Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Friday, 2 June 2017

Friday Wind In The Wires: The Hummel Bird

When home builders are making their own airplanes they tend to have materials they prefer. Some guys prefer to work in wood and will gravitate to builds like the Pietenpol Aircamper...

This bird was designed in the 20's and was originally spec'd out
with a Ford Model A engine.
That's probably a Lycoming or Continental in the pic.
I favour wood but it requires that the bird be hangared in a heated
building once the build is complete.

Some homebuilders love to build in cutting edge plastic/polymer/composite materials. The Long EZ is just such a bird. John Denver was killed in one of these if I recall correctly.

We actually got buzzed by one of these out at Vegreville one day.
He screamed over the run way at low altitude and was gone before we
could scramble our ultralights to intercept, HAR HAR HAR!
Nobody knew who he was or where he was from.

Some guys like to work in metal. The tin bashers will be enthralled and smitten with the HummelBird

Powered by the '1/2 VW' engine, the Hummelbird is perhaps one of the most
attractive ultralights out there.

I've heard that this plane can be fabricated by the piker but I disagree. You have to be skilled with metal to work the compound curves of the plane, and that, to me at least, means English wheels, air hammers, and metal brakes to get the streamlined beauty this bird has to over.

I suspect that is the reason I've never seen one - this is not a home build for a farmer or a piker with a well equipped shop - this is a specialist's project. Just looking at it, I would reckon she is a panic to fly too: a tail dragger, low drag, high speed (as far as ultralights are concerned) and dimunitive control surfaces.

The owner of this one put his heart and soul into it.
You won't see this in the winner's circle at the Reno Air Races...
but it LOOKS like a racer for sure.

I've worked with sheet metal and hate it with the heat of 1000 suns.
I have cut my hands right through heavy leather gloves on it and will be happy
if I never have to touch that shit again.
You can bet the pilot was bleeding a bit after this one.

If you have the stones and the skills this is the bird for you! No doubt about it - it's a chick magnet! HAR HAR HAR! Have a good Friday!


  1. I've always wanted to fly an ultralight. How about the Curtis Headless pusher? Is it any good?

    1. I dunno anything about it, WL. It looks like it was an early advancement over the original Wright flyer because it has rudimentary ailerons, and antique pics I see show it racing hi-perf cars of the era and holding it's own.

      I love the early pushers because they look like flying junk yards. :)