William Wynne

"The Corvair Authority"
5000-18 HWY 17 #247
Orange Park, FL 32003


Grace and I hope everybody enjoyed the holiday and spent time with the people they care about. We're well into the New Year and there's a lot of stuff going on. This is my first Web site update of the year. It will bring everyone up to speed, and outline our gameplane for the first quarter. I'll be in the shop and on the phone virtually every day between now and Sun 'N Fun. We have a brand new answering machine (thank you Chuck) and I've been covering a large volume of daily calls. We're just about at the end of the post holiday surge. And if you have any questions, I encourage you to jot them down and then call me directly at (904) 529-0006. If you have an older Corvair Flight Conversion Manual, please change the address as well to 5000-18 HWY 17 #247, Orange Park, FL 32003 on its front cover.

Grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy these photos and stories from your world of Corvairs.

Hats Off To PietVair Builder/Pilot Robert Bush

Bush Flying Pietenpol
Congratulations to Robert Bush of Tennesee on the first flights of his Pietenpol, "Miss le'bec," NX294RB. He has flown it several hours already in bitter cold. It has coincidentally a 68" Tennesee prop. Robert says RPM is about 2,700 on climb out; 2,300 cruise at around 80 mph. It weighs in at 740 pounds, a fairly light weight for a modern Electric Start Piet. Robert reports that the engine has plenty of power,and it is off the ground and climbing in about 400 feet off a grass air strip. The good news spread fast and three builders dropped us a line to let us know the first day Robert told everyone. Grace had already gotten Robert's e-mail on our new Sprint Palm phone. I called to congratulate him, and I can only describe his mood as elated. We have seen him at many shows and events over the past years, and his positive attitude and persistence made everyone sure that he would have his day. In the land of Corvairs, your success is determined by your will and craftsmanship, not the thickness of your wallet. The number one thing I like about our section of experimental aviation is that the quality of character involved in building and flying your own plane are still respected over all else. Hats off to Robert.

Congrats To ZenVair Builder Scott Laughlin

Scott Laughlin's 601 flying off the test hours
Well known and liked 601 XL Scratch Builder Scott Laughlin's bird is now steadily flying off its hours in Nebraska. He's also a regular at aviation events. Despite cold local temps, Scott's airplane experienced slightly high oil temps on its initial flights. This is very unusual for a Corvair, and our experience with other airplanes indicated that a little investigation was in order.

Scott is running a small stock Corvair cooler, while our installations these days run Niagaras. While this and the newness of his engine were factors, I believe the primary culprit was the exit area on his cowling. Scott is the rare 601 builder who worked only from plans. (While there have been many plans built HDs and HDSes, his XL model may be the first plans built to have flown.) He'd crafted his own cowling, and the exit area and lip are different from the ones we sell. Scott also suspected this to be the problem, and made corrections which seem to be the fix. Happy Flying to ZenVair #17.

Aircraft Financing 101
Above, Dan Weseman, Gary Coppen and myself ready my old Blue Truck for its trip to the metal salvage yard. People often ask how we afford to build airplanes. This is a good visual example of an easy answer: Grace and I do not spend money on new cars. The flashpoint for the modern popularity of the Corvair/KR combination was the 1999 KR Gathering at Lake Barkley, Ky. This was the first Corvair event Grace attended as well as her first long distance towing trip. She drove most of the way there to let me get some sleep before my forum the next day. Before the trip, I paid $1,500 for my 1986 GMC Blue Truck. It had 160,000 miles on it. Going to the recycler, it has just shy of 300,000. I towed it there by its replacement, The White Chevy Pickup, another 1986 that we just got before Christmas for $2,500.

Many people with $400 per month car payments are mystified wondering how others can afford to build airplanes. This kind of money added up over the time it takes to build an airplane will provide you with a path to most any Corvair powered plane. It's all a matter of priorities, and cars are a very big ticket option in most American budgets.

Our 601 prepared for a long trailer ride North.
A few days before Christmas, Grace and I sold our 601 airframe to Pramod of Nitron Incorporated in Lowell, Mass. In the 3.5 years since we completed it, the plane has flown more than 440 hours and approximately 135 passengers. It flew to Oshkosh and was displayed in the Zenith booth for three years in a row. ZenVair #1 served as the birthplace for the highly successful Corvair/601 movement.

