Corvair College #14
I've just returned from Corvair College #14 in Lowell, Mass. It was a very successful event. The 82 pre-registered guests made this the largest College ever held
outside of Florida. However, the story is in the quality, not the quantity. Host Pramod Kotwal and Master of Ceremonies Ken Pavlou put in a lot of effort to learn from
previous Colleges and bring a lot of detailed preparation to the event. This paid off with allowing builders in attendance to focus on learning, making progress and
having a good time. To make it a little easier to download, the photos are on several pages. Get a cup of coffee, and take the time to really look at the people in the
photos. Over the years, we've hosted hundreds of people at Corvair Colleges. With four events scheduled Coast to Coast this year, we are providing free of charge a lot of
opportunity for anyone willing to take the initiative and claim their seat at the table. The faces of the builders tell the story: This College, and all the others, are
much more than technical events. They are a true meeting of builders whose common bond of creativity, self reliance and friendliness unites them. Enjoy the story, and take action to find
your place at the next College.
At noon Saturday, we dragged everyone available into a quick group photo. Ken told me that the total online registration count was 82 people, a good majority of whom
can be seen in this photo taken by Dave Mullins.
Into The Shop
Above, our emcee, Ken Pavlou, indulges himself with a bullhorn he bought off eBay. It was a surprisingly effective tool for herding people in at lunch and dinner. Behind Ken is
Pramod's CNC milling center. Ken asks those who attended the College, if you haven't already, please take a moment to fill out a survey at https://cc14.wufoo.com/forms/corvair-college-14-survey/
Above, an overhead shot showing a group gathering for a technical point I'm explaining on Jared Geary's engine. Although Jared had really good prep work on a number of fronts, he
had removed the head studs from the case. Replacing them is time consuming and potentially a source of trouble if any of them bind up on the way in. For many years, I've actively
discouraged people from removing the head studs unless extreme corrosion or mechanical damage makes it absolutely necessary.
Above, a few of the eight separate groups tearing down core engines at the event. The industrial nature of Pramod's
facility made heavy mechanical work easy. Nitron is outfitted with a loading dock, crane, palette jack, and a herd of very heavy duty industrial carts. The builders
naturally gravitated to small groups and dove into any project that interested them. I floated among groups and covered the technical details of each process.
Jared Geary and his girfriend Katia work on a very nice 2,700 cc engine destined for his own Cleanex project. Jared had previously attended Corvair Colleges
#9 and #11 which set him on the Corvair path and allowed him to formulate a detailed plan. Despite having a job that requires a lot of travel, at times overseas,
Jared has made a lot of progress on both engine and airframe, and may very well finish by the end of the year.
KR/Vair builder and pilot Joe Horton from Pennsylvania, center above, is welcomed to Corvair College #14 by Pramod, at right, and myself. This was Joe's fourth College, and the
third one to which he's flown his own plane. He now has 400 hours on his 3,100 cc KR-2S.
Louis Leung, extreme right, above, was one of five builders who opted to pick up a core engine from Pramod at the event. He's completed about 85% of his 601 XL airframe. The photo
shows how many helping hands are available for any task at a College. Louis is no slouch with tools: He impressed a lot of people by working with a ratchet in each hand at
Louis and his group made short work of disassembling the core he'd purchased from Pramod. Louis was born in Hong Kong, a place with a well earned reputation for generating some of
the most dynamic people in the world. My father, who'd been to Hong Kong a number of times, enjoyed reminiscing with Louis about the vibrant city.
Four hands make short work of a core.
This fully assembled engine was done by 601 XL builder Larry Webber of Rhode Island. Larry is a very dynamic guy, with a long history of doing tradeshows in the
woodworking industry. At the opening day of Oshkosh 2008, Grace and I were greeted by a very enthusiastic Larry, who pitched in to tell anybody
within earshot the merits of the Corvair from his own personal experience.
KR-2S builder Dave Mullins of Nashua, N.H., brought down his Corvair engine project, sporting a planetary reduction. He's chipping away at a highly modified airframe with
a unique engine installation. The Corvair has served as a beginning point for many people with extremely diverse ideas.
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