Up and Coming
William Wynne up front at Corvair College #5 in Hanford, Calif., January 2004.
We have a full schedule for the 2004 flying season. While some events will be just forums, we're planning on teaching several full blown Corvair Colleges this year. Whatever the event, I always make time to deal with the questions and issues of individual Corvair engine builders. We try to make every event about advancing the goals of our customers. If you have parts you'd like us to inspect, or something we may help you with, I strongly encourage you to bring your stuff with you to these events.
At Sun 'N Fun, I will be in the Zenair booth daily with my Corvair powered Zenair 601XL. I'll be giving forums at noon Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Contact! magazine forum tent. Grace Ellen, Test Pilot Gus Warren, Corvair/Wagabond builder Dave Vargesko and Corvair builder/ Skymanta Productions Director Merrill Isaacson will be manning the Contact! magazine booth in Building C. Come on down to sunny Florida.
Corvair College #6 will be at our new hangar at 735A-3 Air Park Road on Massey Air Ranch in Edgewater, Fla., 10 miles south of Daytona Beach, May 8-9. Bring your engines and parts and be prepared to have a good time at our new facility. We will have full information on this posted on www.FlyCorvair.com shortly. Many members of the Corvair engine building community already have made plans to attend.
SAA Fly In June 11-13, 2004, at Frasca Field in Urbana, Ill. Wes Schmid of the SAA has graciously put us on the Forums roster for the third year in a row. We'll have parts with us, and some limited ability to work on people's engines. Please bring your parts for inspection, and come check out our 601 installation. This is a very relaxed fly in, and two Corvair powered aircraft flew in last year.
Buckeye Corvair College #7 June 18-20 in Ohio. Kip Gardner, a Corvair/Pietenpol builder, is hosting this full blown College just outside Akron. Look for detailed information at the www.FlyCorvair.com CC#7 Web Page.
Annual Pietenpol Gathering July 23-25, 2004, in Brodhead, Wisc. We stop here to see old friends on our way to Oshkosh every year. Many people feel that this is the premiere type club gathering in America, held at the nicest general aviation airport most people have ever seen. Let me offer that this is the friendliest aviation event of the year, and if you're a fan of antique aircraft, there are dozens of the rarest of them on display at this airport. When we list events we'll attend during the year, Brodhead hits the calendar first. Weather permitting, we'll fly the 601 here and then on to Oshkosh.
AirVenture July 27 to August 2, 2004, in Oshkosh, Wisc. The staff at EAA headquarters has already contacted us, and we duly filled out the paperwork for a set of forums. Being a big event, Oshkosh is a little tough for us to work on customers' engines, but I always make time to inspect parts and we'll have our full complement of parts available. You can find my schedule of forums at Oshkosh at The AirVenture Forums Page.
Seen Around The Corvair Flyer Hangar
Steve Megill's Pietenpol Engine
Over the weekend, Feb. 20-22, 2004, we helped Steve Megill of Auburndale, Fla., finish his Corvair longblock. Steve is the kind of guy I will always respect and go out of my way to help out. Over breakfast Saturday, Steve told us a bit about his service days. He piloted a landing craft June 6, 1944 - D-Day. Steve is installing his Corvair on his seventh homebuilt aircraft, a Pietenpol.
Some of the Corvair build gang who helped out in the hangar over the weekend are in the photo above: Q-2 pilot Larry Koutz, A&P extraordinaire Steve Upson, KR2S/Corvair builders Sam Sayer of Zephyrhills, Fla., Steve Megill, and myself, with Whobiscat.
Valentine's at FlyCorvair.com
Bob Lester, farthest from the camera, and Steve Makish, near, fly their Corvair powered KRs over the Atlantic about 10 miles east of The Corvair Flyer hangar on Feb. 14, 2004. Click on the photo directly above to see a QuickTime movie of Steve Makish departing Corvair College #6 in his Corvair powered KR2 N841SM. Visit QuickTime to download the movie player.
Valentine's was a big day in the FlyCorvair.com hangar. Corvair powered KR pilots Steve Makish and Bob Lester both flew their birds in from their home airport in Boca Raton, Fla., for our V-D bash. They have about 210 hours between both planes on Corvair power.
In the photo above, Bob's KR is up close and Steve's on the outside over New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Gus Warren took these photos from Dave Henning's Decthalon.
I took the photo above of Steve's airplane in my hangar. Steve has about 140 hours on Corvair power now.
We had about 30 local Corvair enthusiasts and friends at the hangar for Valentine's Day. It was our first of many open houses. Moving to the new hangar was a big milestone for us. Many of our friends here on Valentine's, including Miss Sue Schamay in Bob Lester's KR, above, have been very supportive during the years of growth for our business.
Corvair/Sonex builder Dan Weseman brought his very supportive and fun wife Rachel to the party (they're in the photo below), and Warner Sportster/Corvair builder Dave Poirier brought his whole family to the event. With setting up the new hangar into a working shop and getting right back to work, it was a nice break to have the gang over for a night of fun.
Corvair College #5 Jan. 17-18, 2004
Corvair College #5 host Pat Panzera, left, with Grace Ellen in his Contact! magazine booth at Oshkosh 2003.
