Summer 2008 Corvair Events Schedule
Mark Your Calendars
We've just completed our Summer travel plans and it is a full schedule of events that Corvair builders from Coast to Coast can take advantage of to attend, learn and
participate all in the company of friends old and new. We're now within a month of Oshkosh, and the following will outline a very aggressive schedule of events and
travel. What makes it all worthwhile is the participation of builders just like you. Our Web site highlights the past 10 years of our work with Corvairs. There are
thousands of commercial sites on the web for homebuilders. One of the things that makes ours different is the hundreds of builders pictured on our site. Over the years,
many of these builders have become close friends. Every one of these friendships started from an in person meeting at an event
we were all attending. If you're new to Corvairs, let me say there's a place for just about everybody. Nothing stimulates building like attending an event,
meeting new friends, learning and having a good time. If you're at home working by yourself in your workshop and there's a missing element of camaraderie in your
aviation world, make plans to attend one of these events. It's a guaranteed way to have a good time and recharge your building batteries.
July 11-12: 40th Annual Arlington (Wash.) Fly In. Arlington is an EAA fly in that's traditionally the third or fourth largest in the country. It's on the
north side of the Seattle area. I will be attending this event as a guest in Zenith's Quality Sportplanes booth. A number of West Coast builders called to encourage
me to attend this year. The 40th Anniversary promises to have an excellent turnout and many West Coast builders have made plans to attend Arlington instead of the
usual pilgrimage to Oshkosh. Of our three California Corvair Colleges, the two most recent were held at Michael Heintz's
Quality Sportplanes hangar. A number of the builders attending were from the Pacific Northwest. Here's a chance for us to have a Corvair event on their home turf.
Woody Harris, our man on the West Coast, will fly Rick Lindstrom's Kit Planes 601 the 900 miles north to Arlington for the Fly In. The
aircraft is an excellent example of a Corvair powered 601. After being built at our hangar in Florida, it debuted at Sun 'N Fun 2007 on
the diagonally opposite corner of the continent. It went on to win Best Alternative Engine Installation at the 2007 Copperstate (Ariz.) Fly In. After Arlington,
the aircraft only has to appear at Oshkosh to have hit every major airshow in the country.
Woody plans to arrive July 9, the first day of the show. He's flying up with Doug Dugger of Quality Sportplanes. If you're a builder planning on attending the
first two days of the show with ground transportation, please send me a private email as Woody and Doug are flying in and will be without a ground crew until I get there.
I will have a selection of all of our popular flight proven products including Gold Prop Hubs, Gold Oil Systems, Billet Oil Pans, Electronic/Points
Ignition Systems, Safety Shafts, Hybrid Studs, etc. I'm shipping these items out in advance, along with plenty of Conversion Manuals, 601 Installation Manuals
and DVDs. Anyone who'd like to pick up a large item like a 601 Motor Mount at the show, please contact me in advance at WilliamTCA@aol.com
I'm looking forward to a friendly fun event. I encourage all active builders to bring photos of their projects to share with everyone. I encourage every builder with
a core engine to pack the parts in the trunks or beds of your vehicles so we can conduct an inspection tour in the early evening. We're making plans for a social dinner
for builders on both Friday and Saturday nights. There's a lot on the schedule, and it's a great opportunity to meet other builders from your area. We have a number of
601 builders approaching completion in the Northwest, and this is a good opportunity for those just getting started to personally meet others who are approaching the
finish line. The show continues on Sunday, but my travel plans are to return to Florida. Woody will be on hand Sunday, available to answer a broad variety of technical
questions on Corvairs.
