Whatever Corvair powered aircraft you're planning on building and flying, our display area is the place for you.
The revised AirVenture Corvair Flight Engines Forums schedule is below. You can also check the http://www.eaaapps.org/forumsearchresults.aspx?presenter=551 link for any late additions.
And Saturday, July 31, 1 to 2:15 p.m., in the #006 Utah Valley University Forum Pavilion 6
Our Products Page has been updated to reflect the elimination of back orders on some traditionally delayed parts, some
new items, a slight
price increases on a few items, and a price reduction on three others. Through consistent hard work, we have gotten caught up. We have shipped 36 of our
second generation E/P Distributors in the past 10 days. One or two more days of production and we will be entirely caught up. Out of respect for
the people who showed great patience in waiting for the new and improved model, we delivered all of these parts at the old price we originally quoted.
The Web site now has the new price for new orders. What many builders don't know is that we do 20 to 30 percent of our year's sales during the single
week of Oshkosh. If we sell out of Prop Hubs, no big deal: a phone call to the machine shop will cover any amount of
Hubs we can sell, and they will be
delivered in a few weeks. Conversely, items like Distributors and Motor Mounts are still hand
built by myself. There is no magic wand of CNC for these parts, and a huge
amount of orders can take hard work and late nights well into October. This is simply the reality of a business that relies on some parts to be built by
In short, if you are thinking about purchasing something, consider doing it now, the week before Oshkosh, because we fill orders
based on the day they were placed. Keep in mind that we will be on the way, at the show and traveling home for the next 14 days. We will likely not have a chance to
catch up on phone calls or e-mails, but we will hit the ground running upon our return.
Some Thoughts On The Economics of Oshkosh
The United States just broke a record, albeit a dubious one. Our trade defecit for a single month topped $40 billion. I refuse to comment on politics, but this is
raw economics. I'll be at Oshkosh in less than a week. Although aviation is an international brotherhood of sorts, part of my mind questions my countrymen who would
send giant chunks of discretionary income overseas, contributing to the defecit, all while 1 out of 8 Americans remains unemployed.
Twenty years ago, I was one of the aviators
who were relentlessly indoctrinated to believe that product liability was the reason why our domestic manufacturers refused to build affordable aircraft.
I believe we were told this so that we would dutifully write letters to our Congressional representatives asking them to advocate product liability reform.
I now know the real reason was pure profits. The product liablity reform just made the corporate profit margins better. The CEO's of these companies have no allegience
to American craftsmen and workers. Companies like Liberty Aerospace are run on Middle Eastern money. It is rumored that a majory of Piper is owned by a Taiwan based bank.
Cessna in particular promised that they would return to manufacturing affordable single engine aircraft if we did our part. This year, they will be rolling out
their new Cessna 162 and making good on part of that promise. Except we naively assumed that these aircraft would be built in our own country. Instead, they
are made in the People's Republic of China, the largest totalitarian Police State the world has ever known. Although every Austrian Rotax 912 sold is another $20,000
added to the defecit, these engines are not the product of the same regime that started WWII. However, it is very fair to say that the people making C-162s are the
exact same regime that our fathers fought with good reason in Korea. 38,000 dead Americans are enough for me, but if it seems like ancient history you you, stop and think
about China sending us toys with lead based paint and poison dog food. Don't take it personally; they distribute poison milk at home, and sentence people to death for religious practices.
Cessna will have its spiffy 162 on display at Oshkosh, and there will be countless other imported aircraft and engines there as well, but narry a single negative word on these
products will be uttered by the aviation media. Have you read yet that both 162 prototypes were destroyed in unrecoverable spins?
While the rave reviews will speak of good times flying, I am incapable of looking at aircraft like the 162 without thinking of how I was duped into championing their liability reform. The plane is proof that people who can afford a $120,000 aircraft don't really care about the people who wished
for a job merely building such a plane. Americans are too shortsighted to see that flying as we know it will not exist in our third world future which seems inevitable with record trade defecits.
I am not the president, and I can't fix it, But I don't contribute to it, and this allows me to look unemployed people in the face.
We have worked very hard to keep the great preponderance of Corvair parts American made. At AirVenture, we will have the latest example from the Corvair All Stars,
a brand new line of American made forged pistons, a replacement for our former recommendation, which has since been outsourced to India. Every man is entitled to be
proud of the work of his countrymen, and I am no different. Experimental Aviation is one of the few remaining places in life where the
American characteristics of hard work, self reliance and the innate belief that you can do what any other person can are still upheld. I built the Corvair
movement on these qualities. I really don't see how a Cessna 162 has anything to do with them.
If you are looking to rediscover these qualities in yourself and know the reward of building your own aircraft, engine included, and doing these things in the
company of other like minded aviators, then welcome to the Corvair movement.
