William Wynne

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

Merry Christmas 2009
Corvair Community College Dec. 26-27
2010 Corvair Colleges
Two Engines For Sale
Family Notes

2009 has certainly been a full year in The World of Corvairs. Several dozen builders reached the ultimate milestone of taking the first flight in their Corvair powered aircraft. Throughout the year, we've spoken with hundreds of customers, who have each made substantial progress on their projects. We held three major Colleges, and had our very own display at Oshkosh, featuring the Corvair All Stars. This year saw the introduction of our Zenith 750 installation with its Rear Alternator, the Short Gold Prop Hub, the 2,850 cc engine, and our new Reverse Gold Oil Filter Housing. My choice for Advancement Of The Year was the introduction of our 2009 Flight Operations Manual. Again, we thank the nine other Corvair pilots who contributed the technical articles for it. We intend to produce at least one Volume a year; the 2010 version is already 50% written.

From a business perspective, the biggest improvement is our reduction in back-ordered items. Our Catalog offers about 75 different items. Today was our last working day of the year. After taking today's shipments to the Post Office, we are down to having just four of the items in our Catalog on back order. All of the other items are readily available, on the shelf. The explosive growth in Corvairs, primarily started by the success of our ZenVair 601 installation, combined with our relentless R&D and builder support through events like Colleges, led to an ever-increasing demand that at times outstripped our ability to produce. Clearly, anyone can look at the amount of photos of customers flying their aircraft on our site and see that we have been hammering out parts. Since CC #16, we've laid off the Internet and stayed late hours in the shop to produce.

The payoff is that we will very shortly have every Catalog item on the shelf. It is worth noting that we have been able to do this without seeking outside investors, raising our prices or lowering our quality. We owe a big debt of gratitude to our patient builders. In many cases, they have been rewarded with parts that contain subtle refinements that make them more accurate, easier to install and more aesthetically appealing. To each and every builder, I extend my personal gratitude. 2010 will be my 21st year in business. We're clearly here for the long run. I'm grateful for the support we've received. It will not be forgotten, nor go unrewarded.

Corvair Community College December 26-27, 2009

Above is a side view of our Buttercup sitting on the gear with one wing on, its new Motor Mount, and the turbo configuration engine test fitted. In the foreground on the left is the last 601/650 Mount I made for the year, which has been shipped to Mr. Russell in Delaware. With its shipment, we are completely caught up on production mounts. We have CNC tubing kits on hand to produce many more. On the right is a 750 Mount now on its way to Mr. Groombridge in Montana. Our longstanding relationship with Zenith and the excellent track record of Corvair powered 601s have made the Corvair a very popular choice with Zenith's new 750 builders. The centerpiece of our Dec. 26 and 27 Corvair Community College at Brady McCormick's shop in Poulsbo, Washington, will be our 3,100 cc/Zenith 750 installation on the front of Ron Robison's plane. If you are in the area and would like to attend this College, visit Brady's Web site at MagnificentMachine.com or call him on his cell phone at (206) 335-7829. We're anticipating about two dozen builders on hand for this extended workshop.

2010 Corvair College Schedule

So builders can plan their progress for the New Year, here's an overview of the Corvair Colleges we have planned for 2010. Corvair College #17 is a massive event we have scheduled at the shop of Arnold Holmes on the Orlando North Airport (FA83) in Florida. It is a four day event that will be held March 18-21, 2010.

If Arnold's name sounds familiar, go to the front of your Conversion Manual and look at the photo of all of us with our old Pietenpol at the Brodhead 2000 Reunion. I've known Arnold for 15 years, and he's been a relentless sparkplug of positive energy. He's flown and worked on more types of experimental aircraft than anyone I know. In the world of high end composite work, he's known by the moniker "The Repair" because he successfully repaired a pressurized Lancair IV-P that had its tail entirely severed off by a light helicopter that crashed into the top of the parked aircraft.

