Corvair Carb Reference page for 2020.

Builders, Here is our Carburetor Reference page for 2020. It is a collected index of stories and videos about Carb Options for Corvairs.

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It is my personal recommendation that new builders plan around using one of two carbs, either a brand new Rotec TBI or a new Marvel Shebler. MA3-SPA. You can read though the stories presented here to gain more insight, and understand what has historically been used, and how we get to the current recommendation. Here are the most current Stories:

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New video on Rotec carbs for Corvairs.

Information on why this is the new ‘standard’ recommended carb

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Stromberg carb procedures in 2020, With video link.

Outlines why these are no longer a primary recommendation .

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New MA3-SPA – Available from SPA/Panther

The source for new MA3-SPA carbs

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Here is a sampling of recent testing:

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Shootout at the Stromberg corral (2019)

This is how we identified issues

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Stromberg Shootout, Pt #2 (2019)

This was looking for solutions and retesting.

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MA3-SPA Test Runs. (2019)

Testing to verify the quality of overhauls.

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Safety Alert: Excessively Rich MA3-SPA Jetting. (2017)

Alert  about some rebuilt MA3-SPA carbs which were jetted richer than stock.

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Critical Understanding #10 – Carb Ice (2017)

An article which became part of the MOP manual

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Inexpensive carb testing (2017)

We still look for solutions which would keep flying affordable.

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Critical Understanding #4, ANY loss of RPM is Detonation. (2016)

Understanding that lean operation leads to detonation.

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The notes below cover the broad variety of Carbs that have flown on the Corvair, and some thoughts on why I choose simplicity when it is available, and the development of our intake manifolds.

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Above, an overhauled NAS-3. While a proven workhorse, I no longer encourage new builders to plan on this carb. 

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An intermission to remind that very little good comes from discussion groups:

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Internet speculation vs First hand experience….. . 

A drama filled example of people “Chiming in” on discussion groups, and how inane some of the comments are.

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Speculation vs Experience Pt #2, Actual issue identified.

How I understood the issue by having personally tested the builders engine at a west coast college…..It was a propeller adjustment.

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Below is a list of stories have written on Corvair carburetors. You can click on any color title to read the whole story:

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Air / Fuel ratios on Corvair carbs.  (2016)

A look at the range of air fuel mixtures we use, and how we test this.

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So you like the idea of auto gas…. (2018)

Corvair run on auto fuel, but you have to know stuff like this.

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New Ellison Carb supplier, NV Aero.com (2016)

Steve Glover bought the rights to and all the tooling for Ellison carbs.

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Ma3-SPA carb orientation, (2016)

A dumb story about how internet discussion groups miss the point.

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Carb Orientation Pt. 2: Internet Reading Comprehension Failures.  (2016)

A second example of why discussion groups are better for drama than tech info.

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Running your engine “Over-square”? (2015)

Info on why not to lug your engine and why 2700rpm is min. static rpm.

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How I became a genius in 6 minutes (2014)

Why you don’t use a British car carb on a plane

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Fuel Injection – Corvair flight engines reference page  (2013)

Because in any Carb discussion, someone will incorrectly assume I have never tried FI on a Corvair.

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Stromberg Carbs  (2013)

The world’s most prolific light plane carb, but this is an older story, read the update at the top.

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MA3-spa carb pictures, Wagabond notes.

The MA3 is the most popular carburetor on Corvairs today. Please read the more current story above.

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Carb applications, choices people make

A story of why builders professional background tend to choose carbs.

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Intakes and Internet myths

Notes on why the intake works so well.

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In Search Of … The Economical Carburetor

A story of testing a $160 carburetor.

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A question of Carb location…..

A warning about top mount carbs.

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Deal of the Day,simple MA3 carb. (Sold at 1 am, 9/1/13)

Good photos of a straight MA3.

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Below are the Group numbers of our intakes and the numbers we assigned to the popular Corvair carbs. You can see how this is part of our Group numbering system by studying the complete numbering system on the “Prices” section of our main page, FlyCorvair.com. These are all discussed in my Conversion Manual

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Intakes and carburetors  group (3600)

3601(S)- Standard Intake manifolds

3602(A)- Marvel MA3-SPA

3602(B)- Stromberg NAS-3

3602(C)- Ellison EFS-3A

3602(D)- Sonex AeroCarb  –  38mm

3602(E)- Zenith 268

3602(F)- Rotec TBI 34mm

3602(G)- 1 barrel Carter downdraft

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Commentary on Carbs:

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When it comes to carbs, I have always liked Strombergs and MA3s because they have literally millions of hours feeding air and fuel into flight engines. I know them and trust them, but in recent years we have had trouble with rebuilt ones having consistent quality for builders to use them directly out of the box. In years past it was not this way, but today it is. These carbs were always my first choice to put on a plane because they are aircraft carbs, they are not just playing the role. They are doing the job they were designed to. Today, my recommendation is that builders focus either on a new Rotec, or a new MA3.  These are not the cheapest path, but without question, they are the most reliable.

