AeroMax Corvair engine for experimental aircraft, AeroMax Corvair engine for experimental lightsport aircraft, AeroMax Corvair engine for homebuilt aircraft, AeroMax Corvair engine for amateur built aircraft, Light Sport Aircraft Pilot News newsmagazine.

Light Sport Aircraft Pilot is a directory of aircraft that generally fit into what are described as ultralight aircraft, advanced ultralight aircraft, light sport aircraft, experimental light sport aircraft, experimental aircraft, amateur built aircraft, ELSA or homebuilt aircraft in the United States and Canada. These include weight shift aircraft, more commonly known as trikes, powered parachutes, and powered para-gliders.

Light Sport Aircraft Pilot

AeroMax Corvair engine Index

AeroMax Corvair engine Pictures

AeroMax Corvair engine Video

AeroMax Corvair aircraft engine conversion for experimental aircraft, experimental lightsport aircraft, amateur built aircraft.

AeroMax Aviation LLC
3390 Old Staten Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31606
Phone: 229.241.1175 Fax: 229.241.1176

GM Corvair Engines in Experimental Aircraft

Few people know it, but the GM Corvair engine was developed for GM by a company called Eastern Aviation. GM was after a Light Helicopter contract from the government, and had Eastern Aviation develop this engine as a power plant for this Helicopter.

The Engine was actually developed as an Aviation Engine. That is a Direct drive and Air Cooled. GM never got that contract and in an attempt to compete with the European sport/touring car manufacturers, General Motors decided to use the engine and launched a small sport car to be powered by an air cooled engine similar to the popular VW Beetle.

The all new car was called the ?Corvair?. Between 1960 and 1969 GM manufactured and sold 1.7 million Corvair cars. Approx. 2 million engines were built.

Advantages of the Corvair Engine

The engine design was of an air cooled, six cylinder. Several variations of the engine produced between 90 to 110hp were offered. A turbo charged version capable of producing up to 180hp was offered as well. The Corvair engine with its light weight was capable of producing a very high Torque of 190 foot pound at a relatively low 3000 RPM range. GM boosted it to 180hp with the Turbo version. The Corvair engine, structurally speaking, could be running all day long without over stressing itself, providing you with the 110hp.

Corvair Engines Aircraft Applications

Direct drive, air cooled, high torque and light weigh providing 100hp.
Need we say more?

It did not take long for the hard core avid experimental and light sport aircraft builders of the time to take notice of the small size engine, producing just the right amount of power. In 1960, Bernie Pietenpol purchased a Corvair engine from a Chevrolet dealer and installed it in his J-3 Cub. That was followed by many Corvair installations on his Air Campers.

Waldo Waterman, another avid experimental aviator followed suit and developed his ?Chevy Bird? powered with a Corvair engine. Waldo experimented with many Corvair powered airframe combinations.

These two great aviators led the way to many other experimental and light sport aircraft builders, all looking for a practical and economical solution to power their birds.

Corvair Engine Issues and the AeroMax Solution

As more builders started to install Corvair engines on their planes and accumulate flying hours, it became apparent that the engine required more refinement. Flying a Corvair engine in an airplane as opposed to driving one in a car, presents serious issues that needed to be addressed for the sake of ?Safety in Flight?.

Crank Issues: A propeller mounted on the Corvair Crank shaft, turning at 3000 RPM will introduce Gyroscopic and Asymmetric loads that will produce bending loads that are many times larger than the twisting loads due to the application of work.

In a car application, the crank sees only the twisting load. Even with a perfectly balanced and symmetric propeller, typical flying maneuvers apply huge asymmetric loads on the crank. The lateral bending forces on the crank, generated by the propeller lead to crank failure.

The Solution to the problem was to nitrate the crank. A process resulting in a much stronger crank. Bill Clapp of Aeromax Aviation had broken the crank in his 100hp Corvair converted engine after 120 hours of flight. Bill had the crank nitrated, and so far has accumulated an additional 500 hours on his airplane without an issue.

Nitrating the Crank for the 100hp, 2700cc Corvair engine will provide you with a high safety margin.

Additional issues: The thrust we?ve experienced in the experimental aircraft market had prompted several enthusiast builders to offer what is referred to as a ?conversion kit? or several specific parts to assist you with your Corvair engine conversion.

Other issues with converting a Corvair engine proved to be stemming from insufficiently designed and poor quality of some of the components used or sold to builders. We have seen technical, product and operational issues that required solutions for safely using the Corvair engine in an aircraft application. As an example, cracked starter rings, poorly built distributors, poorly built engines and improper engine installation or operation have been too common.

By far, the majority of engine problems have happened because of:
Lack of an information manual for proper installation, inspection, and operation procedures.

A common mistake most builders make, is not calculating the cost of everything that must go into their engine to end up with a high quality and reliable aircraft engine. When I was introduced to the Corvair phenomena I was told that one can build a Corvair engine for as low as $3500. Let me assure you of one fact: Unless you are a highly skilled builder / machinist, have access to a machine shop and fabricate all of the conversion kit components yourself:

You will not be able to build a high quality Corvair engine for less than $ 7,500.  Don?t forget ? You?ll be spending an average of one year chasing parts and services. How much is that worth?

AeroMax Corvair engine for experimental aircraft, AeroMax Corvair engine for experimental lightsport aircraft, AeroMax Corvair engine for homebuilt aircraft, AeroMax Corvair engine for amateur built aircraft, Light Sport Aircraft Pilot News newsmagazine.
AeroMax Corvair aircraft engine conversion for experimental homebuilt lightsport aircraft

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AeroMax Corvair engine Index

AeroMax Corvair engine Pictures

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