Arnold lobbied for a Central Florida Corvair College at the private, paved, 3,000' commercial airport where his shop is located. Every College is something of a reflection of the host. Arnold is a highly motivated, work hard, play hard kind of guy. He told me that he wants to really step up the night life aspect of the College, and add another day of technical work. Thus, we're having a four day College with a lot of after hours social activity planned for Friday and Saturday nights. Arnold is planning on a cookout and catering, live entertainment, and inviting guests to bring campers and tents and stay directly on the field. Upon hearing of the event, the airport owner asked if it would be appropriate to donate kegs of beer and Arnold said yes. I told the airport owner that he had the most positive attitude of any airport owner or manager I had ever met.

Orlando North Airport is 3 miles inside the Orlando Class C Airspace. However, Arnold is an IA and aviation professional, and utilized his contacts at the Orlando FSDO to secure a special Transponder Waiver for the event. Because this event is close to our base in Florida, we can do a lot of prep work and bring down a tremendous amount of tooling. I have already spoken with a number of the Corvair All Stars like Dan Weseman, Roy Szarafinksi and Mark Petniunas about attending the event. We're planning on flying a number of Corvair aircraft not frequently seen, like Dave The Bear's Wagabond and Sandy Crile's 701, to this College. Of course, all the regulars like Dan Weseman, Mark Langford and Joe Horton have already said they will fly in.

This event happens a few weeks before Sun 'N Fun. This year will be my 22nd consecutive year at Sun 'N Fun. I will probably attend it until they don't hold it anymore. However, this year we're focusing most of our energy on College #17 instead of Sun 'N Fun. The reason is simple: Builders go to air shows to meet new friends and hang out with old ones, learn some stuff, and have a good time. We can accomplish all of these things in a far more informal and relaxed setting at Corvair College. Additionally, you can build and run your engine, learn a lot about your specific installation and maybe even get a flight in the Corvair powered plane of your choice. You can camp out right next to the action, drink your choice of coffee, beer or both, all in the company of people who have the exact same mindset. A camping pass at Sun 'N Fun costs $200 for two people. They don't care if you stay one night or a week, same price. In the two decades I've been going, it has gotten progressively more commercialized, and many of the things that I liked about it, like the salvaged parts sales and Sun 100 air race, have disappeared. There's still plenty of good things about Sun 'N Fun, but if you're serious about building a Corvair, and you're going to pick one event to attend this year in Florida, make it Corvair College at Arnold's. I have talked about this strategy with a number of our old friends in the Corvair movement, specifically people who have attended Sun 'N Fun for years. The response across the board can be distilled down to "It's about time."

Many large air shows have grown away from the model that hardcore homebuilders were most comfortable with. It's reality and you can't change it. However, we're perfectly free to plan and enjoy an event conforming to the exact style of a highly technical, gregarious happening with some real fun, all done at very low cost. We're shooting to have 15 Corvair powered airplanes there, and 150 builders. In the next 10 days, we'll get the online registration set up by Ken Pavlou, just as we did for Corvair Colleges 14 and 16. We'll have an announcement here when it's in place. Colleges have always been free; however, the online registration will include a modest charge to give Arnold a budget to run the event. We will have a four-day price and a one-day pass to make it flexible so everybody can contribute as appropriate. By tradition, Grace and I pick up the registration tab for all the pilots who fly in their Corvair powered airplanes.

Note To 601/650 Builders

As an additional note to Zenith 601 and 650 builders, Arnold is tooled up in his shop to do the modifications required in the upgrade package for these aircraft. If you are a Zenith owner looking for professional help with the whole or part of the upgrade package installation, I suggest contacting Arnold. He has the riveting tools, including hydraulic squeezers, to make a very professional job of it. For many years, Arnold did insurance claim work on high end experimentals. He is particularly good about efficiently performing repairs and modifications on completed and flying aircraft on a timely professional schedule. His e-mail address is arnold@propbalance.com and his phone number is (352) 617-2029.