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My father,William E. Wynne Sr. 1925-2017 was a lifelong military engineer who spent a lot of time working in places where the people who don’t like your project are literally going to try to kill you. He upheld that the piece of machinery that has the greatest reliability requirement is the combat firearm. In these tools, reliability is an absolute requirement. All other considerations about them – weight, accuracy, firepower, cost, etc. – all are meaningless if you ever need to use one and squeezing the trigger produces a soft noise rather than a loud one.

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Notice that the requirements of aircraft carbs are very much like combat firearms. When you push the throttle in, you really want to hear a loud noise, not a soft one. If your glide path leads to a place 200 feet short of the runway threshold, and pushing the throttle in gives the undesired soft noise, you will not be comforted by thoughts of how cheap, how light, how available, easy to tune or install it was, or any other factor that made it attractive in the hangar. Reliability alone gets you back to the airport.

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Consider this: The MA3 was designed about the same time that the Soviet Red Army adopted a device called the AK-47. Sixty plus years later, both of these devices have been used in countless numbers all over the  globe. Both are often criticized as outdated, inefficient, inaccurate and stone age. Notice that their continued use in the face of all criticism is justified by the same three word sentence, “It is reliable.” People who have held either one in their hands, stared at its metal parts and though about how they would need to count on it, will have some appreciation for that three word sentence. If I can teach you only one thing about experimental aircraft, let it be this: There is no characteristic more important than reliability. Anything you could get in trade for reliability isn’t worth it.

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Thoughts on ‘Alternative’ Carbs:

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It is my strongest recommendation not to use any type of motorcycle carb. This includes a Revflow, a Keihin, an S&S, an Altimizer, a Mikuni, a Harley-Zenith, and especially not a Bing. If I were required to list all the ways that a motorcycle or other non-aviation design carb could fail, I would have a long list. For example, the Bing throttle isn’t connected to the cable, and many CV motorcycle carbs have this “feature.” The two biggest failures  that I can name is  throttle systems that are operated by bicycle cables and the fact that most  motorcycle carbs don’t have any way in which you can attach a serious fuel line.  A piece of fish tank tubing and a hose clamp is not serious, and if it works on a Rotax 503 in a cowl-less pusher application, that doesn’t mean it will live in a sealed engine compartment in a traditional aircraft. Throw in that they have no mixture control, and often don’t fit where aircraft carbs do, and you get to a better understanding why there isn’t anyone saying how well the combination worked on the first 100 hours on his Corvair powered plane. My least favorite carb in this genre is the Bing. It has a tendency to lean out on long manifolds, and it will actually shut off if subjected to ram air. In 2012, we had a builder who insisted on using one and did $3,000 in detonation damage to his engine on the first flight. The same plane would have flown perfectly fine on a $500 Stromberg. I am sure the bystanders to this event were far more willing to see the issue as a Corvair problem than to understand that it was caused by a poor German motorcycle carb mis-applied to a proven engine. Carbs salvaged off snowmobiles, outboards, imported cars and lawn equipment are never going to have a good record on planes, and their advocacy is limited to people who wish to impress others with cleverness, but never actually impress people by going flying. Again, I don’t find it my responsibility to define all the ways that will not work for people who don’t wish to go with something proven. I spend my time trying to illustrate positive examples of how to do things that will work economically, but above all else, reliably.

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Thoughts on part #3601- Intake Manifolds:

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The Intake manifolds that we make for Corvairs evolved slowly over time and testing. Originally we made individual manifolds out of welded sections of mild steel tubing. We tested both 1.375” and 1.5” tubing, both on the ground and in the air. After a lot of evaluation, we went with the larger size from 2001 on.  In 2003, we started having the main tube of the manifolds bent by a CNC tubing bender as a single piece. This eliminated a lot of welded joints and gives the manifolds a much cleaner appearance. We looked at several different materials and selected thin wall 304 series stainless steel tubing. The primary reasons for this choice are that it is essentially immune to stress cracks when TIG welded and purged correctly, it remains clean on the inside and will not rust even if the aircraft sits for a long time in humid weather, and it is as light as an aluminum manifold because the aluminum would have to be made much thicker to have the same strength and crack resistance. After 15 years of continuous production, our manifolds still have a perfect track record.

