MAR 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/471466

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Page 12 of 36

EAA Experimenter 13 He said, "I gave myself a year to build and fly the plane. I had seen some of the Corvair aviation 'movement' at that time, so I went to the junkyard, bought a worn-out en- gine, brought it back to my shop, and tore it down. I was impressed with GM's design and strength. My business at that time was auto restoration. I rebuilt a lot of cars, mostly smaller cars such as VWs, Austins, MGs, Triumphs, and also some Corvairs. So, I had a good feeling for engines, and I could see that the Corvair was a good one. After making the decision to build that engine for the KR, it was easy to do. I finished that plane in August 2004 and flew it to Oshkosh in 2005, 2006, and 2008. Being an A&P, I started to help a lot of guys with their Corvair conversions, and I saw that there was great potential to improve the design and increase its simplicity and reliability. "Because I have a full shop with tooling, a paint booth, and live in an area where I have plenty of room and can make noise, designing and building airplanes is easier. Two years ago we decided to close down the auto restoration business, and my wife and I started Azalea Aviation LLC (Valdosta is the "Azalea City") to concentrate on the Corvair. Initially, we started developing fi rewall-forward kits for various aircraft like Zeniths, KRs, and Sonex. Then we started developing our 120-hp Spyder conversion on the Corvair and needed a test bed for that engine. That's how the Tailwind came into our lives, and I'm glad it did. It's really an enjoyable airplane and comfortable for my wife and I to fl y." For some years, Bill had known about a Tailwind project that belonged to a friend only a few miles from his shop. He struck a deal for it and brought it home. He said, "It was a welded frame on its gear with most of the wing structure completed but not closed. It was perfect SPECIFICATIONS Top speed (V NE ): 200 mph Cruise speed: 135 mph at 75 percent Landing speed: 65 mph (600 to 800 feet landing roll) Stall: 55 mph clean, 50 mph with full fl aps Takeoff roll: 750 feet Rate of climb at gross: 750 feet/minute; 1,200-plus minimum single Range at 65% est.: 3.5 hours (1 hour reserve) for 450 miles Range at 50% est.: 4 hours (1 hour reserve) for 500 miles Empty weight: 750 pounds Gross weight: 1,400 pounds Useful load: 650 pounds Fuel capacity: 25 gallons; single front header tank Wingspan: 24 feet Wing area: 92 square feet Length: 19.3 feet Cabin width: 41 inches Engine: Spyder Corvair conversion; 100 hp; 120-hp version to come Propeller: Warp Drive three-blade; soon to test a Sensenich wooden cruise prop The hyper clean cowling not only contributes to overall performance but also cools the engine effi ciently.

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