Corvair Colleges #18 and #19

Corvair College #18 is a late spring event at Rick Lindstrom's shop, F.L.A.G. in Livermore, Calif. This is the same location where we held CC #13 last January. Everyone agreed that it was a great event, and the only thing we wanted was slightly warmer weather. It is a very large facility, and builders hung out until very late at night, as the event morphed into a kicked back social gathering late at night. Despite being chilly in January in northern California, a lot of people stayed until the wee hours. This year, we are going to do more of the same stuff, we will just be warmer doing it. As soon as Rick and I finalize the dates, we will post it here on FlyCorvair.com. Right now, the leading dates are the end of March or the first week in April. This year's event will have online registration. CC #13 had nearly 90 people on hand, but the FLAG facility did not seem crowded. I am considering making a small tour of California, and may time the event to attend Pat Panzera's Jean, Nevada, conference, but West Coast builders should plan on CC #18 at Rick's as the major West Coast event of 2010.

Corvair College #19 will be back at Ed and Val Fisher's in South Carolina in November. This is the same location as CC #12 and #16. This has become our traditional End Of The Year Event. Even though the size of the facility restricts us to about 50 builders, the event was popular enough to draw eight Corvair powered aircraft this year. This is the event where we award the Cherry Grove Trophy to the builder who made the greatest contribution to Corvair powered flight during the year. Mark Langford won it in 2008 and Dan Weseman won it in 2009. There are only six more slots on the trophy to have your name engraved, so make sure you pack 2010 full of Learning, Building and Flying. Make a lot of friends and encourage other builders and you've got a chance to get in on the trophy presentation in coming years.

This reflects the 2010 College Schedule as it stands. There are other events that we've discussed with potential hosts, such as a return to New England, a highly technical Corvair Grad School at Falcon Machine with an intense small group atmosphere, and a workshop at Roy's Garage. If we can solidify these events, we'll post more news. For now, we wanted to get the scheduled events posted so builders can plan accordingly.

Hangar Notes

Above is the lower mount point on a 601-650-750 mount in our jig. Notice how close the tubing fit is. These tubes, and all the other production mounts we have made in the past two-and-a-half years, have used tubing sets profiled by a CNC mill. While this isn't the least expensive way to build mounts, it is the best way. When the tubes fit this close, the welds contract very little on cooling, which has the effect of leaving almost no residual stress in the finished part. Our business is successful because I have learned to blend the correct mixture of craftsmanship and manufacturing technology in every part we make. The finest craftsman working with hand techniques can only help so many builders. A person who thinks he can simply bring high tech to bear will soon learn the bitter lesson that all aircraft components require the input of trained craftsmen. Seems simple enough, but 75% of experimental aviation businesses fail in the first 36 months, often while ignoring this basic truth.

Above, Wittman Buttercup builder Eric Klee stands next to his fuselage in his shop the day after Thanksgiving. I took this photo while making a house call. Eric is a very motivated first time builder. We met him at Oshkosh this year. He started his project three weeks after AirVenture, and he has made very good progress. He attended CC #16 in November. When a builder chooses the Corvair, I am glad to share with him any assistance I can with his airframe. I know steel tube and fabric construction techniques very well, and I spent a few hours going over details with Eric. I will put this kind of effort out for any builder who shows the kind of initiative that Eric has. Over the past 20 years, I have made several hundred house calls like this. People just learning about Corvairs sometimes fail to understand the strength of support we have earned in the experimental aviation community. It was built one person at a time. To put it bluntly, the majority of people running aviation businesses are not homebuilders, and they don't care if you learn anything, if your plane ever gets done, or if you feel like you're a part of aviation at all. They just want your money. You cannot advance your dreams by spending money with a person or a company that doesn't believe in you.

One of the best things about a dog who weighs only 10 pounds is his ability to travel with you. Scoob E is a seasoned and accomplished traveler: Cars, dirtbikes, pickup trucks, light aircraft, airliners - you name it, he likes it. As we type this, we're driving to visit family, and Scoob E is asleep on the armrest. Like many dogs, the fist sign of a suitcase makes him nervous about being left at home. He's a very clever guy, and he knows if he sits in the suitcase, even if it is brought out the night before departure, he cannot be left behind.

