|The original Hummel Bird, courtesy of Terry Hallett|
The Hummel Bird is what I like to call a growth design. What that means is the designer started with an existing design and he improved it to suit his needs. If a design changes enough it in fact becomes a completely new aircraft. So it is with the Hummel Bird. Morry Hummel started with a set of plans for a Windwagon and redesigned it with larger bulkheads for canopy and shoulder harnesses. He also changed the design to a tail dragger.
He would build the first plane in 1980. "In July of 1982, the plane was featured in an article written by Jack Cox, of Sport Aviation. Jack dubbed Morry's new creation the Hummel Bird." (See Works Cited)
The Hummel bird uses a 1/2 VW engine. Yes dear reader you read that correctly. They literally cut a V/W engine in two parts to have one reasonably powerful lightweight power-plant that has easy to find abundant spare parts. Most 1/2 Volkswagen engines run in the 37 HP range and sip fuel. In spite of the modest power needs the clean little Hummel zips right along at 100 mph and only stalls at 37 mph.
The sturdy metal construction can withstand 6 G's which is a lot more than most of want to endure for any length of time.
|The Ultra Cruiser "God's Gift". Used with permission|
For over 20 years Hummel Aviation has been selling plans of the legendary Hummel Bird and related aircraft. Morry Hummel the man is a fascinating aviation personae. In 1995 a bolt broke on the aileron control system of his Mini-Max and caused Morry to crash. It was nearly fatal and he spent months in the hospital recuperating. Morry made a pact with God, if God let him live he would tell people about Jesus. During this difficult time he designed and ultralight version of his Hummel Bird called the Ultra Cruiser, God's Gift.
|Morry and Myra Hummel, Courtesy of Terry Hallett|
God spared Morry and he completed the first Ultra Cruiser, God's Gift in 2000 and began selling plans. Morry Hummel is a blessed man who has shared his blessings and his lesson about Jesus right alongside his wonderful Hummel Bird.