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When first looking at the layout of the manifold, many people think that it will not have sharp throttle response, or the length of the runners will hurt the power output. A builder with a background in motorcycle racing confessed that he first thought of a steamship’s engine telegraph where the bridge swings a big lever on a pedestal that rings a bell in the engine room and makes a hand on a clock face point to the words “Full Ahead.” After he built his Corvair engine, he was surprised to find out that the throttle response on it was just as fast as a typical car. On aircraft, the limiting factor on how fast it can change rpm is the moment of inertia of the propeller assembly. On Corvairs, this is inherently low and the engine accelerates noticeably faster than other aircraft engines, even with a long intake tract.  Look at any modern car; designers are going to great trouble to make the intake runners much longer, not shorter. They are after more torque in the rpm range that direct drive engines fly at. A long intake tract doesn’t mean less power, and I am not sure where that myth started, but you can take a look at things as diverse as a tunnel ram with dual quads on a V-8 and see that even 7,500 rpm drag cars benefit from longer runners. But you need not be concerned with theory.

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I have years of dyno testing of most every type of intake length and carb configuration that conclusively shows that the length of the intake run has no effect on power output.  For years this was a favorite Internet debate topic among people who had never seen a Corvair turn a prop, but felt certain that the world needed to hear their impression of how it worked in their imagination. A number of these people also advocated putting the carb on top of the engine. I am going to flat out say that I have never found a single good reason to do so, and there are a number of very good safety reasons to have it on the bottom. I have seen people run every carb on top from Bings to Webers, and none of these installations worked nearly as well as even Bernard Pietenpol’s 1960s installations that featured tractor carbs mounted below the engine. I have seen more than one person plan on running an AeroCarb with a fuel pump mounted on top of a Corvair engine. Such a combination is virtually guaranteed to leak fuel onto the engine in operation. If a person is that interested in cremation, they should just find the professional service in the Yellow Pages and skip all the hassle of building a plane. I will not knowingly assist anyone who puts a carb on top of an engine or uses the leak prone stock Corvair mechanical fuel pump, and especially not in combination.

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There are always “experts” who claim that individual runners to each intake will make more power, that something is wrong with the offset intake pattern on the Corvairs intake log, or that the log should be removed. These are all myths that I long ago disproved with our dyno on back to back runs. In section 3700 look at the photo of Mark Petniunas’ EFI engine running on my dyno; it has individual runners and made no more power; the offset intake patter appears on many other aircraft engines such as Rangers and Allison 1710cid V-12s (good enough for P-38s P-40s and P-51Bs, probably good enough for homebuilts). The log part of the head is an important part of the mixture distribution, and it is structurally part of the head. If you mill it off you will weaken the head and blow the head gasket because the upper row of head bolts will no longer have a stiffener. Do not listen to anyone who suggests such modifications to the heads.

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We make several different manifolds for the Corvair. The most common is the 3601(S) which is the standard manifold for anyone mounting a Stromberg, MA3 or any other float type carb on their engine. This fits all the Zeniths, KRs, Tailwinds, etc. The second design is a 3601(E) which is the same manifold with the carb flange rotated 13 degrees forward. This is specifically made to serve Zenith builders who are putting a flat slide carb like an Ellison, Rotec or an AeroCarb on a tricycle landing geared airframe. The rotated carb flange provides clearance to the nose gear.  The 3601(C) manifold is specifically made to fit a Corvair into a Sonex or Waiex airframe using the Wesesman’s installation components. They have ones specifically for Panthers also. If you need further guidance, look at out parts catalog or give me a call or send a note.

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ww

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Pietenpol for Thailand, Pt. #2

Builders,

Here is the second letter from Cy Mao in Thailand, about his proposed lightweight Pietenpol.

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William,

Thank you for kind words of King Rama IX and Thailand. Both are deserving of your kind praise.

I think I will try to build this and if over 550 Lbs I will only have to license as airplane, not ultralight but in the process I will discover the lightest Pietenpol practical to build. Or perhaps as you mention use Rotax but I like reliable 4 cycle and sounds nice too so could look at this UL-260. Also perhaps Volkswagen but I think not best RPM for Pietenpol like this and I think not so much lighter than A65.

I will follow your suggestions and am curious just which fittings and such you believe are overbuilt and can be aluminum not steel. But this is not yet critical to know. I will first build ribs.

Of course I’m also interested in your light landing gear you mentioned and the two piece wing you talked about.

