-Registration for Corvair College #17, March 18-21, Orlando
-Report from Corvair Community College, Seattle, Dec. 2009
-Cleanex & Reverse Gold Oil Filter Housing
Corvair College #17 is a very large event we have scheduled at the shop of Arnold Holmes on the Orlando North Airport (FA83) in Zellwood, 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 a cookout catering and live entertainment, and invites 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. Grace said we should
call this Corvair Spring Break.
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
our CH-701, to this College. Dan Weseman, Mark Langford, Chris Smith, Joe Horton and others have already said they will fly in.
Here is the link to Arnold's Web page with online registration for Corvair College #17:
Arnold has put more information on his Web site, www.AV-MECH.com. After builders register, we will send out detailed information on exactly what to bring
and a schedule of individual elements of the College. The registration will give us information that allows fine tuning the event to serve the builders
attending. If you are thinking about attending, it makes sense to register now. Arnold and I are discussing a cap at 150 people, and you don't want
the event to close and leave you stuck in the snow while the rest of us are having fun down here.
Arnold's page discusses some of the fun social aspects, but those looking for technical info will find plenty of it. There will be many skilled guys
from the history of the movement like Dave the Bear and Steve Upson from our old Hangar Gang. We are going to return to full
blown customer engine building, we will have plenty of builders get the first run on their engines and we will cover every technical aspect of the engine and its installation.
I am working to get a number of Pietenpols to the College. I am calling on Doug Dugger, the 701 expert from Quality Sport Planes in California (Zenith's
West Coast facility) to do the demo flights in our 701. This College will have a lot of elements that are working as force multipliers that will make this
a very fun, rich, rewarding experience.
As you go through the registration, you will notice that everyone (except the pilots flying Corvair powered planes who are covered by Grace and I)
is expected to contribute to the event. Builders who have been to a College before understand that these are not consumer events where paying spectators
attend. Colleges are the polar opposite, where a group of friends with the same passion converge on one spot to share the event. Just about everyone in
attendance adds to the College in some way to make the event "theirs." This event is the closest that many of us will ever get to the original EAA
fly-ins in Rockford in the 1960s. At CC#17, everyone on hand will have a seat at the table. There will be plenty to do, 100 hours to do it in, and a
lot of friends to do it with.
Corvair College #17 is a few weeks before Sun 'N Fun in Lakeland, Fla. I am going to go to SNF this year, but I am looking at a much smaller effort
than previous years. I am encouraging Corvair builders who are thinking about SNF or CC#17 to pick the latter for the following reasons:
A) We will get more Corvair powered aircraft to CC#17. Some pilots don't like flying into the very dense traffic patterns or dodging
the airshow hours of SNF.
B) It is very difficult to impossible to get a new guy a flight in a Corvair powered plane at SNF. At the College, this is easy.
C) You can build your engine and test run it with expert help at the College. At SNF I can check out cores, but can't do any effective work.
You can only run engines at SNF in the engine display area at certain times. We can run them at the College any hour we like, as it is a commercial
airport with so much land around that it is OK to shoot trap and skeet in most directions.
D) SNF is not cheap. It has gotten progressively more expensive through the years, especially camping and food. It also has a lot of rules and
regulations, many of which don't make a lot of sense. Their security is largely aimed at making sure visitors have paid for armbands, etc., rather
than protecting stuff. SNF is the only airshow I know of where things have been stolen. Our goal at the College is to have fun and directly assist individuals to
advance their projects. We have some rules, but they are pretty basic, like don't drink beer and run engines. Corvair College is a private event on private property,
which means we will not have the general public or unknown people there. This makes for a relaxed, focused group of friends having fun.
At SNF, there are several buildings of vendors. You can go and buy stuff like radios, instruments, pilot stuff and some tools. But here is the real
insight: Just purchasing parts donesn't equate to progress. If you go to look at a homebuilt project for sale, where the builder is quitting, you will see lots of parts
the seller purchased, even though he often did little work on the project. Our society is trained to be good at shopping. The people who sold the stuff to the builder
didn't give a damn if needed it, if he learned anything, or if his plane ever flew. The vast majority of people manning booths at airshows have never flown in a homebuilt,
far less built one. Clearly buying stuff from these people isn't the key to completing a plane.
