Corvair College #21, S.C., Nov. 11-13
Here is an overview of things going on in our shop, followed by a report on Corvair College #21.
Here are some powdercoated souvenirs from Corvair College. We have 2 sets in blue, 6 in gloss black and 3 in red. These cost $159
for U.S. builders, payable to William Wynne, 5000-18 HWY 17 #247, Orange Park, FL 32003.
Please email me at WilliamTCA@aol.com if you would like a pair. First come, first serve as
quantities are limited. Let us
know if you would like the stickers to say 100 or 120 hp, or FlyCorvair. We also sell
modified covers that are bare metal for $109. In any case, we also need your old
covers and filler neck.
Above I stand beside my mentor in flying, Chuck Nelson. In the foreground is the 15
foot lapstrake double-ended sailboat we built. Over coffee a couple of years ago, Chuck casually said that he had actually done just
about everything he ever wanted to do in life. And in Chuck's case this is a long list of adventures, the centerpiece of which
is an incredible array of experiences in flying. I was concerned that there were no more items on his “bucket list” to check. After
I pressed him for a while, he confessed that he had always wanted to build a sailboat. He had owned plenty of them, lived on one for
years, and cruised for months at a time, but he had never built one. The boat above is the result of several years of working one
morning a week or so. I qualify the term “working” because this time included a whole lot of coffee drinking at the kitchen table,
a lot of plinking in our backyard range, flying around in the Taylorcraft in good weather, messing around with sailplanes, and
general screwing around. Quality time well spent, with something nice to show for it in the end.
In the above photo, our Corvair powered Tailwind project is sporting one of our new Universal Mark 3
Stainless Exhaust Systems. It's an optical illusion in this photo, but it actually fits the underside of the Tailwind’s fuselage
fairly close. In our notes we call this a U-3 Exhaust.
Three of the four production Stainless Exhaust Systems that we make.
U-1 fits KR-2s , KR-2Ss and Cleanexes.
U-2 fits many aircraft such as Kitfoxes, Piets, Flybabys and Wagabonds.
If you have an application question, e-mail or call.
Keep in mind that Zenith 601s, 650s, and 750s all take our Zenith Exhaust System.
Right now, we have every model of Exhaust we sell in boxes, ready to ship the day
it is ordered.
Above, Scoob E examines the pile of powdercoated Motor Mounts that we produced before the College. The front row is two KR-2 Mounts with a PA-15 Vagabond
for Scott Statz’s project. Behind it is a Zenith 750 Mount that we delivered at the College,
followed by a Flybaby mount for Bill Rotenberry. The last row is Russ Mintkenbaugh’s
PA-22-108 based Wagabond Mount, and the white one is for Bryon Stewart’s modified
Photo Album from Corvair College #21 in Barnwell, South Carolina
College #21 hosted by P.F. Beck and his crew was a huge success Veterans Day weekend. We had 70 builders on hand, ran 10 new
engines, and had six Corvair powered airplanes fly in. The camaraderie and fun were at a very high level, as was the quality of the
work done. The single biggest factor in the success of the event was the crew of volunteers whom P.F. assembled: Cal Hoffman,
Tim Freer, Don Harper, Mike Kinard and Gerry Williams were on hand throughout the event. Cal’s wife Pam baked four large cakes to
honor the veterans at our event. P.F.’s wife Carolyn baked a peach cobbler that was good enough to fight over. It was a perfect
dessert for the Boston Butt Barbecue meticulously prepared by John Godwin and Mike Oberlies. Bill Frye and crew put in a lot of
work serving a hearty breakfast and lunch daily, and Mike Morrow served up a great Friday night meal. The efforts of these people
working together made the event a standout among Colleges. Hats off to P.F. and his crew of family and friends.
Scoob E, Grace and I led a workforce made up of Corvair All-Stars Roy Szarafinski from RoysGarage.com and Dan Weseman from Fly5thBearing.com. Also on hand was the factory authorized distributor for KR parts, Steve Glover from NVAero.com. We had a good collection of returning veterans from previous Colleges who did a lot to help out people who are putting the finishing touches on their engines or were attending their first College. It was an excellent time, and we have already made plans to return in a year. If you did not have a chance to attend, study the photos closely and make up your mind now that you will be there next year in the thick of the action, taking your place In The Arena.
