Here, 601 builder Craig Payne of Utah and I take a look at an older Zenith aircraft powered by an O-320 that turned up
at our airport. Craig was in town for a week assembling his engine and test running it on the dynamometer. His airframe is
95% complete and his engine ran very nicely. We're looking to see his plane fly by the end of the summer. Craig is an
interesting guy with a diverse set of talents. He's an expert in the world of computers, but has also spent time in
the Peace Corps in Africa.
Whobiscat has followed us out onto the dyke around the airport pond. Grace took this photo of Whobis, who also enjoys
watching planes fly. Whobis enjoys getting out around the good hunting grounds at the airport, especially the pond.
If you're one of the customers waiting for a Rear Accessory Case, let me say thank you for your
patience. As you can see in the photo above, we have a large number of them prepped and are sending them out the door now
at a steady pace. The major holdup in delivering them was a national backorder of the weld on aluminum fittings for the
-6 hose. Several times, the delivery date came and went. Finally, I went to an aerospace CNC shop that turned out perfect
examples for us. Costly, but effective. Had I known that the normal suppliers were going to take months, I would have
immediately gone to the CNC shop. I had to place a large minimum order with these guys, so the supply will not be a problem
for a long time.
In our travels we stopped by to see Dan Weseman's 3,100cc Corvair powered Kleanex project. He's getting very close to
flying, and the workmanship is first class.
In the foreground stands our friend Arnold Holmes. In addition to being a guru of high end composite building, Arnold
also had more than 150 hours of Corvair powered flight time in our Pietenpol. Above, he's
using an $8,000 dynamic prop balancing setup on Bob Lester's KR-2. Bob stopped in for a visit,
and I called Arnold because I thought Bob's engine was running with more than normal vibration. A quick check revealed
that Bob was using a propeller extension with more than 50/1000" runout in it. After we minimized the runout, Arnold
tested the plane again, and it still registered 1.3ips, well above acceptable tolerances (we've seen Corvairs register
less than a tenth of this). Much of the culprit turned out to be Bob's homemade front spinner bulkhead and spinner
assembly. After many runs, and the installation of many balance weights on the back bulkhead, the balance was brought
within limits for certified engines. There was more improvement to be had, but Bob had to fly back to work
in South Florida that night. Arnold has offered to provide this service to any Corvair powered airplane that flys into
our airport. I had previously been contacted by an automotive based engineering firm that told me they would perform essentially the
same service for $10,000 plus expenses, an offer we politely declined. We'll have the rest of this story in another
Liz Korosec took the above photo of New Smyrna Beach from our 601 about half an hour before Sunset. In the far
distance is Kennedy Space Center.
Liz is Grace Ellen's mother. Here she is with Gus after returning from her first flight in the 601. She loved it
and became Passenger #49 for the year. She was the first of our mother's to fly in the plane. Notice the resemblance
to Grace Ellen.
Grace's mom and I in front of the hangar with Gus after her flight, above. I was flying in the plane just before she did.
As a general rule, I always wear a Nomex flight suit when I fly these days, no matter what I fly in. We keep a few of these
on hand in various sizes, and Grace and I invite anyone who flies in any of our planes to wear one too. Sitting on
the floor is the Corvair Nosebowl mold. The orange color is the inside of a composite tool.
Here's a photo of Grace in South Florida at my old friend Frank's house. Although the rest of us stayed in the hangar and
worked, Grace took a well deserved day off to go fishing with Frank. She's holding up a Mahi Mahi she helped catch. Sharp
eyes will see she is wearing a Tiara, as she often does of late.
This photo is Randy Culp of Toronto, a 601 builder who came down to pick up a complete engine from us. Randy and
his Dad are working as a team to produce a 601XL. Gus flew both of them in our plane. They could only stay a day. Kevin
and I put the finishing touches on their engine, test ran it for their viewing pleasure, and loaded it into their vehicle while
it was still warm. Occasionally, someone waiting on a backordered part will politely remind me that their order predates
something they see in an update, like the Culp's engine. The explanation is twofold: First, some parts like the oil covers
were delayed by hard to get parts; second, as is often the case, Kevin did most of the work on the Culp's engine.
Kevin and I are equals in engine building skills; however, I am the only person in the shop who welds structural parts.
Thus, an engine can be ordered and Kevin can get right on it without delay. I'm currently shortening the backordered time
on welded products and we are arranging jobs to facilitate this. Builders at home can do their part by switching over to
contacting us briefly by phone which will put more working hours in my day and allow us to better serve you.
