Hmmel Bird Complete at last!

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Ace_Plumber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
52
Location
Ukiah, California
I thought I would be able to get to the airport today for another run at it but stuff happens. I just wish it would happen to someone else for a change! lol.Topaz, I have thought about the chute but as you know this is a tiny airplane. You don't get in,you put it on! I am 5'9" and my head is almost touching the canopy.so a seat pack won't work. Same with a back pack,no room for knees then.
It would be real tough to get out of this thing too! I am confident that the wings won't fall off so the only other thing would be a power failure. That's why I intend to stay over the airport. Even from 2500ft. I should have plenty of time to set up for a dead stick approach.
Joe, I am trying to find a grass strip somewhere near me. There are a couple of private ones,but I have to track down the owners to see if they would let me fly from them. I would also need to see the strip first. It needs to be pretty smooth. My wheels are very small. It's a funny thing. Time and money are both precious commodities. You fellas let me know if you figure out a way we could have both at the same time! Wow! Every time I want to do a quick paragraph here it turns into a novel,Thanks for following along. I appreciate the support!
 
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Ace_Plumber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
52
Location
Ukiah, California
Steve,Thanks for asking. I am in good health but my bank account is not! I am very sorry to say that after all the years that I have dreamed of doing this and all the effort it seems that this is as close as I will get to fulfilling my dream of flying my own airplane.:dis: I have been struggling to make the hanger rent as well as my personal bills! I hate the thought but I may be forced to sell my little bird before some one can fly it! #1,I need to refresh my skills,no money for that. #2,I can't afford to pay a test pilot to fly it for me. #3,If someone does fly it I will get a tax bill that I can't pay! I don't want to get into politics but come election time we need to fire the whole bunch! I have been in business since 1985 and now days it takes a lot more $$$ than I can earn just to get by. I am trying to keep my home! So there you have the sad truth. Needless to say, I'm not a happy camper these days! I have things that I would change on my airplane and I still need to replace that dented skin on my horizontal stabilizer......I could go on and on but no one wants to listen to a whiner so I will stop.

A cannibal was walking through the jungle one day when he came upon a cannibal café.
The cannibal was hungry so he stopped to read the menue.....broiled missionary $2.....fillet of explorer $3.......deep fried politician $20.
When he inquired why it cost so much for deep fried politician the cannibal cook said " did you ever try to clean one of those things? They are so full of crap that it takes all day! :gig:
So I am praying for a miracle to happen. I hope to still be here with some good news. Keep a good thought and wish me luck. I need it!

Happy New Year
Ace Plumber
 
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steveair2

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2007
Messages
989
Location
Dallas Texas
Hey Ace, glad to hear your OK. I know the feeling. After twenty years in the electrical trade, watching inflation grow, and it seems my pay has stayed the same the whole time. And since 9/11 the norm is to get laid off as soon as the project is complete. Currentley unemployed, I'm lucky my wife has a secure job and lets me stay home and work on my plane.
I think you should do everything possible to keep your plane. Selling it at this point, I think would be very bad for moral. Lets just hope the new year will bring us some new oppurtunities.

Happy New Year!
Steve
 

skeeter_ca

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2005
Messages
1,027
Location
Yucaipa, Ca
Yeah, don't sell it! You will regret it for the rest of your life. I did that with my Moni motorglider when i got married the first time and can't stop being PO'ed every time i think about. If you have to just pack it up and store it till things get better. Let the hanger go to save money and bring it home for the repairs. That way your not giving up.

skeeter
 

bob.shea

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
74
Location
wonderlake IL USA
Do what ever you can to keep your bird. Pull the wings, pickle the motor. Get ride of your hanger.
What you will get for selling it just won't be enough to change your life. I have sold several toys over the years, to pay a bill or to keep the piece, and 3 months later I look and it made no difference.
Your plane is all alum. I have a mini coupe that was started 30 years ago, with luck I will finish the plane this coming summer. but the point is, it still looks fine, not all of the time but at least 5 years it was stored outside be hind the house of the guy I baught it from, time to finish is on your side.
Good luck with work.
 