With 17 ZenVairs having flown, and another two dozen On Deck, it's fair to say the work of our crew resulted in a fully flight proven combination. The concept is now self promoting, and our major challenge is to fill orders in a timely fashion. The sale of the airframe, and of the 3,100cc engine to Andy Elliott, another 601 builder from the West, as well as the completion of the 701 project have brought a huge influx of capital, which we've already turned into large machine shop orders and huge prepaid purchases with our subcontractors. This is working to provide a revolution in our inventory and deliveries.

Our primary allegiance has to be to our builders who have already selected the Corvair as their powerplant. Our decision several months ago to cease offering demo flights to anyone who would drop by the old hangar marked a further shift prioritizing production over promotion. When we purchased the 601 kit, there were people who asked if we were not going to be Pietenpol People any more. Although we haven't had ours for many years, we're still actively involved in the Pietenpol community and the Brodhead Pietenpol Association (which has a great newsletter available at www.pietenpols.org).

The sale of our 601 should not be viewed as us leaving the 601 community. In reality, we've done a tremendous amount of work to popularize it with every flying ZenVair 601 having parts we made installed on it. Using this capital to make more parts available to the next round of builders is the continuation of service, not the end of it.

Pramod plans to install his own Corvair engine on the airframe and is considering a conversion to tricycle gear. He'll use the airplane as a demonstrator for his aluminum finned, steel lined cylinders and his nitriding capabilities. He has long term plans to develop kit engines that feature his cylinders and our proven Conversion Components. Having his own personal testbed that belongs to him is the only viable way for Pramod or anyone to do real testing, which involves vigorous evaluation, not just a trip around the pattern. Besides, the best reason of all to have a Corvair powered 601 is that it's a lot of fun to fly. We're glad to work in conjunction with other companies like Nitron. Mark at Falcon, Ed Fisher's Raceair Designs, Fly With Gus and Kevin's new business are all good examples of working relationships.

The common thread is a commitment to builders based on fully flight tested products and services that are our original work and services based on the strength of individuals from America's great aviation and engineering universities, as opposed to dangerous counterfeited copies from dubious sources.

Myself with Pramod at left of Nitron Incorporated in Massachussetts December 2007.
Pramod and I at a happy moment inside his shop in Lowell, Mass., Decebmer 2007, above. It's after midnight. I picked up 601 builder Ken Pavlou of Connecticut as a co-pilot for which we drove the last 150 miles in a snow storm. In addition to really knowing engineering and metallurgy, Pramod is a first class guy. After we unloaded, he broke out a bottle of champagne.

ZenVair builder Ken Pavlou of Connecticut with his Corvair Conversion.
On the way back from Pramod's, I dropped off Ken Pavlou and took a look at his Corvair engine conversion and 601 quick build kit. Ken is a very bright and accomplished guy. He's an electrical engineer, airline pilot, registered nurse, and along with his wife, are the State Ballroom Dancing Champions of Connecticut. The most standout thing about Ken is his sense of humor. A native of Greece, I compared his scientific and engineering thinking to Aristotle, to which Ken deadpanned "And I have the body of Adonis," as seen in the photo above.

There's been a long going debate on the effectiveness of harmonic balancers on Corvair flight engines. I believe that Ken is the only person who has the combination of engineering, data logging and hard core math background to come up with a factual answer to this question. Vibration analysis of rotating components requires that the analysis be done by someone who is fluent in some of the most sophisticated branches of math taught at a graduate level. Ken has this background, as well as the electronics skills to collect, analyze and sort the data, which he'll gather in flight. Until we get it, the only responsible position is the one we've always recommended: Retain the harmonic balancer GM installed on the engine.

Dan Weseman wrenching on the Skylite, in the photo above. As we announced before Christmas, we've made arrangements with our friend Fletcher Burns, designer of the 1/3 Corvair conversion, to further develop and market the Ultravair Engine. Fletcher's real forte is development, but marketing, like many highly skilled technical guys, never really was his bag. We're bringing his egnine mated to Ed Fisher's 1991 Oshkosh Grand Champion Skylite to Sun 'N Fun this year. At that point, we'll reintroduce an expanded version of Fletcher's Manual that will include all we learned by mating it to the Skylite and flight testing it. Since we're very busy with regular production, Ed has been traveling down from South Carolina on weekends to do the preponderance of the work at our place in North Florida. Dan volunteered a Saturday afternoon to come over and help begin the general design study. [Thanks again Rachel.]