What builders need is motivation, persistence and guidance from people who are successful homebuilders. This is what we offer in abundance at a College.
This can take the form of a new positive friend to spur you on by e-mail or calls when your local EAA chapter is loaded with negative Nancys. It can take the form of 10
minutes aloft in the same plane you are building, giving you an unforgettable taste of the reward for staying with it. This can be the pride of seeing the engine you built
run perfectly, while your peers congratulate you. It can simply be seeing a dozen planes at a College
and realizing that when yours is done, flying it in to a College will be your first choice of places to go. I have been giving Colleges for 10 years, and I can say that
people who come to a College are several times more likely to finish their plane. Yes, we sell parts, and you will have to spend money to build a plane, this is true.
But this is just one leg of our triangle. The other two are knowledge and motivation. It may be out of place in a cynical world, but I actually care if your plane
progresses, I really want builders to learn things, and I honestly feel that people should have the personal achievement of building and flying their own plane.
The effort we have put into 10 years of Colleges demonstrates our commitment to the success of builders. Corvair College #17 is your chance to be one of these builders.
If you have never been to a College, or if your experiences in aviation don't yet qualify for the term "adventure," then take an active role in changing your path and
sign up for the College. Previous events have been a turning point for dozens of builders before you, all of whom made the decision to choose a path that would take them to
achievement and adventure.
Corvair Community College December 26-27, 2009
My sister Alison lives just outside Seattle, and my parents and I decided to meet up at Alison's for Christmas. This gave us the the opportunity to work
with Brady McCormick and hold a Community College at his facility. I flew out a week early to give Brady a hand with the prep work. I also had the chance
to Spend a Day with an old friend, Mark Christmann, above at left. Mark and I went to Embry Riddle together, and worked on a few projects together over the years.
You can see Mark and I in a 1995 photo on the June 2009 FlyCorvair.com page. Mark is also in the Brodhead photo in the
Introduction section of our Conversion Manual. I am often harshly critical of people who have no experience in aviation or a junior
high education offering advice or selling parts in experimental aviation. To gain some understanding of how hard my friends and I have studied and worked
to be professionals in aviation, consider this: Mark is a 4.0 graduate of Embry Riddle and he is employed by Boeing in Seattle as an enginner on the flight
test program of the 747-800.
Above, builders crowd around Ron Robison's CH-750 at the Corvair Community College. About 30 builders were on hand, coming from as far away as Alaska.
A film of Ron's running CH-750 can be seen at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_1ov0DAbe8
Above, Brady and I set the timing befor the first run. This is a 3100 built in my shop with a Weseman bearing. The engine is turning a 70" two-blade
Warp Drive prop. (68" would be my first choice for a 2700cc 750). The carb is an MA3-SPA prepped by Russ Romey at D&G in Niles, Mich.,
and the engine has a 60 amp Nippon Denso alternator. We are setting the timing on the FlyCorvair.com E/P Distributor in the film.
The engine does not use a baffle box because the engine had already run several hours on our Dyno in Florida, and the OAT was
about 30F. The runs were kept
short, and it was only taken to full power for a moment. The wind chill on the operators was the limiting factor. You can see a number of name tags in
the photos; Ron is on the pilot's side and Brady on the copilot's side.
The assembly was very educational to the builders in attendance. Nearly a quarter of the people on hand were 750 guys. Thanks again to Ron and Family for
bringing the plane down. (It actually crossed Puget Sound on a ferry - an amphibious trip.)
Above, a look inside Brady's shop. He is a machinist by trade, and it shows in the layout and organization of his shop. The small booth on the left is the
operating room for his CNC equipment. The wings on the wall are from his CH-701 project. The very large lathe on the right is brand new.
