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QUESTIONS concerning Spyder Corvair Engine Conversions.....Azalea Aviation

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Bill Clapp

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Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
300
Location
Valdosta Ga
- no - we dont do any dye testing. We have not seen any issues as far as defective cases due to cracks of splitting....It is a very strong case. What we check for is bearing saddle wear and out-of-round, lifter bore wear, and camshaft bearing wear. (cam rides in oil in the bottom of the case - no split bearings) the biggest issues have to do with head stud threads and holes. However 3 ou of 5 cases are in very good shape on average. The real bad cases are used for mock-ups or tooling fixtures.
 

don january

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Feb 10, 2015
Messages
2,828
Location
Midwest
I dont know bill, Maybe Azalea Aviation should get into molding core half's also,10-15 years from now who know's what will be left in the 164 blocks. With your amazing engine and fith bearing and the ability to land new core's the sky is the limit.;)
 

don january

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Feb 10, 2015
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Midwest
I dont know bill, Maybe Azalea Aviation should get into molding core half's also,10-15 years from now who know's what will be left in the 164 blocks. With your amazing engine and fith bearing and the ability to land new core's the sky is the limit.;)
I can see it now WW calling and ordering 12 set's of cores. :roll: and as of right now you'd be the only one making them ! Azalea Core's that's got a nice ring also...
 

Bill Clapp

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Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
300
Location
Valdosta Ga
We have the designing mostly completed for new cores but have to figure out a cost/benefit and when we could break even on the design and tooling. It takes a chunk of change. However with the new 3D sand cast printing currently available we may be able to get prototype cases made at a reasonable cost. My guess is I dont think WW would be involved....
 

dcstrng

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Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
913
Location
VA or NoDak
My Spyder finally came home… I suspect Bill thought I was going to abandon the engine with him (I dilly-dallied for almost a year from the first date I promised to pick it up), but I finally got enough time to get down to Georgia to get it (delayed yet another week for the birth of our second great-grandchild). Wow, I was impressed… It was on the test stand and ready for me when I got there, started on the first bump and sounded sweet – man is it smooth ! An hour or so later it had cooled enough to come off the stand, and a gazillion hours later it was home and on its own dolly in the shop…

Now, to get to busy on the aircraft… There is nothing like a good sounding/looking new engine to get the adrenaline going again…

Thanks Bill; I know I must have sounded half-fuzzy-headed after driving all night, but was a (very) rewarding trip…
 

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don january

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Feb 10, 2015
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Your engine look's nice, That bird nose down in one picture look's rather cool also, hope the grass and dirt dont give it a rash on the firewall. Be waiting to see pic. of the engine bolted to a firewall. Have fun and happy flying........
 

dcstrng

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Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
913
Location
VA or NoDak
Hi Don'; yah, Bill has a fairly active shop... when I was there there were the skeletons of a Glasair, and KR or two... inside was a Tailwind project he's working on for the owner (developing a rather novel composite semi-bubble fuselage sheathing for a Tailwind cabin area -- apparently trying to reduce the few stagnation areas in a TW) and of course the Saberwing component fabrication area, not to mention his customary engine -building efforts... a week or so before he'd finished up the installation of a Spyder Corvair on a CH750 and then assisted the very low time pilot get comfortable through the phase I period (Bill is also a CFI).

If I had half his energy I'd have been flying on mine years ago -- mine will be a geezer-special; Sonerai II-trigear built as a comfy single-seater to make the Virginia to NoDak commute... hopefully mine will not be more than a year or so away... we'll see.
 

don january

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dcstrng: I'am a big fan of the Sonerai design. Like you I built my KR-2 to be more of a single seater thou I did keep the right hand seat. I really like the look's of the blue and white tri gear Sonerai on the expercraft web sight! I tip my hat to all builder's who make there plane out of all metal. the KR has been fun to build but composite has it's challanges. I hope that in a year or two you are doing run up's on your plane and getting airborn. Don
 

DaveP

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Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
47
Location
O'Brien, FL
Even more questions can be answered at the Engine Workshop next week.

See Azaleaaviation.com
 

Hjbenn00

New Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2019
Messages
2
Location
Jacksonville, NC
Hi everyone and specially Bill. I just registered as of now, so yes I'm new here. I'm looking into the zenith 650, and also been going back in forth with engine choices. So if I'm here, that means the corvair platform is deeply in my interest, specially for financial budget reasons.