After a long hiatus during which we concentrated on customer orders, we took a Sunday for ourselves and made the above Motor Mount for our Wittman Buttercup project. It is an intensely complicated Mount because it incorporates Wittman's tapered rod landing gear sockets (the Buttercup actually uses RV-6 landing gear legs). I spoke on the phone with Earl Luce, the plans provider and owner of the only flying Buttercup in the world. He gave me all the operational data and weight and balance info for his O-200 powered plane, which I mathematically worked out to our own installation. The Mount resembles the O-300 mount for a Tailwind. In the land of Corvairs, its closest relative is the motor mounts Dan Weseman has made for Cleanexes. After completely welding it, I took it to our local powdercoater, and had it done in U.S. Navy gray. It is the 40th different Corvair Motor Mount Design that I have built.

Buttercup builder Eric Klee is an expert on information technology services. We invited him over to upgrade the computers and printers that we use to produce our Manuals. To this point, Eric has only used gas to weld his fuselage. He took the opportunity to spend an hour practicing with my Tig welder. Building on his basic skill, I was able to give him some quick pointers. There are a tremendous amount of people willing to offer advice on welding to homebuilders. If you really want to learn this skill, the best investment you can make is to restrict your instruction to in-person training with someone who has completed a lot of aircraft work. With correct coaching, anyone who is willing to devote the time to practice can learn this skill. I have been continuously welding for the past 30 years, the last 20 being an enormous quantity of aircraft work. Easily 80% of the advice on the Internet and 50% of the stuff written in books is put forth by people who have never made a single part that went flying on an airplane. For the sake of your own project, seek out knowledgeable people to learn from. You'll be glad you did.

A glance at our next project, above. Five years ago, I talked to Ed Fisher about designing the Sport Fleet Biplane. Ed, the master of the light biplane, had a 3/4 scale Stearman designed, but I urged him to rework the design study into a 7/8 scale Fleet. Over the years, Ed has put a tremendous amount of design work in, but two moves, an Oshkosh Grand Champion and a skill set that's continuously in demand have kept Ed from finishing the prototype. From the very beginning, Ed and I talked about the possibility of having an aircraft which we then called the Sport Piet, as a companion parasol that would share the same fuselage, landing gear, control system, motor mount and tail group. Ed has always been partial to biplanes, and I've always been partial to parasols, and this allows us to have something of a matched pair of planes.

As many people in the Corvair world know, Ed is taking a full year to be part of a well-financed team working on a clean-sheet-of-paper LSA design. Security on the project is tight enough that I only know it's being designed for mass production in Colorado. Since Ed will not have very much time off before Oshkosh 2010, we hatched a plan where Grace and I, utilizing Ed's notes, will take a shot at completing the parasol version before Ed's Sport Fleet biplane. The fuselage in the photo above is 28" wide, has very comfortable seating, and is completely welded and sitting on the gear. Its connection to Pietenpols is only inspirational, as they don't share any airframe parts. I intend its firewall forward package to be interchangeable with a Pietenpol so builders working on true Pietenpols will have the benefit of our R&D and testing.

On an overcast, blustery Sunday, we were surprised with a visit from Corvair/KR pilot Bob Lester. He lives on the other side of Northern Florida, and bundled up and flew over. His Piet was built in the 1970s, and sports a very early Lycoming O-145 powerplant. Bob found the aircraft in Arizona last year and flew it back on a 25-hour adventure. From my first days in aviation, I really wanted to live on a grass strip. Fifteen years of hard work later, we made it. Having old friends taxi into the front yard is one of those moments that make working past midnight on two thousand nights and saving our pennies worthwhile.