One of the first aircraft to show up was Rich Whittington's fabulous looking 601 HDS. Rich’s lovely daughter Ashley came along and
spent the whole weekend with her dad. This aircraft has a 3 L engine with a Roy bearing. The installation utilizes
all of our components. Rich’s arrival at the College to the great praise of his peers is the successful
conclusion of a long journey that included an unfortunate detour with a powerplant made by a now defunct LLC in Valdosta, Georgia.
That engine, when dissected, showed that it had actually been assembled with two different styles of pistons that had more than a 50 g
weight variation between them. I have known Rich for a long time and he is a first class guy. We were glad to work with him to get his
airplane straightened out, but it was truthfully an expensive process. I would discourage anyone from picking up the trash offered on
Barnstormers in the wake of the LLC's demise. With his current engine, Rich’s aircraft is actually 20 miles an hour faster in level
flight and infinitely more reliable.
The first engine run of the College belonged to Delton Perry of Tennessee. It was a fantastically detailed 2,700 cc Corvair
equipped with a Weseman bearing and all of our Gold Systems. Delton’s been an aircraft mechanic for 50 years and his attention to detail is outstanding. The above photo shows him moments after startup, in the middle of cheering.
The second aircraft to show up was Joe Horton's KR-2S from Pennsylvania, now with more than 600 hours on its 3,100 cc Weseman
bearing engine. Joe's aircraft is equipped with a 54 x 60 Sensenich prop. It is capable of efficiently cruising at 170 miles per
hour. We awarded Joe the Cherry Grove Trophy in 2010 for his outstanding work demonstrating the Corvair.
Above, Dave Aldrich stands behind his 2,700 cc Weseman bearing engine destined for his Pietenpol. This engine showed outstanding attention to detail and featured all of our Gold System Components. After a few adjustments it ran perfectly and Dave got to lay down 30 minutes of smooth running on our test stand. He came all the way from Maine with his lovely wife Sue for the event.
Above, Larry Webber stands behind his 2,700 cc Weseman bearing equipped 601 powerplant. Larry is a veteran of Corvair Colleges #14 and #17. Proving that the third time is the charm, Larry ran his engine for 25 minutes on the stand, to great applause from his friends on hand. His airframe is largely complete and I expect to see this engine flying in 2012. Larry drove all the way down from Rhode Island. Leaving with a running engine makes the drive home seem shorter.
The father-son team of Michael J. at left and Michael S. Simpson with one of the truckload of cores they came with. They paid one price and cleaned out an entire shed’s worth of Corvair parts. They came out with enough stuff to build more than two engines. For the photo, I posed them with hammers and vice grips as a joke. They were actually very skilled and mechanically inclined and worked as a good team. We look to see them back next year to complete and run an engine.
Joseph Snow from Ohio has been part of the Corvair movement for quite a while. He first attended
Corvair College #7, which I held in his home state. He brought his 2,700 cc Weseman bearing equipped engine
to Corvair College #21 for a test run and a disassembly to inspect. This circumstance was brought on by a prop strike during fast taxi testing of his Q2 project. Joe is a very accomplished guy in aviation and decided that he was going to take the conservative route in dealing with this. We ran his engine for about 20 minutes, as it was. I felt that this would show any effect that might be caused by a tweaked crankshaft.
Joe carefully disassembled the engine, Dan inspected the bearing, and Roy took Joe's crankshaft in for a professional magnaflux
test at Moldex. As part of my recommendations for dealing with prop strikes, Joe opted to replace his cam gear, something I consider
mandatory after a prop strike, along with the crankshaft magnaflux. We'll keep you posted on his progress. During his stay at the College, Joe was accompanied by his lovely wife Pat who assisted him in his efforts.
Above, Clarence Dunkerley beside his 2850 cc Weseman bearing equipped powerplant destined for his Cleanex project. Sharp eyes will
notice that this is equipped with the Reverse Gold Oil Filter Housing which we developed specifically
for Corvairs going into Sonex airframes.
Twice a year, we make a number of 2,850 cc Piston, Rod and Cylinder Kits for builders. Clarence picked up his set at
Sun 'N Fun this year. If you're interested in getting in on the 2012 Winter order, just drop us an e-mail at
James Barbour drove down from upstate New York and gave a run to his 2,700 cc Weseman bearing equipped powerplant. It is very detailed, and it features all of our Gold Oil System components. It is destined for his 601 project.
John Franklin of Texas with his powerplant destined for his GN-1. John assembled his engine through having the pistons in the cylinders bolted onto the case. You’ve gotta like a guy who works in a classy shop coat.