Corvair College #5 is set for Jan. 17-18, 2004, in Hanford, Calif. (near Fresno). Pat Panzera, editor of Contact! magazine, has generously offered to host this event. As always, the goal is to work on your engine. Substantial shop facilities will be available. I encourage people to come and learn. Keeping with my longstanding and unique to aviation tradition, the event is without charge. However, I do suggest RSVP'ing through the link to Pat's Web site. There will be running engines on hand, we will have our full catalog of parts available, plus dozens of other Corvair engine builders just like yourself will be participating. It will prove to be a great mix of learning and camaraderie, and I hope to see as many of you as possible there.
Brodhead and Oshkosh 2003
Tom Brown, Unity, Wisc., delights the crowd with a flyby in his Corvair powered Pietenpol during the July 2003 Brodhead Pietenpol Fly In in Wisconsin. Click on the photo above to view a movie of Bill Knight flying Bernie Pietenpol's Corvair Powered Last Original at dusk during the Fly In.
We write this as we're traveling home after a whirlwind two-week trip during which we saw dozens and dozens of friends. As we told everybody in the issue of The Corvair Flyer we mailed before hitting the road, we headed to the annual Pietenpol Gathering in Brodhead, Wisc., and went on to a solid week at Oshkosh. Besides having a great time with friends as we always do, the trip was quite a success for promoting Corvair engines and meeting new builders.
The Corvair forum at Brodhead drew a standing room only crowd. If you were there, you know this is one of the better forums I've done. I was able to share a few humorous anecdotes, as we were among many friends.
Our first stop, Brodhead, is the laid back Pietenpol gathering where hundreds of fans and builders of this 75-year-old classic come together for a great weekend of camaraderie. We refer to Brodhead as the calm before the storm of the hectic nature of Oshkosh. We enjoyed the show along with a lot of old friends, including Ralph and June Carlson, Bud Smith, Doc Mosher, Skip Gadd, Harry Hooper, Jay Hoppenworth, Bill Knight, Dick Hartwig, Dennis Engelkenjohn, Mark Deacon, Del Magsam, Gene Beenenga and Martin Cirkl.
Son Cody, William Wynne, and dad Larry Hudson. The whole story of the Hudsons' completely overhauled Corvair is in the latest issue of The Corvair Flyer newsletter.
We spent some time with longtime Corvair pilot Jim Ballew, whose planes are featured at The Flying Corvair Planes Page. Jim has about 700 hours of flying Corvair time divided among his Piet and Davis DA-2. Tom Brown flew in his Corvair powered Piet and Bill Knight brought out Bernie's final Corvair Pietenpol, The Last Original, for everyone to carefully inspect. He flew it around to everyone's enjoyment on Saturday. Larry Hudson, the Featured Builder in the Summer 2003 issue of The Corvair Flyer, brought his completed motor to display at the Corvair forum I gave. It generated a lot of interest and served to answer many questions. We extend a big thank you to Gar Williams for organizing the forums at this classic event.
On to Oshkosh
Two hours north put us at Oshkosh. A number of old friends go out of their way each year to make Oshkosh much more comfortable and productive for us. The quick five that come to mind are Mary Jones, Doc and Dee Mosher, Charlie Becker and Pat Panzera. These people make everything happen smoothly for us at Oshkosh. If you enjoyed any of the five forums I gave, or any of the displays I had on site, a lot of the credit goes to these friends of ours. We can't thank them enough.
From left, Corvair/KR builder Mark Langford, Huntsville, Ala., William Wynne, and Brazilian Corvair builder Oswaldo Silva Filho outside the Contact! magazine booth at Oshkosh.
I had Corvair engines on display in both the Contact! magazine booth and the Pulsar Aircraft tent. Both generated a lot of interest and Conversion Manual sales. It looks like everyone who can is joining the Corvair builders camp, bringing more fun to the big club. Neil Hulin, our lead Corvair/601XL builder, was present all week and picked up the very first 601/Corvair motor mount that came out of the newest engine mount jig in my shop.
While standing at the Zenair booth, I was approached by a very familiar looking guy. He was checking out both sides of our Corvair powered T-shirt, emblazoned with the phrase "My ex wanted me to quit flying" on the back. In a quick anecdote he hinted that he'd faced the same decision point once. After feigning to know nothing about sheet metal construction, and flashing a smile, Burt Rutan went on his way.
We had many encouraging conversations with Sebastien Heinz of Zenair. They were very busy, but Nick Heinz made the time to come by and inspect the Corvair engine and parts in the Contact! magazine booth. While the engine is not on their approved list, the Heinz family is being very helpful in our efforts to develop the 601 installation.
Arnold Holmes was at Oshkosh all week, and told us of recent progress he's made on his Dragonfly/Vair. He stands a pretty good chance of being the first person to ever fly this combination.
The trio from Contact! magazine, clockwise from left in foreground, writer John Moyle, Publisher Pat Panzera, and volunteer George Willenbrock, enjoy the Homebuilders Dinner with noted aircraft designer Ed Fisher and Corvair Authority William Wynne, at right.
