William Wynne

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

What's New At The Hangar

May 30, 2005

First, because it's Memorial Day, the day where we pause to remember the lives of America's soldiers and sailors who never came home, let me share the photo above from Sun 'N Fun '05 with you. The man in the photo is Jim Giles. Out of thousands of people whom we spoke to, Grace noticed he was wearing a U.S.S. Vincennes hat, and suggested I introduce myself. The Vincennes was a heavy cruiser sunk on August 9, 1942 in a ferocious night action that was later known as the Battle of Salvo Island. Technically, it was a severe defeat for the U.S. Navy, who lost several ships that night. But, they blocked the Japanese forces from descending on the Marine foothold on Guadalcanal. Among the plank owners on the Vincennes was a 35-year-old U.S. Navy chief named Frank Ryan. He was an adopted member of my father's family, and the largest influence in my father's choice to devote his own life to the U.S. Navy. Upon seeing Jim Giles' hat, I mentioned Frank Ryan's name to him, and he instantly replied "He was a chief in the Black Gang. Built like a fireplug. I remember him well." An impressive memory reaching back 63 years. Although Frank Ryan survived 4 days in the water to be rescued, he was one of the very few of his shipmates who survived. When we got home from the airshow, the first phone call I made was to my father to tell him that I had personally met a sailor who had served with the hero of my father's youth. He was very surprised and it brought back a stream of strong memories.

Update, Contact Information and Progress

We have been very busy here at the hangar. This is our first update in five or six weeks. In the following photos, you'll get a glimpse of the types of things we've been up to. A lot of days, we've been working 18 hours in a row, which leaves very little time to document the stuff on the Web site. Invariably, every time we take a few weeks off from posting, we receive a dozen e-mails, most very kindly worded, asking if we're still in business or alive and well. While I understand the sentiment, please realize the concern is unfounded. I've been in business more than 10 years, we'll always be here.

In the wake of a very popular display at Sun 'N Fun, we have received as many as 50 e-mails a day. I currently have a backlog of more than 300 e-mails we have to answer. If your e-mail is one of these, be assured I'll get to it. I have a special request to make, which will get many of these responses much quicker. Simply pick up the phone and call me. The number for the land line in the hangar is (386) 478-0396. Since we're in the hangar more than 12 hours a day virtually every day of the week, you can call and get a quick technical answer. I'm working to transition from e-mail more to the telpehone. Please try to limit weekend calls unless absolutely necessary. I can answer 20 or 30 technical phone calls in an hour in the hangar. Conversely, I type at 10 words a minute, and it would take me all night to knock off the same amount of e-mails. In a one-minute phone call, I can tell by listening to the caller's voice whether he needs a quick reminder or a multi-paragraph dissertation. This is impossible to tell from a simple question on e-mail. Additionally, many answers spark follow on questions that can be handled instantly. My cell phone number is (386) 451-3676. Keep in mind, it is often turned off, as I much prefer to receive calls on the land line with its far better connection. I have a history of patiently answering questions in person and on the telephone. We're here to help anybody who sincerely wants to learn. I don't mind people calling, because in my experience, people who will pick up the phone are more serious than many people who will e-mail me long, mulit-part questions on how they plan on fuel injecting their Corvair and installing it in a Cessna Aerobat. Be advised that you can find most answers by reading The Conversion Manual, the Open E-mails or Daily Q&A. Keep in mind, if no one answers, this could be because the line does not have call waiting on it. If you don't get an answer, please try again shortly. When calling, please have your technical questions writted down and be ready to take notes. You can leave a phone message if you like, but in most cases it's easier to just call back. Grace Ellen is doing a great job of picking off e-mails and phone calls, but she is busy preparing for our wedding. That is a job in itself.

We have just completed and mailed Corvair Flyer #11. It is a 16-page newsletter containing many photos, an ignition wiring diagram, news from builders, flying planes and technical notes. We printed an extra 100 copies beyond those for everyone who signed up at Sun 'N Fun. If you're not a subscriber, or know the address of a friend, send it to us by e-mail this week and we'll send out a copy. Flyer #11 is a slightly larger edition, and we sent a copy to everybody who ever subscribed to The Flyer. If you're one of the people who have a lapsed subscription, we wanted to send you out this last reminder to renew. Anyone who renews will have their subscription started with #12. Check your address label.

This update would be missing something without a special nod to Mark Langford. Mark's Corvair powered KR2-S was probably the best known Corvair powered project out there. I say was because he's now successfully flying it. You can see more information on his Web site at http://home.hiwaay.net/~langford/index.html. We'll have more technical information on it in the next issue of The Corvair Flyer.

Hat's off to our other Corvair customers who also recently started flying their airplanes: Les Laidlaw, Dragonfly, Minnesota; Greg Jannakos, 601 HDS, Georgia; and Jake Jaks, Pober Jr. Ace, Florida. Congratulations to all.

