William Wynne

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

College Attendees Send In Your Photos Now

Builder Fred Roser is putting together a Power Point presentation for the College and is looking for Corvair project photos from people who are coming to the College. If you're coming to the College, please send your photos to Fred via this Web site:

http://fjr.servehttp.com/cc10/cc10photos.html. Thank you.

Engine Needs Ride To Texas:
Happy Ending To A Precautionary Tale

In addition to the prep work for the College and regular orders, I'm finishing up assembling six engines for customers. One of these belongs to 601 builder and pilot Randy Stout of San Antonio, Texas. Randy is a very nice guy. He's unable to attend the College, and I'm looking for any Texas builder attending the College to deliver Randy's engine. I'd prefer to send it in care of a friend. As we write this, the last pieces of Randy's engine are coming together. It now has a nitrided crank and Falcon heads. It's a little different from our standard engines, but it's a first class powerplant.

This is a far cry from the Corvair that Randy first flew in his plane. Any builder who has considered buying an engine from another builder would be well advised to pay close attention to Randy's story.

Randy flys a 601HD. It was originally powered with a VW engine and a belt reduction. While the engine had its merits, it also had some drawbacks, mostly heat issues that Randy did not like. He opted to replace it with a direct drive Corvair engine. He read about a modestly priced engine available for sale from a Corvair builder in the Northeast. He purchased the engine and installed it on his airframe. The engine was originally built for a KR project. Its external systems were different than the way we build engines.

Randy was actively installing the engine when we were first developing most of the parts that now make up our 601 installation system. He got the airplane flying with his own installation ingenuity, and became the first person ever to fly a Corvair powered HD.

Over the next two years, Randy logged a little less than 150 hours. In May of this year, on a cross country flight with his wife, Randy's engine fractured the crankshaft. Displaying cool-headed skill, he landed it in a beanfield, with the damage confined to the nosegear wheelpant. After talking to Randy about it, I offered to build him a first class replacement which would incorporate all of the required items without forcing him to reconfigure all of his unique systems to one of our standard engines.

In the process of building Randy's engine, I sorted through the remaining components from his original engine. The engine had been built before nitrided cranks were mandatory and had not been equipped with one. Many of the pieces were perfectly fine, such as the TRW pistons. But there were many disturbingly wrong things in the engine. The rods in the motor had been rebuilt, but the stock rod bolts were re-used. I've been teaching people since 1996 that ARP rod bolts were a minimum in our engines. The builder of Randy's engine had assembled it in 2000, and had opted not to use ARP rod bolts. A look at the heads revealed a severely blown head gasket as seen in the photo below. I've seen this a handful of times in Corvair engines. Two major factors cause this: a poorly made intake manifold with a leak on one side and/or an improperly torqued head. Randy's first engine probably had both.

Although the head gasket's blown on the center cylinder, the outer ones are severely depressed into the head. If you've seen enough Corvair engines, you can look at barbecued heads like this and evaluate the clamping pressure on the head by how deep and where the head gasket impressions are. The aluminum in the combustion chamber on these heads was run over 650F to do this. It takes a lean out leading to severe detonation to do this. As a testament to the toughness of the Corvair, look at that blown gasket and realize that it didn't blow in the last few seconds of flight. It was probably blown for a while, yet in a six-cylinder engine, it will not cause a forced landing. The piston from this cylinder was completely undamaged and even the rings are servicable. There were also a number of small details in the engine that made it unairworthy.

I know the builder of the original engine. He did not build the engine with the intention of reselling it. It just ended up that way. The identity of the original builder is not the issue. I take issue with buying some other builder's engine. Over the years, I've seen a dozen engines for sale, with perhaps one or two worth buying. It's worth noting that no engine we've ever built ourselves has ever come up for sale. Almost without exception, people who purchased other engines that came up for sale regretted doing so. One of these engines has changed hands twice. Despite me telling each owner that it was unairworthy and should be rebuilt or scrapped, each of them found a way to morally accommodate selling it to another builder for more than $5,000. Hardly renews your faith in people.

The only two sure paths to a good engine are to build it yourself according to our guidelines or to get it from us. Buying an engine from someone other than us is literally entrusting your life to someone who wouldn't trust his to the same engine. If you're tempted to buy someone's engine, read that last sentence again until it sinks in.