I meant to ask if you think 1″ routed spar is lighter or the 3/4″ solid spar I read about. You mentioned a 3/4″ spar and still router it too. So I would think this for sure the lightest. How much to router I will ask later.

First I will build ribs 1/4 x 1/4 so I need to plan spar thickness to build ribs to fit this spar. I believe you suggest lightest possible is 3/4″ and then router too. Is this correct?

Also if I plan to build two piece wing as you mention what is the rib count for this version. I have only seen one and three piece wing views. Not sure how many ribs I will need if two piece wing.

Of course I will report my discoveries such as how much weight is saved by 1/4 x 1/4 capstrips and other things to change and finally of course if something breaks we will all know it is not enough.

You ask my address sir:

KGC – Unit 708 -Emerald Development Group
94/81 MOO 7, Vichitsongkarm Rd
Kathu, Kathu, Phuket, 83120

Note Delivery in Thailand sometimes slow or never shows up. Best if can track and return to yourself if necessary. Also I am happy to pay for book as well. When I see your video I already know I need one.

Thank you Kuhn William

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Image result for Roger white pietenpol
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Above, Roger White’s Pietenpol. It has a steel tube fuselage and an A-75. It is still flying in the hands of a new owner, I’m pretty sure it is more than 25 years old. I saw it in person at Brodhead many years ago. Notice it has Vee cabane struts, yielding a two piece wing and no center section.  I believe this is far lighter than a center section, and it is also stronger. I do not know the finished weight of the plane, but it was visually a very good performer. Roger’s EAA # is 42, he built a number of planes.

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 Roger White stops by my tent at Oshkosh 2010. Note he is wearing a CIB from Korea.  He is a first class American.

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Response to the letter: 

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I believe you are correct, the VW isn’t radically lighter than a 65, but a UL-260 is a four stroke, light, and it makes very good thrust.

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I would plan on 3/4″ spar slots in the ribs, I will see if I can get you some examples of classic planes with 3/4″ spars. I would still route them.

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Manual is on the way tomorrow. I will see if I can find a picture of the 590 pound plane we weighed.

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Thanks, William

New – M.O.P. Manual, a required technical document.

Builders,

Below is a quick look and a video introduction to our new “Maintenance, Operations and Procedures manual

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Above, the cover: If you ar building or flying a Corvair powered plane, you need to own one of these. It is made up from data pulled together from my experience and that of Dan Weseman. Once or twice a month, we have a builder who calls us who has completely missed missed critical technical data we have previously presented in many formats. Here we have gathered critical information into a single, easily followed location. This is thousands of hours of testing, hundreds of hours writing, and all we ask of builders is to spend one hour reading it, and keep it on hand at all times, and follow it.

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Above, a look at the table of contents.

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Above, Three of the people who made the greatest contribution to getting this document into print.

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Above, a video explaining the content of the new MOP manual, and what its different about it.

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You can get your copy here:

http://shop.flycorvair.com/product-category/manuals/

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Thank you, William.

Myths and Misconceptions in the world of Pietenpols

Builders,

Because there is no “Factory” associated with the 90 year old Pietenpol design, the transfer of experience and ideas to new builders flows through many places, predominately social media. A really large chunk of this info is harmless, but some of it is not. Myths and misconceptions are shared and spread by often well meaning people who mean no harm, but they cause it anyway. The harm ranges from the lost opportunity for the recipient to actually learn something, to sending people on a time and money wasteful detour that leads to many people quitting, straight on through encouraging people to fly with passengers in aircraft that are unairworthy, by a standard Bernard Pietenpol himself stated.

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The number #1 way you can tell you are looking at “an opinion” , not a piece of data: It is delivered without a reference, and particularly without testing nor personal observation. If someone chimes in to say “Lean the cabanes back, it will be alright This is a near worthless opinion. If someone says “I have the same engine on my flying plane, N 177XW, my wing LE is 4.25″ aft of the firewall, my EWCG is 10.3″ and my EW is 737 pounds, it is in CG with a 194 pound pilot” , this is a useful piece of data to work with. The Weight and Balance data provided by Ryan Mueller and myself is that kind of data, for 20 different planes. Yet, some people will proceed down the building and flying path, armed only with opinions and no data.

