Hummel Bird

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Ryanc2

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Anyone have any insight into this picture? N number search confirms it’s a Hummel Bird with Volkswagen conversion. But I thought the Hummel Bird only used a half VW

didn’t think this looked like the ultra cruiser or the H5?

Is it possible to to build the original Hummel Bird with a 4 cylinder VW?

thanks
 

Ryanc2

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I believe the Hummel Bird was designed around a 4 cylinder VW.

Hummel Untra Cruiser was designed around a half-VW.

Here is the link I referenced on the Hummel bird.... it’s saying a half VW but I’m not the expert on this airplane for sure?
 

Pale Bear

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I've got the plans, someplace .. pretty sure it was a 1/2 VW .. fuel burn less than 2 gallons/hr.
 

patrickrio

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Both hummelbird and ultracruiser were designed for the 1/2 VW... but a few adventurous souls have shoehorned the 4 cyl into the hummelbird.

It helps that the early 1/2 VW engines were pretty heavy compared to what can be done now.... and the hummelbird was designed to use the heavy early 1/2 VWs. AND there are ways to make pretty light 4 Cyl VWs now too.

You have to be very careful with engine weight and keeping the engine close to the firewall though with the 4 cyl if you want enough room for pilot weight and you want CG right. The plane really flies less well the closer it is to max gross weight.

last time I checked, I had not heard of ANY electric start 4 cyl hummelbirds because of weight. All hand prop, so engine outs mean a forced landing.
 
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Turd Ferguson

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There’s a Hummelbird around the SW that has a 4 cylinder 2 stroke McCullouch power plant. Even a 1200 cc VW would be a tough install on a stock Hummel. The H5 was purposely upsized to accept the 4 cylinder VW
 

karmarepair

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Anyone have any insight into this picture? N number search confirms it’s a Hummel Bird with Volkswagen conversion. But I thought the Hummel Bird only used a half VW

didn’t think this looked like the ultra cruiser or the H5?

Is it possible to to build the original Hummel Bird with a 4 cylinder VW?

thanks
It's been done at least twice. I think the airplane pictured had a feature article in CONTACT! magazine, it had a VERY light, short stroke (shortened barrels) engine AFAIR. Bruce King of BK1.3 fame, may his memory be for a blessing, built a Hummelbird with a full VW.

WHY? An H-5 will be easier to build, and fly better, and fit real people, from the plans.
 

Dan Thomas

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WHY? An H-5 will be easier to build, and fly better, and fit real people, from the plans.
I had a Hummelbird project for a few years, started by an uncle. I welded up the steel bits but didn't go any farther. Figured the utility just wasn't there to justify the time and money. With the fuselage in cradles, you could get into it. No, wait, you didn't get in. You put it on. Now, with my arthritis and stiffness, I'd be afraid to get in. Might not get out.
 

Ryanc2

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Thanks for the info guys! I have a set of original Hummel bird plans. But I think I’m more on the Sonex with aerovee route for a project! But seeing that Hummel with the big VW had me curious as to what people had done!
 

Ryanc2

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But getting a set of the H5 plans would be the ticket! That looks like the best one of the three planes!
 

cgifly2

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The fact that Bruce King built a Hummelbird with a 4 cylinder VW and then immediately designed the the BK-1 should tell you NOT to goe that route. the wing skins wrinkled because of the extra weight. If you want a Hummel with more power just use the McCullogh. That’s an easier build.
 

Pale Bear

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Anyone, .. was the original 1/2 VW, for the Hummel, that weak, .. causing these other ideas?
 

cgifly2

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What you need to remember is that the original Hummelbird wasn’t a Hummelbird but a Gary Watson wind wagon. No turtle deck or canopy. And if not mistaken a tail dragger (lighter). Like so many other designs that someone got a whole of and napkin engineered changes to as the weight grew so the performance shrunk. It does fly well on a half VW but I would compare the performance and feel to a 65Hp Cub. As long as your not in a hurry to get there it’s fine. It’s a story that’s told again and again. More power heavier engine, heavier engine beefier airframe. Beefier airframe needs more power! Repeat proces.
 

