Corvair College #8 Page 5 November 12-14, 2004
www.FlyCorvair.com Hangar, Massey Air Ranch, Edgewater, Fla.
If I had to pick a single photo to represent what Corvair College is all about, this would be it. Here, Jack
Cooper is at the controls of his newly born Corvair engine. Take a good look at the smile on his face. In your
life, you may have dozens of people who think you're crazy for simply flying in airplanes. On the other end
of the spectrum, here at Corvair College, you can come learn and build your engine in the company of other
builders who understand exactly why you want to build and fly your own airplane. The day your Corvair engine
fires up, you'll feel the same way that Jack does here. It's a milestone achievement on your way to building and
flying your own airplane. Having this milestone in the company of your College friends makes the moment that
Here we see Glenda's KR-2 engine on the dyno. It's being pre-lubed with the electric drill, on the left.
The issue I'm checking with the feel of the prop is a slightly noticable but excessive drag on the engine.
My years of experience with Corvair engines let me instantly spot that this engine was missing its oil
slinger ring. Even though the slinger ring is less than .050" thick, if you leave it out, the harmonic balancer
will rub on the rear seal. It took less than an hour to pull the engine off the stand,
remove the cover, and install the slinger. At the College, the emphasis is on getting work done correctly and
quickly. Not getting bogged down on a small issue like this, fixing the problem and progressing is as important
a lesson as any technical concept discussed at the College. The cup of coffee in my hand is one of 40 or 50 I
drank in three days.
Before the slinger was installed, I had many people feel the drag on the prop so they could identify
the problem should they ever encounter it again. Part of the mission of the College is to educate the graduates so they can later go out
and share what they've learned with future Corvair builders at their home EAA chapters. Part of the reason
why Lycomings and Continentals have an enviable degree of success is due to the fact that there are thousands
of licensed A&P mechanics who are very familiar with their proper care and feeding. Because much of my
work with the Corvair engine is educational, the long term success of the engine in the field will be assured by
my direct training of hundreds of EAAers on the care and feeding of our engine. Conversely, alternative
engines offered only as a product, without the education, invariably will offer their operators future
frustration in the field, where no one is familiar with their engine.
From left to right, 601 builder Glen Gingras of Crestview, Fla., Acey Deucy builder Tom Farrington of
Sarasota, Fla., and Ray Wimpey of Kennesaw, Georgia, have a conversation over Tom's case. Glen is a 25 year A&P
who wrenches full time on helicopters. When an aviation professional like this selects the Corvair as their
choice of engines for their own personal aircraft, it should catch the attention of people who are newer arrivals
to aviation. In the far background is Brigid and Gus Warren's 1947 Republic Seabee amphibian. Its engine is a
500cid Franklin, a direct drive, horizontally opposed, air cooled, six cylinder engine, a giant Corvair engine.
Dan Weseman works to make an ignition harness for his 3,100cc engine with Robin Bellach, 601 builder from
Jasper, Arkansas. We made the crown for Dan earlier, but Robin decorated it with the Corvair's firing order so
Dan could keep it straight while working on the harness. The first person who saw this photo asked us what the
precsion machined piece was on the back of Dan's balancer. It's Robin's stainless steel coffee cup.
Photo caption contest #2: Winner gets a free T-shirt and year's subscription to The Corvair Flyer
newsletter. Tom's case has been given a preliminary cleaning, and torqued together. Steve Upson is using our
bore gauge to ensure the bores in the case are perfectly round. The case passed with flying colors. This type of
inspection is superior to basic plastigauging for spotting the very occasional case which has an out of round
bore. Tom's case is being held in one of our aluminum case jigs. His funny expression captured by the camera
along with Steve's seriousness makes this photo an excellent candidate for photo caption contest #2.
In spite of all the visitors, Whobiscat still hung out in the middle of it all. Here, she catches a catnap on
the tail of Dan's airplane.
Here, I explain the operation of the oil system test rig. During the College, we tested numerous complete
rear accessory cases and fine tuned their pressure relief valves. The rig allows me to test proper oil pump
clearance, volume, relief pressure, differential pressure on the cooler bypass, and the seating of the cooler
bypass, while looking for leaks in the system.