Pat Panzera, Hanford, Calif., had a lot of help in the Contact! booth from John Moyle of California and George Willenbrock of Kentucky. All of these guys were very helpful to us and brought a lot of minute to minute humor to the event. If you dropped by the booth and didn't get a chance to subscribe to the magazine of altnerative auto engines and experimentals, here's a link to Contact! magazine.
We went to the Homebuilders Dinner with noted aircraft designer Ed Fisher of Ohio. Ed showed us photographs of his two-place Zippy Sport. He feels the Corvair is the perfect match for it, not just for power and size, but philosophically also. One day, Ed stopped by the Contact! booth with his friend Tom Jones when Ray Parker also happened to be visiting. We had quite a jam session.
Fletcher Burns' 1/3 Corvair powered Minimax generated a lot of discussion in the ultralight area all week. For a prototype installation, it demonstrated exceptionally clean workmanship. This is a very promising adaptation of our favorite motor.
The KR contingent was well represented at Oshkosh. Mark Langford, Huntsville, Ala., and Mark Jones, Wales, Wisc., were there for several days. Jim Faughn, who flies on VW power, did an excellent job of hosting a very nice KR forum. I applaud his efforts to bring examples of affordable aviaiton to the venue where it's needed most, Oshkosh. Bob Vermeulen, famous producer of the KR Gathering videos, also was on hand. Oshkosh was our first chance to meet KR/Corvair builder Glenda McElwee, Orlando, Fla. It is not every day you get to meet women in aviation building their own aircraft and engine.
Introducing new front starter parts at Oshkosh engine forum. Also standing are Paul Pressler in welding hat and Neil Hulin in Kangaroo hat.
We spent a lot of time with Sonex people at Oshkosh. Del Magsam, New Richmond, Wisc., the first Corvair/Sonex builder to take flight, spent a few days there, as did Dan Weseman and his Uncle Bob, Green Cove Springs, Fla., and a number of others. Del and others interested in this combination tend to be in the extremely mechanically clever set, but they still have experienced a great number of mechanical challenges while working on the installation. This illustrates again why I do not promote the combination, but accept the fact that some people will want to do it anyway. Grace Ellen and I enjoy a good relationship with the Monnett family, and were invited to their Sonex builders party. We had a great time as always, and thank them for their hospitality.
As contributors to Kit Planes magazine, we were invited to their Writers Dinner. We spent a very enjoyable evening with the well known people who have produced the bulk of Kit Planes' articles during the past 20 years. It was also something of a change of command ceremony, as new Editor Brian E. Clark will be taking over from Dave Martin. Our hostess was publisher Cindy Pedersen. She's extremely knowledgeable about planes, people and trends in recreational aviation. I was duly impressed.
Gentleman aviator Marv Hoppenworth with William Wynne.
One happy meeting that sums up the whole experience was recognizing and meeting Jay's father, Marv Hoppenworth. At Brodhead, Jay had shared pictures and stories of his parents, who had met and gone flying in an L-4 on one of their first dates. A few days after Brodhead, we met the man himself at Oshkosh. Marv is truly old school EAA, and it was an honor and pleasure to meet the father who was so obviously his son's hero.
Wisconsin Bound Redux 2003
William Wynne up front and teaching about Corvair conversions to a nice crowd at his first series of Oshkosh forums during AirVenture 2002.
By popular demand, and because we enjoy doing so, we'll be returning to both the Pietenpol gathering at Brodhead, Wisc., and to AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisc., this summer, July-August 2003. My Corvair forum at Brodhead is 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26 (not Saturday, July 27, as misprinted in The Corvair Flyer. I apologize for the typo). At AirVenture I speak 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. in Engine Workshop Building #20 Tuesday, July 29, Thursday, July 31, and Sunday, August 3, and in the Aircraft Shopper Online Pavilion Building #5 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, and 10-11:15 a.m. Saturday, August 2. I am going through our registry and making phone calls to encourage owners of flying Corvair powered Piets to bring them to Brodhead this year. Of course, we won't need to call Bill Knight because N899X is based at Brodhead. Beyond this aircraft being an excellent display of how Bernie's engine conversion looks, the airframe itself warrants close study for any Pietenpol builder. I've seen endless Internet debates on how people think Bernie did it, but here's the real thing, so bring your cameras and tape measures. I'm also encouraging a number of Corvair owners to fly their aircraft, time and weather permitting, to AirVenture. Bob Lester made mention that he and Steve Makish would like to fly up in formation from South Florida in their Corvair powered KRs. Gary Coppen said he'll definitely fly up in his Corvair powered Skycoupe. Tom Brown said he'd probably be too busy to make Brodhead, but wanted to fly his Pietenpol to Oshkosh. We'll be contacting the rest of the gang to encourage them to bring their birds out. If you're still in the building stage, let me go out of my way to recommend that you attend these events. They're an excellent way to learn something firsthand, and are a great opportunity to make a few more friends among your fellow Corvair builders. If you have parts you'd like me to inspect, by all means bring them along. I'll be happy to take a look at them. Corvair College #4 participant Larry Hudson, featured with his son Cody in the news item on the College below, promised to bring his completed engine to Brodhead. I am planning to fly up in a Taylorcraft, and will be unable to bring the usual assembly tools and jigs. However, we are shipping ahead plenty of the smaller items including Conversion Manuals, videos, Hubs, Starter Kits, Distributors, Hybrid Studs, Safety Shafts, etc.