With me in the photo above is an old friend, Mood Juma. Mood and I got our A&P licenses together from Embry-Riddle 15 years ago. Way back when, Mood drove a hotrod, lowered, '63 Corvair coupe. On a long road trip, I got it stuck on a 3" tall speed bump in Virginia. Today, he drives the same car in his home country, Kuwait. He works for the national airline there. A very creative guy who's done some really nice restoration work on cars.

Busy days in the shop following Sun 'N Fun. Kevin, Grace and I are in the photo above, which also includes 601 builder Jan Horwood from Michigan (whose husband Mike is taking the photo), and Dragonfly builder Dave Morris from Texas, far right.

Grace Ellen updating Flyer subscriptions at the hangar desk. Normally, all orders are processed through the main office at the house, where we do all the printing and keep all the paperwork. The hangar desk just keeps shop orders organized. In the photo above is also a picture of our old Pietenpol, a Clark's C120WW gasket set, and a wool U.S. flag that my family flew on special occasions when we lived in Thailand during my childhood.

Above, 6-foot-5 Texan Dave Morris does the every popular Fly Like Superman in the prop blast of his engine on the dynamometer. Dave had brought his Corvair engine to the shop for a checkup and a test run.

Superman quickly gives way to the quiet satisfaction of a smooth running powerplant. Dave handed out cigars after his engine came to life.

Grace Ellen shot this photo from about 1,000 feet on the way, way back from Sun 'N Fun. Unless you've flown over Florida, you wouldn't realize that it's predominantly lakes and forests, with a bit of agricultural land, as shown above. When we fly over the Midwest, the thousands of acres of farmland present a much more hospitable site for unscheduled landings. Florida's less favorable terrain has played an important role in my conservative nature in engine building. Our recommendations have to be an acceptable level of risk for people flying everywhere, not just people who operate over terrain that looks like the Bonneville Salt Flats. There will always be risks with any type of flying, but I'm never in favor of taking unnecessary ones.

Bob Cooper, center above, from Florida's panhandle and Dave Morris of Texas in the shop as we go over Dave's engine. I convinced Dave to drop the mechanical fuel pump, and use one of our Rear Oil Covers and remote filter setup.

Kevin is well known in our area for his highly innovative Mower Cycle. It's a handbuilt, tiny v-twin he made himself. Here, he rides a little import brought over by Chris Ulch, the owner of Metal Tek, a metal aircraft repair facility next to us. We're not keeping score, but Kevin got a fan letter last week, so he's gaining on Whobiscat, who got about a dozen last month.

Above is a set of heads prepped to have their aluminum intake pipes welded on. We've recently done some back to back testing on the dynamometer which indicates the welded on pipes are worth about 3hp in the 3,000rpm range. The standard bolt on carb flange is something of a harsh restriction in the turn compared to the welded on pipe.

A look at the hangar floor showing 20 engine cases, above. At the main door is my 1986 GMC pickup now sporting 270,000 miles. Grace Ellen and I drove a 900 mile non-stop, single day trip to pick these up from a Southeast collector. A long trip, but it brought up our core collection to about 50 engines. A week later, a regular supplier showed up with another 10. The next time somebody tells you there's some sort of shortage of Corvairs or the supply might be running thin, give them a good hearty laugh. I'm amazed at how many people will search eBay for the words "Corvair engine" and after finding two overpriced hits, be willing to pontificate about the scarcity of the engines. People in America watch dozens of detective shows on TV each week, but are at times humorously lazy at running their own local detective search for the engine that will power their aviation dreams. At left in the photo is Gary Coppen's Corvair powered KR-1, a long term project. Dave's Wagabond fuselage is on the right.

May 12, 2005, marked the one year anniversary of the 601 flying. It flew 181 hours without as much as a single hiccup. Although early on we changed oil coolers and fooled around with some testing, the engine's entire maintenance for the year was four oil changes. After the first test flight, I never took off the Distributor cap off or touched the points. Of course, no adjustment of the Corvair's hydraulic lifters was necessary. The plane flew 52 passengers in its first year. In the background is the 1965 Corvair Greenbriar Deluxe van and a 1965 convertible parts car.

Above is the Skycoupe tied down outside on the flightline at our airport. We're expanding the envelope on the flight tests of its turbocharged engine. It is going to live at our airport until the testing is complete. Gary plans on bringing the plane to Oshkosh this year.

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 update shortly.

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 closest friends.

Next up will be the Pietenpol Gathering in Brodhead, Wisc., July 22-24, and AirVenture Oshkosh 2005, July 25-31. See you there.

Thank you.


Now At The Hangar

June 2011 At The Hangar

May 2011 At The Hangar

April 2011 At The Hangar

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December 2010 At The Hangar

November 2010 At The Hangar

October 2010 At The Hangar

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December 2009 At The Hangar

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January 2008 At The Hangar

Christmas 2007 At The Hangar

November 2007 At The Hangar

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September 2007 At The Hangar

August 2007 At The Hangar

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April 2007 At The Hangar

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December 2006 At The Hangar Part 1

December 2006 At The Hangar Part 2

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

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