Ten pounds of boiled shrimp served in the hangar's executive dining room.
Grace reclining on the back of a 1965 Monza convertible. Although it looks passable, the car is actually worthless
due to severe rust in the rocker panels and door frames. Kevin bought it on eBay for $103.50, about 75 miles from
our hangar. Although it had not run in 10 years, Kevin and Dave had it running before they removed it from the trailer.
Although he intended to use it as a core for an airplane engine, he installed it in a very nice '65 convertible body
he had previously scored. The body was stripped of its useful tidbits and then loaded sideways on the back of my blue
pickup truck for its last mile to Park Avenue Auto Salvage. The fact that everyone in the hangar with the exception of
Kevin owns a Corvair (Kevin owns about 8) gives us a good background in their land and air based uses. Most Corvair
land based mechanics have little appreciation for how hard the engine is worked in an airplane, by comparison.
To understand what makes a car worthless, perhaps ferns growing out of the body in four places is a good start. In
the month this car was outside, the ferns would wilt and disappear during dryspells and sprout again full and green
after an afternoon rainstorm. In Florida, we will now have rain almost every afternoon throughout the summer. No matter
for us, as we're up at sunrise and enjoy a cool respite during a hard day's work.
Here's the latest Dynamometer upgrade, above: A very accurate 400 pound Pelouze postal scale
is fixed to the chassis. The one foot long lever arm touches the scale via a urethane wheel, which will not sideload it.
It provides remarkably repeatable results, more accurate than hydraulic torque measurement. The wheel is held off the
scale during starting and idling. This is accomplished with an Acme screw working against the bottom bracket of the mount.
This screw was salvaged from a non-repairable 50-year-old Dewalt radial arm saw which belonged to Grace Ellen's Grampa.
During idling and starting, sharp impulses would hurt the scale. More dynamometer runs coming soon.
The purple fixture here is holding one of our new Stainless Steel Intake Manifolds with an MA3-SPA carburetor base. These
jigs require very accurate setup to ensure that they will fit engines out in the field accurately. Additionally,
stainless steel must have inert gas pumped inside it while being welded. This has to be addressed when
designing the jig. We work on this stuff nearly every day. We're well aware that a number of people are waiting,
but we want to make sure it's right and will work as an integrated firewall forward system. They will be ready to
ship shortly. We're simultaneously working on the jig for the Ellison EFS-3A carbs as well.
Grace captured Whobiscat capturing this lizard under the tire of my blue Corvair, above. Apologies to GEICO.
Whobis recommends The Internal Combustion Engine In Theory and Practice for good bedtime reading. All those
formulas make her very sleepy. The photo above is not posed, faked or Photoshopped; Whobiscat enjoys sleeping in the
restroom library. You'll often find her there.
We'll be back shortly with more updates and technical information. The next issue of The
Corvair Flyer is well underway. The next fly in we attend is the SAA Gathering at Frasca Field in Urbana, Ill., June 10-12,
2005. This will be our fourth year in a row as speakers. It is an excellent example of pure grass roots
aviation and we encourage you all to attend and become SAA members. These people really understand the
allure of the early simple days of the EAA ... This is because the SAA was founded and run by Paul H. Poberezny and his
Next up will be the Pietenpol Gathering in Brodhead, Wisc., July 22-24, and AirVenture Oshkosh 2005, July 25-31.
See you there.
Now At The Hangar
June 2011 At The Hangar
May 2011 At The Hangar
April 2011 At The Hangar
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January 2011 At The Hangar
December 2010 At The Hangar
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Christmas 2007 At The Hangar
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December 2006 At The Hangar Part 1
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December 2006 At The Hangar Part 3
December 2006 At The Hangar Part 4
November 2006 At The Hangar
October 2006 At The Hangar
September 2006 At The Hangar
August 2006 At The Hangar
At The Hangar In July 2006
June 2006 At The Hangar
At The Hangar In May 2006
At The Hangar In April 2006
At The Hangar In March 2006
At The Hangar In February 2006
At The Hangar In January 2006
At The Hangar In December 2005
At The Hangar In November 2005
At The Hangar In October 2005
At The Hangar In September 2005
At The Hangar In July 2005
Oshkosh, Illinois and SAA June 2005
At The Hangar June 13, 2005 Part II
At The Hangar In April 2005