July 25-26: Annual Pietenpol Reunion at Brodhead, Wisc. Brodhead is a quiet little airport in Southern Wisconsin. It is our favorite event of the year. It is
a small, family atmosphere for Pietenpol builders in a relaxed setting. I put it on the Web site to encourage fans of Pietenpols to attend this annual homecoming of
all things Pietenpol. You can get an idea of the flavor of the event by checking our June Hangar updates of years past (links at bottom of this page). Although I've
been an invited guest speaker there for many years, it's important for people to understand that this is not an airshow, nor a commercial event. The fly in is run with an
enormous amount of volunteer effort put forth by the local EAA Chapter. It's open to anybody with a love of Pietenpols and a friendly attitude, but anyone attending
is expected to behave as if they've been invited into someone else's home. We always hit Brodhead on the way to Oshkosh, so we'll have a full complement of parts, books
and DVDs with us, but we go out of our way to enjoy the day and leave a small commercial footprint. My forum there is 2 p.m. Saturday.
July 27: The Grand Opening of our First Regional Builders' Center at Falcon Machine in Madison, Wisc. Corvair builders know that the finest cylinder heads for
flight engines come from Mark Petniunas at Falcon. He has produced dozens of sets of heads, many of which are flying on the Best Known
Corvair powered airplanes in the country. Mark has owned the same Corvair automobile since he was 16. He's a Spartan trained A&P, and is a Murphy Rebel builder. Mark's
EFI system was the first one to turn a propeller on a Corvair. We've selected Mark and his facility to be the first of our three new Regional Builders' Centers. We will
shortly have a news release on the RBC system on our Web site.
From noon to 9 p.m., Mark will host an Open House for Corvair builders. We'll have running engines, EFI and Fifth Bearing displays, tours of Mark's machine shop,
and for the truly brave, a ride in Mark's majestic Corvair Greenbrier van. We're planning a cookout atmosphere where builders can get to know each other on the way to
Oshkosh. Of course, it's an excellent place to bring all your core engine parts and have them carefully inspected. Mark is
planning on having his cleaning tank in full operation so greasy parts can rapidly be cleaned for inspection. We will have the full range of our FlyCorvair.com
parts on display and ready for purchase. We frequently sell out of most of our parts at Oshkosh, but everything will be available at Mark's early event. The event
is absolutely free, but donations will be welcome for the brats and beer we'll be serving. Mark's place is at 2043 South Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg, WI 53575. His
phone number is (608) 835-3317. I recommend calling in the early afternoons or evenings.
Mark has recently been cranking out his fine cylinder heads, but there is still high demand for his unmatched craftsmanship. If you're planning on having Mark take
care of your cylinder heads, keep in mind he picks up a lot of work at Oshkosh every year, and this event will allow you to get in at the head of the line.
July 28-August 2: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisc., The Big One. I have only missed one of the past 10 years at Oshkosh. It is the focal point of the year for homebuilders. It's easy to criticize the event for its commercial excesses. But a realistic view tells you that
homebuilding is the very core of this event, and the majority of displayed aircraft are homebuilts. The EAA is putting special emphasis on affordable aircraft this
year. Oshkosh will always be the land of overpriced food, and drinks with too much ice in them, but when you're there you won't care. There's thousands of things to see and
do, and for us it's a chance to catch up with friends from far and wide whom we only see once a year. If you heard a story from someone who went and had a bad time, all
I can say is they were hanging out with the wrong people. If this is your first Oshkosh, come to one of our events, say hi and tag along to lunch or the next cookout.
A flexible schedule, sunscreen and good walking shoes are crucial factors in having a great time at Oshkosh.
My first forum scheduled this Oshkosh happens bright and early Day One from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Monday, July 28, in Engine Workshop Building 20. All week long, the
easy place to find us is in the Zenith Aircraft Booth. This is the fifth year in a row we'll be displaying our products directly in the Zenith Aircraft booth. Sebastien
Heintz mentioned that they will be bringing the 750 prototype to the show. He's again extended his personal invitation to us to display our complete 601 firewall forward
package in his booth. This year we'll be displaying our Fifth Bearing Engine, and will have the full complement of our parts, manuals and DVDs available. I'll finish
out the week with two additonal forums from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Saturday, August 2, in Engine Workshop Building 20, followed by a PowerPoint presentation from 1 to 2:15 p.m.