Those of you who attended my forums at AirVenture last year will remember that the Engine Workshop is in the same building as the wood workshop, just south of the NASA exhibit. And the Aircraft Shopper Online Pavilion is directly next door (to the north) of the Sporty's Pavilion on Knapp Road where we were last year. For more information on my Corvair forums at AirVenture, click Forum Presenter William Wynne's page. From there, you also can link to many more pages of AirVenture information.
Looking forward to seeing many of you soon again at these Wisconsin fly ins.
Corvair Forum Draws Large Crowd at SAA
Corvair power rules the sky as Tom Brown flies his Pietenpol, right, in formation with Bill Knight in the Last Original Pietenpol, left, to the delight of SAA members at the 2003 fly in at Frasca Field.
We just returned from one of the nicest fly-ins I can ever remember attending. The Sport Aviation Association's 2nd Annual Fly In at Frasca Field in Urbana, Ill., is really what grassroots aviation is all about. Grassroots aviation is an abused term these days, being applied to many things that it barely describes. But here we have the real thing. Paul Poberezny's core group of people who truly understand the camaraderie of recreational aviation all gathered in one spot for a commercial free weekend of nothing but airplanes and people.
William Wynne says goodbye to Tom Brown at the 2003 SAA Fly In. Onlookers beat a path around Brown's Corvair powered Pietenpol, and the Corvair powered Last Original parked next to it, to get a good look at fine craftsmanship. Tom recently recoverd his Piets' wings and left the fabric translucent in a top notch job.
Tom and Bill Fly In Their Corvair Powered Piets
Tom Brown and Bill Knight, from Unity and Brodhead, Wisc., respectively, flew down in formation with 12 cylinders of Corvair power humming. Tom's airplane is a 20-year-old Pietenpol with his Brown Aero logo on the fuselage. This aircraft was our Featured Corvair Flyer in the last issue of the newsletter. With 1,070+ hours on it, it's probably the highest time Corvair powered aircraft in the world. The airframe is a sight to behold in person, and is a tribute to the craftsmanship of the Brown family. Bill Knight's plane is the much famed Last Original. This very special aircraft is the last of more than 20 airplanes that Bernie Pietenpol built personally. Bill, his wife Sue, and partners Larry and Ilse Harmacinski acquired the craft from Andrew Pietenpol, Bernie's grandson. It is now based at the adopted home of Pietenpols, and the site of their annual convention, Brodhead, Wisc. Although I'm a longtime Pietenpol fan, this was the first time I'd ever seen the airplane in person. When you've spent thousands of hours poring over the plans and building parts for your own version of the flying creation of a man whom you will never meet, there is something very special about seeing a living, breathing piece of his life's work. I've seen Bernie's other aircraft on display at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisc., housed inside his very own hangar moved from Cherry Grove, Minn., to its current home at Pioneer Airport, but there is truly something very different about seeing his plane out in a field where you know it will be flying shortly. While I'm deeply grateful to the people with the forsight to preserve Bernie's legacy at Pioneer Airport, I must say the difference between even the greatest aircraft display and the same man's work flying overhead is akin to the difference between seeing an animal in the zoo and the same creature in the wild.
After sharing the forum, and politely answering an immense amount of questions (I believe the two Pietenpols were the most popular airplanes out of the 60 or so originals, classics and homebuilts), Bill and Tom fired up their birds, taxiied out and took off. They looped around the pattern for a wingtip to wingtip flyby at 50 feet before turning northward for home. There was not a true aviator in the crowd who watched the beautiful pass without longing to be up there with them.
Mark Langford, left, and William Wynne, right, are all smiles admiring the Corvair powered Last Original Pietenpol.
Enter The KR Contingent
We'd spoken to Mark Langford on the telephone prior to driving up, and he said he thought he might attend. We got a chance to spend a good bit of time with him, and it turned out he was having a really good time and taking a lot of his well known high quality photos. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find them by now at his http://home.hiwaay.net/~langford/corvair/ Web site. A great spot like Urbana has a way of renewing your effort on your project because you know exactly what you're going to do with it when it's done. I'm sure this visit had the same effect on Mark, and we'll see a renewed effort on the best known Corvair/KR project in the world. Bob Vermeulen, famous producer of the KR Gathering videos, also was on hand. Like us, this was his second year attending, a loyal supporter.
William Wynne's Corvair Conversion forum drew one of the largest crowds at the Sport Aviation Association Fly In. Thank you to all our old friends and new friends for attending.
The Corvair Forum
Grace Ellen and I gave a joint forum that was extremely well attended for an intimate fly in with inclement weather and a fantastic collection of planes outside. Drawing 80 people indoors for an hour constitutes a very well attended forum. This gave us a chance to pass around a lot of photos that Grace had printed of two dozen Corvair powered airplanes now featured at www.FlyCorvair.com/planes.html, and have a fairly good question and answer session. This was also the first public debut of the all new, low profile front starter setup. Although we had displayed the setup on two different engines at Sun 'N Fun eight weeks earlier, the pieces we had on hand at Urbana were from the first major production run made on CNC tooling. A number of guys who had been patiently waiting for this prodcution run took their parts home with them. By the time you read this, the second production run, a much larger batch, will be done and on our shelves. I'm sure these will be perennially popular items. Since they're now fully developed and flight proven, we're going to keep numerous sets on the shelf from now on for immediate delivery.
