601 Installation Manual Now Shipping
Corvair/FW-190 In Holland
VP-2 In Australia
Ring Gears On The Way
Griffith and Powell Engines Running
After a lot of work and refinement, our Corvair/601 Firewall Forward Installation Manual is now done and shipping. It's
126 pages and it contains a wiring diagram, drawings and 84 large format photos. It's written in a new format that includes detailed
captions on the photos, main and chapter indexes and substantial sections explaining how and why things are done in detail. This feature makes it
interesting reading and educational, not just a set of instructions.
The price for the 601 Installation Manual is $39. This includes U.S. Priority Mail shipping. We have them in quantity, right now, ready to go. We gave
careful consideration to pricing to strike a balance between covering the huge investment in time and research that went into the Manual and keeping it
low enough that no one would attempt the installation without it or be tempted to photocopy it.
The first distribution of the Manual was at Corvair College #11. It met positive reviews across the board. Even antique and classic builders like
Darrel Jones and Rick Holland commented that the Manual's how and why nature made it applicable to a much broader group of airplanes than its targeted
601 XL, HD and HDS models.
"Also available [at Corvair College #11] was the new Corvair engine
Installation Manual for the Zodiac CH 601 XL kit plane," Corvair pilot Darrel Jones wrote. "After looking
through it, I bought one even though I am putting the Corvair back in a
Pietenpol variant called the Pfeifer Sport because the Manual had a lot
of great firewall-forward information for the Corvair engine."
We had 47 builders who were making serious progress while we were writing the Manual who chose to buy a preliminary copy for $25 with the promise from
us that we'd replace it with this Manual now completed. If you're one of the 47 or one of our complete engine customers, your Manual is on its way.
The completion of this Manual is a great step forward in the Corvair movement. Already an enormously popular choice among 601 builders, the Manual
standardizes the installation that has served us through hundreds of flight hours, allowing builders who replicate it to justifiably expect the same
success we've always had.
Corvair Powered FW-190 In Holland
A good example of the global popularity of Corvairs and the assistance we offer to international builders is Paul Ruiter's Fockewulf 190 in Holland.
We met Paul at AirVenture Oshkosh in 2004. Here's the characteristic of a motivated builder: He flew into Chicago, caught one of my forums, bought a
Conversion Manual, rented a car, hunted down a core and shipped it to Holland all in three days. He returned home and put steady
work into the beautiful plane you see in these photos. To quickly identify e-mails between us, they always carried the subject line "Friends of Kurt Tank."
The 64"x47" Sensenich on his aircraft was test flown on our 601. When he called and told us his static rpm was the same as our 601, I was assured his
engine was making good power. This is one of the advantages of utilizing a mass produced standardized propeller we've tested.
The cowling removed shows a very slick Corvair installation, above. A large concern to replica builders is that the cowling looks right. A friend of ours
in Florida has the same airframe powered with an O-200. The 4" narrower Corvair makes a substantial difference on a half-scale replica. Paul's cowling
clearly looks scale and original. This is especially important on an FW-190 because Kurt Tank, the original designer, made the original radial installation
one of the tightest aerodynamic fits of any WWII fighter. Paul has the airplane signed off and taxi tested, and may have flown it by the time you read this.
Hats off to Paul on a very sharp looking replica.
VP-2 In Australia
Ten thousand miles away from Paul is our man in Australia, Darren Barnfield. We also met Darren at Oshkosh several years ago. He's an aviation professional
from Down Under who struck up a friendship with the best known Corvair/VP-2 pilot in America, Dale Jorgensen. Upon returning home,
Darren went about converting and installing his very own good looking Corvair engine. Darren, email@example.com,
has acted as our resource to builders
in Australia and New Zealand, distributing Manuals and sharing his experience directly. If you've never been to Oshkosh, and sometimes question what all
the fuss is about, these two examples should show you what a planetary meeting point it is for all things aviation. It's really about the people and
resources you can meet there, and not about an air show or jets or any of the other angles that negative people who've never been there drum up.
Progress in aviation belongs to those who show up and participate.
Congratulations to Darren on a beautiful project and we're all looking forward to seeing it finished and flying.
Ring Gears On The Way
We shipped our latest batch of Ring Gears today, which catches us up through August orders. We have another batch due in next
week, and these will ship out shortly thereafter. We have a new set of lathe tools and jigs which makes processing Ring Gears three times faster.