Dan Thomas

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The fact that Bruce King built a Hummelbird with a 4 cylinder VW and then immediately designed the the BK-1 should tell you NOT to goe that route. the wing skins wrinkled because of the extra weight. If you want a Hummel with more power just use the McCullogh. That’s an easier build.
When I bought my Taylor Monoplane restoration project it had that McCullough on it. It's a terrible engine. The vibration had shattered glue joints in the firewall, though all the glue joints in that airplane were bad anyway. It also saturated the wood with oil, making it nearly impossible to repair. My McCullough was derated to 50 HP using shims under the cylinder bases to reduce the compression ratio, and the vibration was still awesome. Noise, too. Those engines were famous for magneto failures and carbs that shook apart. The engine was designed for something like a 15-minute service life, for antiaircraft gunnery target drones.

Hummelbird with McCullough:

 

Turd Ferguson

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What you need to remember is that the original Hummelbird wasn’t a Hummelbird but a Gary Watson wind wagon. No turtle deck or canopy. And if not mistaken a tail dragger (lighter). Like so many other designs that someone got a whole of and napkin engineered changes to as the weight grew so the performance shrunk.
That is correct. The Windwagon evolved from Cal Parker's Teenie Too. The Hummel evolved from Gary Watson's Windwagon. Morry Hummel started with Windwagon plans but raised the turtledeck primarily so he could install a canopy & shoulder harness. He changed the landing gear to conventional gear for a more sporty plane. He used Dave Carr's 1/2 VW plans and created his own version of a "cut-in-half" VW engine that didn't need a lot of welding. The plane didn't have a name until July, 1982 when Jack Cox did an article for Sport Aviation and dubbed it the "Hummelbird." The name stuck.

Morry's Hummelbird is a neat little plane. He flew the plane to OSH 1980 and was bombarded with enthusiasm. Morry worked with Bill Spring to draw up a set of plans for the Hummelbird and Hummel Aviation was born. Morry sold Hummel Aviation and the Hummelbird rights to Terry Hallet, who has now (Jan 2021) sold the company to Matt and Laurie Higgins. They changed the name slightly to "Hummel Aircraft" and moved the operation to near Howell, Michigan.

The larger Hummel that uses a full VW engine, now known as the H5 was a collaborative effort between Hummel Aviation and Bill Spring. It is significantly different from the Hummelbird because can't bolt a 4 cylinder VW on the Hummelbird without issues. The plane does retain a similar appearance.
 

Dick Rake

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Anyone have any insight into this picture? N number search confirms it’s a Hummel Bird with Volkswagen conversion. But I thought the Hummel Bird only used a half VW

didn’t think this looked like the ultra cruiser or the H5?

Is it possible to to build the original Hummel Bird with a 4 cylinder VW?

thanks
I talked to the builder of this airplane about 11 years ago at the Copper State fly-in and he told me that his 4 cylinder VW had been trimmed to 120 lbs. I think he said it was an 1584cc. I got the impression he was well versed in the vw and machine shop skills.
 

Pops

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I talked to the builder of this airplane about 11 years ago at the Copper State fly-in and he told me that his 4 cylinder VW had been trimmed to 120 lbs. I think he said it was an 1584cc. I got the impression he was well versed in the vw and machine shop skills.
The weight of a stock 1200cc, 1300 cc, 1500cc, 1600 cc long block is 116 lbs. ( steel cylinders ). He really had to go all out to make 120 lb when adding the carb , intake, exhaust, and the ignition system and prop hub. My 1835 cc , firewall forward including the prop weighed 141 lbs. ( steel cylinders ).
 

Daleandee

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But I think I’m more on the Sonex with aerovee route for a project!
The Sonex is a fun plane to fly. If using the 80 horse VW you need to build it as light as possible.
 
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