I've read the threads from everyone, and after all the comparisons I'm contemplating really hard on Bill's spyder 120 hp. Even though the the one from SPA has my attention as well. I know many might be biased, but any honest advice and suggestions, please have at it. Thanks!!

Hensen
 

Daleandee

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Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,148
Location
SC
I've read the threads from everyone, and after all the comparisons I'm contemplating really hard on Bill's spyder 120 hp. Even though the the one from SPA has my attention as well. I know many might be biased, but any honest advice and suggestions, please have at it
Welcome! I finally got to meet Bill at Sun-N-Fun this year and look over some of the items he has for sale.

For my Cleanex (Corvair powered Sonex) I have a 3.0 that was built for me by Dan Weseman of SPA. Been flying it for seven years now. It has been a very good choice. I believe that the Corvair, when properly converted, may be the best kept secret in experimental aviation for a fairly inexpensive, yet very robust engine package of 100-120 hp.

Like you I have heard and read of some of the back and forth between vendors and I personally don't care nor do I want to get involved with any of that. Just wanted to comment and say that the Corvair is a great choice and the Zenith is also, although I took the challenge of trying to make a Sonex attractive ... so I put Dan's nose bowl & cowling on it ... :oops:

Dale
N319WF
 

GeeZee

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HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
95
Location
Indianapolis, IN
My hangar neighbor and I fly to breakfast almost every nice Saturday. He has a zenith 650 with a WW conversion. We both just pull our planes out and fire them up. He has no more maintenance than my lycoming 320. The vair sounds great and it truly is a little 6 cyl aircraft engine. I think the final piece of the puzzle was the 5th bearing. With that the vairs are bullet proof.
Also don’t worry about finding a core. At first you think they are rare but after making a few contacts with the CORSA guys word gets around and they start coming out of the woodwork. I got a running engine that the owner pulled from the car for me for $150.
He was really pleased when I told him he could keep his new carbs. Explained that I didn’t need them. I was concerned that the vair guys wouldn’t want their engines to be used in aircraft but I didn’t experience any of that, they were really excited to hear of aircraft use. Even if you buy an engine from Bill, I’d still recommend getting WWs manual. It’s chocked full of good advice from many years of refining this engine.
 

ToddK

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Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
328
Location
The Real Texas
The idea I keep coming back to are high quality (not Chinese) Nikasil cylinders. The vw guys (with deep pockets) have had a great time with the LN Engineering cylinder and piston combos. I know they are expensive, but it would shave off a solid 18 lbs.
 

Hjbenn00

New Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2019
Messages
2
Location
Jacksonville, NC
Welcome! I finally got to meet Bill at Sun-N-Fun this year and look over some of the items he has for sale.

For my Cleanex (Corvair powered Sonex) I have a 3.0 that was built for me by Dan Weseman of SPA. Been flying it for seven years now. It has been a very good choice. I believe that the Corvair, when properly converted, may be the best kept secret in experimental aviation for a fairly inexpensive, yet very robust engine package of 100-120 hp.

Like you I have heard and read of some of the back and forth between vendors and I personally don't care nor do I want to get involved with any of that. Just wanted to comment and say that the Corvair is a great choice and the Zenith is also, although I took the challenge of trying to make a Sonex attractive ... so I put Dan's nose bowl & cowling on it ... :oops:

Dale
N319WF
Thanks, Dale. I was at first planning on the sonex, but planning on doing a lot of flying with the wife, so shoulder room was a factor there for me. But I like the sonex and onex a lot too.
 

Daleandee

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Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,148
Location
SC
I was at first planning on the sonex, but planning on doing a lot of flying with the wife, so shoulder room was a factor there for me.
I can't dispute the fact that my airplane is (as the realtor would say) a bit cozy. My wife will take a ride now and again but for the most part I think she does that for me and not her. She told me once, "I trust you, I trust the airplane, I just don't like looking down!"

Towards the end of this video there are photos of some of the passengers I have taken:

I did all the little things I could to maximize the interior space. I have a trip scheduled with a friend tomorrow to go and visit our missionary pastor. My passenger for tomorrow is not a large man but is a bit shorter and wider than I am. Still, I've flown with him before and a short flight is comfortable enough. Apologies for being a bit off topic.

As far as the Corvair engine goes it works well on many types of air frames. I have another engine for conversion and have gone around a bit about what to build to put it on. The biggest obstacles are having a flying airplane already and a full time job.

Dale
N319WF
 
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