Above, Brady at his CNC mill. This type of CNC is a traditional mill controlled electronicaly. They cannot produce the output of
industrial CNC machines, but they are very accurate and very good in the hands of a skilled programmer at producing quality work.
Two days before the event, Brady and I both recognized that we were behind the power curve on prep work. Just then, a stroke of luck: Through the door
walks Micah, a super skilled fabricator, and a graduate of CC#11 and CC#13. He just wanted to know if he could
help out. I told Brady that this was no time to be
modest or polite, and we put Micah right on task. He whipped Brady's run stand into shape, and changed the whole mood back to optimism.
Above, several members of the local Corvair club came to the event. This was a particularly nice Corsa.
Brady sits in the 750 just before we started it. Ron is on the far side. One gallon fuel can is not the reccomended fuel system for the plane.
International brotherhood of Corvair builders. On the left, Alfonso Cuse, who has lived in many places in the world, born in Lima, Peru. On the right,
Fredy Hunziker, native of Switzerland. Over the years, our work with Corvairs has brought us in touch with countless people from very interesting backgrounds.
I have always been impressed with people who left comfortable and familiar surroundings and roamed the world, not as tourists, but as adventurers. The fact that
these people are attracted to aviation comes as little surprise.
Fredy's engine being assembled. Note the failsafe cam gear. The engine came to the event to get the short block together and have a Weseman 5th bearing
installed. The crank flange had a slight ding in it that kept the bearing from going down perfectly. Instead of fretting, Fredy just pulled it apart, Brady stuck
the crank in his lathe, and the problem was solved in an hour. Five people at the College came to install a Weseman 5th bearing.
Micah came back for the College and spent the time working on his own engine. It also has a failsafe gear. After careful case assembly, he installed his Weseman bearing.
The engine is destined for a pusher weight shift trike that Micah is designing.
Rusty, one of four dogs Brady and his lovely wife Claudine have. Rusty was very nice, but Brady said a puppyhood with a previous absentee owner gives Rusty "issues."
Left at home alone, he once ate an entire couch. In the shop he had a funny habit of pretending he was a 15 pound dog, curling up in small places. If you were a big fan
of the Far Side cartoons, you might have laughed as Brady and I kept saying "Rusty's in the club" during the prep days.
Brady kneels behind a very experimental engine he built as a test of extreme ideas. The engine has a starter, alternator, and a prop hub, yet weighs only 185
pounds on an electronic scale. That is lighter than a Jabiru 3300 by several pounds. The only missing items are an oil cooler and oil. The primary reason why the
engine is light is its set of all aluminum cylinders made by Brady. This engine is a long way from flight tests, but it does showcase some of Brady's
creativity and talent.
An overhead photo of Ron's 750 installation. He did the work using all of our components. The clean appearance is no accident. I have worked many years to integrate
all of our products to work together to produce such installations. The baffle kit shown here is made by Jim and Rhonda Weseman. It gives excellent and even
cooling to both sides of the engine. This is especially important on STOL aircraft, as the high angles of attack generate very different propeller blade angles. In
that situation, with low forward airspeed, the ascending blade has very little angle of attack, and pumps very little cooling air. If an engine has two separate cooling
plenums, one head will run very hot, and if your CHT is on the opposite side, you won't know it. There are some applications where cooling plenums make sense, but the vast
majority of planes, and especially STOL aircraft, run cooler with traditional baffles. The oil line to the 5th bearing runs directly from a port in the
Gold Oil Filter Housing. Plumbed like this, the oil is both filtered and cooled before going to the bearing.
The 750 uses a Positech oil cooler mounted on the firewall. We have tested countless oil coolers over the years. Flat out, real aircraft oil coolers work vastly better
than things taken from a VW bug aftermarket catalog or something that was intended to be a transmission cooler. All the installations we engineer either use stock
GM 12-plate coolers or new aircraft coolers. All the aircraft coolers work directly off our Gold Sandwich Adaptors,
which have their own internal bypass. When complete, this
oil cooler will be fed by a 3" scat hose. We flight tested this system with perfect results on Louis Kantor's 601XL.