SAA founder Paul Poberezny, left, with William Wynne, right, at the 2003 SAA Fly In. We can't thank Paul enough for creating an organization that welcomes everyone who has a true love for grassroots aviation.
All in all we had a great time. I'd like to thank our old friends and the new ones we just met for making it possible, and I'd like to encourage you all to find out more about the SAA and see how it could be the organization you've been looking for in the wide world of aviation.
Enjoy true grassroots building and flying at the SAA Fly In
Corvair College #4 a Rousing Sun 'N Fun Success
The new venue of Corvair College #4 at Sun 'N Fun 2003 in Lakeland, Fla., helped Corvair Authority William Wynne and crew share the Corvair movement with the largest number of people at any event to date. We met many Corvair builders in person for the first time, spent time with old friends, answered Corvair conversion questions from 9 a.m. till well after dark daily, put together a Corvair case, helped new Contact! magazine editor Pat Panzera in his Alternative Auto Engine magazine booth, and William also gave two forums, one of which is pictured below, in his longstanding Sun 'N Fun tradition.
We camped nightly on the Sun 'N Fun grounds at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, with the one exception of spending the night with friends at their oasis away from home. The complete story is in the current Spring 2003 issue of The Corvair Flyer newsletter, mailed just after Sun 'N Fun. If you didn't subscribe at the show, as always you can send a check or money order for $20 (USD$25 for international subscriptions, including Canada) payable to William Wynne, P.O. Box 290802, Port Orange, FL 32129-0802, or use a credit card via PayPal at the Online Catalog.
In depth examination of subject at Corvair College #4
We met many builders and had a great deal of help to share a lot of information. It would be a long list if we named everybody, but we'll give a brief roundup of the highlights. Dave Vargesko of Malabar, Fla., and Merrill Isaacson of Mount Dora, Fla., both brought their engines to run daily at Corvair College. Dave built his own test stand, and Merrill used William's test stand to run the motors daily after the Sun 'N Fun forums ended (in order to let the speakers be heard). Even when not running, the engines drew a crowd and were valuable visual aids.
We answered Corvair questions non-stop 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at Corvair College in the Engine Workshop Tent. Gus Warren, Port Orange, Fla., and Stuart Cirk and Stuart Hall, both of Lakeland, Fla., rounded out the regular crew. Stu Hall, below, left, with William Wynne, was a welcome sight throughout each day, reviving Corvair College classes with bottled water he supplies on behalf of the City of Lakeland.
Stu Hall, left, with twin William Wynne at Corvair College #4
Corvair builders Larry and Cody Hudson of Indiana brought their core motor to the event for hands on learning. They got right to work bright and early, cleaning parts.
Larry Hudson, center, and son Cody, right, take full advantage of Corvair College #4 by getting right to work on their project.
Friday was family day, with my parents Bob and Liz, and Dad's brother from New Jersey, Andy (Uncle Babe) visiting, as well as William's sister Melissa, her husband David, and their children Caroline and Matthew on vacation from Chicago. None of them work in aviation, but each separately told us they took home from Corvair College#4 at Sun 'N Fun 2003 a greater understanding of what being part of the aviation community is all about.
Family day at Corvair College #4, Sun 'N Fun 2003. From left in back, Uncle Babe, Grace Ellen, Liz, Melissa, William, David and Bob; in front, Matthew and Caroline.
Something everyone looks forward to each year is the Builders' Barbecue at Sun 'N Fun hosted by Fran and Dave Stroud of Canada. You can see Dave's Christavia at Dave Stroud's Christavia page on www.FlyCorvair.com. Each year, Dave and Fran motorhome down to Florida and set up camp at Sun 'N Fun. Dave marinates and barbecues tasty pork loin, and Fran serves the feast with a huge helping of hospitality. It's the one place we can sit down with builders from across the country (and Canada), kick back and enjoy.
Above, some of the 50+ attending the world famous Stroud Builders' Barbecue at Sun 'N Fun 2003. Later that same evening, Soob guru Chuck Condas, center, loosens up with William Wynne, left, and Clare Snyder, right, Pegzair/Corvair builder from Canada.
Manual owner #5000, Andrew Pietenpol, dropped by to meet William in person at Corvair College Friday. We'd corresponded and talked on the phone, but never met face to face. I about cried when Andrew said that his grandfather, Bernard H. Pietenpol, designer of the Pietenpol aircraft, and William were kindred spirits in creativity. "He would have adopted you," Andrew said.
Andrew Pietenpol, right, attends Corvair College #4 with William Wynne, left, and Grace Ellen at Sun 'N Fun 2003. You can learn about Andrew's plane at the Last Original II page on www.FlyCorvair.com. The last airplane Bernard H. Pietenpol built is at The Last Original page on www.FlyCorvair.com.
We thank everyone who participated in Corvair College #4. It takes a lot of people to present a successful event, and our heartfelt thanks goes out to you all. Since the new format was such a success, we've decided to return to Sun 'N Fun next year for Corvair College #5. We hope to see you all there.