While a number of customers have been very patient in waiting for parts, it should be noted that we have most of our catalog items
in stock for ready shipment. It's a small number of welded items that will only be brought up to "A" availability by long hours of hard work. We
occasionally hear from an Internet personality who critiques the idea of holding Colleges while we still have back orders. Years of experience with the Net
has taught me that the same people start rumors your business is declining if you choose not to hit smaller shows we attended when we were first trying to
get the word out on the Corvair movement. My work will never please everybody. My goal is to help the vast majority of people learn, build and fly Corvairs.
Our patient, loyal customers understand this and we appreciate the positive attitude and support they've extended to us during our expansion and move.
Griffith and Powell Engines Running
We've recently completed two of the engines to add to our score of finished engines for customers. Both of these are headed to 601 builders who are
near the finish line. In 2008, they'll join the ranks of Corvair powered 601s. While these guys did wait, they're rewarded with engines that contain all
of our most up-to-date systems. With the recent across the board price increases of imported engines (which have their own lengthy delivery times),
these builders have tough as nails engines that cost less than half of an import. Just another facet of how the Corvair makes flying more affordable
and accessible to a broader group of people.
Action Update November 16, 2007
Corvair College #11
Goliath KR Takes To The Skies
News From The Frozen North
I've just returned from the Quality Sportplanes hangar in Cloverdale, Calif., where we held the very successful Corvair College #11.
The weather was a mixed bag of rain and severe clear, but everyone who attended has the same tale to tell of good times, a lot of learning, a bit of
flying, friendships renewed and new ones made.
First, our thanks goes out to Michael Heintz, owner of Quality Sportplanes, Zenith Aircraft Co.'s West Coast facility. This was our second event at his place.
Although he's a serious and successful businessman, events at his facility always have the relaxed feel of a natural gathering of aviators. The majority
of people in attendance were 601 builders, but Michael warmly welcomed Pietenpol, KR and all other builders as well. Doug and Lori Dugger, who are
key members of his crew, were also on hand all weekend and kept things organized and flowing. ZenVair builder Woody Harris of Vacaville, Calif., took care of all my
transportation in California. Woody has proven himself to be a good friend to us, and has emerged to be a good resource to West Coast Corvair builders.
Earlier this year, he flew Rick Lindstrom's ZenVair 601 from our shop in Florida to Quality Sportplanes. As his own 601 nears completion, he'll become a
more familiar friend to builders west of the Rockies.
This was our 11th major College, all great events provided by us free to Corvair builders. Besides these, we've held countless free workshops, Night Schools
and forums. If you're new to the land of Corvairs and reading these words, and wonder why we have such support amongst builders and flyers, just look at
the following photos and place yourself in them. While there are a number of good engines in the experimental industry, we are far more than a hardware
supplier. We've earned the respect of builders by traveling far and wide and working shoulder to shoulder, hands on, to directly share what our flight
tests have proven. This is always done in an atmosphere of camaraderie that builders of all types of planes appreciate. I look forward to seeing you at
the next event.
Our host, Michael Heintz, at left above, joins me in presenting the EAA Copperstate Fly In Award for Best Alternative Engine. This was awarded to
Rick Lindstrom, center, for his 601, behind us. Proud moments like this await any builder who completes his airplane.
Two weeks earlier, Michael had flown the airplane on an 18-hour round trip to Arizona for the show.
Hundreds of Southwest builders got a chance to see Rick's plane in person, and it was given the award at the end of the weekend. Rick was on hand at the
College, and had a chance to meet many fellow builders. His plane has been used as a demonstrator at Quality Sportplanes the past several months. A number
of the builders took demonstration flights in it Sunday at the College. Rick's airplane was the first Zenith quick build kit ever produced and it now has about
100 hours on it.
While the turnout was smaller than previous East Coast colleges, those who attended #11 were easily the best prepared group we've ever had at a College.
Virtually every builder attending already had a core motor and had done substantial homework. Several had engines that already were complete, and one
already has his FAA sign off for his test flight. The group asked good questions, and recorded the answers in writing and on video. Although the work was
fast paced, the mood was laid back and the facts were accompanied by an easygoing banter that pervaded the weekend. We had no set hours, but many builders
were in attendance by 8 a.m. Friday, stayed well into the night Friday and Saturday, and only headed home when darkness fell on Sunday.