Ace_Plumber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
52
Location
Ukiah, California
Thanks for the good thoughts guys! And your right about not selling it at this point. I have had to draw back a few times over the years that I have been building this little plane. I am going to keep my the hanger until I get an eviction notice. I store things for my business there also so I can use it for a wright off for tax purposes. But I have to pay the rent before I can wright it off. In the mean time I am going to pull the wings off and bring it back to my garage so I can work on some things I mentioned in earlier posts. I think I my have a leaky fuel tank,I don't like the brake levers being hand operated,and I would love to make some wheel pants (all aluminum of course).Also I need to make a new skin for my horizontal stabilizer. I can do these things in my garage much easier than in the hanger as the hanger has no power or lights. Also my garage is climate controlled....much better the hanger! It pools rain water in the corner,condenses on the metal hanger and rains on my plane! Makes it a real pain in the tail to keep things polished! Not to mention the on going battle with corrosion. I need a hanger though as this is an unusual airplane and if it were tied down outside someone would no doubt vandalize it. So there ya go,that's the latest plan. I could without a doubt sell it for more $$$ than I have invested but that's no compensation for feeling like a failure. Besides even if I did sell I don't know if I have enough years left in me to finish another one even if I could afford to. I am going to do my best to keep on the trail! Thanks for all the good thoughts and best of luck with all your projects. Keep it moving forward.

AP

PS: Having my project at home to work on while waiting for the phone to ring will be good therapy. :gig:
 
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Ace_Plumber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
52
Location
Ukiah, California
zekiejohn, My engine is a 1/2 volkswagen (two cylinders). The stroke is 69mm and the bore is 92mm, With heads fabricated from VW 049 heads with larger valves. All this yields approximately 32HP. My propeller is a Culver Wooden propeller 34" pitch by 46" diameter. It turns @ 2900 RPMs static. My air frame is fabricated from 2024 T3 alclad aluminum. All Steel parts (landing gear,engine mount,and control pieces) are made from 4130-N chromoly steel tubing.
 
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Ace_Plumber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
52
Location
Ukiah, California
Hello everyone. I am going to try this again! It's the fifth time I have written this today! I keep hitting the wrong key and losing it all just about when I think I'm ready to post it! :tired: We had the second annual airport day yesterday. I put "Lil Loosie" out on display again. I arrived late and couldn't access the ramp with my vehicle so I was not able to bring the sand buckets with the pots and ropes to keep people back from the airplane. Big Mistake! It was like trying to herd cats! I spent the day telling people not to touch the airplane. Kids with dripping snow cones and Popsicles. kids trying to use my horizontal stabilizer as a bench to sit down. I had two moms that were the worst one tried to lift her child up to stand on my wing for a picture! Lucky I was able to stop her in time! Another mom was just letting her four year old run wild. The kid ran up to my plane and started drumming on the wing! When I barked "STOP! Don't touch the airplane!" the mom gives me a "look" and says with a hand on her hip attitude," You should have a sign!" She really cheesed me off! I replied with "Lady please control your child, I doubt he can read anyway! these aren't toys ya know! There's yer sign! :mad2: It did put a smile on my face and a few others too when she grabbed her kid and went off in a huff,lol. I don't know what it is about a polished airplane that makes people want to touch it. But I was lucky all I had at the end of the day was a few finger prints. I must have talked to a couple hundred people with questions. A lot couldn't believe that my plane wasn't a big model. A few were nice enough to ask for a picture of their young ones sitting in the airplane. Lots of people took picture of me standing by it. I even got interviewed by the local TV station! I had a good time in spite of all the ignorant people that haven't a clue what's invested in building an airplane. So there ya have it. Note to myself.....BRING THE ROPES NEXT TIME! :ermm: I have some picture to share but for some reason I can't download them here. Shoot me an email if you want to see em. I'm always happy to share them with interested folks. Mention Hummel Bird,or airplane so I don't spam you though. Happy aviating!:)

AP

ace_flyer20@yahoo.com
 
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Dan Thomas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
5,828
So there ya have it. Note to myself.....BRING THE ROPES NEXT TIME! :ermm:
The ropes might stop most adults but they likely wouldn't stop the brats. Spoiled kids will do whatever they want.

And this problem shows up at any aviation exhibition. Kids don't understand the fragility of airplanes, and most of their parents don't either. The parents who will give their kids everything will be determined that the kid can stand on the airplane for a picture, and will be offended when prevented from doing so. Is it just me, or are there many more people like that now than there were 30 years ago?

