John Steere is one of our Panther builders and he recently sent over some photos of his wing rigging and his engine progress from the Corvair College at Mexico, MO last week.  Here are some of his photos and what he had to say.  You can see all of his progress through his Kit Builder Pro online log.

“John Steere – Experimental Aircraft Builder’s Log

This was a big day in my workshop. A fellow homebuilder and neighbor came over and helped me dismount the wings from their assembly racks, and remount them on the fuselage.

When installing the left wing, I was somewhat bumfuzzeled because the wing was about ½” short of allowing the spar pins to engage, even with the upper wing skin against the fuselage structure. After scratching my head for a few minutes, I remembered that the wing walk doubler would not be trimmed to the fuselage until later in the process, and needed to be removed for the wing to properly engage. With the removal of a few clecos and the doubler, the problem was eliminated and the wing slid neatly into position.

The right wing slid into position relatively easily. The right pin fit the right wing a little tighter than the left pin, requiring light tapping with a small mallet to drive the pin home. This may improve when the wing guides are aligned, or when my temporary spar pins are replaced with the SPA pins.

All in all, a very good day.

Here you can see the two spars overlap in the welded fuselage spar box.

Here you can see John’s left side view of his Panther LS. Looks great! 

John Steere’s Panther in his shop, after installing the wings.

And here is what he had to say about his experience at the Corvair College @ Mexico, MO 2015.

” I attended Corvair College #34 this past week. Tuesday afternoon, I assembled the rings to the pistons, the piston assemblies to the connecting rods, and assembled the piston/rod assemblies into the cylinders. Two of the piston/rod/cylinder assemblies were mounted to the case, and the connecting rod caps torqued to the crankshaft before calling it a day.

When I arrived the following morning, William told me that he and Dan Weseman had discovered that the refurbished Corvair connecting rods that I received from William were honed over nominal size by about 0.001” by one of his suppliers. William said these rods were possibly OK, but that he was not satisfied with possibly OK. He did not have any replacements available, but Dan had sent along with William a few sets of SPA’s forged connecting rods. William made arrangements with Dan, and offered the forged rods to me as a replacement so I could continue with the assembly.

I must say that I was very impressed that he was willing to provide me with significantly upgraded connecting rods as a replacement for what I had paid for. It isn’t often that you run into companies with this kind of customer focus and integrity, but it is certainly great when it happens, and it is  apparent in both FLY Corvair, and SPA.

So, given the fact that William wasn’t willing to let me fly behind a possibly compromised engine, and that the replacement parts he provided were significantly superior; I did not mind spending three or four hours partially disassembling what I had put together the previous day. It would be a stronger engine, well worth the small time loss. By the end of the day, all six cylinder/piston/rod assemblies were mounted, the base of the cylinders were sealed to the case, all of the rod caps torqued to specification, the engine rotated with the proper amount of resistance, and I went home a happy camper.

The refurbished cylinder heads should arrive in two to four weeks from SPA, and we can then button-up the engine.”

John’s Corvair 3.0L with SPA’s reconditioned crankshaft/2nd gen 5th bearing.
John is running with new pistons, cylinders and connecting rods. These are all the standard 3.0L parts offered through SPA and FlyCorvair.

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