William Wynne

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

Year End Update
Part One


This oversize news installment is the last one of the year. 2008 was my 20th consecutive year working with Corvair engines. The Corvair movement has a bright outlook for 2009. An extraordinary crop of aircraft are now being finished and successfully flown with systems and components that we painstakingly developed years ago. By the end of the year, the 30th 601 to fly on Corvair power will take to the air. Our Installation Manual and technical assistance from Coast to Coast, with the accelerating rate of completions, indicate that we may see 50 of them flown by Oshkosh 2009.

Other aircraft designs that have long been popular with our builders are experiencing accelerated completions also. 2009 is the 80th anniversary of Pietenpols. I've already spoken with six Piet/Vair builders who plan to fly their aircraft to Brodhead 2009 to celebrate the event. 2008 saw a new crop of Corvair powered Piets. It was a highlight of our year to have several of them on hand at Brodhead this year. In 2009 we will repeat the Wisconsin hat trick of Brodhead, the Falcon Open House and Oshkosh, as this proved very popular among builders this year.

The two pilots who flew the most amount of hours on Corvair power in 2008 are both KR guys: Mark Langford of Alabama and Joe Horton of Pennsylvania (who both flew to Corvair Colleges #12 and #9). 2009 promises a 50% increase in the fleet of Corvair powered KRs by the time of the Gathering in September. The numbers will come equally from new builds and upgrades to Corvair power. While in years past the Gathering has seen as many as four KRVairs in the same spot, I've good reason to believe that fans of the design will be able to see twice as many in 2009.

There will be increases across the board in 2009 on the number of planes flying on Corvair power. We'll see more Cleanexes, 701s and Wagabonds take to the sky. We're looking forward to seeing a number of aircraft that haven't previously flown on Corvair power also completed. We get a little time in on our own Buttercup project and are working to fly it to Oshkosh. 2009 also should bring the completion of several airframes specifically designed for the Corvair, the most anticipated of which is surely Ed Fisher's Sport Fleet. In speaking with Ed yesterday, he told me his goal is to fly the Sport Fleet to Brodhead.

Whatever your preferred aircraft may be, if it's Corvair powered, we'll be there to serve you in 2009 the same way we have for decades, only better. With Corvair College #13 kicking off the year, we are getting a running start at a fun and productive year. Builders with completed planes and veterans of previous colleges are an important asset to the movement. These guy have always been an invaluable part of putting on events, but 2009 will really bring this to light. The vast majority of the hard work going into CC#13 is volunteers, which allows Grace and I to cover regular work leading up to the event. This format will allow us to share a lot of time with builders without our production schedule getting bogged down.

The economy has been on the minds of most homebuilders this year. Many of our customers spoke to us about adjusting their building schedule accordingly. While plenty of builders are going to be working at a slower pace and making more modest choices on instrumentation, paint and panels, we're yet to hear from anybody who is throwing in the towel on their aircraft project. Homebuilding is a strong dream, and people don't quit dreams easily. Bernie Pietenpol completed his first Air Camper just as the Great Depression started. Anyone who has seen The Grapes of Wrath understands our current recession barely rates honorable mention when compared to the early 1930s. Yet Bernie's work to develop the first generation of Pietenpols was well rewarded. I have a set of original Flying and Glider manuals from 1929-33. The excitement he created with the Air Camper shines with every mention of it. 80 years later, reprints of the manuals are still popular with builders who still work for the same dream.

In the past 20 years of my life, I have been through good times and bad, fun years and lean years, the making of new friends and the loss of old ones. Through it all, the satisfaction of making things with my own hands has never dulled, and my passion for homebuilding has never diminshed. Like any other homebuilder, I have had plenty of frustrating times, but in the final analysis, it is the most enduringly rewarding thing I have done with my life. If you are just getting started or working through the middle of your project, let me assure you that it will be well worth your effort. As you read about the completed planes below, picture yourself enjoying your own day in the sun. It's a timeless dream existing in a chain of homebuilders all the way back to the Wright brothers.