Wisconsin Bound 2010
Corvairs In The News
Brodhead and AirVenture Oshkosh 2010
In a few short weeks, Corvair enthusiasts will be descending on Wisconsin for two events: Brodhead and Oshkosh. I have written many times about how different the
character of each of these events are. You can read these stories by reviewing previous July Updates going back six or seven years. (These
links are at the bottom of each Hangar Update Web Page on FlyCorvair.com)
In a nutshell, Brodhead is the Pietenpol Gathering in Southern Wisconsin that takes place the weekend before Oshkosh. It is an extremely close knit, non-commercial
event. I have been to 11 of the past 12 Brodhead Pietenpol Gatherings. It is our favorite airport in America. It is our favorite annual aviation event.
Doc and Dee Mosher, publishers of the Brodhead Pietenpol Newsletter, have assigned me my usual speaking slot of Saturday afternoon, 3 to 4 p.m.,
on July 24. You can check their Web site, www.Pietenpols.org, for information on how to get to Brodhead. We look forward to seeing fans of classics, antiques and Pietenpols there.
Oshkosh starts on Monday, July 26, and continues through Sunday, August 1, 2010. The focal point of Corvairs at Oshkosh this year is our booth in the North
Aircraft Display Area, #629. This is across the path from where we were last year, one booth away from Van's Aircraft. We will be joined by Mark from FalconMachine.net
and Roy of RoysGarage.com in the booth. The three of us are working together to provide a highly educational booth, where fans of the Corvair can come and get any
question answered. The booth also will serve as a meeting point for the numerous pilots planning on flying in their Corvair-powered planes.
If you're new to Oshkosh, make our FlyCorvair.com Booth #629 your first stop. I have been to Oshkosh the past 14 of 16 years. I'll be glad to give you an insider's view
of the lay of the land, and introduce you to some new friends.
I urge all of you with any Corvair College name badge to wear it to aid in the making of new friends.
As always, the EAA has invited us to present numerous forums on Corvair Flight Engines. Here's the schedule:
And Saturday, July 31, 1 to 2:15 p.m., in the #006 Utah Valley University Forum Pavilion 6, J09 on the EAA map
Be forewarned: The forums are extremely well attended. If you want a seat, show up early. We look forward to seeing you there. We'll be glad to answer any
technical questions you may have at the Forums, and follow up with any parts you need at Booth 629.
We had 12 Corvair powered aircraft on hand at Oshkosh last year. A great number of them were on hand for the 80th anniversary of Pietenpols.
We have a fresh crop of Pietenpols planning on making their debut this year, in addition to a number of other pilots who have been there previously.
There's a well-founded rumor that Mark Langford is entering his Super KR-2S in the AirVenture Cup Race. If this comes to pass, it will be a fitting tribute to the
50th anniversary of Corvair powered flight front and center at the World's Largest Air Show. It will be an anniversary and an event not to miss.
If you're just thinking
about attending, get off the fence and make plans right now. You will be glad you did. At the end of the week you will be heading home with lots of questions answered,
some new parts, a handful of new friends, lots of photos of flying examples of the plane you're building and some very good memories. Sure beats staying home and reading
about it on our Web site later.
The above photo as well as the in flight photo atop this page are from Gary Bell of the fly in hosted by his son Shad Bell June 19th and 20th, 2010, at Chapman Field in Centerburg, Ohio.
This is a grass roots gathering of Pietenpol type airplanes and friends from surrounding states.
The above photo shows Gardiner Mason of Georgia running his Pietenpol engine at our hangar. Gardiner flew it for 15 hours, but blew the head gaskets due to a poor
baffling he designed for his Pietenpol. The right hand side had restricted airflow and he had inadvertently placed the CHT gauge only on the left side. Although our
schedule has been very busy, we invited Gardiner down to quickly straighten out his engine and get him back in the air. As we type this, Gardiner is back at home
modifying his cowling to be much more like the systems we utilize. Here's a link to more on Gardiner Mason's story.
Corvairs In The News
Pat Panzera, editor of EAA's Experimenter, printed a long technical discussion I gave on New vs. Service Limits as they apply to the Corvair at the
http://www.eaa.org/experimenter/articles/2010-04_limits.asp link. It was a good
choice of article to demonstrate that the Corvair engine has great appeal for people who want to learn things and associate themselves with the Corvair movement due to its
ethic of technical thinking and analysis.
ZenVair 601 builder Ron Lendon, who has attended many Corvair Colleges, took the time to do a very technical presentation at his local EAA Chapter 13
meeting. He was assisted by Roy Szarafinski of RoysGarage.com. Ron also wrote an extensive article for the EAA Chapter13 May 2010 newsletter to further spread the
word of the Corvair movement. Hats off to Ron.
Mark Petz Buys The Ultimate 'Force Multiplier': A $38,000 Dynomometer
Mark Petniunas of Falcon head fame recently achieved one of his lifelong goals: He bought a state of the art computerized dynomometer. To understand what a sophisticated piece of equipment
this is, an analogy: The dyno that we have been running for the past six years is a torque reactive design. It is a very useful tool, like a steam engine. In this context, the dyno that
Mark has purchased is like going from a steam engine to a nuclear reactor. The primary load information is supplied by strain gauge, and the rate that the data can be logged
on its computer allows it to look at individual cylinder firing impulses. It is very difficult to overstate the possibilities of such a tool in the hands of the right person.
