Hummel Bird

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Ryanc2

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Dec 12, 2020
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The Sonex is a fun plane to fly. If using the 80 horse VW you need to build as it light as possible.

Thanks yeah light is a must! I’m up in Denver so high density altitude for me. Planning on the aerovee turbo for the project. Just other VW conversions were of interest to me so that’s what got me asking about the Hummel. Really learning about that motor right now.
 

cgifly2

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I think that video speaks for itself. No noisier than any other plane with an open exhaust just a different tone. It sounded a lot like a reduction drive car engine. Nobody flies one without an upgraded magneto. De rating it by lowering the compression to cure a perceived vibration is ridiculous. Flying behind that engine at 3800rpm was the most electric feeling engine I have ever felt. The ONLY time it vibrated was just before the prop stoped spinning on shut down. Sounds to me the Taylor you bought would have fallen apart regardless what engine you used. The Mac is a very good alternative for a half VW in the Hummel.
 

Dan Thomas

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I think that video speaks for itself. No noisier than any other plane with an open exhaust just a different tone.
Ever been near one when it's running? It's loud. Much worse than any VW or A-65. The video doesn't do it justice.

It wasn't derated to cure vibration. It was to reduce the HP from 72 to 50. The Monoplane wasn't rated for more power than that.
 

edwisch

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Very similar to the currently more popular Thatcher CX4. That cowling looks like a CX4 cowling. Both are very attractive ships.
There was only one S20 and when he added electrics and a canopy, it became the S21. Supposedly one other was started but no further info.
 

Victor Bravo

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My very limited understanding is that the MacDonald airplane has little or nothing to do with a Hummel airplane. I am not 100% sure on that, but I remember reading an article about the S-20 and I think it didn't say anything about Hummel lineage.
 

12notes

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Another plane in the Hummel geneology is the Macdonald S-20 and S-21. I don't remember where it fell in the series.

View attachment 110603

Although a quick glance does look similar, the MacDonalds are not related to the Hummel or Windwagon. The Hummelbird/Windwagon's fuselage is made by rolling sheet metal between bulkheads, and is essentially a "tube with a cone at the tail" shape. The one pictured had a flat bottom, and you can see the rivet lines for the stingers. Tail and canopy are different, landing gear and wing bend are in a different location, so it doesn't seem like that any major parts are similar enough to call it a derivation.
 

12notes

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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

To my knowlege, only one person has put a full VW on a Hummelbird and liked it. The vast majority who have tried did not enjoy it.

A 35-42hp Scott Casler 1/2 VW does work well, and it's quite a bit faster than a J3 Cub, with a cruise over 100 on 35hp.

The way to go for more power is a similar weight 2 stroke. 50hp Rotax 503 is the most popular, if I had the money the Hirth F-23 would be my choice for this route.

However, I don't have the money, but I do have a McCulloch engine like Skeets', which I might try if I get bored with the 1/2 VW I'm going to put on the plane.
 

cgifly2

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If you don’t have the money for extra speed (bigger engine) and have not started on you wings yet. I suggest using the Riblett air foil that I used. It’s faster, less drag, more lift and stronger. Doesn’t cost any more money than the stock Clark -Y. It’s a no brainer. In fact even if you do use a better engine, why would you not use it?
 

12notes

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If you don’t have the money for extra speed (bigger engine) and have not started on you wings yet. I suggest using the Riblett air foil that I used. It’s faster, less drag, more lift and stronger. Doesn’t cost any more money than the stock Clark -Y. It’s a no brainer. In fact even if you do use a better engine, why would you not use it?

I went through the entire Hummel Yahoo group before they killed it off and picked up a lot of good info, some from you. I used the same Riblett airfoil as you (30 GA 613.5) and made similar wing tanks, the only difference is the back of the tank is an inch in front of the spar and I ran a vent line from the header tank through the gap to the wing tip.

I have CAD files for all the various ribs, I'll probably release them after mine is through testing.
 
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Just a little update: I believe the Hummel Aircraft co has been sold to a guy named Matt in Michigan. Plans for the 3 models are still available & kits for the Ultracruiser & H5 are being made, not the original Hummel Bird. I got this info from a you-tuber that owns 3 Hummel aircraft. Hope this clears some mis information that's floating around.

I do not own one, but I do think they are simple, slick & efficient little planes.
 

12notes

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That was a nice and useful update. Where are you at on your build?

On its gear, right wing done, all parts for left wing made. Controls and canopy done, but not to my satisfaction and will be redone. Engine rebuilt but firewall forward hasn't been started. Had to take about a year off building for a shoulder issue, just starting back now.
 

Glen Maxwell

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Dec 18, 2019
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Hi All,
I have just purchased a Hummel Bird project and have talked to Matt at Hummel Aircraft about plans. It seems that they no longer come with Bill Springs manual or the build DVD and the price has gone up to $275. Is there anyone on the forum here that has the complete set of plans, manual and DVD that they would be willing to sell or perhaps burn me a copy of the manual and DVD? I have searched the internet for an archived copy of the build manual or DVD to no avail. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers
Glen
 

Glen Maxwell

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Glen, what stage is your project at?
It is complete but the engine is trashed so am preparing to rebuild it. Turd, don't you have a Hummel Bird? If so maybe you can answer this question: is it possible to convert a tricycle gear HB to a tail dragger? It looks to me that it is just a matter of swapping the left and right to the opposite side and mounting them to the front of the spar instead of the rear. I am assuming the gear legs are the same. One of the big reasons I need the plans which didn't come with the project. I know also that the rear of the fuse has to be reinforced. I used to have a set of plans but I loaned them out and they never returned home. Now I have no idea who I loaned them to.
 

12notes

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It is complete but the engine is trashed so am preparing to rebuild it. Turd, don't you have a Hummel Bird? If so maybe you can answer this question: is it possible to convert a tricycle gear HB to a tail dragger? It looks to me that it is just a matter of swapping the left and right to the opposite side and mounting them to the front of the spar instead of the rear. I am assuming the gear legs are the same. One of the big reasons I need the plans which didn't come with the project. I know also that the rear of the fuse has to be reinforced. I used to have a set of plans but I loaned them out and they never returned home. Now I have no idea who I loaned them to.

The gear legs are very different from taildragger to tricycle. Tricycle gear are at a 13 degree angle behind the spar, taildragger are 26.4 degrees to the front, the through bolt and the bottom mounting plate will be at the wrong angle if you flip them. In addition, the vertical stabilizer spar is longer on the taildragger to mount the tailspring support clamp, the rudder coupling is different, and there are tailspring support plates on the rear fuselage. The engine mount is different to support the nosegear, as well as the rudder pedals for the nosewheel steering.

Not insanely complicated, but not an easy swap by any means. Most of the welded parts would need to be built or purchased.

The assembly manual and video are not needed for any of this, it is all on the plans.
 

karmarepair

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Is it possible to to build the original Hummel Bird with a 4 cylinder VW?
It's been done, more than once (see also the round cowled plane by David Roe, and his "AeroMorph" engine), but (the late) Bruce King has so (not) happy when he finished with his full VW Hummelbird, he designed his own airplane.

If you want a full VW, and you are CURRENT average US Male Height and Weight, go with an H5.
 
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