In a few days, there will be a hundred builders at our hangar learning the techniques of building their own engine. Even if you can't attend, follow the proven format of success. We're expecting a dozen Corvair powered airplanes, and the engine on every one of them was built by the person who's flying it here. If an advertised engine seems like a shortcut, view it for what it is: A waste of time, money and potentially your airplane.

Randy is an exceptional gentleman for whom I have a lot of respect. It's hard for me to imagine circumstances in the future where I'd be as willing to help out someone stuck with a bad engine from somebody else. Any builder from Texas willing to transport Randy's engine will be much appreciated and would certainly be counted as a friend by both Randy and I.

Schedule For Corvair College #10
Corvair Cruiser Gets Off The Ground
Last Chance For Current Price on Pucks and Hubs
Notes On The Puck Drawing

Here's an outline of the events at Corvair College #10 November 10-12, 2006.

Friday from 2 to 9 p.m. is check in, parts inspection and orientation. If you're bringing parts to the College to have us inspect them, this is the time to get it done. Saturday will be very busy, and I do not anticipate having time to break for parts inspection. If you plan to pick up parts, a Manual or DVDs from us at the College, Friday is the best day to do it. The atmosphere will be relaxed, and there will be plenty of time to take an informal tour and check out the early fly in arrivals. There are plenty of good places to grab dinner in town, but we'll be at the hangar straight through. We're going to cut out at 9 p.m. to give The Hangar Gang a good night's sleep to prepare for Saturday.


Get breakfast before coming in. Most people show up around 8:30 a.m. Please try to park on Air Park Road. Watch for "No Parking" signs among the hangar rows. Our neighbors are fairly understanding, but make sure you park courteously. At 9 a.m., we'll have the kickoff. Everybody who's here to seriously study engine building will be assigned to one of two groups: the "Scott" or "Fred" group. If you've never seen a case closed before, you'll be in the Scott Group, which follows Engine Assembly DVD 1. If you've already gotten up to the level of our Engine Assembly DVD 2, then you'd be a member of the Fred Group. If you've not already studied the DVDs, we'll have Manuals and DVDs available. Even a quick viewing will be of benefit. If you're coming to learn how to build your engine, you should have a notebook with questions already written down in it. When you get to the College, there will be a lot going on and you'll likely not remember everything you wanted to check out off the top of your head. Notebooks and cameras are the hallmarks of guys who will get the most out of the College.

On Saturday, Grace will handle everything to do with late check ins, ordering parts or picking up orders. Gus will function as the air boss for the event. If it has to do with air ops or demo flights, he's the guy. If you're flying in with a Corvair powered airplane, please taxi it to the front of our hangar. If you're flying in with any other aircraft, please park it in the field south of the gas pumps. All pilots should check in with Gus upon arrival.

I will alternate each group through one-hour build sessions. At 9:30, I'll start with Scott and continue to 10:30 a.m. After a half hour break, we'll pick up with the Fred Group at 11 a.m. When not building engines, the groups will rotate through one-hour tech seminars. Arnold Holmes will give seminars on dynamic prop balancing. He'll be using the Cleanex and Mark Langford's KR-2S as demos. Mark from Falcon Automotive will give seminars on cylinder heads and valve train setup. We will use the engine on the test stand to demonstrate break in procedures and ground runs. Gus will give a ground school on proper engine management. We're looking forward to the possibility of also having Pramod from Nitron on hand to cover the nitriding procedure.

The technical work will continue to 5:30 p.m. We'll have a little flying before sunset. The cookout begins at sundown at the hangar. After dinner, the official College ceremony will congratulate the pilots who flew in, introduce some of the special guests, show highlights from ongoing projects, and present the Steve Jones Memorial Trophy. After the ceremony, we'll hang out and have a good time with friends till midnight or so.


We'll get started again at 9 a.m. Sunday. We'll continue with the Fred and Scott groups alternating with tech seminars until the engines run. After the engines run, we'll have an informal afternoon and wrap up the College at sundown. More details follow.

Where Is It:

Our hangar, 735A-3 Airpark Road, Massey Air Ranch, X50, Edgewater, FL 32132, 3,845' paved Runway, 18/36, about 12 miles south of Daytona Beach.

From I-95, Exit 245, east on State Route 442 about 2 miles, watch for airport sign (white jet on green background), make left on Airpark Road. 1.5 miles to northern entrance through chain link fence after dirt road returns to pavement. Hangar phone: (386) 478-0396. Speed limits in Edgewater, South Daytona and Port Orange are strictly enforced. It's a major form of revenue for these towns.