Gary Coppen, licensed contractor, makes a very light cut with a circular saw to remove the header tank in his KR-2, above. Our December 2007 update showed Gary's aesthetically challenged KR project. He is temporarily putting the Skycoupe restoration on hold in order to push through the clean up and finish of his newly acquired KR. While the basic woodwork in the plane looks very good, a lot of the details are garbage. It often takes far less time to simply remove and junk such parts than it does to try and figure a clever way to salvage them. This plane had an inredibly poorly made polyester fiberglas header tank. Gary can wield a circular saw with more finesse than many people have with a Dremmel.

The above photo shows something really special: The seams inside the header tank were made using polypropylene folding chair webbing. While it might vaguely look like Fiberglass, it is actually one of the few materials to which Fiberglass will not stick. Gary disassembled the tank by peeling it apart with his bare fingers. If the fuel tank had miraculously held gas, it would have burst in the cockpit on the first real bump.

Rachel, Mz. Wicked Cleanex, and the puppies.Toffee is on the left and Taffy is on the right in the photo above. The twins are Schitzhuahua puppies owned by Gary. They're small, but they are the boss of Gary, as they deserve to be.

Consolidated ready for its close up, above.

Nothing says America like the sound of Radials. Grace captured a PBY on a low pass at our place, a lot of fun that day. Compare this photo with the earlier one here of loading the 601; it is shot from the same spot. A PBY's wingspan is 109 feet. Grace wanted to remind everyone that she predicted the Patriots would be in Super Bowl 2008 back in her December 23, 2007 to January 6, 2008 posting below. I want to remind everyone Grace basically makes my life possible, so please respectfully be nice to her. For more of her photos, sports commentary and nice thoughts, check her New Year's message below and Christmas Message To The World atop the December 2007 update. For those of you who have enjoyed Grace's postings, you can soon see them and some of her old favorites at Grace's Page.

When Grace realized it would probably be best to keep her page PG-rated, she decided to go back to work quietly figuring out QuickBooks [TM]. This is the year she really puts her University of Miami BBA in Finance to work as she endeavors to play Noah Dietrich (Howard Hughes' accountant) in real life. She's automating shipping and receiving this year as well as executing her other FlyCorvair.com duties all while trying her best to keep her New Year's Resolutions. She works on writing her bestseller and whatnot after hours with her new assistant, Scooby Dooby Doge, above left. She sends her gratitude for the patience of those whose orders came in after Dec. 26, 2007, while her streamlining transition to automation continues this month. [Thanks also for Doge moral and technical support to Rachel and Craig.]

Digging gold.
Above is a fresh round of parts from the machine shop. Gold Hubs surround 18 new Filter Housings and Bypasses. At the center are the nickel plated Filter Mounting Bolts. Our next Web update will include a detailed step by step look at the Gold Oil System with price and ordering information. The capital from the 601 allows us to keep much larger inventories of machined items in stock.

Above, sparks fly as Gary Coppen grinds off the head of a screw protruding from his KR's firewall reinforcement. The 1/4" plywood firewall has been removed from the aircraft and will be replaced with the slightly wider and different shaped KR-2S firewall. Foam and glass will fill in the front fuselage sides to bring them flush with the new firewall width. Gary works on his planes a few nights a week and one weekend day. The detailed information we take from this installation will be the basis of a KR2Vair Installation Manual similar to our recently completed 601 Installation Manual. Although it's a longshot to get the airplane to Sun 'N Fun April 8-13, 2008, in Lakeland, Fla., there's a pretty good chance we'll be able to complete the firewall forward work on this aircraft by then, and have the KR2-Vair Manual done by April.

Eight well known KRVairs fly around the U.S. A lot of experimenting has been done. There's clearly more than one way to skin this cat, but our KRVair Manual will focus on our flight proven installation components including KRVair Cowling, props, Motor Mounts, etc. KRVair pilots Mark Langford of Alabama, Joe Horton of Pennsylvania and Mark Jones of Wisconsin are some of the best motivational writers in the Corvair world, and I look forward to incorporating some of their writings into the work with the goal of having a book in the hands of a new enthusiast that will show a path to success and also tell why it's worth the effort.

