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Corvair Engine

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  • #46
    It wasn't Dave's engine. The FAA did a tear-down, but the results haven't been released yet.
    Patrol #107
    LSA #005


    • #47
      Hey Papa, I must have worded my post poorly. I was just responding to Daves post. Sorry for any confusion to other members on the forum.


      • #48
        Hey Guys in case anyone is interested there is a finishing school at Sport Performance Aviation at the end of this month, and they are offering a deal on a 3.3 liter Corvair to be build at the finishing school. Go here for the details.


        • #49
          Dave, did you build one of the kits, or find your own core and gather parts your self?


          • davzLSA
            davzLSA commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi John, the kits were not available when i built my engine, so i gathered up the core parts and had them all processed by SPA. I also have all the parts William Wynee sells and I assembled the engine and went to a finishing school and test ran it, I think the kit would save time and money and would be worth it. If I were building another Corvair engine I would go that way.

          • johnb
            johnb commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks. I'm a long way from a final engine decision, but the Corvair is on the list of potentials. I agree, the kit option looks like a quicker way to go.

        • #50
          I dont know about other engine suppliers but I can tell you from my experience that you will have a hard time finding the kind of support you will get from William Wynee and SPA. They are great people to work with.


          • #51
            Hi Guys, I wanted to see if there would be any interest in a Corvair firewall forward package. I dont know any of the particulars of it yet but if there is enough interest more details can be provided.


            • #52
              Hi Dave,
              Personally I think that William W. has pretty much everything one needs short of the cowling.
              Engine in a box
              Engine Mount
              Nose Bowl
              ..and pretty good documentation for the whole process. And he’s been working with Bob over the years. Good place to start.

              Not sure if I missed some info in this topic, but I’m still haven’t come across any performance numbers from currently flying CorvairLSA’s and that makes me a bit 🤔


              • #53
                Hi bcbearhawklsa, I have built a WW Corviar and am building an LSA using the engine. I was asking about interest because I was thinking of putting together complete assembled packages that would be a bolt on with all the accessories if anyone wanted to buy one. On my engine I have all the WW parts to include the intake and exhaust. There are pictures under my thread Davzlsa if you would like the see them. William also sells a nose bowl that works on the LSA as well.


                • #54
                  Check out Williams web site to get performance numbers, there are many documents on this subject on his site.


                  • #55
                    Hi Guys, I went to a Corvair finishing school this weekend. I already have my engine built and its running so I just went to help others in building their engines. It was a lot of fun, got to meet a great group of people, helped some of them build engines and in the evenings we shot guns and had a party. The pics here are engines in the build process and a running engine we had one guy who brought his core NAS Stromberg carb and rebuilt it there and we ran it on an engine to verify it performed as it should. I wish I had thought of that before I went I would have brought mine and ran it on an engine. When my engine was first ran it was on Williams Wynnes test stand and it is already equipped with a carb, intake and exhaust. One of the guys flew is Corvair powered Zenith in from Connecticut. There is another guy who has over 800 hours on his Corvair engine. Hope yall like the pics.


                    • #56
                      Here is a link to a YouTube Channel pertaining to building/casting the 5th bearing. I personally wouldn’t have the expertise, nor the tools, but it is a great video series that deserves some recognition.
                      This channel will encompass the main focuses of my life, building experimental aircraft, ,machining,woodworking and in general building "stuff" as well as fa...


                      • #57
                        Hey Guys, here is one of the latest write ups by William Wynne on Corvair engines. The reason Im sharing this is not so much about the Corvair engine but he give food for thought about why we are in experimental aviation and what we expect to get from it. Hope you like it.

                        The Corvair is a popular option on more than 20 different experimental airframes.

                        The Corvair is a General Motors designed engine, manufactured by Chevrolet. 1.8 million engines were built in the Tonawanda New York engine plant between 1960 and 1969. The Corvair has been flying on experimental aircraft since 1960, and I have been working with them as flight engines since 1989. It is a story of careful development and testing, a slow evolution to the engines we have today. It is ‘old and proven’ rather than ‘new and exciting.’

                        Configuration: The engine is a horizontally opposed, air-cooled, six cylinder configuration. We only promote its use as a simple, direct drive power plant. The engine configuration is very similar to Lycomings and Continentals.

                        Displacement: The engine is effective without a gearbox or belt drive because it has a comparatively large displacement. We have versions that are 2,700, 2,850 and 3,000 cc. The smallest of these are twice as big as a Rotax 912.

                        Power: Corvairs have three different power ratings. 100, 110 and 120 hp. These correspond to the three displacements. They make their rated power at 3,150 rpm. They have wide power bands, making 75% power at 2,650 rpm. All engines will exceed their rated power at higher rpm, and they can be continuously run at full power at 3,600 rpm without damage.

                        Weight: The engine weighs 225 pounds ready to run. This is effectively the same as a Continental O-200. It’s installed weight is 35 pounds more than a 912 Rotax, 25 pounds more than a Jabaru 3300. The Corvair is 40 pounds lighter than a Lycoming O-235. 3,000 cc Corvairs are slightly lighter than 225 lbs. because we have special cylinders made for them which make these engine 5 pounds lighter.

