JAN 2015

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/449720

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Page 27 of 32

28 Vol.4 No.1 / Januar y 2015 WHAT OUR MEMBERS ARE BUILDING IN 2010 WHILE LOOKING for a retirement project for myself—a senior aerospace avionics engineer—I came across a shiny Hummel Bird built by Blackie, a serial craftsman, for sale in Texas. However, the newly introduced Hummel H-5 was already on the market and seemed to better meet my anticipated needs. So I jumped into my car and drove to the badlands of Texas from coastal California to check out the Hummel design philosophy, kit fabrication, and factory support. I also got checked out for fl ight in a light-sport aircraft after 55 years and even fewer hours in general aviation aircraft. Following conversations with Terry at Hummel Avia- tion, I settled on a tri-gear H-5 kit with the big 2.4-liter, 85-hp Hummel engine and a pair of 5-gallon wing tanks. This would give me the range to visit sons in Nevada and Washington and the incentive to add lots of avionics like a real cross-country airplane. My wife agreed that she would contentedly continue to use commercial flights until I add another seat and more engines to my (next) little plane. In a year and a half, after working about four hours per day in an ample garage, we rolled out the H-5 and loaded it onto a borrowed trailer for a 10-mile trip to the regional airport and a borrowed hangar. During the next few months, the wings were attached, avionics checked out, and a few hours of taxi testing done to assure myself that the steer- able nose gear really would steer. Shortly after a designated airworthiness representative determined it was airworthy, A California Hummel Bird N144HV—my retirement project BY DAVID V. DICKE Y, E A A 399543 Photography by David Dickey

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