Congratulations: Flying Planes

This very slick aircraft is the handiwork of Gary Loucks of New York. Fans of classic American aircraft will notice the DNA of this plane is Taylorcraft. Taylorcrafts were among the best performing of the classic American light planes. They're often 15-20 mph faster than a J-3 on the same engine. They made good use of the highly advanced NACA 23012 airfoil. Gary's Corvair powered airplane builds on this reputation of performance. His very slick cowl and modified windshield complement the clipped wings and aerodynamic refinements he put into the plane. His reward is a 130 mph aircraft with absolutely unique looks and the benefits of Taylorcraft's quality engineering. Hats off to Gary Loucks, creator of a smooth classic.

The plane above was a project by Ray Griffith. It started out life as a 601, but has been finished by Ray and Gus as a 650, with the new canopy and tail. Maybe this technically makes it a "651." The engine in the plane is a 2007 Gold Series production engine from us, installed with all of our components. The 601 and the 650 have identical engine installations. There are some photos of this plane in process at the June 2008 Hangar News Page. Gus had a lot of good things to say about how well the plane flew, and that the new canopy was noticeably quieter. The aircraft now has a set of RV wheelpants and is headed to the paint booth. It is scheduled to appear in the Zenith booth at the Sebring, Fla., Light Sport Expo in January. If you would like more info, write Gus directly through his FlywithGus.com Web site.

Above, the very beautiful half-scale FW 190 built by Paul Ruiter and friends in Holland. Four years ago, these guys flew into Oshkosh, attended my forum, used their rental car to drive into the heartland of America, acquired a Corvair core, then disassembled it at the show and stuffed it in their checked luggage. They've stayed in touch with us along the way and produced a unique installation utilizing our components. The propeller is a 64x47 Sensenich that we test flew on our own 601. The outstanding craftsmanship and detail on this aircraft showed through on every picture they've sent us. The determination they've shown to succeed is impressive. It makes the normal path of U.S. builders seem easy by comparison. The original FW-190 was designed by Kurt Tank. About 20,000 were built in four years, but very few exist in the world today. To make sure we did not miss his e-mail communications durring the build, Paul always put the words "Kurt Tank" in the subject line. Hats off to Paul and friends.

The above photo shows a beautiful Corvair powered 601 built by Dave Harms of Waterloo, Iowa, in warmer weather. Dave now has about 80 trouble free hours on the aircraft. His was the 12th Corvair powered 601 to fly. He took the time to send us a few very attractive photos. We greatly appreciate the chance to share his craftsmanship with the Corvair community. Grace and I plan to do something special for the first 50 601 ZenVair builders at Oshkosh 2009. We usually see Dave at the Zenith builders dinner and look forward to seeing Dave's plane on the flightline at Oshkosh this year with many other ZenVairs.

Year End Update
Part Two

Corvair College #12:
Click this link to view photos

2009 Production Engines

For 2009, we're back in the full-time engine building business. Over the years, we've built more than 100 high quality production engines for builders who opted to buy the finished product from us. Some of the best known flying Corvair engines were built in our shop. As a policy, every one of these engines are test run and broken in on our dynomometer. A review of our Web site will show photos of the first runs of dozens of engines we've built that are now flying. Our great experience with Corvairs, our use of only the highest quality parts and the test runs have given us a 100% track record with production engines. This record makes it easy to stand behind engines we've built.

The significant upgrade that we have requested builders adopt is nitriding the crankshaft in engines built before 2005 (all engines built after 2005 have nitrided crankshafts). By and large, people who have selected our engines, installed them on their aircraft and operated them have had to do no work other than regular oil changes and sparkplug replacement at 200 hour intervals. Many people who have selected a production engine still opt to attend the Colleges to get to know the inside of their Corvair engine. I absolutely encourage this because education has always been our primary work, and an educated Corvair pilot will not only have greater knowledge and confidence in his equipment, but will also offer valuable testimony to builders just considering the Corvair.

A long time ago, I realized that a builder buying an engine from us was really purchasing more than a powerplant. He is making an investment in our judgement. Builders are looking for a good value in an engine, not the cheapest price. Airplanes are a lot of fun, but airworthiness is serious business. I appreciate this and cut no corners on engines that we build. They could certainly be built cheaper, by not having Falcon heads or our flight proven Gold Systems, but offering substandard engines for sale would be poor judgement on my part and they would be of low comparative value to builders.