Although it looks hand painted and antique, the above is actually a sticker that Bob had made from a photo. Bob's father flew B-25s in the Pacific during World War II. This is an exact copy of the nose art that was on his father's Mitchell. The craftsmanship on Bob's airplane, like most airplanes built in the early days of the EAA, is exceptionally good. I personally like planes that show the wear of many, many hours aloft being enjoyed. Look at the fine chips of paint in the cabain struts. Each one speaks of a passenger climbing into the front seat, perhaps for their first open cockpit flight ever. While I appreciate fine attention to detail, a plane like this has much more character than many Grand Champions, and will always make me wonder about the places it's been and the things it has seen.

The above photo shows two Exhaust Systems that I welded. Notice the difference in the size of the stacks that feed the pipes. The one to the left matches the larger 140 exhaust stacks on the 3,100 cc Corvair we built for Ron Robison. These were CNC machined for us out of 304 stainless, by the same outfit that's made all of our other Exhaust Stacks. Physically, there appears to be a large difference. Practically, the interior bore difference is just a tenth of an inch. 140 heads have performance potential, but only on strong-running 3,100s. The design and CNC code to produce the new 140 stacks is now in the bag. We can produce more sets with a single call to the machine shop. I am sure that in the coming years there will be a handful of other engine installations that will need this part. Some things we do are for mass production; other things we do to expand the corners of the information base for flying Corvairs.

Pictured above is a single piece Nosebowl from our Zenith 601. It will fit any Zenith 601, 650 or 750. It flew on our aircraft from 2006 to 2007. What makes it unique is the fact that it's built from aerospace grade, pre-preg carbon fiber. It was cured in an autoclave at very high temperature. As a result, it is very light, but extremely stiff. I had kept this part for two reasons: It cost a small fortune and a few big favors to make, and I wanted to use it on our Buttercup. After building the Buttercup Mount and test fitting an engine, it became apparent that our cowling design is going to take a lot of surgery to mate with the shape of the front of the Buttercup. It doesn't make sense to do that kind of prototyping on a completely finished part of this caliber. Thus, the Ultimate Nosebowl is up for sale. It is $650 plus shipping. If you'd like to be the proud new owner, just drop us an e-mail at WilliamTCA@aol.com .

We're also selling the companion 13" Van's spinner and Sensenich 64x43 prop with urethane leading edges. The prop has about 100 hours on it. We're selling the prop and spinner together with all the crushplates, spacers and hardware for $850 plus shipping. It's a particularly good prop for any Zenith 601 or 650. It is lighter in weight than a Warp Drive, which imposes less load on the crankshaft, a factor for builders not using a fifth bearing. Again, just e-mail us at WilliamTCA@aol.com .

Above is another view of our Sport Parasol fuselage. In the foreground is a green anodized aluminum rib made by D&E Aircraft of Florida. D&E is known for manufacturing some of the finest aluminum aircraft components, including spars, aileron coves and D-sections, and brace wires. The rib pictured is the unit they manufacture for Citabrias. It has a 60" cord and 30" spar spacing. The airfoil is a NACA 4412, the same one used on Chiefs, Champs, Luscombes and many other classics. Our plan is to build a fully skinned all aluminum wing with pulled rivets, just like a Zenith. With some attention to detail, I think we can keep the weight of the entire plane down to about 720 pounds. It has been a lot of years since we've had our own Pietenpol, and we're looking forward to rejoining the ranks of open cockpit aviation.