                        Reliability: From the factory, the Corvair made up to 180 HP in the car and turned more than 5,500 rpm. The engine is reliable and long-lasting because we are only operating at 60% of these levels. Conversion engines that run at the car’s red line rpm historically have short lives and cooling issues.

                        Cost: We sell complete engines from $9,750 to $11,750. However, 90% of our builders assemble their own engines working from our Conversion manual, DVDs, parts and support and a rebuildable core engine they pick up locally. Typically, they budget $6,500-8,500 to build a first class, zero timed, engine.

                        Cooling: The Corvair has a factory cylinder head temp limit of 575F. This is the highest limit on any mass-produced air-cooled engine ever built. The engine as also the first mass-produced turbocharged car. GM engineered the motor to have excellent heat tolerance and heat dissipation. In aircraft the engine typically runs at 325 to 350 CHT.

                        Parts availability: Every wearing part in the engine has continuously been in production for 5 decades. The engine pictured above, only has an original pair of cases, and oil housing and cylinder head castings. All other parts in the engine, including the crankshaft, are brand new. Many of the parts in the engine, like the lifters and valve train, are common to Chevy v-8s. There is no part availability issue.

                        Ignition: The fleet of flying Corvairs is about 500 aircraft. More than 90% of them have a dual ignition system that I have built. Our system uses two redundant systems, one points based, the other a digital electronic system. The design has two of every part potentially subject to failure, but it utilizes one plug per cylinder. Six cylinder engines can fly on one cold cylinder, most 4 cylinder engines can not. Plug fouling is unknown in Corvairs because the ignition system is 40,000 volts and uses a plug gap twice as wide as a magneto system.

                        Fuel: The Corvair can use either 100LL or automotive fuel. It is not bothered by ethanol in the fuel.When Corvairs were designed, car gas was a lot like 100LL; for the last 35 years every mile driven by Corvair cars was done on unleaded car gas. Many engines like 912s and modern car engines do not have exhaust valves that can withstand the corrosive nature of 100LL. We use stainless and Inconel valves in Corvairs.

                        Maintenance: The Covair is low maintenance. The heads never need retorquing. The valves have hydraulic lifters and never need to be reset or adjusted. I dislike the term “maintenance free”, because it implies a “no user serviceable parts inside” disposable appliance mentality. The Corvair is a solid, robust, machine which holds its adjustments, but our program is aimed at teaching builders to be self-reliant owners.

                        Goals: If one of your goals is to be the master of your engine and airframe, the Corvair is an excellent choice. There are many engine options for people who just want to buy something. Our efforts are aimed at expanding the personal knowledge and skills of each builder.

                        Made in the USA: In an era where everything seems imported and companies like Continental have been sold to the Chinese Government, We have kept the “Made in the USA” option for builders who prefer to employ fellow Americans. Virtually every part in the engine, with small exceptions like the distributor cap (made in Mexico), are made by American craftsmen. Because we also sell engines outside the US, we are a Net Exporter, helping correct the trade imbalance.

                        Corvairs have proven themselves to serve a very broad variety of builders. Many alternative engine options are offered only as a “buy it in a box” import, more of an appliance than a machine, with little or no consideration of the builders, skills goals, needs, budget or time line. The Corvair has options to address these valid considerations, because your power plant should conform to you, not the other way around.

                        This said, Corvairs are not for everyone. In the 25 years I have been in the EAA and working with builders, the Corvair has always been very popular with ‘traditional homebuilders’, the people who have come to experimental aviation to discover how much they can learn, understand and master. The expansion of the EAA has brought more of these builders, but it has also brought a great number of people incapable of distinguishing between mastery of an aircraft or an engine and just merely being its buyer and owner. People who’s consumer mentality and short attention spans are better suited to toy ownership than mastery of skills and tools in aviation. Corvairs, and perhaps experimental aviation, are a poor match for such people. Many salesmen in our field will gladly sell anything to anyone with green money. I am an aviator, not a salesman, and the gravity of the subject requires more frank discussion and ethics than many salesmen bring to the table.

                        If you came to experimental aviation to find out how much you can master, not how little, then you are among the aviators who follow Lindbergh’s timeless 1927 quote: “Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved.” Even if you are brand new to aviation, I am glad to work with you. I have a long history of working with builders of all skill levels. We have a number of successful builders out flying who are the masters of both their airframes and engines, who had never changed the oil in a car before building their plane. If you got into experimental aviation just to buy stuff, then any salesman will do just fine for you. If you got into experimental aviation to learn, develop your own skills and craftsmanship and make things with your own hands, then who you work with really matters. You can’t become and old school homebuilder / motor head by buying things from salesmen. They have nothing to teach you. What you will do in experimental aviation is not limited by what you already know. It is only limited by what you are willing to learn, and selecting experienced people to learn from. If you are here to learn, I am here to teach. It is that simple.