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Some questionable ‘advice’ comes from people with flying planes. Its not bad data, but it is often not applicable to a different engine, or different size pilot. Much of the time, it is delivered as “This worked great for me” which is fine, but it doesn’t address the question, ‘Is this the best way it could be done on the new plane being built? This is most commonly done with CG comments. A person reporting that the plane flies ‘good’ at the aft CG limit, almost never has personally flown one near the front limit, far less flown the same plane, the same week, on each end of the limit. Enter the photo below:

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My Pietenpol, 1996, Edgewater Florida. The reason why the cowl has a 6″ wide expansion in it is simple. I carefully measured, and in a single day, made a mount 6″ longer and plugged the cowl for test flying. In the picture is Gus Warren who did a lot of the work with me and covered much of the flying. It was an instant improvement in safe flying behavior. I can comment on the difference between the same plane flying at 15″ and at 20″. This is what testing looks like, and this produces data, not opinion. Read more here: Evolution of a Pietenpol and here: Evolution of a Pietenpol pt. 2

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Common Pietenpol Construction Myths:

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“Having threaded sections on the diagonal cabanes will allow the plane to have the CG corrected later.” This is a myth. Study the weight and balance articles, and understand that many builders missed their target by several inches on the wing position. The articles show that moving the CG just 1″ requires moving the wing 1.3″. Builders need to just study examples of planes close to theirs, make a calculated fine tuning adjustment in the wing position, and make the diagonal cabanes rigidly attached to the front vertical cabanes.

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“I did a W&B measurement on my plane and it is 1.5″ from the aft limit, it will be fine when it is covered.” This is a myth. If you look at just the covering on the wing with its 60″ chord, the weight of the fabric on it will logically be near 30″, and this is 10″ behind the aft limit. Now think about the fuselage, which has almost no covering ahead of the front cockpit, but a lot of it 6′ aft of the wing, and then there is all the tail surfaces, all the way back. The covering on a Piet can easily weigh 35-40 pounds, and nearly every bit of it is going to drag the CG backward. The effect is strong, and not easily countered. A W&B check when uncovered is not a substitute for a plan right from the beginning.

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“Having an axle location near the wing leading edge will make the plane hard to fly” This is a myth. Look at the 35,000 American certified light planes which had tailwheels made in the 1940’s and they all have the axle close to the wing leading edge when they are in the flight level attitude. No one speaks of these aircraft as hard to fly.

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“Having the axle a few inches further back can’t make much of a difference in the plane’s potential  to end up on its back” This is a myth. Ask any person who knows what a Cessna 120/140 axle extender is. Before them, if the Goodyear brake jammed a disc (an issue on floating discs) many planes ended up on their backs. This modification moved the axle a few inches forward, and very effectively prevented the airplane from going over, even with a locked brake on pavement.  A few inches difference on axle placement makes a big difference. One of the few light planes of the 1940s to have the axle a few inches back from the leading edge is a Luscombe, and these are the most common light plane to go over.

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“My buddy Mongo has brakes on his A65 powered Pietenpol, the axle is 10″ back from the leading edge and he says it never feels like his plane is going to nose over.” This is a misconception. The reason why this isn’t good data because it fails to mention that Mongo weighs 265 pounds, and he is flying with the CG several inches behind the aft limit. On any plane operating within BHP’s specified CG limits of 15-20″ having brakes on an axle located 10 inches behind the leading edge in an open invitation with a filled out RSVP to put the plane on it’s back.

 

A few words on wood:

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in 2010, I took this picture of the awning outside BHP’s shop in Cherry Grove. The frame had been there 8 years earlier, on my first visit, and I suspect it was BHP’s personal work. You have to appreciate the values of a man who ended up with an apparently straight aluminum Piper spar and thought that its best use was an awning frame. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the diagonal bolt holes where the lift strut used to be attached.

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OK, BHP liked wood so much he thought aluminum wing spars were good for awning frames. So why didn’t any of his planes have wood lift struts or wood cabanes? This is a question you should really ask yourself before using wood on your plane.

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I have all the volumes of Juptner’s “US Civil Aircraft” , it catalogs in detail, the first 800 aircraft certificated in the US. Volume one starts in 1927, when BHP’s was testing his first ideas. I have scanned it quite closely, and I don’t see any aircraft with wooden struts. I suspect that once metal airfoil shaped tubing became available, no one thought of using wood anymore.

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People always point out that WWI biplanes had wooden struts, but they almost never have considered that the interplane struts on a biplane are always in compression, and they are almost never longer than 4-1/2′. There are also dozens of biplanes in “US Civil Aircraft” , and none of them use wood struts.

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Wood has obviously worked before on Pietenpols. The issue I have with it is how people choosing wood struts gloss over that these are not in the plans, and they often downplay variations in the wood and the difficulty of drilling precision holes in wood to match the fasteners. I understand why people like the look, but you honestly have to ask yourself is appearance a valid reason the deviate from the plans, the most common material, and to do so with little or no engineering.  Think it over.

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William.

