Sun 'N Fun 2004
April 26, 2004
We got back from Sun 'N Fun a week ago tonight. We had a great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
Here are just a few photos from our weeklong stay at America's second largest airshow. It was the 15th year
in a row I've gone to Sun 'N Fun, and the seventh year I've been doing presentations, forums and seminars on
the Corvair engine. I first attended Sun 'N Fun in 1989 as a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Since my first exposure, I've been in love with experimental aviation. Back then, I had the inner desire to make a
mark, to Be In The Arena. While I've had many high points in the past 15 years of work in our field, few stand
out like having our 601 displayed in Zenith Aircraft's booth all week this year. Zenith Aircraft, a longtime
commercial exhibitor at Sun 'N Fun, has the premier display lot at the event. The exposure of Corvair powered
aircraft and its mainstream acceptance took a giant step forward during Sun 'N Fun 2004. I'd like to thank
the Heintz family and all of our friends who made our presence possible.
One of the best things about the week was getting to spend a lot of time with the Heintz brothers and the
staff of Zenith Aircraft. Above, I'm talking to Sebastien Heintz, the president of Zenith Aircraft.
Above is a prime example of friends we've never met. Here at Sun 'N Fun all the way from Australia is
Corvair/Pietenpol builder Arthur Johnson. Arthur has been a customer of ours for a while, and it's an
unexpected reward to meet him in person.
Grace Ellen is in the photo above with Dale Jorgensen, builder and 200+ hour pilot of the meanest
VP-2 ever. Dale, of Algoma, Wisc., spent most of the week at Sun 'N Fun and shared the stories of building and flying his Corvair
powered VP-2. You can see pictures of Dale's airplane at the Dale Jorgensen Page of the
Flying Planes section of www.FlyCorvair.com.
Here's a photo from one of the four forums I gave at Sun 'N Fun this year. Standing in the photo above
(back right in the yellow shirt) is Bill Knight of Brodhead, Wisc. Bill and his wife Sue own and fly The Last Original,
the last Corvair powered Air Camper that Bernie Pietenpol built himself.
Scenes from Dave Stroud's Corvair Barbecue. Above, Subaru Guru Chuck Condas becomes an unlikely Corvair
Convert by winning Dave's drawing for a free Corvair Conversion Manual. Actually, I've been wearing him down
for years, and he promises his next airframe design will be for Corvair power. Please note my new haircut. I
actually had about a dozen people ask Grace Ellen "Where's William," while I was standing right next to them.
Above from left are Chuck, myself, KR2/Corvair pilot Bob Lester, 601/Corvair builder Marty Chader of Colorado,
and Bill Knight. Dave and his fiance Fran threw a very nice party, with over 80 in attendance.
In the foreground above is Steve Makish's Corvair powered KR2, with Bob Lester and his Corvair powered KR2
in the background. They both flew in to Sun 'N Fun 2004 from their home airport in Boca Raton, Fla. Steve now has
150 hours on his KR2,
and Bob has about 80 hours on his bird. Both Bob and Steve took a lot of time to answer Corvair builders' questions.
Bob even removed his cowl, and let people try on his airframe for size.
Above is a photo of myself with the patriarch of Zenith Aircraft, Chris Heintz himself. Chris is one of the
outstanding aeronautical engineers working in experimental aviation. While there are many great aeronautical
engineers, it takes a truly exceptional one to design a successful homebuilt aircraft. When I was an aeronautical
engineering student, we studied the work of Kelly Johnson, Lockheed's famous designer. As fantastic as his
work was, many of his projects were for the Department of Defense and had no financial restrictions. Anything he
could design could be built by Lockheed's master craftsmen, and if they were incredibly difficult to fly,
U.S. Air Force pilots would meet the challenge. Conversely, today I focus my respect on men like Chris Heintz, who
is clever enough to design an affordable product which can be built by amateurs and flown by non-professional
Sun 'N Fun 2012 With FlyCorvair.com
Sun 'N Fun 2011 With FlyCorvair.com
Sun 'N Fun 2010 With FlyCorvair.com
Sun 'N Fun 2009 With FlyCorvair.com
Sun 'N Fun 2008 With FlyCorvair.com
Sun 'N Fun 2007 With FlyCorvair.com
Sun 'N Fun 2006 With FlyCorvair.com
Sun 'N Fun 2005 With FlyCorvair.com
Sun 'N Fun 2003 With FlyCorvair.com
Sun 'N Fun 2002 With FlyCorvair.com