What Does It Cost:

It is free, as always. If you come down and you're one of the rare people who can't learn and don't want to have fun, we offer a refund on double your money back.

Where Do I Stay:

Edgewater has motels which will give you the real Jeff Foxworthy experience.

  • Edgewater All Suites Motel is closest to the hangar at 335 North Ridgewood Avenue (also known as on U.S. 1 and Dixie Freeway), (386) 427-0400.
  • A bit further north is the Blue Heron, a 1950s motor court recently redone, still no frills, at 1204 North Dixie Freeway, New Smyrna Beach, (386) 428-4491.
  • A bit down south is Carter's Motel & Mobile Village, 2450 South Ridgewood Ave., Edgewater, (386) 428-8916.

    We recommend the nicest hotel in Edgewater, which is also the newest. They're offering a "Corvair College Room Rate":

  • Best Western, (386) 427-7101, on U.S. 1 just north of State Road 442.

    The most civilized place is on A1A (also called Atlantic Avenue) oceanside in New Smyrna:

  • Holiday Inn, 1401 South Atlantic Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, (386) 426-0020.

    Camp sites and limited individual cabins are also available nearby the hangar:

  • New Smyrna Beach Campground is about a mile from the hangar at 1300 Mission Road, NSB, (386) 427-3581.
  • Sugar Mill Ruins Campground is down the street at 1050 Mission Road, NSB. The phone number is (386) 427-2284.

    More lodging possibilites are at Yahoo.com Hotels and Motels.

    What Do I Bring:

    Bring all the parts you'd like inspected. Most importantly bring a good attitude. You'll meet lots of new friends here, and you'll go home with more enthusiasm for your project than you dreamed possible.

    My major reason for holding the College every year is to share what we have learned with the nucleus of Corvair engine builders who have the opportunity to attend. We share this information with builders for free under the expectation that in the coming months and years, when somebody in your local EAA chapter says that they're just getting started with their own Corvair, you will freely share the correct methods that you learned from us on a voluntary basis with the next generation of builders. The main reason why Lycomings have a tremendous track record of reliability is that there are known techniques for rebuilding and operating them, and legions of mechanics in the field who know this information. The College copies this format. We have the information and are willing to share it with you, the builders. Keeping this in mind, work at the College will focus on proven techniques and parts that have worked for us.

    Who Is Invited:

    Anyone who has an interest in building and flying their own Corvair engine is invited. You need not be a Manual owner when you arrive, but you probably will be when you leave. Bring a friend or two if you like. We'll make converts out of them as well. This is not a male only event, and a number of female aviators and builders will be here. Events at our hangar tend to be social gatherings also, and if your better half is reluctant to come because she doesn't want to sit in the hangar and talk about airplanes all day, assure her that she'll probably have a good time and if not, the beaches are lovely.

    Note About Invitations:

    Every now and then, we get someone who is interested in attending so that they can learn how we build Corvair motors, go home, then try and build them for others for profit. These are the only people who are not welcome at my events. The focal point of our work has always been to directly help people who will be building their own engines. A while back, we received an odd order for one Conversion Manual and several Prop Hubs. When I followed this up with a phone call, the person told me he had no interest in flying a Corvair himself, he was just planning on opening some type of build center. He actually told me he was planning on attending a College if he had a chance. At the hangar, we all had a good laugh over this. Clearly, someone who will not fly the engine has no business building one for others. We would never agree to such an arrangement. Our work is always about teaching you how to build your own engine, without unnecessary intervention or translation from people who have no background in flying. If anyone needs an engine built, they should come to us directly because I honestly feel that our shop is the only business that understands what's required and has the proper motivation and understanding of the issues necessary to commercially build Corvair flight engines. As for the concept of a build center, who is bold enough to argue that although they've never flown one, they're ready to teach others? Mr. Build Center never got off the ground, what with us giving away information, techniques and help for free at Colleges, airshows and events across the country and beyond.

    People with commercial ambitions in the land of Corvair engines should stay home and work on their own 15 years worth of research. This event belongs to you, the person who will be flying your own plane, built with your own hands. We'll see you soon.

    Corvair Personal Cruiser's First Flight

    The Corvair powered airplane in these photos is the PC Cruiser. It is a single seat kit plane designed exclusively around the Corvair engine. It has been several years in the making, and the prototype seen in these photos recently completed its first flight.