Two Engines For Sale

We have two engines in the shop for sale. They are both 2,700s with fifth bearings. They are both first class engines, each with their own appeal. The first is a very light engine built around the cylinders pictured at left above. These full finned cylinders are from a 1960 Corvair. Despite having such fins, they are actually very light cylinders. Additionally, we had them bored by Clark's from 3.275" to 3.437". The piston pictured is a standard bore forged piston made for a 2,700 cc engine. This particular set was U.S. manufactured about three years ago. In the back of the photo is the pair of Falcon heads that I had Mark make specifically for this engine. The 1960 cylinder has the same head gasket as a 1964 engine. The heads pictured are 1964 110 hp models. These weigh about 1 1/2 pounds less per head than any other Corvair head. In cars, subjected to abuse, 1964 heads can be prone to warping. I had Mark carefully comb through 20 cores to find this pair for a perfect starting point. We have an OT-10 cam and a crankshaft ion nitrided by Nitron for this engine. Although it is not yet assembled, we have every component for the engine, including a Weseman 5th bearing. We're going to outfit the engine with a complete set of our Gold System components, but we'd be glad to configure it in any way that makes sense for the new owner's airframe, i.e. Reverse Gold Oil Housing for Cleanexes, or Ultra Light Weight Welded Oil Pan, etc. We're going to assemble and test run this engine in January. Like other engines, it will get a full series of test runs, logs, insurance pedigree, etc. Any builder who would like to reserve this engine with a deposit can contact us by e-mail at WilliamTCA@aol.com . If you'd like more information, please include a phone number with your e-mail.

The second engine is the one pictured on this page on the Mount of our Buttercup. This is a 1966 2,700 cc engine that is bored .060" over. The engine is fully assembled, and has about 10 hours of run time on it. I built it for our own personal use with the finest components available. The engine has our own Fifth Bearing design on it. This engine was the ground test model of the same bearing that has now flown about 150 hours on Mark Langford's KR-2S. This design features a very large thrust bearing incorporated into the Fifth Bearing. The engine is specifically suited for being turbocharged. It has heavy cast, low compression, 95 heads done by Falcon. It has an American Pi billet indexible cam gear on a brand new TB-10 cam. The engine features all of our Gold System components, and can be configured specifically for a number of different airframes. A turbo will not fit the Sport Piet and we're planning on a naturally aspirated Buttercup. This engine also comes with a fresh run in, logs and insurance pedigree. It is not cheap, but will make an excellent turbo installation or naturally aspirated installation that can later be converted to turbo. For more info, send us an e-mail with your phone number to WilliamTCA@aol.com and I'll be glad to talk it over with you.

The above photo shows our new Universal Exhaust Set. It's based on the same components as our highly successful Zenith Exhaust Systems. Of course, it is made completely from 304 Stainless. Each set is hand welded by me. They are pressure back-purged with argon during welding, and I use a very specific low hydrogen rod, which gives the fresh weld bead a light gray appearance. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see that a few seconds with a soft wire brush, and the pipe and weld bead look shiny. These systems can easily be polished till they're chrome-plated shiny. Even the clamps and heat muff ends are 304 stainless cut on a laser and formed on a CNC press break. These systems are specifically designed to fit Cleanexes and KR-2s. We have two years of flying on the prototype set, and these are now a current production item, on the shelf.

Family Notes

This week marks the 84th Birthday of my Father, William Wynne Sr. To commemorate the day, we share three photos from the family archives. Above, on the left, my Father stands in the rubble of the AT&T building in downtown Seoul, Korea, in 1952. At the time, my Father was a company commander with ACB-ONE, a U.S. Navy Seabee batallion which landed at Incheon. The South Korean capitol is less than 50 miles from the border with the North. It began to resemble Leningrad because it changed hands several times during the War. In 1974, my family toured South Korea, and it was a bright, thriving country, without an external trace of the conflict it had survived. Its vibrant character was a testimony to its people.

George Orwell was thinking of Stalinist Russia when he wrote 1984. Seven decades later, I think North Korea is actually the country that bears the greatest likeness to 1984. Kim Il Sung really is "Big Brother," and just about every facet of the book is a fair description of life in the North. The North Koreans live under a maniacal regime that controls every detail of life, squandering its meager wealth on nuclear weapons and missiles while its people starve in the cold. In utter contrast, the South Koreans live in a society with a first world standard of living and freedom undreamed of by their Northern brothers. The Koreans suffered horrific losses during the War, and their dead were joined by 38,000 Americans whose sacrifices prevented the North from enslaving the South in their nightmare.