I've been working with Corvair flight engines for 20 years. After our work made the engine popular, a few Internet based companies showed up and offered complete engines for sale. Most of these operations produce two or three engines before disappearing and leaving the bargain hunter with an unknown, unsupported and unairworthy engine. In the past, I've been very generous about helping these people get a sound reliable powerplant together. But builders should understand that justifiably, this has become a very low priority in our business model. Builders who want a good value in an engine can come to us from the start.

We previously had a significant back order list of engines to be completed. This developed during the testing period when all the Gold Systems were in development. Once the systems were fully tested we incorporated them into the production engines and steadily worked our way through all the back orders. As I write this, we have no back orders on engines and stand ready to produce the highest quality engines whenever builders are ready.

We have three basic engine models we're producing in 2009. They are applicable to virtually every Corvair powered airframe. As all of our engines are hand built, I'll be glad to discuss individual custom touches for builders ordering engines.

2009 Base 100 hp Engine: This is a 2,700 cc engine equipped with a Dan Weseman Fifth Bearing assembly and Falcon cylinder heads. It is available in right or left rotation. The engine has all of our CNC Gold Components, including Prop Hub, Oil System and Front Starter. The engine is equipped with our Electronic/Points Distributor. The internals of the engine are completely rebuilt with the finest quality components and machine work. The crankshafts are precision ground, radiused and nitrided. The Fly5thBearing.com bearing assembly is an economical way to radically increase the strength of the Corvair's crankshaft assembly. We are the only commercial builder of engines that has earned the trust of the Wesemans to include their painstakingly developed and fully flight tested bearing assembly on engines. These powerplants represent an excellent engine for a wide variety of airframes. It is compatible with all our flight tested installation components. It is broken in and includes a documented test report from our dyno and a logbook. This engine qualifies for full coverage by Falcon Insurance, the EAA's insurance provider. Builders interested in price and availability should call us at (904) 529-0006 to discuss the base engine and options.

2009 2,700 cc Turbocharged Engine with William Wynne CNC Fifth Bearing: This powerplant is predominantly aimed at Zenith 601/650 and 750 installations. The engine is flat rated at 125 hp for takefoff with a target of 100 available horsepower at 10,000 feet. It has a special version of our Dual Ignition camshaft custom tailored to the turbo engine. We began our flight testing of turbocharged Corvair engines four years ago. This installation includes a highly advanced turbocharger with integrated automatic wastegate boost control. The Falcon heads on these engines are equipped with special alloy stainless steel seats to withstand even higher operating temperatures. The intake and exhaust layout will shortly be flight tested on Woody Harris' 601 XL. This engine is equipped with our CNC Fifth Bearing assembly. This design is our pinnacle achievement after several years of design, development and testing. The design incorporates the thrust bearing in the fifth bearing so that all flight generated loads are resolved at the Bearing. Flight tests of our Fifth Bearing Assembly were independently conducted on Mark Langford's fully instrumented 3,100 cc KR-2S. The engine has all of our CNC Gold Components, including Prop Hub, Oil System and Front Starter. It is broken in and includes a documented test report from our dyno and a logbook. This engine qualifies for full coverage by Falcon Insurance, the EAA's insurance provider. This is an extremely powerful, strong and durable engine offered as an alternative to expensive imports. Builders interested in price and availability should call us at (904) 529-0006 to discuss the base engine and options.

2009 3,100 cc Engine with William Wynne CNC Fifth Bearing: This engine is rated at 120 hp. We flew 220 hours on 3,100 cc power in our own 601 XL. The increase in power available is a nice option for builders seeking more than 100 hp in a naturally aspirated powerplant. Years of documented in house dyno testing have conclusively shown that naturally aspirated 2,700 cc powerplants are very durable and reliable but limited to outputs near 100 hp. Internet claims aside, the only way to get significantly more power from a naturally aspirated Corvair is displacement. The 3,100 cc Corvair adds 26 cubic inches on bore alone. This output increase is applicable to builders of light, small aircraft such as KRs and Sonexes or larger aircraft like Cubs or 750s. We have built many 3,100 cc powerplants, and we have the applicable machine work done by two shops that only employ A&P mechanics. It is available in right or left rotation. The engine has all of our CNC Gold Components, including Prop Hub, Oil System and Front Starter. The engine is equipped with our Electronic/Points Distributor. Just like our 2,700 cc Turbo engine, this engine is equipped with our CNC 5th Bearing assembly, which resolves all flight loads, including thrust, at the front bearing. Due to extensive machining, 3,100 engines are approximately 7 pounds lighter than a 2,700 cc engine. This engine is compatible with all of our installation components. It is broken in and includes a documented test report from our dyno and a logbook. This engine qualifies for full coverage by Falcon Insurance, the EAA's insurance provider. Builders interested in price and availability should call us at (904) 529-0006 to discuss the base engine and options.

