March 31, 2007
601/Corvair builder Mark Townsend of Can-Zac aviation is again hosting his annual Web Masters Barbecue in the Sun 'N Fun Campground. Check at the Zenith booth for details and directions. It's a fun event we plan to attend.
Gold Hub Update
The Gold Hub has flown. We'll be making shipments from the first batch this coming week. The Gold Hub uses the same Ring Gear, Safety Shaft, and Hybrid Studs we've always used. However, it uses NAS (National Aerospace Standard) nuts and slightly longer AN-3 bolts to hold the Ring Gear to it. This hardware and instructions will be included with the Gold Hubs we ship. There's about 10 Gold Hubs available from the first batch that aren't yet spoken for. If you'd like one of these, check our Products Page for a link soon. We have a second batch in the works that will be available before Sun 'N Fun.
New Corvair Pilot, Ray Blondin
Ray Blondin of Delaware is the ninth pilot to fly a Corvair powered 601. Ray took to the air recently in his primer clad HDS, pictured above. Ray kept a steady pace going in recent months to see his project through to completion. He picked up a number of Installation Components from us, but built his own unique installation. Ray's aircraft utilizes our Motor Mount, specified 66" Warp Drive prop, Prop Hub, and Distributor. He chose to make his own cowling. What saw him through to completion and flying is the magic element of persistence. He tackled the little jobs one at a time until they all were done. Congratulations to Ray, the newest ZenVair pilot.
We've recently received a number of photos from 601 builders nearing the finish line. Check out the progress of Ken Lien of Washington, above, and Charles Leonard of Florida, below. Ken sent us a half dozen photos of his very sharply painted XL. Charles is a Hangar regular who completed his engine with our assistance at the FlyCorvair.com Hangar in 2006. We're in the process of updating the www.ZenVair.com site with photos and news from builders already flying. Watch www.ZenVair.com in the coming weeks for new additions.
The Zenith Aircraft Co. factory Web site includes a Builder Directory with state-by-state listings. A large number of 601 builders in the directory list their engine as a "Custom installation" - almost all of these are Corvair builders. I spoke to Sebastien about it, and he said the page was written before the ZenVair movement got rolling, and he's amending it to allow builders to select "Corvair" as they complete their listing.
Running Engines: Gardiner Mason, Scott Thatcher
Some of the last production engines we started in 2006 in our shop recently went out the door. Georgia Pietenpol builder/Corvair College #10 student Gardiner Mason came down to witness the test run on the dyno of his engine, above. Afterward, he promptly took it home and installed it on his Piet project. Recently, 601 builder Scott Thatcher, whose engine was used for demo assembly during CC#10, returned to witness the break-in run on the dyno, below. He took the Gang out to lunch, and late in the evening headed home with a very smooth running fresh engine. Both these projects have a good shot at flying by the end of the summer.
Fly With Gus
Test pilot Gus Warren is formally branching out with his own business, FlyWithGus.com. Gus has worked with us in the Corvair movement about 10 years. As a member of the original Hangar Gang, he's made several contributions to the movement. He's best known as our test pilot and primary demo pilot. In the hangar, everybody gravitates toward working within their own field of expertise. In the past few years, Gus has primarily worked on building airframes and flying. He's now chosen to form his own business specializing in helping others with these two elements. You can read all about it on Gus' new Web site, www.FlyWithGus.com. Externally, there won't be many changes. Gus is still operating out of the same X50 FlyCorvair.com hangar, and will still be working with our Corvair movement in a complementary fashion. However, he'll be able to work directly with people who need his airframe and flying services.
With the Corvair movement expanding every year, new builders have expressed concern with getting direct support from my crew to assist them with their engine building. With Gus to directly answer popular airframe questions and flight issues, a significant amount of our time is freed up for engine and installation work. Gus' direct contact info is on his Web site. You can find Gus in the Type Tent near the Vintage Barn during Sun 'N Fun.
The 701 in our hangar is a good example of the complementary working relationship of FlyCorvair.com and FlyWithGus.com. The airplane's being built as an E-LSA for an illustrious aviator at our airport whose career focused mostly on helicopters. The E-LSA category allows the aircraft to be legally completely built for hire. To tackle the job, Kevin and I took care of everything ahead of the firewall, while Gus contracted separately to build the airframe. Because it's all done in one hangar, and we've worked together for years, it's a smooth process. Gus dealing directly with the owner on a myriad of details like paint, interior, registration, etc. allows the rest of the Hangar Gang to stay focused on our main line of work. We'll have more 701 updates following Sun 'N Fun. In the photo above, a jigging engine is bolted to the actual finished mount. The engine for this aircraft is being assembled this week.
Gordon Alexander, who's been a Hangar Gang volunteer the past two months, has made great progress on his Pegzair. The airframe's been assembled and rigged, and is currently disassembled while Gordon covers the fuselage in Stits this week. Despite being very busy leading up to Sun 'N Fun, Kevin and I have gotten a few work sessions in to help Gordon ahead of the firewall.
A good example of the type of hours we work and how thankful we are for Gordon's service is his Motor Mount.
In preparation for Sun 'N Fun, we're working 16 hours a day seven days a week. After a long day of
building last Saturday night, Kevin and I began to cut tubing for Gordon's mount. By morning, we have what you see here.
Builders everywhere should know that Gordon has played a key role in allowing us to get caught up, and we'd be remiss if we didn't
assist him in the completion of his aircraft to show our thanks. We have a number of PegVair
builders in the Corvair movement, and we're taking a number of photos of our work with Gordon and keeping notes on the installation to
provide to PegVair builders after successfully completing and flying Gordon's plane. We'll have another PegVair update after Sun 'N Fun.