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Corvair Open house, this Saturday (6/29) Noon-6pm, At the SPA/Panther Factory.

Builders,

This Saturday, between noon and 6pm, we are having a joint open house at the panther Factory in Green Cove springs Florida. If you would like to stop by and see some engine runs, get a look at completed motors and parts, meet the gang and tour the factory were Panthers are made, this is a great opportunity.

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SPA:

Phone:  904.626.7777

Address:

1528 Virgils Way, Ste 8

Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

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 Get a good look at David Koshinski’s smiling mug. This is the face of a very happy man. His engine was one of the runs at the 2018 Panther open house day. What produces this expression? The satisfaction of having an engine that you built with your own hands, an engine you really understand,  lay down a perfect break in run. This is what the very core of traditional homebuilding is all about.

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Hope to see many of you there.

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William.

Need Help Contacting the Builder of this Aircraft ASAP.

Builders,

I was forwarded the image of the modified Pietenpol pictured below.  It is Corvair powered, and I have been told it was signed off by the FAA, but I don’t have a record of working with him.

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UPDATE: The builder of the plane has sent a request saying that he wanted the image removed from this story and from our FB ‘Corvair College’ page. He prefers to not discuss his plane in public. I offered to help, meant it. I’m leaving the rest here because first time builders need to understand having a 100 people tell you on FB your plane looks nice isn’t an endorsement of the details.  

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Above is the Plane in Question. I do not consider it airworthy, even though the FAA signed it off.  The first thing Piet builders will spot it the tiny weak diagonal cabanes, as I discuss here: Pietenpol Fuel lines and Cabanes and here: Fuel lines and Cabanes, part 2. But that isn’t the main point, it is the Vee shaped lift struts on a parasol with near vertical cabanes and a center section. It is not structurally sound.

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In 1989, a guy in my EAA chapter, #288, named Bob Spenk, built a steel tube Grega with a nearly identical lift strut arrangement. To my then-uneducated eye, it looked fine. The Embry-Riddle department chair of engineering was also a #288 member, and he sat down and explained that the new strut arrangement had almost no ability  to resist the wing rotating in relation to the fuselage, and any differential load, such as deflected ailerons, would impart this.  He explained that in a cabin airplane with the same lift struts, the upper longerons contacting the rear spar and the diagonals in the fuselage resist the twisting, and he showed us that one of the largest tubes in a J-3 fuselage does this.  He went on to show that a heath model V parasol has no center section, but it still requires diagonal brace wires from the rear spar lift strut attachment to the motor mount.  He pointed out that a it was superseded by the Heath N, and follow on airplanes like the Baby Ace, with parallel lift struts are required to have the diagonal brace wires between the lift struts, even though they have no center section.  Aircraft structures is a very complicated business, and it doesn’t care if all the local hangar fliers say “I will be alright” and it doesn’t care if all the people on the internet say “Its just a low and slow plane’.  neither of those statements will make the plane right. it doesn’t work that way.

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“Hey, William Wynne, you are a jerk, mind your own business, the guy is probably very nice and you are only pissing on his parade. He probably isn’t even a customer of yours. This is why many people think you are an ass.”

 …….In 2016, a lawsuit for $350,000 was tried against me. It came from a person who had a Corvair in their plane, but never bought a single thing from me. If you thought that couldn’t be done, I understand, I didn’t previously believe it was possible either, but yes, it can get to federal court.

  ……..If you work in aviation, or even spend time here, you will have to decide at what level you are Your brothers keeper?  I have long ago decided that I’m fine with many people thinking I’m a jerk for pointing out something like the plane above, but I am unwilling to go to bed at night and try to sleep with a pillow made of justifications and rationalizations.

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If you want to read the story of the exact day I learned this, 25 years ago, look here: Effective Risk Management – 2,903 words

“This was the first time I can clearly say I understood the cost of keeping your mouth shut. This was the first step to me becoming the kind of “Bastard” who publicly points out people doing dangerous things.”

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wewjr.

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Piet Project video, Earl Brown

Builders,

We have a new youtube video up, it is Earl Brown leading a tour of his Pietenpol project.

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https://youtu.be/nhRV7qBdfL4

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Please remember to subscribe to the youtube channel while you are there.

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Thanks,

William.

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New Video: E/P and E/P-X Ignitions.

Builders,

Through the magic of the internet, A grease monkey in Florida can work with a genius in Connecticut just by texting and Volia!, a new video appears in cyberspace……maybe you can make a unicorn…..