Saturday in Pavilion 6. You can print out my Oshkosh forum schedule at http://www.airventure.org/forums/presenter.asp?EventID=12&PresenterID=1405
This variety of events gives countless Corvair builders a chance to get out of the workshop and come have fun in the company of like minded builders. While the events
certainly will be educational, and present a good opportunity to make progress, the focal point is always people. Putting builders at the center of the events is
what the Corvair Movement is all about. We'll see you there.
Very Powerful 3,100
Here is a long awaited update on the 701. As 701 fans know, our Corvair powered 701 project first flew on Feb. 2, 2008. The project was being finished up down
at the Fly With Gus hangar, and the flight testing was conducted there. The Febrrary, March and April Hangar Updates at FlyCorvair.com
contain phtotographs and commentary on the aircraft being debugged.
Many of the things pertaining to the combination, like the weight and balance, are very good. But the aircraft owner disliked the Aero-Carb, so we replaced it with an Ellison. This
change provided more issues than it resolved, initially. Second, the engine had adequate cooling in February, but as Spring grew much warmer, we needed to rework
the cowling. The Ellison's sensitivity to vapor lock compounded this need.
As an E-LSA, the aircraft had a short, five-hour test period. Although it was legally signed off, we weren't kidding ourselves that the 10 hours we had
on it constituted a fully tested power plant installation. While builders were understandably clamoring for details, we hadn't put out much information or
anything up for sale. The day before Sun 'N Fun, Gus took off from his hangar to fly the airplane over 100 miles to Sun 'N Fun. Although
the airplane had 25 flights on it, this was the warmest day on which it had flown. About 25 miles into the flight, Gus noticed the characteristic pinging
of detonation and made the very wise decision to make a precautionary landing at a sod farm. The 701 airframe was designed to be operated in just such places,
and the landing was a non-event.
Gus' initial thought was to let the aircraft cool off, then fly back to the hangar. A courtesy phone call to the owner of the aircraft changed the plan and
the aircraft returned to the hangar that same morning on a trailer. The story of the precautionary landing was carried on the Kit Planes magazine
blog. Although it accurately and fairly reported the landing, many Internet afficionados colorized and expanded the story, including incorrect phrases like
I am careful with the things I write to be accurate. If I poked a hole in the radiator of a car and it overheated, I would refer to this as a cooling system
issue, not an engine failure. It was mildly annoying to read the colorized reports and listen to amateur analysis from people who never saw the plane.
For the real builders who awaited factual information and real analysis, here it is:
New Airbox for Ellison EFS-3A.
Our initial setup on the 701 used an Aero-Carb breathing air from directly inside of the cowling. This functioned fine, except the owner of the aircraft
did not like the fact that he had to manually turn off the fuel with the mixture control whenever the engine was shut off. Sandy is an aviator of enormous experience.
He's owned dozens of aircraft of all descriptions, including a Lockheed 12, Grumman Tracker, Sikorsky S-55 as well as a number of turbine powered aircraft. He holds
an A&P, IA, and most of the other ratings the FAA offers. I consider it a compliment that a guy with this level of experience chose the Corvair and came to our team
for his 701. When he said he'd prefer a different carburetor, we didn't argue, we just changed it.
Although the Aero-Carb and Ellison are both flat-slide carbs, they function completely differently. The Aerocarb was immune to undercowl temps because it has no
diaphragm and stores very little fuel inside it. The Ellison, because its throat is larger, provided an immediate seat-of-the-pants difference in
power output, but as the weather warmed up, it showed itself to be temperature sensitive. We put a blast tube on its diaphragm, and ceramic coated the exhaust to lower
the under-the-cowl temp. Yet we resisted making a specialized airbox because the goal was to keep the installation as simple as possible so budget builders could
follow it at home.
The continuous warm air introduction turned out to be a mistake. I feel it was a major contributor to a warm engine beginning to detonate. At power,
the carb inhales 150 cubic feet of air per minute. If this comes from the outside, it has significant cooling effect on the carb body. If it's warm air induction,
that large quantity of air raises the carb temp by 80 or more degrees F. The external blast tube on the diaphragm will not overcome the volume of air going
through the carb. The above photo shows the 701 system as it is flying now. The air filter is in the aluminum cannister, and it primarily breathes cool air from
the lower part of the Nosebowl. The feed hoses are 2.5 inch.
