Zenith Aircraft Sponsors Engine Day at Oshkosh 2015

Oshkosh Engine DayOne of the best things about the Chris Heintz Zenith designs is that the airframes accept a wide range of powerplants. On Friday, July 24, from 10 am to 2 pm, the Zenith Exhibit (#640 in the North exhibit area) will host a dozen or so engines, from 80 to 150hp, that can be installed in front of the firewalls of the many Zenith designs, from touring to STOL.

Participants include Rotax, Continental, ULPower, Superior Air Parts (including their new Gemini diesel), Viking and Corvair, with others expected as well. Continue reading "Zenith Aircraft Sponsors Engine Day at Oshkosh 2015"

Sport Performance Aviation announces Corvair Stroker Engine.

Corvair engineSport Performance Aviation LLC (SPA) unveiled their long anticipated Corvair 3.3L Stroker engine at EAA AirVenture. The engine uses a stroked version of SPA's custom USA-made billet crankshaft installed in a machine-clearanced case, and also includes SPA's second-generation 5th bearing, reconditioned cylinder heads, and rear alternator combined with FlyCorvair's conversion parts.

The 3.0L Corvair configuration, developed by Dan Weseman of SPA, is 3000cc (190 cubic inches). This configuration is a popular powerplant for aircraft such as the Sonex, Zenith, and most recently SPA's Panther. The stroker engine is 3300cc (200 cubic inches). The thrust of this configuration is similar to the output of the 3.0L, but with a lower rpm to make more efficient use of propellers. Continue reading "Sport Performance Aviation announces Corvair Stroker Engine."

"Myunn" Corvair-powered Sonex

“Myunn” (N319WF), a Corvair powered Sonex airframe, was purchased from a previous owner who had begun the fuselage and intended to use an Aerovee VW conversion engine. The kit came with factory assembled wing spars. Following the purchase in January of 2010 my building mentor Dick Fisher and I began the reconstruction process after much dis-assembly because of changes we wanted to make and poor workmanship that was found. We installed the 3.0, 120 HP Corvair conversion that was built for us by Dan Weseman of SPA (http://flywithspa.com/home.html) using his custom motor mount and nose bowl for the cowling assembly. The engine is built to William Wynn specifications (http://flycorvair.net) and utilizes his gold oil filter system and prop hub. It is equipped with an oil fed BTA 5th bearing for prop loads and a Sensenich 54X58 propeller.

The interior is factory, and instruments are MGL. We included an LRI (lift reserve indicator) along with a Flightline FL760 radio and iFly 720 GPS.

First flight was in August of 2012. Flight characteristics were excellent and the Corvair power was both smooth and abundant.

20 lbs of paint was added with Signature Finish products (http://www.signaturefinish.com) using Tom Fabula’s roll on application method.

Dale Williams

Location: United States

e-mail address: daleandee@yahoo.com

Website: http://websites.expercraft.com/daleandee

Zenith Open Hangar Event Set for September

Zenith Aircraft Company will celebrate its 20th anniversary at an Open Hangar Day and Builder Fly-In gathering on Friday and Saturday, September 21 and 22, in Mexico, Missouri. Rod Hightower, president and CEO of EAA, will be the special guest at a banquet on Friday.

Many seminars and workshops on various topics will be held over the two-day event. Last year's seminars covered subjects such as aircraft weight and balance, avionics (both Dynon and Garmin), engines (Jabiru, UL Power, Corvair, Viking) and EAA. Again this year, aviation suppliers (of particular interest to Zenith kit plane builders) will display products, and Zenith will hold hands-on workshops on kit aircraft assembly and maintenance.

Seminars will begin on Friday afternoon at the Mexico Airport. Several hundred participants are expected, mainly existing and new Zenith Aircraft builders and owners, along with those who may be interested in building a Zenith design. There is no cost to attend.

For more information, call 573/581-900, or visit www.zenithair.com/news/oh2012.html.

Scott Thatcher's Zenith 601XLB

N601EL was my first attempt at building an aircraft and it was one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life! After nearly five years, I received an experimental Light Sport designation and began my Phase I flight testing.

My aircraft is powered by a 6-cylinder, 100hp Corvair engine that is smooth as glass and includes all VFR steam gauges, plus many innovative features such as an AOA built from a probe, tubing and a vacuum gauge, as well as an O2 sensor that enables me to achieve perfect leaning during flight. It cuises at 115 mph at 3000 rpm with 275 CHT and 1400 EGT. It includes an MA3-SPA and Niagra Cooler along with a 66-inch Warp Drive prop.

Seats were made from leather chairs bought at Office Deport.

I wish to thank the following who contributed so much to my excitement and enthusiasm for this project. First my wife Sandra who was always supportive. Next is Bill Perry my Tech Advisor along with my Chapter 203 help mates. And to those who helped me build parts and assemble the engine I want to thank William Wynne, Gus Warren, Kevin Fahy, Mark Langford, Fred Roser, Scott Laughlin, Jay Bannister, Mark Jones, John Roberts, Ed Nitzche, Jimmy Davenport, Gig Giancona, Donato Martino, Joe Horton, and many others.

It is certainly true that EAA is the mechanism that enables anyone to build his or her first aircraft. The photo inside the hangar shows N601EL getting ready for its second weigh-in following the B modification.

Location: Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

e-mail address: sdthatcher@bellsouth.net

Website: http://mykitlog.com/sdthatcher

Continuing Evolution, Corvair Style

I finally got a chance on Friday to catch up with William Wynne of FlyCorvair.com to see if there had been much in the way of improvements to the Corvair conversion since mine first flew about a year and a half ago. At that time, I was the proud recipient of the latest and greatest in Corvair technology. Unfortunately (for me), William's been quite busy since then.

The highly modified Corvair engine on the stand featured quite a few improvements, and this was my first glance at them up close and personal like. The most obvious to me was the new single piece gold anodized propeller hub, replacing its black two-piece forerunner. The gold hub features lighter weight, a smaller pulley for better alternator performance, and (of course) is much simpler than its two part, bolt together predecessor.

A new oil filter arrangement, also gold anodized and simplified, now attaches directly to the engine instead of the old method which required the circuitous routing of oil hoses to a mount on the firewall. Once glance told me that this new oil filter system also saves weight, is much cleaner, and (once again) gets the most out of simplicity.

William also had the new gold anodized, CNC machined oil pan that replaces the slightly "Frankenstein-esque" hand welded one. And just to top it all off, a matching gold anodized top engine plate was also on display. With all of these new gold parts on the display engine, the Corvair is starting to look like something you might find in the Tiffany catalogue.

Perhaps the most significant improvement is the new 5th crankshaft bearing, tucked in nicely behind the ring gear and the engine block. The need for a fifth bearing to absorb asymmetric side loads from out of balance prop/spinner/extension combinations or the stresses created by sudden yanking and banking became known when a few cases of crankshaft cracks and separations behind the last journal were reported. The first assault on the problem was to strongly suggest the nitriding of all crankshafts, and the second was the development of the fifth bearing.

I really was planning to leave my own Corvair engine in my Zodiac alone for the time being, but now that I've seen the sum total of all of the improvements, I'm reconsidering. Besides, all those beautifully machined gold parts would really set off the engine compartment, eh? Check out the latest in Corvair improvements at FlyCorvair.com.Link