The jackets show you how chilly it was and the smiles show you how much fun people are having. From left to right, Darrel Jones, veteran of
Corvair College #5 and owner of the Corvair powered Pfeifer Sport, a parasol built by the legendary Joe Pfeifer; ZenVair 601 builder
Woody Harris - his background in automotive racing extends from California to England; Bay Area ZenVair 601 builder Joe Sharit, who's working
up some serious progress for 2008; ZenVair 601 builder Patrick Hoyt of Minnesota flew in commercially and took the long distance award; and ZenVair 601
builder Ken Smith from the L.A. area whose plane is done, running and signed off. Ken's ZenVair stands a good chance of being the 16th to fly.
Standing beside me at right above is Dick Otto, Corvair builder from Northern California. Although Dick just got into Corvairs this year, he brought an
entire collection of engine parts meticulously prepped. We used his stuff to demonstrate case assembly and installing the piston-rings-cylinder assemblies.
Dick was a real trooper, working during the chilly mornings and staying late into the night. He drove about 100 miles to get to the College, and to stay
close to the action, he chose to camp out near the airport. As it was Veterans Day, Dick shared with us the experience of crewing a self-propelled 105 mm
in a U.S. Armored Division drive into Germany in Spring 1945. Now read this sentence slowly: Dick Otto is 86 years old. He logged time in the mid-1930s, but
has not piloted an aircraft since. He has a common story where a youthful love of aviation is interrupted by the responsibilities of a family life. But he's
absolutely serious about returning to aviation after a short 70-year break. If his prep work for the College is any indication, I'd say he's a strong bet
to take to the air again.
Dick Otto, left, supervises a crew of builders assembling pistons and rings into cylinder bores. I brought a couple of the wooden assembly jigs from
Florida, and gave them to builders at the College. My checked luggage also included Rich Vetterli's Exhaust System, a number
of Gold Hubs, Safety Shafts and Hybrid Studs packed in with my clothing. As expected,
I got it back with the TSA brochure inside explaining that the luggage had been fully inspected.
Although it was chilly and rained all day Saturday, Sunday dawned bright and clear. Michael took the opportunity to use Rick's plane to take a number of
builders aloft. Cloverdale is an exceptionally beautiful airport with the kind of landscape that makes the Golden State famous. There's a hillside
paralleling the runway but both approaches are clear and it's an easy airport to fly into.
The Brothers Johnson, straight out of Utah. Charlie on the left and Bob on the right are both Dragonfly builders and pilots. Both their planes have
previously flown on VW power, but they're in the process of switching to Corvairs. Bob brought a whole engine to the College which we put through a
thorough inspection. He generously shared a set of main bearings with another builder who had mistakenly left his at home. Bob's plane has a couple of
flights on VW power, the traditional engine for the Dragonfly. But living in Ogden, Utah, these brothers face some serious altitude flying, and as the photo
shows, neither of them had a career as a jockey. Charlie's Dragonfly has many, many hours on VW power, but he shared a lot of photos with us of his
Corvair installation, which includes one of our Nosebowls, and is almost complete. He is an engineer and something of a rocket
scientist by trade. He's best known by his Internet handle, OneSkyDog. Grace and I first met Bob and Charlie at the Field of Dreams Tandem Wing Fly In at
Ottawa, Kansas, eight years ago.
The College gave us a chance to catch up with builders. I stayed busy and didn't get a chance to take a lot of photos, but the group was small enough that
I had a chance to talk to everyone individually. A sample of people who were on hand included Pietenpol builders Mike Weaver and Ben Williams of California,
Rick Holland of Colorado and old friend Jim Boyer of California. The long distance driving award went to Ron "Smitty" Smith, a KR-2S builder from Arizona.