Corvair Forums at Sun 'N Fun 2003
In keeping with a tradition established in 1997, I'll again be teaching forums on Converting Corvair Engines for Experimental Aircraft at Sun 'N Fun, April 2-8, 2003, in Lakeland, Fla. My forums will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6, in Forum Tent #3, sponsored by Contact! magazine. I encourage all of you to attend not only to learn about Corvair conversions, but to meet fellow builders in person whom you may have only talked with by phone or e-mail. I've heard from several Conversion Manual owners who already are planning to bring their engines to Corvair College at Sun 'N Fun, where we'll be working daily in the Engine Building Tent across from the Forums Area beginning at 9 a.m. April 2-8. If you want to learn, you're welcome to come and observe. We'll also be running a Corvair engine daily in the nearby Engine Run-Up Area after the forums end. I look forward to this event every year, because it gives us a chance to see old friends and meet new ones. This year, we have the added excitement of several pilots flying their Corvair-powered aircraft to Sun 'N Fun. It's an event I encourage all of you not to miss.
William Wynne Writing for EAA's Experimenter Magazine
As many of you already know, in January 2003 I debuted as a monthly columnist for the Experimenter, the EAA's how-to magazine on aircraft building. The column is about how to get started building an airplane. My experience covers Pietenpols to Lancair IV-Ps, and I'm a firm believer in the Experimental Aircraft Association motto: "Learn, Build and Fly." I want to help the EAA with that goal, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to do so in the Experimenter. I encourage all of you who are building an airplane or aspiring to build to join the EAA and sign up for the Experimenter magazine. It's been a very rewarding experience for me, and it will be for you, as well.
Corvair College at Sun 'N Fun 2003
50+ Corvair Builders Attend San Antonio Corvair Junior College
Friends, More than 50 Corvair builders attended the Corvair Junior College in San Antonio, Texas, in January. I drove from Florida with Corvair test pilot Gus Warren in order to bring all the tools, jigs, parts, etc. we need to put together Corvair motors.
Saturday morning we got to work putting together a motor for the host of the event, Oscar Zuniga. Oscar prepped his motor by cleaning the heads, boring the cylinders, having the crankshaft threaded and painting the pushrod tubes. We had a good crowd watching assembly of the shortblock, many following along and making notes in their Conversion Manuals. Lew Mason opened up his shop for the duration to the crowd, which peaked at over 60, and we also thank Lew for helping Oscar with so many behind the scenes tasks.
Tailwind/Corvair builder Tom Cummings and his friend Leland Mitchell drove all night to arrive Saturday morning with Tom's engine on my mobile test stand. Tom has been a good friend of ours since he attended Corvair College #1 in my hangar in Spruce Creek. We're very thankful to Tom for hosting us at his house in Louisiana on our way to Texas.
We also demonstrated teardown of Dragonfly builder Dave Morris' engine. Dave found the engine in a salvage yard, and left the College with his engine completely dismantled and ready for overhaul. Although it was filthy on the outside, as typical with Corvair motors, it was a very good candidate for a rebuild.
Most of the builders attending were from Texas, but the Alamo College also drew builders from Colorado, Missouri, Illinois and even Mexico. The airframes represented included the Turbi, Breezy, E-racer, Vision and Hovercraft, as well as the more familiar Q-2, KR2 and Pietenpol.
I thank Oscar again for giving me the opportunity to help so many builders. I received a lot of feedback from builders who said the Mini College was just the inspiration they needed to jumpstart their projects. Keeping in touch with each other will also help keep you going.
Keep building and flying.
We've just returned from a productive trip to Illinois and Wisconsin. We visited EAA Headquarters in Oshkosh, and firmed up Corvair Conversion workshops 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. both Tuesday, July 23, and Sunday, July 28, in Engine Workshop Building 20, plus a forum 7 to 8:15 p.m. Thursday, July 25, in Sporty's Pavilion 6. Visit www.airventure.org for more information.
I'll also be returning to Brodhead, Wisc., for the annual Pietenpol fly-in. I'm looking forward to meeting many of the people who sent cards and letters during the past year. I'll be giving a forum 3 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at Brodhead.
If you haven't already joined the Sport Aviation Association, I'd highly recommend you do so. They hosted a wonderful first fly-in at Frasca Field in Urbana, Ill. About a hundred planes flew in for the event, with never more than six tricycle gear planes on the field at any time. More than 300 people took part in this inaugural event. It was an honor to be part of the start of something that captures the heart of aviation.
Looking forward to seeing many of you in Wisconsin.
Next Corvair Forum: Saturday, June 15, 2002,
at Inaugural Sport Aviation Association Fly-In
We're honored to be part of the first Sport Aviation Association Fly-In, June 14-16 at Frasca Field in Urbana, Illinois. Many of you saw Grace's article on carburetor ice in Contact! and the SAA's magazine, To Fly. She'll be talking about carb ice, and I'll give a forum on converting Corvair engines from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Saturday, June 15.