My Father's 33 years in uniform were guided by a single principal: No human being, regardless of race, faith or nationality, deserves to live in a totalitarian police state. While most people would agree with this, my Father is one of the men who care if this is happening to families on the other side of the globe, even if they are not Christians, don't speak English and don't have anything America needs. Just being a human trying to raise a family in peace is enough. My Father is a realist who understands that the last resort will always be free men with weapons meeting the totalitarians in battle. Since he joined the U.S. Navy at age 17, he has been willing to be one of these men. Yet my Father did not fight with just the tools of war. He felt that ending a violent communist insurgency in Northern Thailand in 1972 was a major triumph. His "weapon" that gained the loyalty of the Hill Tribes was providing medical care for their families.

Most Americans of a certain age can recall some of President Kennedy's 1961 inaugural speech: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." These were not mere words to men of my Father's profession, it was a cause to pledge your very life to. My Father did not care if the poor of the world chose collective farming or workers wanted social reforms. He just recognized that political systems that don't value individuals always degenerate to Gestapos, concentration camps, gulags and mass graves. My Father fought to stop the spread of these things.

In the china cabinet of my parents home in New Jersey sits an engraved brass plate. It was given to my Father in 1974 by Commodore Vong Sarendy, Cheif of Naval Operations for the Khmer (Cambodian) Navy, to thank my Father for his efforts to thwart the communists in Cambodia. Before his acceptance speech, my Father was warned by the U.S. State Department that he could not promise further aid. It had only been 13 years since we promised to "pay any price," but Washington had changed. The Commodore bitterly understood this, and told my Father that the Americans could go home, but he and his family would fight to the death. They did. Within a year, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge controlled the country and exterminated several million people. Being able to read and write was cause for being sent to the killing fields. I love my country, but holding that brass plate in your hands, it is easy to understand that our two biggest flaws are a short national memory and the fact that the average American has no idea what the term "totalitarian police state" means. People who have never read A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich think you can understand what cold is by watching the Weather Channel; people afraid of the dentist glibly discuss tourture in foreign places; TV commentators call each other Nazis over pathetic small differences while a tiny group of elderly Americans with small numbers tatooed on their forearms know the real definition of the word.

In the above photo, my Father stands with my brother Michael and sister Melissa in front of the world's first atomic power station, Shippingport, Pennsylvania. The photo is from 1959. The reactor was tha same design that the U.S. Navy used in its ships and submarines. My Father was the project officer working directly under Admrial Hyman Rickover. My Father has been a stalwart proponent of nuclear power for the past 60 years. It was a very different time in America when a town was proud to be chosen for such a project of national importance.

After retiring from the Navy in 1976, my Father went to work at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The project was the world's first fusion reactor. Few people in the general public understood the potential of fusion to produce infathomable power without generating radioactive waste. After Three Mile Island, the public turned against atomic power of all types, and the country blindly went back to building coal and oil fired powerplants. Many of the anti-nuke protesters of 1979 are now climate change activists, missing the role they played in the U.S. staying dependent on fossil fuels that are at the forefront of the climate debate. If you have ever wondered how France, a country of 60 million people with no hydro power, nor coal or oil reserves, can afford to be a tireless critic of U.S. Middle East policy, the answer is simple: Virtually all of the electricity produced in France is generated in nuclear plants.

By far, the greatest joy of my Father's life has been being married to my Mother for 59 years. The above photo was taken circa 1949. They met at the New Jersey Shore just after World War II. Throughout my entire adult life, whenever I encounter anyone in difficult straights or a terrible position, my first thought is always "without the luck of being born to my parents, that could be me." It is not possible to overstate the positive role my parents have played in any qualities of character I have. In this Holiday Season, I have a multitude of things to be thankful for, but this always is first on my list.

"Real freedom is the sustained act of being an individual." WW - 2009

Now At The Hangar

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December 2006 At The Hangar Part 1

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At The Hangar In April 2006

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At The Hangar In January 2006

At The Hangar In December 2005

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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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