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Video is up, you can see it at this link:

https://youtu.be/Yn_eKFaAWHw

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Please remember too subscribe! we are steadily working toward the goal of 1,000 subs where Youtube allows us to put a lot of direct hyperlinks in the descriptions.

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Thank You, William.

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Corvair Mission 2019, Part #5, Finishing Schools and assembly/run instruction.

Builders:

Keeping in mind the central focus of the mission is to share what we know with builders by effective, rewarding paths, this story focuses on something that has proven to work very well for a number of people: Close person instruction at our shops here in North East Florida.

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In the last 3 years, we have held a number of “Finishing Schools” at the SPA factory here in Florida. The best look at the process chan be seen here: Corvair Finishing School #1, Video report. These are small events, highly focused on getting every engine on hand running, with the builders learning a lot. With just 3-4 engines going together, and both Dan Weseman and myself present, it is a more intense learning session than a typical large college. But they are also fun events, where we hit the local bar and grill for dinner and share the social side of building also. .

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We currently are studying dates for the next finishing school, which will be held in the next 90 days. We already have several Engine in a Box builders on board, and we are just looking for one more person who is willing to complete their engine or even purchase a EIB kit motor to fill out the schedule. If you think this sounds like you, Please call Rachel at SPA, 904-626-7777. She has all the information on EIB kits, and if you are a builder with most of your parts, she will be able to set you up with what it takes to complete and run your engine at the upcoming Finishing School.  With the start of the season, this will likely be our last finishing school before Oshkosh, so if it sounds good, act. 

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The second part of this story is about One on One instruction in my hangar.  For the last two years I have scheduled individual builders to come to my hangar to build and test run their engine.  Because I live and work at a private residential community airpark, and have respect for my neighbors, I traditional don’t have an open door policy at my shop. I did for many years in the Daytona Beach area, but that was when we were located at commercial airports. However, I do have serious builders schedule time at my hangar to learn and work directly on their engines. We can also use the time to build one off parts like unique motor mounts, or even tune up you welding skills. As long as a builder is serious about learning, I’m interested. The best example story of the potential of this is here: Justin Peters Starlet progress in one hangar visit. If this sounds like something for you, call or text my cell, 904-806-8143. (please include you name if you are texting)

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Above,  Finishing School Results: Jim and Patty Raab with their engine on the run stand. This is now flying on their Zenith 650. in the photo they they are priming the oil system for 15 minutes before the first start. The red drip pans on the heads allow the visual confirmation that oil is reaching every single location in the engine. All Corvairs have hydraulic lifters and high strength head studs, neither of which ever need adjustment during the life span of the motor.

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Above, Another Finishing School photo: Look at the smile, Jimmy Mathis is a fortunate man to enjoy full support on the home front. Get a good look at the motor, it is built straight from our manuals, parts and guidance. Jimmy’s engine will offer many, many years of reliable service because he chose to follow the path that Dan Weseman and myself have long proven. He didn’t look to the net and people with mystery online names for advice, he just went with two people who know what they are speaking of. Jimmy’s engine is built to power his Bearhawk LSA

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Another Finishing School Picture: Get a good look at David Koshinski’s smiling mug. This is the face of a very happy man. What produces this expression? The satisfaction of having an engine that you built with your own hands, an engine you really understand,  lay down a perfect break in run. This is what the very core of traditional homebuilding is all about. The fact that David had this accomplishment in the company of other like minded builders, and with the direct support of the two companies that guided him through the process makes it all that much sweeter…..David’s engine is on his Zenith 750

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Above, A Finishing School Picture:  Jim Siebenaler gives his take on the “Captain Morgan Pose”. That smile is provided by having the accomplishment and satisfaction of a perfect break in run of a motor built with his own hands, an engine he now understands very well. A day will arrive when this plane takes to the air later in the year. It will arrive because Jim didn’t blow off opportunities to learn, make progress, and have a good time. When you read about upcoming events, keep in mind they are all opportunities to advance your own project, to make sure that you also will have a day where your own aircraft takes to the sky. The only thing this requires is your personal decision you will not keep putting off your own goals for a ‘some day’ which will never come. Jim’s engine is for his Zenith 650

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Another Finishing School Photo: David Swan and son, in very proud moment after the run of their 3.0L Corvair, built to power a Bearhawk LSA.  David is a good example of committed builder, because he has also spent several days at my hangar learning welding hands on. Any training that improves your skills and makes you a better builder or pilot is money and time well spent.

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Above, An example of one on one building at my hangar. It’s a fun picture: Mark Borden sets his “Captain Morgan Pose” with his running engine. complete with torque wrench sword and actual product (which neither he nor I drink) but it was all part of a very good time. Captain Morgan probably would find the ‘product placement’ humorous, but I’m guessing that Flight Safety would rather not have their jacket in there. Too bad for them, we were having a day Pappy Boyington would have found fun.