Paul Poberezny started the SAA to get back to the grassroots of homebuilding. His aim is to recapture all the best parts of the early EAA days. The fly-in is a gathering for fun and fellowship, with no air show activities or commercial exhibits. Rudy Frasca will open his Air Museum free to SAA members, and host a barbecue and hoedown Friday and Saturday nights.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the "Good old days of the EAA," this is your chance to be part of a close-knit club embarking on a new aviation adventure. Just $20 covers the entire event for SAA members and their families - no additional costs for camping or auto parking. Your donation gets you an SAA membership.
So fly in with a tent or drive in with a camper and we'll see you there. Urbana-Frasca Field is identifier C16, Unicom 122.8. For more information, visit www.sportaviation.org.
Aviation, Panhandle Style
Ed Perry of North Florida runs up the Corvair conversion he built for his Junior Ace. May 18, 2002.
May 19, 2002
It was a very busy weekend! Midnight on Friday, we packed up the truck along with the mobile engine run/display unit and hit the road for Quincy. The only flaw in this genius plan for our just-in-time arrival was that we'd been at the hangar since 8 a.m. Friday.
About 260 miles later, including one stop for a nap at a rest area, we arrived at EAA Chapter 445's 29th Annual Fun Fly-In. Initially, things did not look promising. It was raining and not a single airplane had flown in.
Things looked up immediately when we ran into Jake Jaks, Corvair College graduate No. 1. It had been a year since we'd seen Jake, and he's the kind of guy you wish was your next door neighbor instead of a resident of the other end of your state. Frank Smith, the Fly-In organizer, assured us things would go well. And true enough, the clouds parted, the airplanes flew in, and things got rolling by 11 a.m.
I spoke informally for several hours on the motor and fielded questions from a very sharp group of mechanical minded aviators there. Quincy is in northwest Florida, in a rural setting near Georgia. The people we spoke to were very mechanically inclined. Most of them had farming experience and some were A&Ps. These are not the kind of people who take their cars to the dealership for service. The mechanical simplicity and the do-it-yourself nature of the Corvair conversion appealed to them. We sold a handful of Manuals and invited all to visit our shop in Daytona. We packed up and left about 3 p.m., promising to return next year. It was a great honor to be the first guest speaker ever invited to this event.
To get the most out of this road trip, we then headed to Ed Perry's airstrip near Lake City, Fla. Although Ed and his wife, Elizabeth, have been to our place, we'd never been to theirs. Jake Jaks forewarned us that it was a long way out in the country.
Jake was right, but it was well worth the trip. We spent a couple hours visiting and checking out Ed's Corvair-powered Junior Ace. We ran it up, and went through a bunch of technical details. Ed's been exploring a whole bunch of mechanical ideas in the past year. He now has the installation sorted out to his satisfaction. He's flown it down the length of the runway, and says it has great acceleration. After a mechanical detail clean-up, he'll begin regular flight testing.
The Perrys took us out to dinner and showed us great hospitality. Ed also made a point of proposing a Corvair Fly-In at his airstrip. A wonderful idea at this beautiful rural Florida setting.
We concluded our whirlwind tour of the Florida Panhandle several hours later. Special thanks to our new friends in Quincy and our old friends Jake Jaks and the Perrys.
William Wynne delivering his latest patented quote at EAA Chapter 445's Quincy Fun Fly-In: You can't write a check to get into the Corvair-powered flight club. You have to build your way in.
Corvair Forum at Quincy Fly-In May 18th
This weekend we travel to Quincy, Fla., for EAA Chapter 445's 29th Annual Quincy Fun FLY-IN. The Chapter invited us to give a forum on Corvair conversions 10 a.m. Saturday. They had several Chapter members request that I visit to teach about Corvair-powered flight, so I'm honored to accept their invitation.
They've got a day of great activities scheduled, starting with an 8 a.m. Pancake Breakfast, Young Eagles flighs 9 a.m. to noon, military displays, gliders, skydivers and ultralights. Camping is available on the field. Visit www.eaa445.org for more information.
Quincy, 2J9, Unicom 122.7, is just northwest of Tallahassee, near the Georgia border and a couple hundred miles from Alabama. I'd like to see as many old and new friends as possible, so y'all come.
Sun 'N Fun Success
From left, two friends, William Wynne, and crew Gus Warren, Merrill Isaacson and Dave Vargesko with Dave's Corvair conversion in the engine run area at Sun 'N Fun. The Corvair was the first engine to fire up in the workshop area, ran every day and closed the show.
I extend a big thank you to everyone who helped with Corvair demonstrations at Sun 'N Fun, especially Terry Bailey, Dave Vargesko, Gus Warren, Merrill Isaacson, Stuart Cirk, Gary Coppen and Mick Myal of Contact! magazine. Mick organizes the engine forums, and has been a loyal supporter of my Corvair Conversion efforts. He spent most of Sun 'N Fun at the Contact! booth. If you didn't get a chance to subscribe there, you can visit the Web site www.nonprofitnet.com/contact.
Dragonfly builder Terry Bailey gave daily tours of the Corvair's intake and exhaust systems. Corvair builders Dave Vargesko, Gus Warren, Merrill Isaacson, Stuart Cirk and Gary Coppen each spent at least two days helping us run Dave's engine on the test stand and answer Corvair conversion questions. They also helped a great deal during Sun 'N Fun preparations.