Above stands Chuck Campbell, 87 years young, of North Carolina, behind his Corvair engine. He started with parts at the beginning of the College and finished up with a nearly complete engine. It is destined to power his Pietenpol.
In the middle of the above photo is Bob Dewenter of Ohio. If you look at the photos from College #19 you will
see that Bob was taking apart a greasy core 368 days before. At the conclusion of College #21, we ran Bob's engine. The appearance of
his engine was outstanding and its attention to detail first class. He chipped away at the project, learned as he went, sent his heads
out to Falcon and his crank to Roy early in the process, and at College #21 saw his efforts rewarded with an excellent running
powerplant that will do its duty on the front end of Bob's Pietenpol. Flanking Bob are Russ Mintkenbaugh, at left, of Ohio, and
Chris Pryce of Florida, who have both attended a number of Corvair Colleges themselves. They assisted Bob as mechanics and played
the role of straightmen for many of Bob's continuous stream of jokes. If you have a chance to meet Bob in person, make sure that you
ask him about his 800-acre weasel ranch in North Dakota.
The father-son team of John Scott, right, and Patrick Scott drove down from Maryland to jumpstart their Zenith 650 powerplant project. Their goal was to get through closing the case with the cam and crank properly installed. They accomplished this, got to see all the other steps of putting the engine together, and had a great time. We're looking forward to seeing this engine run at a future College.
Larry Webber and I moments after his engine fires up for the first time.
Question: How many Corvair engine builders does it take to remove a torque converter that has been rusted in place for 40 years?
Answer: One, as long as the hammer is big enough. All kidding aside, this core, although it was filthy, turned out to be an excellent candidate for a rebuild and was in comparatively good condition inside. In the land of Corvairs, good things come in greasy packages.
Corvair College can be an excellent place to relax also. Standing in the photo is Cliff Rose, Cleanex builder. Cliff attended Colleges #12, #16, #17 and #19. Last year his engine laid down the first run at College #19. He returned to College #21 to share what he knew and have a good time with friends, combining the College with a visit to family in North Carolina. Cliff is from our neck of the woods in Florida. Here he is known as “Death Row Cliff,” in reference to his years of work providing dental care to people in Florida’s maximum security facilities. He does not scare easily. Seated is our new welder Vern Stevenson who was attending his first Corvair College. On the DVD player they are watching The Spirit of St. Louis.
Joseph Snow’s engine during its run.
Jim Barbour stands in the prop blast on a very chilly morning. When your engine runs, you won't care what temperature it is outside.
Mark Langford flew in on Friday afternoon and was able to stay until about the same time Saturday. I took this photo early Saturday
morning. It's a good indication of how low the temperature dropped during the night. Notice all the frost on Mark's canopy. Despite the low temperature at night, it was T-shirt weather in the afternoons. We were able to keep the hangar door open and effectively work any time the sun was out. At night the hangar stayed warm for hours, as it is fully insulated.
We had this sticker made before Corvair College #20 for Joe Horton's aircraft. It has significantly more time now.
If you'd like to see what carburetor ice looks like, get a glance at the intake manifold tube above the carburetor in this photo of Jim Barbour's running engine. Despite the engine being quite warm, the solid white that you see is pure ice that is frozen on the outside of the test stand's intake manifold. You don't need x-ray vision to understand that there is matching ice on the inside of the manifold also. Although it was cold, the main effect of icing is caused by the evaporation of the fuel coming out of the carburetor.
Our test stand is not equipped with carburetor heat, but I intend to do so to demonstrate how rapidly you can melt ice like this off with the application of heat. If heat were applied to this engine it would still run smoothly, as the melted water would be digested by the running engine without issue.
The newest Corvair powered aircraft in the World, Dan Heath's KR-2, arrives at Corvair College #21. This was its fifth day on Corvair power. It had previously been flown on a VW engine.
Clarence Dunkerley came from Florida to the College with his brother Don, who also assisted in building his engine. They had a very good time, especially when the engine fired up and ran great.
Here's a typical shot of the action on Saturday. Notice the size of the hangar and the fact that it's insulated.
Above, Roy gives a briefing on his fifth bearing.
Dan Weseman did a demonstration installation of his retrofit bolt-on fifth bearing on Gardiner Mason's Pietenpol engine. Gardner had flown his Pietenpol to College #19 last year, but unfortunately it was severely damaged in the Sun 'N Fun Tornado of 2011. He is in the rebuilding process and took the opportunity to install a Weseman bearing at this year's College.