I will flatly state that most of the alternative engine companies, even some larger ones that claim to have run their product on a dyno, are simply not telling the truth. Here is a simple test:
If anyone had actually spent the money and the time to go through the process, it would be safe to assume that they would have put a picture of it on their Web site. Yet you can see
a dozen companies with great looking printouts on their Web sites, but no photos. In a day and age where virtually every cell phone is a digital camera, is it really plausible
for anyone to claim they forgot to bring any kind of a camera to the event that would provide real credibility for their company? The few companies that I know have actually conducted
dyno tests have used fairly simple equipment like water brakes. Good data is available from such tests, but it is still in the very low tech realm of our torque reactive dyno. I have
not heard of another alternative engine company that has even rented time on the class of equipment that Mark has just purchased and is installing in his shop.
As impressive as it is, the technology is not the story here. The term "Force Multiplier" refers to a concept in which some things you bring to your capablity merely add to your effectiveness,
but others have the effect of multiplying the effectiveness of your potential. In its highest form, an improvement has the effect of multiplying the overall capability, but it also
allows the subcomponents within the group to interact in a way that provides a geometric expansion in the group's capability. This is a highly evolved doctrine of the past 20 years, primarily adopted by the
Here is how the idea relates to the Corvair movement: Mark's purchase and operation will have the potential to change and improve the way that all builders operate their engines.
Tests that confirm or test ideas that Dan, Roy, Mark, myself and others are working on can be run through the machine. Questions and information brought back from flyers like Mark Langford
can be integrated into the dyno work also. The Corvair movement has grown to be a network of people sharing ideas and data, where separate businesses run by good people work to complement each other
and flyers give a great deal of reliable information back to builders. Mark's dyno has the potential to be the crossroads where different subsets of the movement are drawn together and
exponentially improved. This is the definition of a force multiplier.
You could apply the same tool to any other alternative engine, but it wouldn't have the same effect because
they are just corporations selling engines to customers, not an information sharing network like the Corvair movement. A dyno is the ultimate tool that answers technical questions with
pure facts. It has the interesting effect of gathering people who are attracted to real valid numbers, and simultaneously repelling people who like to spread old wives tales, and
I have listened to, laughed at and enjoyed a lot of after hours hangar flying stories just like everyone else. But when the sun comes up, another real day starts in my life.
I have spent more than 20 years devoted to experimental aircraft. All of the effort is striving to do something of value for rank and file homebuilders. What I accomplish will be
the measure of my life's work. I am not out there to expand the nation's collection of half truths and hangar stories. I am here to provide flight proven data of the highest technical
caliber, information that builders will use to dramatically change their lives by building something with their own hands and actually flying it places they scarcely can imagine. In pursuit
of this goal, Mark's dyno is the single most important tool to arrive in the past 10 years.
It is a valid question to ask, "What kind of a person spends this kind of money on a tool?" Answer: A real motorhead. Mark is a motorhead's idea of a motorhead. I think of myself as a motorhead.
I have all the accreditations required: I wasted my youth at the race track, I have 80% of my net worth in tools. Twenty years ago I actually cut back on food to buy more of them. If I spend
more than $100 on clothes in a year I feel wasteful. I have lived in a hangar on a cot before, and would do so again without the civilizing influence of my wife. I wrenched on planes on Christmas
Eve five years in a row before being Graced by her civilizing influence. I have seen the movies Mad Max, Vanishing Point, On Any Sunday and King Of The Hill more than 50 times each. I have never owned a new car, and likely never will. This said,
I will freely admit that Mark is far more of a motorhead than I. Consider this: The man has just purchased a tool that cost more than an IFR Cessna 172, and yet he does not own a color TV.
Every year after Oshkosh, I like to spend a few days hanging out with Mark at his shop in Wisconsin. I'm betting he'll still entertain the little people who knew him before
he got his Dynomite Dyno.
Building a Corvair Powererd KR Now Easier
Pictured in the photo above is our friend Steve Glover from California. His business, nVAero.com, builds and distributes plans, parts and components for the KR-1 and
KR-2 designs. He had an impressive display at Sun 'N Fun and followed it up by coming to our place for a technical summit. Here, he is standing
next to a KR-2S under construction at our airport. The KR-2 and the Corvair are an excellent match for each other. More than a dozen examples have
flown, and they are among the most efficient and highest time aircraft in the Corvair powered fleet. Of particular interest to people considering this
design is our close relationship with Steve. There are many owners of different designs who know little about alternative engines or who push builders toward an engine
that financially rewards the airframe company. The KR is completely different. We are glad to work with Steve to facilitate the success of builders choosing his design.
Also pictured above is our KR-2S Motor Mount. We additionally offer for KRs a Fiberglas Cowling, Intake Manifold and
Stainless Steel Exhaust System,
as well as all of our Engine Conversion Parts. Our components, matched with Steve's readily available airframe parts, make a Corvair-powered KR
a very do-able project, even for first time builders.
"Real freedom is the sustained act of being an individual." WW - 2009
Now At The Hangar
June 2011 At The Hangar
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December 2006 At The Hangar Part 1
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December 2006 At The Hangar Part 4
November 2006 At The Hangar
October 2006 At The Hangar
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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