Above, the Skylite beginning to be mated to the 1/3 Corvair. Saturday at the hangar brings out some of the people who are part of our North Florida team. From left are Dan with his lovely mother, Rhonda, and father, Jim Weseman, and Skylite Designer and Builder Ed Fisher. Seated in the Skylite is Dan and Rachel's son. Ed came down and worked on the Skylite this past weekend. Most of the preliminary issues were covered before he left. Ed welds our 601 Mounts for us to help cover ever increasing demand. He has expanded production to four per week, so we will shortly move from backordered to Class A Availability on 601 Mounts.

Chris Smith, builder and pilot of The Son Of Cleanex, goofing around above in my workshop. He's puffing out his chest and striking a Superman pose, because, of course, they both fly. He came by to help me with a project for an afternoon. In an unusual calm, the very busy shop phone did not ring once in nearly four hours. You had to be there to believe it. I have spent time with Chris here and there over the past three years, but this was a particularly good day between friends.

Now On Deck: Builders Making Progress

Woody Harris' West Coast 601 XL.
Above, the 601XL built by Woody Harris of California. He has emerged as our "West Coast Resource." You can read all about him on our Web site by typing his name into the Google [TM] search box on the bottom of Our FlyCorvair.com Home Page. Woody knocked off his quick build in about a year, including building his own engine, co-hosting our last two California events, flying Rick Lindstrom's ZenVair 601 across America with his daughter Amy, after one of his other daughters got married last year, all while he was running 1`MSI, his high performance automotive shop. (After typing all that I almost feel bad about nagging him to get the plane done...almost) Woody's plane also features all our Gold Systems as well as Every Conversion Part and Every 601 Installation Component we offer. The plane is signed off as an E-LSA, and it may well be ZenVair #18 when it flys in a week or two. Woody's home airport is Nut Tree in Vacaville. He has had a number of West Coast builders come by for a first hand look, and offers the hospitality I have always championed as a defining characteristic of the Corvair movement.

Woody's plane weighs 813 pounds with the full Zenith interior. ZenVairs built from 2001-2004 kits are significantly lighter because of the extensive use of .016" and .020" skins. These planes are typically 775 pounds. While the early planes like ours were by no means weak, the Zenith factory has judiciously added to the skin thickness in certain places perhaps to reduce oil canning. Several builders have mentioned to me using skins as thick as .032" in areas "to improve apearance." To be blunt, this is dumb, and I pointed out that it is a very quick way to make a heavy plane. All experienced airplane builders are very weight conscious on many levels.

Jay Bannister's Lil Bruiser 601 XL in Dallas, Texas.
Above, Jay Bannister's 601 XL looks sharp as it nears completion. Jay's engine is one of our 2007 production engines, seen in 2007 Fall Updates on our Web site. The engine is equipped with all of our Gold System parts and an E-P Distributor. We provided all of the Firewall Forward Components for his engine. Jay received our very first production Cowling Kit and gave us detailed feedback which was immediately integrated into the kit. His actions illustrate how the Corvair movement differs from a plain engine company.

Andy Elliott's 601 XL in Arizona.
Above, Andy Elliott's Quick Build XL taildragger. Andy has been around the Corvair movement for a while, having attended the 2002 San Antonio College we did with host Oscar Zuniga. Andy bought the 3,100cc Corvair conversion from the front of our airframe. He had a long standing engine order with us, but jumped on the chance to pick up our 3,100 because it is a very high performance version. Unlike most of the people who play the role of "aeronautical engineer" on the Internet, Andy actually has an Aeronautical Engineering degree, from that trade school down on the Charles River, MIT. (Even Embry Riddle guys like myself have to admit that MIT is the Trump card.) The photo shows that he elected to use the Grove 7075 Aluminum gear. Although it cost $600 more than the stock gear, it is 18 pounds lighter. This and the fact that the 3,100 is about 8 pounds less than a 2,700cc conversion means that his plane will weigh about the same as a 3300 Jab powered 601, for a whole lot less money. This is the big picture reality perspective that is often missing in weight discussions.

Paul Chandler's Michigan 601 XL.
Above, Paul Chandler's 601 HDS without the engine installed. His airfame is actually complete and his engine is done. Paul's house was a stop on the Winter 2006 tour Gus and I did. An early member of the Corvair movement, Paul came to our shop and built his engine under Kevin's supervision. After our call to magnaflux and nitride all cranks, he later shipped the engine back so Kevin could swap out the crank for a first class one nitrided by Nitron. We have provided all the firewall forward installation components for his plane and look forward to seeing Paul on the flight line this year.