With Dan on this trip was his brother James, seen at the right hand side of this photo.
These two grew up in the all aviation home of Jim and Rhonda Weseman. James is taking an active role in Dan's new aircraft design, the “Panther.” More information is available at Panther products.com
A quick group shot at noon on Saturday. In the end we had 70 builders
on hand, and more than 80 people for dinner on Saturday night.
In the above photo, Dan Heath's 2,700 cc Roy bearing equipped KR-2 engine.
The engine first ran at the end of College #17, but Dan did extensive modifications to his aircraft to prep it for the installation of the Corvair. After carefully evaluating all the differences and meticulously weighing all the parts, he concluded that the weight difference between his Type I VW and his Corvair engine is less than 40 pounds. Dan's engine has no special modifications whatsoever to reduce its weight. The installation showed outstanding craftsmanship. His carburetor of choice is an Ellison EFS-3A. This prop is a Sensenich 54 x 54. Note that his engine is equipped with all of our Gold System Parts, and our purpose built KR Cowling. This engine has a Front Starter and Front Alternator, like our other Corvair installations. The KRs of Mark Langford and Joe Horton feature rear starters and alternators, an installation that Mark Langford pioneered for the KR a long time ago.
Dan Heath proudly standing next to his bird. His engine is equipped with a Niagara cooler fed by one of our Gold System Sandwich Adapters. It features our Stainless Intake and a Baffle Kit built by Jim and Rhonda Weseman. Dan's attention to detail brought all the separate components together into a very high quality finished package.
Scott Thatcher flew down from his home in North Carolina with his 601 XLB. His aircraft is equipped with a 2,700 cc engine that he assembled at Corvair College #9.
A profile photo of Richard Whittington's 601 HDS. At first glance, many people do not understand my cowling design for Corvair
powered aircraft, and why we would use a Fiberglas Nosebowl with a sheet metal cowl behind it. A generation
of modern flight instructors has taught people that it's acceptable to preflight an engine by looking through the oil filler hole in
the cowling. In reality, it is far better to get a good look at the whole engine. Our cowling design allows this to be done very
easily with the turn of a few quick release fasteners. One look at the above photo with both sides of the cowling opened like this
in seconds shows you the real value of a quality cowling design. Many cowlings are offered by people who do not like nor understand
engines. Their goal was simply to make something that “looked cool.” Besides all the other tasks that I want the cowling to
accomplish, being able to have this level of preflight on any flight reflects the fact that I am first and foremost an engine guy.
Bill Naumuk drove down from Pennsylvania in the company of Corvair powered 601 builder and pilot Lynn Dingfelder. After some work, we got Bill’s engine together and running on the test stand. It is destined to power Bill’s own 601 project.
In the above photo stand the four pilots who have their names engraved on the Cherry Grove Trophy. Left to right are Joe Horton, 2010 Winner, Dan Weseman, 2009, P.F. Beck, 2011, and Mark Langford, 2008. We have four blank slots left to go on the base of the trophy. Anyone reading this could go out to their shop, put in the time, make the effort to share with other builders, and end up with their name on this Trophy.
In four more years, after the last name is engraved, I'm going to have the Trophy put on permanent display in the AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh. If you want to see it this year, it's in the Barnwell Airport display case in the main lobby of their Terminal.
We made the official presentation to P.F. at the dinner on Saturday night. He has more than 250 flight hours on his Corvair powered
Pietenpol. Not only has he hosted two Corvair Colleges, and attended a number of others, P.F. has flown more than 210 different people in his aircraft. He is a first class gentleman, incredibly modest, and a skilled aviator with decades of experience. For these reasons, Grace and I both felt that he was the outstanding candidate for the Trophy in 2011. Hats off to P.F. Beck.
The above photo shows a large Zenith carburetor marketed by Great Plains Aircraft. In this carburetor design, the air comes in horizontally on the left and is turned to form an updraft configuration. This economical carburetor is made in America and has been flying for a number of years on a handful of Corvair powered aircraft, mostly Pietenpols.
In our shop, we crafted the adapter on the left. It mates this carburetor to a standard vertical flange Intake Manifold that we produce. This way, a builder giving this configuration a try can bolt on the adapter and operate the Zenith carburetor, or at a later date switch to a Stromberg or an MA3 without having to go back and change the Intake Manifold.
Bob Dewenter, AKA “Early Builder,” enjoying a moment with his newly born Corvair.
