will be many known Corvair / Pietenpol pilots on hand like Kevin Purtee, Randy Bush and Shad Bell. Come meet them in person, and get to know your mechanical brethren.

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I do parking lot tour / engine inspections at both Oshkosh and Brodhead, but the logistics are a whole lot easier at Brodhead, as the parking lot is 35 feet from the forum hangar and there isn’t any chain link fencing anywhere at Brodhead. I’ll gladly look at your engine or core at either setting, so please bring it, it is a big part of why I travel 1,375 miles from Florida.

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William

Oshkosh 2021- 36 days out, Chris Pryce and his KR-2S

Builders,

The silly picture below captures the moment Chris Pryce’s 3,000cc Corvair engine started for the first time, at the Barnwell SC Corvair College in 2015. This same engine now has 100 flight hours on it, and it will take Chris’s fantastically finished KR-2s from California to Oshkosh next month.

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Chris scratch built one of the nicest KR-2’s in the country. Oshkosh 2021 will be the planes first major public appearance. If you appreciate craftsmanship, and a hard core homebuilding attitude for persistence, I highly suggest looking up the videos on Chris’s YouTube Chanel. Just search the same thing I did in the picture above. He has several dozen short videos, much of which applies to most homebuilts, not just KR’s.

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Why go to Oshkosh? There are a lot of reasons, but let me give you a really good one: You can meet Chris in person, and appreciate a really outstanding person, the kind of person you wanted to meet from your first days in homebuilding. I have known him 15 years, and will attest he is a builder who is a real character, and right at home in the world of Corvair powered flight.

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If the people who attend your local EAA chapter meeting and those who populate your airport on the weekends fall short of your idea of who your would be sharing your flight ambitions with, Come to Oshkosh and meet Chris and many other fellow Corvair builders like him. It will recharge your batteries and affirm there are still many great creative people in homebuilding, and you have your place to claim among them.

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See you at Oshkosh.

William

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Oshkosh 2021 – July 25-Aug. 1st.

Builders, we are just 37 days away from Oshkosh. After it’s cancelation in 2020, these is a lot of pent up enthusiasm for Airventure, and just like every other year, I will be there with my display, giving forums, and meeting builders. I highly encourage anyone to attend, particularly if you have never been before.

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Above: The tip of the pencil is the Forums area and buildings. My display is #614, the same location as 2019.

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I will have a display tent, I have already spoken to the builders of 10 corvair powered planes who are planning on flying in, and there will be many, many fellow builder from the world of corvair powered flight to meet in person. If you have core pars or engines for inspection, bring them, I will be conducting my traditional “Parking Lot Tours” to inspect these engines. I can also bring core parts back to Florida.

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Oshkosh is a big place, and these are typically 800 vendors there. If you are coming for your first visit, study the layout in advance. The EAA has some new on line system called “MyExpo”. I’m not fond of putting ‘apps’ and email and ‘user names’ between people and events they simply want to attend, but it is evidently the way of the world these days, and in the end, if you wade through it, get in the car and drive there, you will be glad you did.

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Hope to see you there.

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William

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WW Flycorvair Fly-in

Builders,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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WWjr

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Pictures from a full day of Corvairs;

Builders,

A few photo highlights of today.

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

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

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

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

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

Up pipes for 18 intakes in process.

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

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

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

WW

Hangar clean up sale;

Builders;

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

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https://flycorvair.net/shop/

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WWjr.

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

Builders.

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

WWJR

Differential Compression testing.

Builders:

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

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

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

WWJR

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

Builders

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

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

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

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WWjr

Tach Pick Up

Builders:

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

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

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

WWJR