Here is a view of the lower right side of the 750. Notice that the plane has no fuel pumps. It is set up for gravity feed. The carb is a freshly built MA3-SPA
from D&G Aerospace in Niles, Mich. I am a big fan of aircraft carbs on planes. Many people feel they are expensive. They are, but they can be much less costly than the results of
using a cheap carb. These things work, period. People with no personal experience, or people trying to sell something are the primary proponents of non-aircraft carbs.
Make your decision accordingly. Our Stainless Exhaust is shown in the photo. The carb heat muff box ends are in place. These are stainless also. Ceramic coating is
an option, but it will not make a mild steel system last. To work, the area of the pipe inside the heat box cannot be ceramic coated, as it would not transfer heat.
Left bare inside the box, it is very prone to burning out or rusting through. A leak at this point puts carbon monoxide right into the cabin. In the thin air at
altitude, CO gets people much faster. Think about it, and you will understand why virtually 100% of certified aircraft have stainless exhausts.
Myself, Ron Robison and family, Brady, and Rusty, still thinking of himself as a small dog.
On Saturday, my mother, at left above, and my sister Alison, next to her, came to the event with my father. It was the first College for my mother and sister.
Alison had previously attended the Arlington air show with me in 2008. My father has been to numerous Colleges over the years.
The second day of the event, Brady installs a Weseman bearing on the engine of Bill Cribb. Notice the transformation of the run stand under the handiwork of Micah.
In the green jacket on the left is Claude Adams, who flew in specifically for this event from Alaska.
If you think that building a Corvair is going to cost some bucks, here is a different yardstick. Louis Ott drove to the College in his 928 Porsche. He built a one of
a kind engine for it. It has been punched out to 6.6 liters, and has a hand built induction system made of carbon fiber and plexiglass. It has alcohol injection and makes
590 HP at the rear wheels. The engine cost the same as 8 or 9 first class Corvair flight engines. The heart of his engine is a custom crank that increases the stroke from
3.11" to 3.75". It was made by Moldex, the same people who do our Corvair crank work.
Another look at Ron's engine outside. This is a good view of the 60 amp ND alternator and the Gold Oil System.
The two tubes in the mount that meet the cabin structure
at the base of the windshield fit snugly next to the rear of the engine. This is one of the many reasons why the
Front Starter Kit is the only option on a CH-750 or 701 installation.
Chris Lewis works at installing his 5th bearing. Chris is building a highly modified 701. His modifications were approved by Chris Heintz himself, many years ago.
Many of the modifications make the plane something of a 750 prototype. Chris met a lot of people in the Corvair world at CC#11 in Cloverdale, Calif., and
CC#13 a year ago in Livermore, Calif.
Bill Cribb Sr. and Jr. working on their engine on Brady's run stand. The stand is configured to fit our installation components, so any builder in the
Northwest who would like to run their engine can make arrangements with Brady. Bill Sr. holds a very rare position in aviation, having been a crewman on a USAF B-36.
The Cribbs were one of four Father/Son teams on hand.
Brady got a nice write up on his event in the local paper on the Olympic Peninsula. One of the people who read it was Scott Murphy, above left, who lives
about 15 miles away. When I was a little kid growing up in Thailand, Scott was my best friend in the world. On December 29th, my brithday, we drove over and
had a very nice dinner with his family. I had not seen him in 35 years.
After dinner, Scott dug out an old photo of us as kids. That is me on the left, At in the middle, and Scott on the right. After looking at it for a moment,
we realized that it was taken on my 11th birthday, exactly 36 years to the day, before.