The above KR-2 belongs to lovely Florida builder Glenda McElwee.
Glenda McElwee is known to many Corvair builders because she enjoys the social side of it and has traveled to many events far and wide in the past few years. This aircraft should be ready to fly sometime late in the Spring. Glenda put a lot of work into extending the stock retractable gear, but now feels it might be better served by fixed. The aircraft features a 2,700cc Front Starter engine. Sharp eyes will see that it has one of our early model solid ring gears, a design we abandoned in favor of the Light Weight Ring Gear we now use. The plane sports a 54x54 Sensenich, one of our KR Motor Mounts, our KR cowling, Oil Pan and numerous other Corvair Conversion and Installation Parts from Our Catalog. You can respectfully contact Glenda at n51gl@yahoo.com

South Florida ZenVair 601 Under Construction
Above is the 601 Quick Build Kit of Zersis Mehta of South Florida. Zersis' installation utilizes virtually every part in our 601 Conversion and Installation Inventory. The engine is built from a core he picked up at Corvair College #9. It features a Gold Hub and Oil System, E/P Distributor and Falcon Heads. Nitron did the crank. Look for this airplane to be airborne in the Spring as well.

2008 Aviation Events Of Interest

Please e-mail your local av event info with
"Event" in the subject line
and check this page throughout 2008 for additions

LSA Expo Sebring, Fla., Jan. 17-20, 2008
Sun íN Fun, Lakeland, Fla., April 8-13, www.sun-n-fun.org
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisc., July 28-Aug. 3, www.eaa.org
Wheels and Wings Annual Airplane and Car Show in conjunction with the County Fair, Sept. 6, Osceola, Wisc.
KR Gathering 2008, Sept. 19-20, Mt. Vernon, Illinois, www.krnet.org
Winter Break: TBA in 2008 at www.FlyCorvair.com/hangar.html

Happy New Year To The World From Grace

Grace's Mom Liz took this photo while enjoying the Christmas season. Liz took almost all the photos on this page.

This is Grace's message of personal joy. There's no hidden meaning in it. We're hard at work for a productive 2008. If you don't get every word of it, don't worry, it's meant for enjoyment, not total understanding. We'll start back in with regular technical updates in the next weeks.
Thank you.

Gary's new puppies, sisters Toffee on the left and Taffy on the right above enjoying a Happy New Year. Four pounds of dog are the boss of Gary. Doubly cute because he doesn't suspect a thing.

Dec. 23, 2007 to Sunday Morning January 6, 2008

On the way to my parents' house across Florida Dec. 23, 2007, with Tampa Bay lit up on the left. I did not get a blue Escalade XLT with moon roof, seat heat, and Sirius radio for Christmas, but I did enjoy a merry Christmas with my family, which was all the better. I WILL be treating myself to a wheel balance and alignment, however. If you've ever driven a boat in chop, more specifically flown a day VFR Taylorcraft in chop with a slight crosswind, [THE FOLLOWING IS NOT RECOMMENDED OR TYPICAL TO TAYLORCRAFTS AT ALL EVER], at night, on dimly lit instruments, with a prop imbalance at 60-68 mph, which incidentally, is the exact speed at which Florida Insterstate traffic moves near major cities, then you'd agree my Blazer deserves its wheels balanced and aligned. Luckily, I'm a well trained Taylorcraft pilot, so the Blazer was no match for me. I made the command decision to do the ride back home in daylight, and it was a delight. I understand Howard Hughes drove around in beaters a lot as well.

Winter has finally arrived in Florida, where it is 40F and windy January 3, 2008. Billie Holiday is on Siriusly Sinatra singing "Remember" as I begin writing this. Grace Ellen checking in here to say Happy New Year, and let you know we're back from Christmas and New Year's holidays and working very hard. As anyone who bought a Conversion Manual this year can tell you if they've read all the way to the last page, our Winter Holiday has long been scheduled for Dec. 21, 2007-Jan. 5, 2008.