Bob and I savor the prop blast of his engine. Notice the undeniable smile that comes from listening to your engine for the first time.
Grace beside Chuck Campbell, SRP (senior ranking pilot) at Corvair College #21. Read this next sentence slowly: Chuck flew the SBD Dauntless and F6F Hellcat in combat in World War II. You don't meet guys like this every day. He went on to be a flight instructor at Pensacola in the 1950s. While all of us wanted to hear everything he had to say about the history he had been a direct part of, Chuck seemed far more interested in what he was going to do next rather than where he has been. We look forward to seeing Chuck's Pietenpol complete and flying.
Here's why I think it's a good bet that Chuck will get it done; here’s his largely complete engine on the last day of the College. Mind you, he started out with nothing but raw parts. This guy stayed up late and worked as hard as anybody else at the College.
So much for acting your age.
Gardiner Mason of Georgia observing the test run of his engine with a newly installed Weseman bearing.
Father and son combination John, center, and Patrick Scott from Maryland, finishing up their case assembly in one of Roy's build stands on Sunday afternoon. I removed and replaced a number of studs in their case and did some detail work, but otherwise they jumped right in, got to work, and knocked out the job.
Don Harper is a longtime friend of P.F. Beck's and one of his right-hand men when it comes to hosting the College. We have known
Don for many years, and he is certainly a fine Southern gentleman. Above we see Don with his Corvair powered Pietenpol project tied
down and running outside the College. The craftsmanship on this aircraft is outstanding. Externally it is similar looking to P.F.'s
plane, but Don's bird has a few really unique touches, one of which is its incorporation of the 30-612 airfoil in place of the traditional one. Should make a good comparison to P.F.’s when he completes it.
Above is a glance at Don's cockpit. The photos don't express how good the woodwork is. The red switch on the left is a lightweight
mechanical master switch with a removable key. This is available at many chain auto parts stores. The red key only comes out in the
off position. It can be very effectively used as the key for your aircraft. I myself do not like key start switches in airplanes.
Instead I prefer the ignition to be controlled by an on/off/on snap action MS switch. If you run your ignition switch through a key switch you are incorporating many more parts in your critical path to your ignition. Key switches cannot be made as snap action. These are the switches that make noise when they move from position to position. This has the effect of internally cleaning off the carbon every time you move it. The starter system on Don's airplane is run through the mechanical master switch. Thus, the starter cannot be cranked with the master off. My preferred starter switch is a pushbutton model that is located in a position which allows your index finger on your throttle hand to operate it without leaving the throttle.
The last engine run at the College belonged to Robert Caldwell who came all the way from Texas with his lovely wife Barbara.
The very core of this engine was a long block built at Corvair College #2 by a fellow from Texas who subsequently
quit his project and sold the engine. Robert bought this basic engine and applied all the parts that represent the developments that
we have made in the past 10 years. The engine is now equipped with all Gold Parts and a Weseman bearing.
In spite of being assembled 10 years previously by Kevin and I, the engine fired right up and ran smoothly. After a warm up, I let it
idle slowly to listen to the valve train….silent. People often ask how long you can store a built engine. This is the second engine
that has been stored for 10 years that we have test run with flying colors.
Robert has a very supportive spouse, Barbara, who ran over and gave him a big hug right after the engine ran. As we were doing the final prep work she quietly told us that it was Robert’s birthday. Not a bad present to give yourself.
The above photo is of packing up Emory Luth’s truck for the drive north. It was sunset on Sunday. Emory and Roy had driven down together, as they have at previous Colleges. On the way back, they also brought home Russ Mintkenbaugh and Bob Dewenter, as those two had serious car trouble getting to the event. Roy later told me that it was cramped and they drove all night to get to Ohio, but the mood was real good and the hours passed as Bob told a long tale about his weasel ranch in the Dakotas.
So far there have been about 320 days in 2011. How many of them will you remember in five years? If you’re like most people, chances are you will remember few if any. However, for the people who heard their engine fire up for the first time, or flew their aircraft into a College for the first time, these will be the days that will stay with you a long time. If your goal is to have these days in your life, we are here to help you. Despite all the things that change in the world, the best things about learning, building and flying are all the same, they are still there, awaiting you just as they have for generations of aviators before you. All that it takes is your decision today that you will take a step forward.
"Real freedom is the sustained act of being an individual." WW - 2009
Now At The Hangar
October 2011 At The Hangar
September 2011 At The Hangar
August 2011 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
November 2006 At The Hangar
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