    It is a very slick, all composite design. The airplane and business program is a joint effort by Embry-Riddle alum Morgan Hunter, seen in the photos, who did the airframe work at Daytona Beach International Airport. His partner in the project is experienced composite builder Scott VanderVeen, who hails from Chicago. The aircraft is an entirely clean sheet of paper design which can qualify for the LSA category. I built the motor mount and the core engine for this aircraft a while back. Morgan and Scott adapted it to their airframe. Morgan did the test flight and gave it a positive review.

    Their intention is to fly off the 40 hours on the airframe, establish some solid, measured results, and introduce the aircraft to the market as a kit. Hats off to Morgan and Scott for seeing the project through. Follow their progress at www.CorvairCruiser.com.

    Last Chance for Pucks and Hubs at Current Prices

    In anticipation of the College, we had a large order of Pucks and Hubs made up. I've held the price constant on Pucks and Hubs since 1996 (they were actually higher when first introduced and I lowered them to the current level to make them more affordable). After 10 years, I'm faced with raising the price due to rising cost. These Hubs and Pucks will be available at the current price on a first come, first served basis while this batch lasts. While it's a large order, I expect them to sell out at the College. Our next batch from the machine shop won't come until late December, and they will be at a different price level. The next time someone asks you what's unique about the Corvair movement, point out that we held our prices constant for a decade while hosting free events like the Colleges. This is a track record the imports certainly can't match.

    Notes on The Puck

    There was some Internet chatter lately about the drawing for the Puck. Every Conversion Manual I've ever sold has contained a drawing to allow machinists among us to build their own prop hub. The Hub predates the Puck by about a year. When the original Pucks were made by my friend Judith, she wrote the CNC code off data from the Hub. No paper drawing was ever made. I'd intended to make a paper drawing available, but decided not to include it in Manuals after counterfeit pucks appeared for sale in 1999. We'd put a lot of effort, time and money into the part, only to see that one of the Pucks we'd sold had been copied. We can look back and laugh now at the person who bought a Puck from us, and tried to return a counterfeit for a refund. One of our legitimate customers made me a paper drawing of the Puck as a favor. On special request, when a machinist or builder who wanted to make their own puck asked, we made this drawing available. It was drawn off the original configuration of the Puck that mounted the Nissan Sentra ring gear. When we switched to the Taurus Ring Gear, one face on the Puck received a 1/4" radius. This is a simple mod well within the capability of anyone who's personally machining a puck for themselves.

    Our original goal has never changed: We're here to help homebuilders build and fly their own projects. While the vast majority of builders have always been very appreciative of our efforts, a very small number of unethical people tried to make a buck off our work. Our most effective defense against this type of cheap behavior has been the high degree of loyalty from Corvair builders coast to coast whom we've met and treated fairly.

    Now At The Hangar

    June 2011 At The Hangar

    May 2011 At The Hangar

    April 2011 At The Hangar

    March 2011 At The Hangar

    January 2011 At The Hangar

    December 2010 At The Hangar

    November 2010 At The Hangar

    October 2010 At The Hangar

    August 2010 At The Hangar

    July 2010 At The Hangar

    May 2010 At The Hangar

    April 2010 At The Hangar

    January 2010 At The Hangar

    December 2009 At The Hangar

    November 2009 At The Hangar

    October 2009 At The Hangar

    September 2009 At The Hangar

    August 2009 At The Hangar

    July 2009 At The Hangar

    June 2009 At The Hangar

    May 2009 At The Hangar

    April 2009 At The Hangar

    March 2009 At The Hangar

    January 2009 At The Hangar

    December 2008 At The Hangar

    October 2008 At The Hangar

    September 2008 At The Hangar

    August 2008 At The Hangar

    July 2008 At The Hangar

    June 2008 At The Hangar

    May 2008 At The Hangar

    April 2008 At The Hangar

    March 2008 At The Hangar

    February 2008 At The Hangar

    January 2008 At The Hangar

    Christmas 2007 At The Hangar

    November 2007 At The Hangar

    October 2007 At The Hangar

    September 2007 At The Hangar

    August 2007 At The Hangar

    July 2007 At The Hangar

    June 2007 At The Hangar

    April 2007 At The Hangar

    March 2007 At The Hangar

    February 2007 At The Hangar

    January 2007 At The Hangar

    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

    October 2006 At The Hangar

    September 2006 At The Hangar

    August 2006 At The Hangar

    July 2006 At The Hangar

    June 2006 At The Hangar

    May 2006 At The Hangar

    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

    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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