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Above, Another example of one on one building at my hangar. This is the satisfaction of progress, of having a plan come together. We did this Super Bowl weekend. Later in the year, when the outcome of the Super Bowl has long faded, Justin will take his airplane out to the flight line for its first time. It’s your year, spend it wisely.

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Above, one on one building at my hangar. Larry Elrod, a justifiably proud man.  Larry’s 2,700cc 100HP Corvair is straight from my Conversion manual, and it is built exclusively from my conversion parts and those from SPA/ Panther.  Although this engine is going on a KR-2, it follows the logic of this approach: Why Not the Panther engine?.  Read the whole story: Larry Elrod’s 2,700cc Test Run

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Its your year, make it count. 

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William

Corvair Mission 2019, Part #4, Large Colleges.

Builders:

Below is the story of our largest change in operations in 2019.  Many people think of large Corvair Colleges as our only interface with builders, ignoring events like airshows, finishing schools, demonstration EIB builds (like CC #44 will be) and one on one training at my hangar, and the newly emerging idea of the 10 person remote build schools.  Over the last 20 years, the 43 full Corvair Colleges I have held did gather most of the attention, but we also did a lot of other work. 2018 brought a lot of  evaluation, and the honest assessment that while  the 14  large flagship Corvair Colleges of Texas and Barnwell were outstanding events, they put a very heavy annual burden on two small groups of highly motivated volunteers. While the hundreds of builders they hosted were deeply appreciative and expressed this, in our larger community of builders if kind of became taken for granted that there would always be a Texas or Barnwell College to attend when ever people got around to it.  Nothing wrong with someone saying “I’m going to attend Barnwell someday” but the intention was not to conscript these friends into lifetime service, they were stepping up years ago, to fill a need and motivate others.

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Above, P.F. Beck in the black shirt and part of his loyal crew at Barnwell. I shot this the last hour of Corvair College #43 last november. These people brought you Nine Corvair Colleges.  – think about that; not just 20% of the Colleges held, but because of their size, 35% of the people who attended a College did so at Barnwell.  There were very detailed events, and the typical budget was over $7,000, but not a dime went to these people, they did it all as a show of South Carolina hospitality, their belief in the Corvair as an excellent way of getting more active builders in experimental aviation, and a particularly strong pride in their home airport, a facility they devoted a large part of their lives to.

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Above Kevin Purtee and Shelley Tumino, between Earl Brown and Katrina. I took this picture at Brodhead 2018. These friends, along with ‘Super Dave’ Hoehn of AZ, were the core people of bringing five major Corvair Colleges to Texas.  Again. this was a titanic first class effort, done completely as volunteers. They hosted more than 10% of the Colleges, and more than 20% of the builders. They hosted a College every year Kevin wasn’t deployed.  Additionally, Shelley did all on-line registration for all the Colleges for many years. People like this do not grow on trees, and you can justifiably feel blessed to have a handful of them in your life.

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After speaking with P.F. , Kevin and Shelley, I have come to the decision that we are going to suspend large colleges in Texas and SC for 2019, replacing them with the smaller training colleges I was speaking of in part 2 of this series.  While I am already nostalgic about good times we have all had, this isn’t a tough choice, because while neither group ever complained a bit, it was very obvious to me and  many other people, that a handful of Volunteers were doing a tremendous amount of work, and it was long past when would should have others shoulder some of the work.

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The of the good things about the 10-12 builder new format is how it allows a host to come forward, without them committing to the giant workload of a College the size of  one in Texas or Barnwell.  In NC, we have already had Dan and Tracy Sheradin offer to host one in the fall to take up part of the gap which will be left by Barnwell.

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If you get anything from reading this story, take this lesson to heart: While I’m pretty sure we will have another large Texas event years ahead, I’m reasonably sure that the Barnwell crew are going to rest on their record of nine Colleges.  I spent some quiet time speaking with P.F. about this, and he is very proud of his team and their work, and he wants it to stand on a high note. If year after year you read about Barnwell Colleges, and always promised yourself you would go ‘someday’, your chance has now closed. Aviation and life don’t wait for ‘someday’ , they are happening now, this season. In the next few days, when you read about the smaller events we will hold this year, do not make the same mistake of promising yourself that you will attend one of these events….’someday.’

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If you are one of the many who benefited from the generosity of these hosts, please use the comments section to share a note of gratitude for their efforts and what you received from them. 

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William.

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