December 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/234576

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Page 3 of 40

H o m e b uil d e r 's C or n e r Learn, Build, Fly Returning to school William Wynne sharing his knowledge with some of the builders. By Charlie Becker I had an opportunity to go back to school recently. Not a traditional school, but rather a "Corvair College." It was a three-day event in Barnwell, South Carolina, on how to adapt Corvair engines to power amateur-built aircraft. It did not follow the structured classes of my time at Marquette University, but it definitely transcended the normal how-to course. William Wynne is the driving force behind Corvair conversions for homebuilts. He preaches the Corvair "gospel" at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, on the web, and in his printed materials. He has devoted his life's work to teaching people how to adapt the Corvair engine for use in their aircraft. Over the course of the weekend, he often cited the EAA philosophy of "learn, build, fly." For him, a running engine is not the measure of success. He wants people to learn; not just about the engine and how to operate it, but some life lessons along the way. So, like my time at Marquette, you get a bit of logic and philosophy mixed along with the practical stuff. There is a $79 registration fee that goes entirely to cover the cost of food. I had seven meals during the weekend, and each one was delicious. P.F. Beck and his fellow hosts really out did themselves. For me, getting grits with my Vern Stephenson and Larry Webberking celebrate the successful start of Larry's Corvair engine. 4 Vol.2 No.12 / December 2013 eggs and sausage is a real treat and a rarity where I live. Barnwell is a terrific airport and worth a stop. The workshop is a fairly unstructured affair. There were 12 4-by-8-foot tables that two builders would share to use for engine work. I didn't count, but just about all the tables were filled with engines. You don't have to have an engine to attend, but reading the Corvair manuals beforehand is a big help. Many attendees were like me, just coming to do research before making a decision. Many who already have finished their engine come back and volunteer to help other builders achieve success. This is important because there is only one William Wynne to go around, so having experienced builders to pitch in makes the whole thing work. The amazing part to me was how long into the night people would be working. I walked out completely exhausted at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night while several people were still busily working on their engines. The best part of the weekend is seeing the builders run their engines for the first time. William brings a test stand for ground running the engines. Once a builder is ready, he can break it in under the watchful eye of William. This is the one time during the weekend when you know you will have his undivided attention. The start-up of your engine only happens once William has reviewed your work and said it is ready. The fact that you have "the Corvair authority" looking over your shoulder when you first crank the engine makes troubleshooting much, much easier. To see the range of emotions on builders' faces as they go from "will this run" to "yes!" once it is running is the highlight of the weekend. It provides great inspiration to everyone in attendance. Corvair College No. 27 was a great experience. It left me feeling like I do after EAA AirVenture Oshkosh: totally exhausted but extremely fired up about homebuilding. If you're interested in the Corvair engine, by all means attend a Corvair College. It is fun, inspiring, and a tremendous learning experience. Photography by Charlie Becker

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