Dan
 

Ace_Plumber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
52
Location
Ukiah, California
That's exactly right Dan! I was Talking to an older couple at the time that happened. Actually was distracted from talking to them when it happened. after I had taken care of the problem and turned back to finish the conversation with them,the older lady leaned in close to me and said "There is a whole new generation of them out there." I knew exactly what she meant. There is a severe shortage of common courtesy and common sense as well as respect for others or their property. But the ropes did help last year. That last post changed a lot from the first draft. As I said I kept hitting the wrong key and losing it. It actually started out to tell how I had to move out of my hanger on Memorial Day week end. It's good to have friends like I have! Three of them offered space in their hangers so I could keep my plane at the airport. One of the hangers is huge,but it's full of antique cars. We are going to rig things up to hoist my little bird into the rafters for winter storage. I told everyone in an earlier post how I found a misalignment in my main gear that was contributing to the ground handling problems. I also removed about half of the travel of the tail wheel. Now I intend exchange the tail wheel spring for one that is about 9" longer to give a longer turning moment. As soon as I can scrounge up something to fabricate it out of. I think that will make another big difference in the ground handling. I am still on the way to that first flight. But I won't go for it until I feel comfortable that the airplane is as ready as it can be. I have been looking for a test pilot, but so far the pilots that are willing are not what I would consider to be qualified for this. Not test pilot types,but instead BOLD pilots. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Happy Aviating,AP
 

dreamflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
91
Location
Goldsboro N.C home of Seymour Johnson AFB..
I think you plane looks badass. I've read most of the post from the begining one and it just looks different from some of the Hummel birds i've seen on youtube.? The canopy has a jet fighter look to it.I think the metal work that you've done looks like art like the other posters have said. I hope you can get the bird off the ground one day but being cautious is one thing i think i would be too.
 

Ace_Plumber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
52
Location
Ukiah, California
Thank you dreamflyer. I think there are two key areas that make my Hummel Bird unique. One is I took great pains to get the turtle deck to look like the plans say it should. I have seen a lot of variations there.Also with the canopy and windshield. I wanted a nice smooth continuous line. The other area is from the fire wall forward. My plan set was an early version and it didn't give me anything for the fire wall forward. Pretty much all I had was a thrust line and distance from firewall to the back of the engine case. The cowling was only going to be a trial but it turned out pretty good the first try. My spinner is a smaller diameter than what the plans called for and I didn't want the blunt nose of the cowling to sticks up above it so I dropped the cowloing to match the top of the spinner. This gave me the cleanest line possible. But it was a little bit of a challenge to get thing to fit under the lowered cowling. I am pleased with the effort though. Others have made the same comments as you so I think I made a good decision when I built the cowling that way.

Happy aviating, AP
 
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dreamflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
91
Location
Goldsboro N.C home of Seymour Johnson AFB..
I know one thing your face is gonna hurt for days after you go for your first flight because of your SEG.lol That planes too beautiful to sit on the ground.I would probably take flying lessons.even if if i had to take a part time job to pay for the lessons and get comfortable and set a date for the first flight. I believe once you get the first flight under your belt your gonna say to yourself why did i wait so long.? make sure you carry a camera with you too.
 

Workhorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
400
Location
Southern Spain
Hi Ace,

If you built it you deserve the joy of flying it.

When I applied my first job as crop duster, I was supposed to taxi as fast as I could a Piper Pawnee, raise the tail and stop. The runway was about 12 ft wide, 1500 ft long with some vegetation both sides of the clear part and there would be no problem stepping on it.
I was tired of taxing that boneshaker (didn’t know yet how forgivable plane it is) up and down the runway and said, Ok, I’m ready to go up into the air as you requested.
And the old boss said no: Get used to the plane until you feel comfortable with it.

Didn’t remember I use to say my students, a pilot who feels comfortable in an aircraft is a safe pilot, but I wanted that job as much as you want to fly it.

On the next runs I got in panic and stared at the runway sides, forgetting a commandment: Always look at the end of the runway no matter if you are landing or taking off. And my self confidence dropped. I managed not to crash it, but I thought I was a bad bad pilot.

I was wandering in the hangars during a rain storm thinking that aircraft was too difficult for me, and I couldn’t understand how I couldn’t get it (260hp) meanwhile I mastered the two place one. An older pilot, Angel told me. What is the problem?, just look at the end of the runway and take it easy. You were told not to go up in the air, but you know you can do it, you just don’t need it if you don’t want it. You are in command, you take the decisions.

That was my Dumbo feather.

Some children walked into the night over the canvas wings and both had to be replaced, but when she was fixed I put my helmet, followed my routine, just applied full power to that spot at the end of the runway and said, ok, I’m not going airborne because that is what our old boss wants. Taxied back and said.

I’m ready to go. (I have full control of this aircraft).

In the next landings and spraying runs He told I did it like a professional, but it was just self confidence.

A tiny, and awesome built taildragger like yours may be really nervous, but act as it is your toy, don’t fear it, just feel it and learn about it. And over all, if you see yourself airborne, go ahead, go high, feel it, make some turns and enjoy it and don’t fear.

