Corvair College #5
|From left, in front, Pat Deitch of Seattle, Wash., Corvair/Pietenpol builders Jim Boyer and Gene Hubbard, and Richard Allen operating the test stand controls on his 3,100cc Corvair conversion, with Q2/Corvair builder Sam Kittle looking over Richard's shoulder.|
|Corvair College #5 is in the history books. We had a fantastic time, and the event worked out better than we could have dreamed. There were more than 50 people here, and I believe that every one of them would gladly tell you it was well worth the travel and the time.|
|Hanford EAA Chapter member John Mason, left, shares a laugh with Hanford Corsa member Harold Eigenman while Corvair/Kiote builder Joe Hemmer, far right, checks out the squeaky clean Corvair conversion powering Harold's VW bus.|
|The most impressive thing about this event was the positive attitude and enthusiasm that virtually every single person brought to Corvair College #5. This attitude was infectious, and extended to guys like John Mason, a VW flyer, who went out of his way to help Contact! magazine editor and Corvair/Dragonfly builder Pat Panzera host this event. Pat's family, John Moyle and local Corvair car expert Harold Eigenman really went out of their way to make sure every detail was covered.|
|D.J. Vegh trailered in this Corvair engine destined to power his Pietenpol Air Camper. D.J. and his father, David Vegh, spent a full day on the road from Arizona to Hanford. Click on the photo to link to a movie of the three running Corvair conversions at the College.|
|I was especially thankful that D.J. and David Vegh traveled so far to bring their engines to display and run. Additionally, long time Corvair supporter, KR builder Richard Allen brought his running 3100cc Corvair engine from Northern California. (We hadn't seen Richard since the 1999 KR gathering in Kentucky, so it was a real pleasure.) These people, with done engines, had the least to gain technically from attending the College, but their efforts to bring their running engines contributed immeasurably to the enthusiasm for the event.|
|William takes a close look at Don Lawrence's engine. David Vegh is in the center of the photo.|
|We worked late into the night both nights, and it was neat to have a dozen guys stay late to help out with progress on other people's engines. I know that Don Lawrence really appreciated the hand he got from some new friends made at the College when he left with his nearly completed engine. Among those going the distance with Don through the assembly of his longblock were NAS Lemoore jet mechanic Clint Brown, 601 builder Pat Lorie of Kansas, Arizona Corvair owner Bob Rhodes, and Pat Deitch, who drove down from Seattle just to see if Corvairs might be the thing for him and left sure that they are.|
|Getting a good look at good numbers on a good conversion are, from left, Corvair/Pietenpol builder
Carl Lekven, Corvair/Sonex builder Dan Weseman of Florida, Corvair/Zenair 601 builder Dick Romine of Colorado,
Richard Allen at the controls of his 3,100cc conversion, Jerry Fueslein and Corvair/Vision PC builder David Voit.
Click on the photo for a longer movie of the three Corvair conversions running at CC#5.
||Several people left with closed cases, many disassembled engines, and I
inspected dozens of parts which will take their places in people's flight engines.
It was very busy, but we spent time with everybody to make sure that their
questions and parts were addressed. While there's only one of me, many of the
people who have been to one of our other Colleges (like Dan Weseman who came out
to help at this one from Green Cove Springs, Florida, the long distance record
for #5), shared what they know one on one with other new guys. Just the
spirit we like to see.
||Watching William demonstrate bearing installation are, from far left, mainly facing the camera:
David Voit, Dick Romine, William Wynne, Don Lawrence (behind William, in the fedora), Gary Boothe, Dan Branstrom, Pat Lorie,
Hanford EAA Chapter member Gaines Fulghum, and David Cleveland, at the head of the table.
||In attendance were two guys who own classic Corvair powered aircraft: David
Cleveland has owned his Corvair powered Pietenpol for many years and brought
the engine up for an inspection to evaluate updating it to my Conversion Manual
standards. Darrel Jones owns one of the most famous Corvair powered
airplanes, the Pfeifer Sport, built 25 years ago by West Coast aircraft legend Joe
Pfeifer and featured in a long article in Sport Aviation circa 1980. Darrel also
brought his engine in so that we could go through it. Having guys on hand with
hundreds of hours of flight experience in Corvairs adds a lot to an event
like this. Besides that, they were both fine gentleman and great company. We had such a productive and good time,
we're looing forward to returning to California for another Corvair College.
||The diehards who stayed for the Corvair College V Group Photo Sunday are,
from left in front: Carl Lekven, Richard Allen, Gene Hubbard, Bob Rhodes, Doug
Blackburn, Dan Branstrom (kneeling), Bob Bernier, Dan Weseman, Pat Panzera, John
Moyle, Pat Deitch, Pat Lorie, Gaines Fulghum, David Vegh, Clint Brown and Don
In back from left: D.J. Vegh, William Wynne and Grace Ellen.
||Here's what some of those in
attendance at our first West Coast College had to say:
||"I came early, stayed late, had fun, learned a lot and met some great
people," said Corvair powered Pietenpol pilot Dave Cleveland, Los Angeles, Calif. "I also bought parts and
videos. My next steps are to re-read the Conversion Manual, watch the
videos, and order more parts."