Year End Update Part Three:
At The Hangar

Above is Vince and Louis Kantor's 601 engine. It was being upgraded to a nitrided crank and all Gold Systems. Their plane is down south in the Old Main Hangar in Edgewater, where they are working with Gus to finish it up and fly it in the next few weeks. They are both ATPs flying for the airlines, and their 601 has a lot of instrumentation, lighting and IFR capability. One of the things we installed on their engine is a rear mounted, 60-amp single wire Nippon Denso alternator, on a new set of brackets that are compatible with our Gold Oil System parts. They have agreed to let us use their plane to test the system. Both our Pietenpol and 601 used rear mounted alternators at times, so this isn't new territory for us. Kevin and I drove down to Gus' hangar and installed the engine on the mount one night last week.

Above is a photo of Gus in the Edgewater hangar with Ray Griffith's 650, now sporting Vans RV wheelpants. This aircraft is equipped with one of our 2008 production engines and has all of our installation components.

Above is a top view of a 2,900cc reverse rotation engine. This is for a Super Pulsar. Kevin brought it down with him from his new home in Alabama. This engine uses a lot of our Gold System components. The Oil Filter Housing is a very early model which was not anodized. This is a good view of how compact an engine assembly is possible using these parts, even with a high volume Niagara oil cooler installed. This engine also sports one of our Baffle Kits painted black. The distributor is out of the engine so that the oil pump can be primed prior to a test run. This motor is based on 90.5 mm VW cylinders.

Above, Kevin kneels by the same engine. All of the craftsmanship and most of the ideas for this very complex installation are his. Hidden inside the mount is a very complex nosegear link. The carb is an Ellison EFS-3A. The exhaust is yet to be ceramic coated, but it is a full 3-into-1 header system, based on 140 hp exhaust stacks, in spite of these being 95 heads. This required custom details like newly formed pushrod tubes. The carb heat system is built into the lower section of the cowl, visible in the photo. After years of working as a founding member of the Hangar Gang, Kevin produces the finest work on custom Corvair installations. In 2009 if you stumble over a new Web site of people claiming to build Corvair firewall forward packages, come back to this photo and realize that reliable proven work does not come from people who just want to make a buck. It comes from experienced craftsmen, who have painstakingly worked to really know their craft.

Year End Update Part Four:
Corvair College #13

January 16, 17 and 18, 2009, will be our first event of the new year, Corvair College #13, at First Light Aviation Group. Our host will be Corvair powered 601 XL builder and pilot Rick Lindstrom, owner of FLAG in Livermore, Calif.

We're working together to pull out all the stops and make this one of the biggest Colleges ever. The event theme is "East Meets West." We've invited a lot of the better known Corvair luminaries who are most frequently seen on the East Coast out west for Corvair College #13. I've spoken with Dan Weseman, Mark from Falcon, and Roy of Roy's Garage about attending the College. It will be a high technology summit meeting within our continued format of economic craftsmanship brought to bear on the most affordable engine in the marketplace. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this event.

For more details, e-mail Rick at tigerrick@mindspring.com, call him at (925) 443-9999 or check his Web site at http://www.flaglvk.com/

Merry Christmas

An unseasonably warm snap felt like Spring two weeks before Christmas. Grace noticed that this Florida snapping turtle had crawled out of our pond to sun himself on the lawn. His shell is about 16" across. Get a good look at the thick, alligator-like tail. He's covered in spurs, even on the edges of his shell and on his head. Up close, they have the striking speed of a snake, and large ones like this can remove human fingers. A beautiful piece of nature best observed from 5 feet away.

Now 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

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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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