Christmas in Florida: 60-80 F and no snow. Above, it's a cool 60 at the State Park. They had a loveley lit Menorah and some Kwaanza corn as well. It wasn't easy talking to friends who've been cross country skiing in Maine, or William's Aunt Bubbles from Westchester County, N.Y., when we're so missing snow for Christmas here in Florida. We did enjoy the cool clear weather. One day, a spooky fog rolled in late afternoon before a mild front. I talked to Dave the Bear on the phone as the fog rolled in to the Home Depot parking lot. That was nifty. We also bought William's white truck in a Home Depot parking lot, so they're generally swell.

Due to a late start, we will be extending our break from answering the phone or e-mail through Jan. 8, 2008. In the meantime, in the spirit of my New Year's Resolution to celebrate Christmas every day, I will soon be sending out all Baffle Kits and every Cowling Kit we have. I waited until after the Holiday Mailing Season to post these because they are precision bent expensive parts that certainly didn't need to be unbent in the Christmas Crush. We shipped out a few more engines before Christmas, and a few more will also be going out shortly for arrival in plenty of time for Spring Break (again, apologies for the delays). I mailed several Distributors Dec. 31, 2007, including one to our Spanish Piet builder Jorge, plus 601 Intakes and Exhausts. All DVDs will go out next week as well. The majority of other items please consider Class "B" till the eighth.

Above, I talk to William from my parents' on Christmas morning. I highly encouraged him, against his mother's wishes if you can imagine, to go spend an only child Christmas with his parents in New Jersey. In another Christmas miracle, he jumped in his new 1986 Chevy Silverado and drove up there. They all had the best Christmas, although we were all guardedly optimistic on the truck, which we'd bought in a Home Depot parking lot just days earlier. Christmas Day, William's mom Mickey and dad Capt. Wynne invited family over to celebrate William's birthday, which is the 29th. A grand time around their Charlie Brown Christmas tree was had by all, especially William. As an only child myself, I knew it was the right thing to send him up there. He has an older brother and two older sisters, so 2007 was his first opportunity ever to have his parents all to himself and their cat Baxter Christmas morning, a real treat. I enjoyed my first only child Christmas in nine years, but certainly don't mind sharing. Charlie Brown finally did teach all his friends that it's not really about the tree or the Escalade, although I've been told I'd look damn good in a Cadillac (Thanks again Bill and Sue).

As I reviewed the 2007 At The Hangar entries, I realized I'd typed a lot about airplanes, people and engines, mainly engines, over the years. Often this is much more enjoyable for you to read than it is for me to type in, edit, proofread, photo size and post.

The earliest homebuilders had limited access to scant information and did a lot of building and flying on minimal budgets with unlimited stoicism. Check out early EAA Sport Aviation magazines for photos at Rockford and all over the country of aviators enjoying the hell out of what they had.

We get more mail, phone calls and e-mail than you could imagine. I installed a new answering machine, a Christmas present from our friendChuck, and now the phones don't work. I'll get on that Monday. Generally the machines are full of technical questions, order inquiries or one guy from Roanoke. Honestly, most technical questions can be answered by typing in your key word or words to the Google (TM) box on Our Home Page as suggested by Florida ZenVair builder and Power Point Artist Fred Roser.

If you're calling to inquire about order delivery, know this: It will arrive when it gets there by U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail or Air Mail. If we're on the phone telling you this, we are not designing, making, testing, ordering or shipping parts and supplies so these operations you have just delayed for everyone. Not good. Certainly your time could have been better spent building, painting, polishing, reading, flying, showering or being nice to someone. I resolve to be more productive in 2008. I highly recommend it already.

Alaska Cruise dinner, July 2007, with, from left, my Dad Bob, Mom Liz, me and William.

This week, I'll be typing very little about airplane engines. You are forewarned. Just like TV, you don't have to tune in if you're not interested. Also be warned that foul language may crop up. Please don't flame or e-mail to bitch about it. Just tune out.

Thanks in advance to those who do read and enjoy this.

In 2007, I realized William, Howard Hughes and I all somewhat had airplane companies in common. We all enjoy eccentric vehicles and good movies (if you want something done right, do it yourself; immediately rent, buy or borrow from your library the "splendiferous" Hell's Angels produced by Howard Hughes. It is a delight). William is certainly more akin to the late Mr. Hughes, but we enjoy an entirely different kind of wealth, i.e. not piles of cash, treasure and factories. We do have good family and friends backing us, however, for which we are grateful every day.

We also thank the good people who make the little blue miracle pill for men and women: Aleve [TM]. Although I did resolve to substitute it with Bikram Yoga more often in 2008. Please wish me luck with that, and I wish you all the best with your resolutions.

