JAN 2015

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: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/449720

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Page 13 of 32

14 Vol.4 No.1 / Januar y 2015 ONE HOLE AT A TIME great. The new kits from Zenith include this same style of canopy and they've gotten the bugs worked out. Builders today will fi nd it much easier to fi t this kind of canopy now." Other minor fuselage modifi cations were done, including the mounting of a ballistic parachute. "I did that in consideration of my wife and future nonpilot passengers," Pat said. "We noticed that more of the new factory-built airplanes had whole-airframe parachutes, and my wife liked that idea." Another modifi cation he made, which is beginning to gain some traction in the homebuilt community, was to install a "Gur- ney fl ap" on the elevator. That is a narrow, spanwise tab on the trailing edge that is permanently set at 90 degrees and increases the ef ectiveness of the airfoil to which it is attached. He said, "I started out small and did some iterative testing with that and have it pretty much dialed in now." A HOMEBUILT ENGINE Pat had decided on the Corvair engine very early in the process. Although he had never built an engine of any kind before, the thought of building his own aircraft engine was appealing. "Building your own engine brings with it the distinct advantage of really understanding it," he said. "Plus, guys who have built their own engines are obviously capable of 'rebuilding' their own engines, whereas most pilots with traditional engines are at the mercy of a mechanic when overhaul time is reached. "I got the engine out of a 1967 Chevrolet Corvair that was sitting in an auto salvage yard in central Minnesota. It was the middle of winter when I found the car and the temperature was 2 degrees below zero on that day. But I wanted that engine. "I rebuilt the engine myself, following the proven methods that William Wynne publishes in his manuals and the informa- tion that he shares on FlyCorvair.com. I did my best to build a top-of-the-line engine using the best of everything that was available, along with a lot of brand-new parts. The crankshaft was magnafl uxed, reground, and nitrided, and I installed a set of forged and balanced pistons and rods along with new cylin- ders. I also installed a fi fth bearing, which provides additional support for the front of the crankshaft. The cylinder heads were machined by a shop that specializes in Corvair aviation head work: Falcon Machine. I'm using a dual ignition consisting of points on one side, and electronic on the other. I used a lot of parts from www.FlyCorvair.com , which along with an MA3- SPA aircraft carburetor, have provided fl awless reliability. I get lots of comments about the sound of the engine. People say it sounds really good." Pat said he has been so impressed with the Corvair en- gine that he's rebuilding another for a Tailwind he has under Photography by Craig Vander Kolk Pat's 601 weighs in at 840 pounds, 40 pounds more than factory's Lycoming O-235-powered model. Pat's custom BRS parachute system and custom canopy account for the majority of those pounds.

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