Monday's forum featured Corvair success stories. Steve Makish flew his KR up from Boca Raton, Fla., and gave a good comparison of flying with a Corvair vs. the Subaru previously on his plane. Bob Lester, a hangar neighbor of Steve's, gave a progress report on converting his KR from Subaru to Corvair power. Mark Langford of Alabama also shared the latest on his conversion progress. And Dave Stroud of Canada told the standing room only crowd what it's like to fly a Corvair-powered Christavia. That night, Dave and Fran also hosted a barbecue at their camp site for engine builders. Many thanks to both of them for a home-cooked meal away from home.
We appreciate all our old friends taking the time to stop by. This is a big part of what draws us to airshows. It was good to meet so many new friends, too. The camaraderie among Corvair builders is valuable to all involved.
Thanks again for making Sun 'N Fun 2002 a resounding success!
Reserve your prop hub now   -   Corvair College coming up!
Dave Vargesko's engine after build up and test-stand break in at William's hangar. See Dave's engine in person at Sun 'N Fun 2002 April 7-13.
Sun 'N Fun 2002 at Lakeland Linder Airport in Florida April 7-13 is our next big event. I'll be converting Corvairs daily in the engine building tent. These will be hands-on sessions, so bring your parts and wear work clothes. I'll also be giving Corvair forums for my sixth consecutive year in the nearby Contact! magazine Auto Engine Round-up Tent #3 at 1 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Wednesday. We look forward to seeing you there!
I'm getting another prop hub order ready. The hub, along with the hybrid studs and safety shaft, secure your propeller to the Corvair crankshaft. These $299 aluminum hubs are very nicely crafted on a CNC lathe, then anodized. This batch will be ready in time for Sun 'N Fun. They historically sell out shortly after they arrive, so drop a check in the mail and e-mail me at WilliamTCA@aol.com  to reserve your hub now! Your check won't be cashed until we ship your hub.
If you're unable to get to Sun 'N Fun, consider attending Corvair College in my hangar outside Daytona Beach, Fla., during Memorial Day weekend. Engine work traditionally begins Thursday and continues through Tuesday. Bring your engine parts and materials and be ready to build. We're limiting attendance to 100 people.
This is a free event, but I do ask anyone who intends to build up an engine from scratch to help pay the extra hands in the shop.
Join CORSA! Print this coupon, mark it "Corvair Flyers," and mail it today!
William is installing a 164cid on a SkyCoupe in preparation for Sun 'N Fun April 2002. We'll all be in Lakeland for the fly-in. William is slated to give his seventh annual engine forum series, for Contact! magazine. He'll also be volunteering in the nearby engine building tent. Bring your Corvair parts and prepare to "Learn, Build and Fly!"
In the meantime, join CORSA - the Corvair Society of America was formed more than 30 years ago for the preservation and enhanced enjoyment of the Corvair automobile. As a car enthusiast club, it has thousands of members, mostly in the United States, and is a lot like the Experimental Aircraft Association in that it has a national organization, along with local chapters and a national convention.
Its monthly publication, The CORSA, is a beautiful color magazine with technical information, advertisements and private sale items (like core motors). The Corvair Society of America also has an excellent members only Web site, which has been a source of numerous bargains.
William Wynne recently started a new chapter of CORSA called Corvair Flyers. The Flyers are technically a "special interest group" (chapters normally cover a geographic area). Membership in CORSA is available now at the discounted rate of $25 per year. There are no dues for the Corvair Flyers, as the newsletter will be sent by e-mail. You can print and mail the above coupon in to CORSA and you'll begin receiving the CORSA magazine right away! Make sure you note on the membership coupon that you're a Corvair Flyer. The national convention is in June in Flagstaff, Ariz., this year and William plans on attending.
Happy building and flying!
Here we are on our trip from Spruce Creek, Fla., to Brodhead, Wisc., and on to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2000. William and good friend Arnold Holmes of Kansas Composites flew William's Corvair-powered Pietenpol to Brodhead for the annual Pietenpol type gathering Aug. 3-5. As many of you know, Brodhead bills itself as the antidote to Oshkosh, with a beautiful grass field and no commercial activity. The barnstormers greatly enjoyed themselves, giving about 40 people rides Waldo Pepper-style during their two-day stay. They're pictured above with, at left, free riders Mark Chrissman and Susan (their dog Clarence may take flight at the next fly-in), Arnold in the center, crew member Grace Ellen, William, and the trusty Corvair-powered Piet.
Daytona Beach EAA Chapter 288 Secretary Grace Ellen drove down to Brodhead with her Oshkosh hosts Doc (alumnus of the first Corvair College) and Dee Mosher Saturday. She flew back to Oshkosh with Arnold in the Pietenpol, giving William more time to visit with new and old friends and family. She enjoyed the ride so much, in fact, that after a few more days cavorting at Oshkosh, Grace Ellen flew back to Florida in the Pietenpol with Arnold. Three more days of pure barnstorming fun at cornstalk-tassle level. William had three hours of fun flying back with AirVenture Cup Champion Jim Rahm in his Lancair IVP.
Please let us know about fly-ins in your area. Look forward to seeing you on the airfield.