Side view of the 701 firewall.
The tuft tests of the cowl revealed it had low flow characteristics on the exits. A check of our Web site will show that many years ago, we put radiused
lips on the bottom of the 601 firewall to improve cooling. Although it was not initially necessary in cool weather, we've since installed them on the bottom of the
701 firewall, and, more significantly, on the sides of the firewall where most of the air exits. These radiuses work in conjunction with the fixed flaps we installed
on the cowl. Tuft tests and flight data showed that this made a tremendous improvement.
Top of the 701's firewall.
The tuft tests also showed a significant amount of reverse flow where air actually entered the rear of the cowl and flowed forward. There's a number
of very successful aircraft that use the cowling style with gill exits like our 701 Cowl; notable is the Thorp T-18, which has been flying in great
numbers for half of the powered flight era. But eyeball aerodynamics and basic comparisons don't take the place of flight testing. The 701's more vertical
windshield much closer to the cowling makes a high pressure zone at the base of the windshield. The small crescent shaped rib attached to the upper part of the
firewall in the photo acts as a dam to prevent this reversed flow. There is one on each side. Gus hand made them in an hour or so.
A top view of the 701 installation.
The top view, as compared to earlier photos shows that the Top Cover, which had an oil fill welded into it, has been replaced by a
Gold Top Cover. The oil fill is in the valve cover, just like all our other installations. This eliminated the need for an oil fill
door in the top of the cowl. The oil cooler in the photo is a Niagara 2003. The plane flew
its first 5 hours on a 2002 cooler, like the rest of our high performance cooler installations. Our 3100cc 601 installation flew
several hundred hours on a 2003 cooler and it out-performs any other cooler flying by a long shot. It's overkill on most installations. But in March, we opted
to upgrade the 701 to this cooler also. This was an easy change because our Baffle Kits are designed to
accommodate either cooler. This was part of the refinements to the 701 installation that were ongoing before Sun 'N Fun.
Rear view of the 701 installation.
Above is a view of how tight the Corvair fits in the 701. The wires in the photo are part of all the test leads to evaluate tempatures on the engine.
The plane has a very elaborate
MGL set up with flight data recording. This allows us to download and replay any part of the flight. The two black tubes in the photo are part of the Motor Mount.
to the steel tubing behind the windshield. They have to be there no matter which engine a builder chooses. The Corvair balancer is only 6" in diameter, and snugly fits
the tubes with 1/2" to spare on each side. With the engine in this position, the plane is in the weight and balance envelope of the designer, without any ballast.
Planes flown forward of the front limit will have poor slow speed performance, and be prone to damaging the nose gear on landing. Engines moved forward would thus require
ballast, something no well designed package has.
Two people have told me they were planning on using a rear starter on their Corvair powered 701. When looking at
these photos, it is easy to see that anyone planning on this hasn't examined very closely the installation, or has not finished the plane. Gravity, math, numbers
and our flying 701 trumps other peoples' guesses at what the weight and balance will look like. Twenty years ago there were things I wanted to do in homebuilding
that time showed
were poor ideas. How I got to where I am today is by letting my allegiance be only to what flight testing has shown to work. Pet theories and predjudices rarely
add up to a lot
of hours flown. This is also a good photo of how the inherently compact Gold Oil System fits in the 701 installation.
Gus in his hangar beside Ray Griffith's 601XL.
The 701 project is just a small facet of the Hangar Gang's work with Corvairs. We delivered Ray Griffith's production engine last Fall. It was hand assembled by
Kevin, and the installation features Every Part From Our Catalog. The aircraft was in a builder assist facility in the southwest. Ray hired
Gus to come out and install the firewall forward package, which he efficiently accomplished in short order. Ray was impressed enough with the parts and Gus'
craftsmanship that he subsequently loaded the aircraft in a rental truck and personally drove it all the way to Gus' hangar in Florida for him to finish it.