Cleanex and Reverse Gold Oil Filter Housing
Below is a shot of Dan Weseman's Wicked Cleanex undergoing its annual condition inspection. The plane is now more than 4 years old. It has proven itself to be
a rugged and durable performer, with excellent reliability. Many people mistook my respect for the Monnett's wishes that the combination of the Sonex airframe and the
Corvair engine not be overtly promoted as having some sort of reservation about Dan's Cleanex. In reality, I have nothing but respect for the plane and the things
Dan has done with it. In the history of Corvair powered flight, I am sure that no plane has been flown harder than the Cleanex, and yet it has been essentially
trouble free. In 2009, we awarded Dan the coveted Cherry Grove Trophy, for his contributions to Corvair powered flight. His aircraft is the most visible component
of his efforts to promote the Corvair, which include his development of a very popular 5th bearing, writing a Chapter in the
2009 Flight Ops Manual, assisting many
other builders with their planes, flying to a number of Colleges and being an all around good guy and positive reflection on the Corvair movement.
Above, a good shot at the underside of the Cleanex engine compartment. In the past year, Dan has carefully assembled the components to make it possible
for builders to make their own Cleanex. The engine components are all straight out of our Conversion Catalog. The airframe parts, like the
mount, are available from Dan. People interested should review Dan's Web site at http://flycleanex.com/
Above, a top view of Dan's 3100cc engine. Notice how all of the basic engine conversion parts are FlyCorvair.com pieces. Dan's decision years ago to directly use
all the parts we had developed and carefully mate them to the airframe was the root of his success. Invariably, when a builder tries to alter an engine far from what
has proven to work, just to get it into an existing cowl or on an existing mount, the end product is heavily compromised. Think about it: No one putting a
Lycoming O-320 in an airframe hacks up the engine to make it fit an existing mount, nor do they grind down the intake tract to fit the existing cowl.
A look at the back of the engine shows our latest fine detail that makes the installation that much cleaner. This is the first aircraft fitted with a
Reverse Gold Oil Filter Housing. This Housing is just like our Standard Gold Housing, but the oil filter points straight forward instead of
straight back. Just behind the
cooling baffles is a box-like structure. This is the standard Sonex fuel filler neck. The Sonex has one of the most crashworthy fuel systems of any light experimental
aircraft. It has a seamless plastic tank that includes the filler neck. This tank is far less likely to break in an accident than traditional ones.
Our Standard Gold Oil Filter Housing runs into this neck. Dan has been flying with a remotely mounted filter. The new Reverse Housing
allows a simpler installation. The only oil line on the engine is the one leading to the 5th bearing. Some builders have asked about moving the engine down to clear the
filler neck. One person even built a motor mount to do this, which is foolish. The Sonex does not have a lot of prop clearance; down is a bad move. Also, this makes the engine mount truss
shallower, which makes it significantly weaker. Third, there are aerodynamic reasons not to randomly change the thrust lines of proven designs.
Above, a side view of the filler neck box and the Reverse Gold Oil Filter Housing just below it. The Housing has ports in it to
measure the temp and pressure
of the oil, and provide an easy place to feed a 5th bearing line. Looking at this photo, it is easy to see why a Corvair engine on a Sonex airframe should always
use a Front Starter. Again, a number of builders who wanted to use a stock Sonex cowl asked me if I thought a rear starter was a good idea.
Even if it could fit,
there is one great reason never to do it: Think about where the circular saw-like ring gear teeth would be located in relation to the plastic fuel filler neck.
No one plans on having an accident, but just imagine overrunning a runway or aborting a takeoff too late. Either of these would be entirely survivable, unless
of course your landing gear bent the motor mount, displacing you rear starter ring gear into the fuel filler neck. It would take about half a second to become the
guest of honor at your own Viking funeral. Every Corvair in a Sonex airframe should have a Front Starter like Dan's plane does.
Above, another look at the top of Dan's engine. The paint shows some chips and things are a little dirty, but the plane had a long year of flying and fun, went
to three big events in different states, and took a lot of people flying. When having fun like this, it is hard to remember to touch up the paint on the oil cooler
end plate. Look for Dan and the Cleanex at Corvair College #17.
"Real freedom is the sustained act of being an individual." WW - 2009
Now 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
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