"Thanks for your commitment to safety and your support to aviation," Cleveland said. "Please let me know if I can help your efforts. I would love to put an event together in the LA area with Chapter 96 as the sponsor. (It is warm here, and we could actually go flying.)"
|Corvair vehicle collecter and daily driver Bob Rhodes, Arizona, above, far right, captured the best film of CC#5 host Pat Panzera
Tuft Testing his laminar flow head. Click on the photo above to view Pat taking the test stand for a ride.
||"Thanks from the Los Angeles group: Carl Lekven (above left), Dave Cleveland and Doug
Blackburn (above center with Joe Hemmer, far right). We got a lot out of your very fine effort, and our three projects are
all coming along," says Carl Lekven, Corvair powered Pietenpol pilot from Compton Airport.
||Taking a good look at the Kearneys' core motor before tear down are, from left, KRF/A-18E/F/Corvair builder
Clint Brown, McDonnell F-4 Phantom crew chief and Corvair wrench Jean Kearney, John Collins of Coronado, Calif., and
Corvair/Vision builder John Kearney.
||"The school was worth braving the 40 degree temps and day long ground
fog," said Steve Kiblinger, Spring Valley, Calif. "There were around 60 attendees, and most stuck it out for the
two days. Pat Panzera of Contact! magazine was a great host.
William Wynne is really good at answering any and all
engine questions in detail, plus doing the hands on things for
disassembly and assembly processes. There were three running engines on
test stand trailers, many donor engines in all stages of teardown and
about a dozen work-in-progress assemblies. You could see it all
coming apart, sitting and going back in the right way."
||"We bought the available three Engine Assembly Videos and watched them on the motel VCR
on the first night," Kiblinger said. "These videos are of professional composition and
content! Installing the cylinders/heads and disassembling an engine
are 2 videos that are yet to be done at this time."
||Note from Wiliam: We will have the next Engine Assembly Video ready in time for Sun 'N Fun in
April 2004 in Lakeland, Fla. Watch the FlyCorvair.com Online Catalog for its release.
||Good times and late nights assembling Don Lawrence's Corvair longblock. Enjoying it the most are
Corvair/KR2 builder Clint Brown, in his OD, Pat Deitch, in the blue pullover, William, in orange,
and Don Lawrence, wearing the fedora and the big smile with his complete engine.
||“I'm impressed, not only with William’s knowledge, but with his attempt to have everyone fly safely,” said Sonex builder Dan Branstrom. “I wish I'd purchased the book before I got there, because things would have made a lot more sense to me.”
||“I really appreciate the start of your book,” Branstrom said. “There are too many people who think that their experience from other fields carries over to aviation, especially those who still have a mindset that an engine failure just allows a craft to be parked.”
||"I wish to take a minute to add my voice to that chorus of souls hungry for the knowledge you possess
and most appreciative of the manor in which you energetically try to impart that knowledge to us," said Corvair/601 builder
Gary Boothe, San Leandro, Calif., intensely scrutinizing a Corvair head, above right, with CC #5 host Pat
Panzera. "Though I hold an ancient, un-used A&P certificate, Corvair College V was just the elixir I needed to give me a level of
comfort with my engine that I know I would never have achieved without your support!"
||"Thank you for your generous contribution of time and resources."
||Gary Van Meter, above, admires the engine D.J. Vegh converted for his Pietenpol.
||"I just wanted to say thanks for coming out to the west side," said Corvair/Pietenpol builder
D.J. Vegh, Mesa, Arizona. "I had a blast being around everyone. It's cool to be surrounded by
Corvair lovers. The love for the engine was so thick you could feel it in the air."
||"If CC West becomes an annual event, I would most certainly make every attempt to attend on a regular
basis," D.J. said. "In fact, it's entirely possible that I may have a flying AirCamper by next January. If I did, I'd
definitely trailer it out there. Thanks again, and hope to see you again sometime."
||"Thank you so much for helping me get my first love back in the air," said Corvair powered Pfeifer
Sport pilot Darrel Jones, Sonoma, Calif., above left, with D.J. Vegh in the background. "Your help and support
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