Go higher, se how it behaves at low speed, feel it’s handling at low speed knowing it is a really good design and won’t tip stall, or spin or nothing. Again, feel it, see you can have the full control at low speeds, and even then, mark 8-10 knots above and go for an approach, and if you can not see the ASI don’t worry because you can feel in the butt if it is properly behaving. Just make an approach, go lower and see, go around, and again. It's easier than you think.

I grant you your touch down would be as nice as in your first solo.
 

Workhorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
400
Location
Southern Spain
I forgot to say if you see your self pushing the pedals and there is no response, just add power and would feel the tail become stiff. At low speeds the rudder may have little response that can be aided by the propeller downwash.

The scenario is: I landed between a rice crop (mud) and a channel (15 ft deep). There was some tail wind and I had no response from the rudder. My options were capsizing or capsizing and drowning. I added power and could stay in the course, later I realized I had no runway available so went for a go around. But reserved the brakes for a good landing. That's it, keep them cool and don't fear to add power when needed.
 

dreamflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
91
Location
Goldsboro N.C home of Seymour Johnson AFB..
those are the same people that go to car or bike shows and want to touch the vehicle. I remember i had just stopped at a store for a drink and a smoke and a lady comes up with her small child the kid comes running up and i kinda get in the way and the mom grabs the kid and gives me the "look" and walks away and what she doesn't know that i saved her child from some really nasty burns if they had touched the pipes on my bike.
 

Ace_Plumber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
52
Location
Ukiah, California
Just a quick update to let everyone know I'm still around and "Lil Loosie" is still at the airport. I am planning on bringing her home for the winter to do some work on her. It's much easier to work in my climate controled garage than it is in the hanger that has no power within 75ft. I want to change out the Westach tachometer for a Tiny Tach. Right now I have both and the Tiny Tach is mounted on the firewall. My thouhgt was to use it mainly for an hour meter. I have since realized that even though I have a fuse on the Westach it is connected to my P lead and if it develops a short it will ground my mag. This would not be a happy situation as now I understand from another Hummelbird driver that the prop won't windmill. A silent engine is my worst fear so I am going to do everything I can to avoid that. It will be a good change because the Tiny Tach is much more acurate and also easier to read. Another thing is my engine mount and landing gear is TIG welded. I have reacently read on the EAA forum that TIG welding induces stress into the metal due to not heating things up enough. (I thought that was good when I was welding them up) So I am going to remove my engine one more time and red up all the weld clusters with a rosebud torch and let them cool slowley to relieve the stress in the joints, and hopefully get them powder rcoated after that. I welcome any feedback on this stuff! I would love to hear your thoughts on the subjects. Also I have installed a real antenna and a push to talk switch for my handheld radio but I still need to build a mount for the radio. I want to incorporate jacks for my headset into the radio mount as well. My cockpit is small and I want to de-clutter as much as possible. I also want to fabricate a longer tial wheel spring and re-do the tail wheel swivel point in hopes of making ground handleing easier. (thinking about a composite spring from an Astro Van) I'm still not sure if direct drive with a pushrod to the tail wheel is better than two chains and springs or not. Again I am looking for feedback folks. There are a few other things on my list also. I don't think I will ever really be done with this plane. Any of you that have a homebuilt airplane knows that they are big "tinker toys". There is always something on the to do list. I haven't been brave enough to do much more taxiing. In reality I only have a few minutes of taxi time that is faster than you could run. But I knoew that's what it's going to take to get the feel for the plane and get my confidence back. So there you have the latest plan of attack. I hope it held your interest for a couple of minutes. My hanger mate has a Sonerai II and I will be getting some stick time in it. I'm sure that will help me a lot. It's hard to knock the rust off your flying skills!

Happy Aviating Everyone, AP
 

larrygmoody

Active Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
30
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Timing is everything!

After searching the forum for 'brakes', I came upon your post from March 1, 2008... the one where you hit the runway light and talked about your brake setup. I've been pondering the best setup for brakes on my FP 303. I acquired the plane without brakes, but there are extra wheels (with drum brakes) included in the deal. My question was whether to use a bike lever on the stick or come up with a light-weight toe brake arrangement. Your post confirms for me that I need to go with the toe brakes one way or the other. It's just a more instinctive setup for me, and if/when the **** hits the fan, I need to be able to find the brake without hesitation.

See, I plan on doing the exact same taxi test that you described and I'm sure I'll face the same tail dragger tendencies. I may even do it wings-off, just so I don't accidentally bounce into the sky :)

BTW, I'm replying here (on page 4) because I've read this entire post. You journey has been a fascinating one and there has been a TON of great info discussed here. Thank you for keeping this thread going and good luck! I can only hope that I'm as thorough in my own project as you have been. I believe the 'big payoff' will be that much sweeter because of it.
 
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