Bruce McCaskey, a 701 builder from Colorado, videotaped a lot of the technical portions of the College. Rich Vetterli brought his complete engine with Gold
Hub and Gold Oil System. He had some humorous comments about what you lose when you drive a PT Cruiser. Tom Kelso, Jabiru 230 airframe builder from California,
is pretty sure he wants to use a Corvair to power it. Jim Lo Bue, a ZenVair 601 builder, came straight out of Compton in Southern California. Jim Brown attended
with his wife and family to get a good look at the Quality Sportplanes facility. Mike Studer, a Cassut builder from California, whose Corvair engine craftsmanship
is frequently pictured on the Net, was on hand to share the event. Mike Lacey, a California ZenVair 601 builder, flew his Bonanza in. Kestutis Sliupas recently
made a coast to coast trip to pick up a Wagabond project he intends to power with a first class Corvair. Our friend Micah came down from Washington and shared
his extremely well thought out ideas for a one-off Corvair powered aircraft of his own design. Chris Lewis also came in from Washington. He's building a
very special Corvair powered 701 with modifications approved by Chris Heintz. Gordon Dahlman, a U.S. Air Force Vietnam vet and A&P with a racecar background,
is now switching from 4-wheeled creations to 3. And Jared Geary, Corvair College #10 veteran from Virginia who's currently working
mosquito control in Los Angeles, brought his friend Katia to the event. She took her first flight in a light airplane at the College and loved it. A great
beginning to a long adventure.
More photos of the event are at Michael Heintz's Quality Sportplanes Web site:
Woody's ZenVair 601 at Nut Tree Airport
After the College I stopped by Woody Harris' hangar in Vacaville, Calif. His 601 XL quick build kit is coming together at high speed. Woody built his own
engine, which utilizes all our conversion components and installation parts. Visible in the photo is an extremely high tech and
light weight heat and sound insulation which has an actual gold foil coating. This is an example of his racecar background. While a lot of people, myself
included, have some experience racing cars, Woody's background is a little deeper, including Formula V and Formula Atlantic championships, and driving
GT 40s at Brands Hatch. His shop, Motoring Specialists Inc., is also in Vacaville.
Woody's panel features mainly traditional and simple instrumentation. It's a common sense arrangement that appeals to a lot of builders. Dual sticks and
center engine controls is the most popular layout among Corvair powered 601 XL builders. The only thing between Woody and finishing is some work on the
wings and fitting them to the fuselage. The engine already has an hour's run time on the plane.
Long Awaited KRVair Flys
Eight years ago, we were contacted by Dave Goodman, a U.S. Naval aviator with a lot of experience who was getting started building a KR.
Like most of our builders, Dave is a family man with serious responsibilities. In the years since Sept. 11, he's spent an extraordinary amount of time deployed.
Back in the U.S. and nearing the finishing line on his plane, a number of friends teamed up to assist him in bringing his airframe and engine up to current
standards. It was really good news when he let us know that his plane, Goliath KR-2S N191PZ, successfully flew November 14, 2007.
If you're at home working
on your own project today, the moral of this story is keep chipping away. Despite interruptions, Dave worked on it when he could. He and I made his
Motor Mount at our Spruce Creek hangar in 2001. He later ordered a simple hand prop engine from us. Just this year, he upgraded
to one of our Electric Front Start Kits and our KR Cowling. Since his engine was built before the nitrided crank era, the crank had
to be changed before flight. In speaking with Dave, you'll always find that he has a long list of people who played a positive role helping him create his plane.
From my perspective, the plane's really his creation, and is a tribute to him. It's very easy to understand how Dave's positive and easygoing manner made
many people willing to play small roles to assist him with the project.
Dave Goodman piloting his Goliath KR-2S N191PZ Nov. 17, 2007. He's flying with our KR Cowling. The 13" spinner is yet to be installed.
"The engine was exceedingly smooth, and the sound on the video my support crew took backs up what I heard in the cockpit," Dave wrote. "Thank you for all
Hats off and Bravo Zulu to Dave Goodman, the latest Corvair pilot.
A Milestone From The Frozen North
Canadian ZenVair 601 HDS builder Eric Tingey shared with us the above photo from his EAA Chapter newsletter. Eric had his fellow builders over to his
immaculate shop and displayed his plane, including an engine run with the tail properly tied down. Eric's day job is working for Wheel to Wheel, an extremely
high end Detroit custom car shop which produces many of the most expensive and technically innovative cars ever seen. His engine was run last year on
one of the dynos there. Eric is an extremely friendly guy, and I'm looking forward to seeing him fly into air shows in 2008.
Now At The Hangar
June 2011 At The Hangar
May 2011 At The Hangar
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December 2010 At The Hangar
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Christmas 2007 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