The HummelBird is of all metal construction. Bulkheads are mounted on a simple wood beam, with rivet holes located in flanges of bulkheads, skins are wrapped around and holes drilled back through. Sheet metal is simplest, fastest and most economical way to build an aircraft as Art Rempel has proven with his building a HummelBird and engine in three months building time. Construction is very rugged and is stressed for 6G’s, (5G’s with Witman wing tips).
The complete set of plans contains 26 large (D size) drawings with all bulkheads, wing ribs and skins full size. A 30 page step by step manual is very complete with all materials listed. Only simple shop tools are required to build the Hummel Bird tri gear or tail dragger. Rigid and shock absorbing gear is shown on the plans. For grass field operation, the shock gear is recommended. Since this is a short build time and quite simple, it is a good project for first for first time builders. Average build time is 1200-1400 hrs if built from scratch. Though a complete kit is not available, al of the welded and many of the complex parts are available.
Flying the HummelBird is very enjoyable. Turns can be made using very little rudder, as ailerons are differential. The roll rate is in excess of 250 degrees/sec. It is light on controls and flies hands off in smooth air. Stall speed, without wing tips is 42 mph power off and as low as 32 mph power on. There is roll control after the stall which many planes don’t have. With the tri gear, its very easy to land in cross winds–when other planes are being put away because of high winds.