Paranthetical note: William quit coffee Jan. 1-2, 2008. This both a bad and good thing. Mainly I see his cup as overflowing for 2008.

I resolve to be more productive in 2008. I already highly recommend this. Thank you very much to Jim and Rhonda for the sparkling cider visible on the coffee table above, as well as the other neat gifts including the GPS power fix. 2008 will be the year I learn to use a GPS/com thanks to Rhonda and Big Daddy Cleanex, and our flight instructor Chuck as well who gave us the GPS/com for Christmas.

Mom loves this photo of me at the Hubbard Glacier, and has an 8x10 on their fridge. If you ever get the chance to take an Alaskan cruise, I say go. We were blessed with beautiful weather almost all days. The one day it rained I didn't care. I watched whales, lots of whales, while wearing Dad's rain slicker with William; meanwhile, Dad and Mom took a tour bus to Myndenhall glacier. Again, a good time was had by all.

Many people do not realize my chief job in our airplane company is not putting paper together, taping it into labeled envelopes with prepaid postage and delivering it to the U.S. Mail Ladies. I see it as helping people realize their flying goals. This requires a bit of magic on my part. For instance, I make piles of stuff appear and disappear all day long. I am the Coke Zero Fairy (TM), and sometimes this involves a tiara, as it did much earlier, in fact yesterday. When you can open your refrigerator under your own roof in the wonder of what God created and find a cold soda or water, it is magical and you say Thank You. If it is not magical, you are doing it wrong. Try harder to do good and have fun.

Eagle eyes will note two eagles on the shore of George Inlet near the old cannery outside beautiful Ketchikan, Alaska.

I recommend you say Thank You daily, too, for there's great gifts all around you if you'll just take the time to really look. You owe it to yourself in 2008.

Some will remember Tiger Cubby, whom we rescued from Spruce Creek. Little did we know she'd be invading unfriendly Whobis territory. She leads a very spoiled life now with my parents, where she's still easily pleased by a good game of string.

It pays a nifty return to be easily pleased. Some people will consider you an idiot for this; they are unenlightened and it's best to be polite to the ignorant and insane. I may not be Smarter Than A Fifth Grader (TM), but I believe I am wiser. That belief is the key. I also find that laughing at myself at all opportune moments is most beneficial, another recommended resolution.

Boutchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C., Canada, a town also noted for its go-go bars by several U.S. rock stars.

Another little known fact: I am also the maid, gardener, IT department, shipping, receiving, A/P, A/R, pilot, purchaser (which 90% of homebuilders wish they knew all about, but alas do not have a nearby family-owned toy store in which they can be thankful to visit and learn), Web mistress, personal assistant, shrink, driver, passenger, Elk, friend, sister, aunt, wife and daughter. This takes up all my time, and can be quite demanding.

William chose these cards for me. He did a great job.

William and Lowly Worm share a smile.

If you can smile, laugh, enjoy yourself and your situation most of the time, you are doing it right.

Mom and Dad with their New Year's Eve presents. Sharp eyes will note Mom's wearing one of her presents, the 2008 sunglasses, while displaying her celebratory champagne and Chaser (TM).

You must have good people on your side. I order airplane parts that involve good engineering, tolerances, standards, testing, and cutting with medium like lasers, garnet dust blasting through water and lathes operating in more planes than you can imagine with more lines of computer code than I can imagine. I must thank Jere, Paul, Spencer, Bob, errill, Craig, Gary, Rachel and their families and mention the importance of a good crew on your side. We're nice to people a lot, so the Universe rewards us. Howard Hughes had Noel Deitrich and company, and I'm thankful we have a good support crew with us. We must learn this year to cherish the moments when we just hang on, stay loose and enjoy the ride.

Look at the glass as half full, unless it's all the way full or overflowing.

It bears repeating: If you cannot feel marvelous, you should look marvelous.

Guarded optimism is the order of 2008 in most scenarios, unfortunately even in scenarios involving the Bucs. We are rooting for them though, and we have seen them win the Super Bowl. I also root for Peyton Manning, because I like anything that guy does, and by extension Eli. Women don't even understand this type logic when they're exercising it. It is not for us to question how the Universe works, but just be happy it does at all. [Update: Go Mannings! and Jags]

Celebrating with photos of our July 2007 cruise around Alaska and a giant banana split.