The top view of the engine shows the compact and organized installation, featuring The Gold Systems and
Our Baffle Kit. The great majority of Corvair powered 601s are being finished by their builders in their home workshops, not at
our professional facilities. The point is that our systems are flight proven in numerous installations and have been highly refined to be easily installed and
trouble free, even when put together by first-time builders.
Ray Griffith's panel.
Above, Ray's panel features a very large screen MGL monitor. While my personal pereference is for as little electronics as possible, many builders are fans of
electronics. Gus has covered many of these in planes finished in the Edgewater hangar. In the field, many Corvair builders have flown glass cockpits. These are now
in Corvair powered planes to not be front page news anymore. Builders whose taste runs to this type of installation can get Gus' advice on these systems by contacting
him directly at (386) 428-3703. Many people interested in these systems question the 20 amp alternator on the Corvair, but in reality these systems, like most moderen
electronics, are very
efficient and use almost no power. All of the systems we have flow have been trouble-free on the 20 amp supply.
Bottom of 701 cowl.
The above photo shows the new fixed cowl flap on the underside of the 701 Cowl. In addition to this, there is now room for exit air on the underside of the firewall.
It is important to note that the several hundred man hours of testing and research that have gone into perfecting the 701 installation were done by myself, Gus and
Kevin at no expense to the aircraft owner. Sandy's experience meant that he was not a regular homebuilder in search of a proven product. He was excited about the idea
of being a facilitator and a pioneer of the Hangar Gang's efforts. He was well aware that new systems are not brought out without teething problems. However, we had a
clear understanding that the R&D would be done at our own expense.
There are many cases in sport aviation where people who didn't know what they were doing tried to
charge an aircraft owner for the expenses of their learning curves. As professionals, this is out of the question for us. We will gain back our investment by selling
high quality parts to facilitate the installation. I will have several of the 701 Motor Mounts available at Oshkosh, and Gus is currently working on the 701/Corvair Installation
Manual, which will include all the current flight data. For now, fans of the combination can work on their airframes and engines knowing that the basic combination is
good, we're working on all the parts in the Manual, and anything seen in this update, like the Gold Oil System, will be part of the
With the modifications shown above, the aircraft is now a reliable, hot weather, turnkey performer. Sandy and Gus each flew the airplane several times in one day after
the modifications were finished and pronounced the installation completed. It was a long haul to get to this point. People who've read my writing know that I'm an
advocate of rigorous testing. All too often, things that have flown on a single airplane a few trips around the pattern are labeled "Flight Tested;" our 701 project
would have met this standard 10 minutes into its first flight months ago. Had we sold anything based on its initial configuration, or had we been working with a customer who felt
he was buying a proven product, great disappointment certainly would have awaited. Even with our extensive, decades-long experience, it takes time to make stuff
Blast from the Past: Steve Upson Alive.
During the final phase of 701 modifications and testing, original Hangar Gang member Steve Upson, above, spent the largest chunk of time at the
Edgewater hangar that he has in several years. People who met Steve several years ago knew him to be an incredibly talented aircraft mechanic
as well as a chain smoker and connoisseur of quantity over quality beer. This caught up with Steve several years ago when he had emergency heart surgery and an abrupt
lifestyle change. Today Steve's alive and well, but steers clear of heavy work and hot hangars. His input and humor were a pleasant addition to the 701 work.
3,100cc Engine At Power On The Dyno
And the work goes on ...
Intermixed with all the other progress, I overhauled and assembled this 3,100cc engine for Dr. Andy Elliott's 601XL taildragger project. This engine is built from the
core we flew in our own 601 for 200 of hours of operation. I had Mark at Falcon rework the heads, and the Oil System was upgraded to Gold
Standards. This engine has 140 hp cylinder heads, flanged exhaust and fairly high compression. It is a very potent performer. Yet, it cooled itself perfectly
when installed in the 601 because of the Corvair's inherent cooling capacity and our Refined Cowling Kits for it. Whatever
level of Corvair you're working on, you can rest assured that our research is done to serve and facilitate your building, paving the way for your successful adventures
Now At The Hangar
June 2011 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
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