If you're fortunate enough to have a mother who wants to make a fuss over your birthday, you should let her. She did give birth to you after all. Most of us only get one or two mothers, just the right number.

Dad at the George Inlet Cannery near Ketchikan, Alaska.

If you've got a Dad who enjoys making a fuss over you, you should let him. Quality time is important.

Sunset over Butchert Gardens in Canada.

Enjoy the tiny victories. Stop and smell the roses every chance you get. Ours were in full bloom before the temperature dipped below freezing overnight. Be happy you're not freezing, and if you are freezing, have a cocoa if you can and get a blanket and some warm clothes.

Above I am distressed as my mug shot is taken on the cruise ship over a true misunderstanding that was quickly resolved without time in the brig for me.

Your #1 Supporter must be yourself. I simply do what needs to be done. I am doing everything all at once, all the time. I am "doing something, even if it's wrong," as my flight instructor Chuck taught us.

What packing looked like circa Sport Aviation Fly In June 2005. I'm thankful we've got places to safely go and stuff to pack.

I spent the first two days of 2008 unpacking. For those who didn't hear, 2007 was the year I got rid of my Honda. William Wynne Sr., Naval Academy Class of '49 graduate, Seabee, WWII, Korea and Vietnam vet, former owner of 1965 Buick Skylark Sportwagon in Seafoam Green, same color as my Corvair van, and certain members of his family including his parents and sons, do not abide unAmerican cars. So the Wynne Jr.'s are now an all-Chevy family, with the exception of my Taylorcraft and NSU Prima scooter a friend found at a garage sale and for a very reasonable sum entrusted us to recycle. It's in the works. Anywhoo, I spent the first two days of 2008 unpacking my Chevy Blazer. This was a lot of unpacking. Some might remember the photo above, illustrating how much you can cram into a Honda. Now imagine how much you can cram in a giant Chevy. I remain thankful we have places to go and stuff to pack.

Liz after singing a Christmas Eve rehearsal and concert, and midnight Mass.

It's not all Lucky Sevens. You must have good people around you. Highly recommended are good friends, family, lawyer and accountant. Good friends or being a good friend can help you find a good lawyer, accountant or computer genius.

Here I am in Sitka National Forest in Alaska with no cell phone and no worries. If you really look, you'll see I'm smiling. This general area is where your beautiful aircraft wood grows. I read a few articles in the latest issue of Doc and Dee Mosher's Brodhead Pietenpol Association newsletter (available for $16 a year, $30 for two years in the U.S. payable to Brodhead Pietenpol Association LLC, P. O. Box 3501, Oshkosh, WI 54901, with more info at www.pietenpols.org) about the merits of using other types of wood in aircraft building. After this walk through the woods, I still believe there's nothing like Sitka spruce.

No, we don't check our cell phone messages, and yes often they are turned off or missing in action. In 2007, I'd guess William's cell phone spent 18 weeks total at various times under the seat of his blue Corvair. Another gap in cell coverage extended three months after it was tossed but caught like a girl over a wheelbarrow full of water. But when the equipment's available, we obviously check caller ID so we're aware of who called. If you're a Corvair pilot, you know we'll generally call or e-mail you right back.

I resolve to be as thankful for every day as I am for Christmas.

Christopher Walken In A Winter Wonderland with some and little and bigger kids.

Getting a bang out of life is always a good idea.

We both just got back from the greatest Christmases ever to celebrate together at home, above. All our families had Charlie Brown trees this year, decorated to the hilt surrounded by love. It's very nice, which is what we're going to continue to be in 2008.

Treasure moments when the sun is shining, as well as when it's overcast and cooler, softly raining or rolling in spooky fog. The sun is always shining, whether the clouds are there or not. When Ed Fisher's wife Val told us she "had the best time ever" visiting us last year, we said thank you. In 2008, I resolve to continue to endeavor to make each day our best day ever.

We bid you all a Happy New Year, and to all a Goodnight.
Take Care.
Grace Ellen

Now At The Hangar

June 2011 At The Hangar

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December 2006 At The Hangar Part 1

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At The Hangar In December 2005

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At The Hangar In July 2005

OSH, Illinois and SAA June 13, 2005

At The Hangar June 13, 2005 Part II

At The Hangar In May 2005

At The Hangar In April 2005

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