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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Q: I would like to submit a review or testimonial, where can I do this?

A: Please use the contact us page, or give us a call at (734) 548-4772.

Q: I've read this entire page and don't see my question answered. Is there another place I could look without contacting Hummel Aircraft Company?

A: You can take a look at the forum, as others may have asked your question and answered it there. Do not hesitate to contact us if you do have any questions or concerns.

ULTRACRUISER QUESTIONS

Q: Can the Ultracruiser be built as a Part 103 FAA compliant ultralight?

A: Yes.  If it is built without a canopy & V-Twin Engine it will comply with Part 103, meaning no license is required to fly, and it is not required to be registered or inspected by the FAA.

Q: Can the Ultracruiser be registered, given an “N” Number?

A: Most certainly. If you choose to have a canopy, and tricycle gear you will not be within the Part 103 rules, and you may have the aircraft inspected and registered with the FAA.

Q: What are the FAA Part 103 requirements?

A: Generally speaking the maximum empty weight cannot exceed 254 lbs, the vehicle can only hold 5 gallons of fuel, maximum cruise speed is 63 mph and stall speed is less than 28 mph. 

 

Q: What ½ VW engine options are available for the Ultracruiser?

A: Really any 1/2VW direct drive conversion will work, generally these are 32hp, 37hp, and 45 hp.  There are various sources for engines.  We generally recommend Hummel Engines and Machining owned by Scott Casler.  

 

Q: Are there other engine options available for the Ultracruiser?

A: The V-Twin Engine now comes standard for all UCs. We recommend its use over any 1/2 VW for better reliability, maintenance, electric start, and availability of parts. Lead times are also much shorter for the V-Twin.

 

Q: Can I build just from plans?

A: Yes – our plans are 30 pages or 24” x 36” detailed sheets showing the entire construction process with many full size templates on the pages.

 

Q: How long with it take me to build from plans (scratch built)?

A: This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on many factors.  We generally tell new builders that it may take about 1000 hours to complete a scratch build aircraft. Building using our kits can save you lots of time.

 

Q: Do I have to buy the entire kit all at once?

A: No! We have the aircraft broken down into sub-kits that spread out the cost.  This also allows you the freedom to build at your pace and at your budget.

 

Q: Do I need any special tools to build the kit?

A: No not really.  General hand tools, cleco pliers, a few hundred clecos, and a pneumatic pull riveter are about all that is needed.  Any solid riveting and welding is done at the factory. Take a look at the facebook forum to see what others may think.

 

Q: How much space do I need to build the kit?

A: A one car garage will accommodate most all building until you are ready to install the wings.  At that point, you will need to get to a hangar, or a larger building. We do not recommend you tie the aircraft down outside.

 

Q: Can I just buy some of the parts and hand-build the rest?

A: Certainly. Just check out the online store to see what's available.

 

Q: Can I come see an aircraft?

A: Yes! We have visitor hours on specific days at the demonstration hangar.  Please call us as we may have a customer near you that would show you their aircraft.  If not, we can make arrangements for you to visit us.

 

Q: I am really tall / kind of big.  Can I fit into an Ultracruiser?

A: The Ultracruiser is capable of a maximum weight of 575 lbs.  (Empty weight can be as low at 254 lbs).  Pilots as tall as 6’2”+ have been able to fit into the airframe.   If you are larger than that, the H5 may be a better choice. Adjustments can be made to the rudder pedals, seat back, and instrument panel to allow for taller pilots. The company test pilot is 6ft tall.

 

Q: How many Ultracruisers are flying?

A: Plans were first introduced in 2001. We estimate that there are more than 150 aircraft flying. More are completed every year and ready-to-fly Ultracruisers are very popular.

 

Q: How long does it take me to get a kit?

A: We generally have most of the sub-kits on the shelf ready to ship within a few days.  In the event that we don’t have a complete kit ready to go, we can get you started on one of the sub-kits, and ship you the rest when stock is available.  Please call us to discuss as stock levels change constantly.

 

Q: Can I buy an Ultracruiser Ready to Fly?

A: Hummel Aircraft Company only sells plans and kits – but you be able to find someone interested in selling theirs. Terry Hallett will be offering ready to fly aircraft. To contact him please go to the contact us page and leave us a message!

HUMMEL BIRD QUESTIONS

Q: Does the Hummelbird be registered, given an “N” Number?

A: Most certainly. The Hummelbird does not fall within the Part 103 ultralight rules.  It does fit within the LSA experimental rules.

Q: What ½ VW engine options are available for the Hummelbird?

A: Really any 1/2VW direct drive conversion will work, generally these are 32hp, 37hp, and 45 hp.  There are various sources for engines.  We generally recommend Hummel Engines and Machining owned by Scott Casler.  

 

Q: Can I build just from plans or can I buy a kit?

A: We currently do not offer any plans for the hummelbird. We may have some parts available upon request. No kits are available. 

 

Q: How long with it take me to build from plans (scratch built)?

A: This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on many factors.  We generally tell new builders that it may take about 1200+ hours to complete a scratch build aircraft.

 

Q: Do I need any special tools to build the kit?

A: General hand tools, cleco pliers, a few hundred clecos, and a pneumatic pull riveter, and tools for solid rivets are required.  Since there is no kit, you will be cutting parts from sheet material and fabricating everything yourself.

 

Q: How much space do I need to build the Hummelbird?

A: A one car garage will accommodate most all building until you are ready to install the wings.  At that point, you will need to get to a hangar, or a larger building.

 

Q: Can I just buy some of the parts and hand-build the rest?

A: Please call or email us with your specific needs. We do not keep our shelved stocked with hummelbird parts anymore.

 

Q: Can I come see an aircraft?

A: Please call us as we may have a customer near you that would show you their aircraft. 

 

Q: I am really tall / kind of big.  Can I fit into a Hummelbird?

A: The Hummelbird is a very small aircraft.  Someone 5’9” and less than 170 lbs will fit into the Hummelbird (barely).  Our other designs are suited for larger pilots. 

 

Q: Is the Hummelbird a good first aircraft?

A: While the aircraft is not difficult to fly, it is quicker and more responsive than our other designs and requires the appropriate amount of respect. We do not recommend it as a first airplane. The UC and H5 are much more forgiving.

H5 QUESTIONS

Q: Can the H5 be built as a Part 103 FAA compliant ultralight?

A: No. The H5 is too large and too fast to meet Part 103 requirements.  Is does fit within the LSA experimental category.

 

Q: Can the H5 be registered, given an “N” Number?

A: Yes you will be required to have the aircraft inspected and registered with the FAA.  You as the pilot will also require at least a Sport Pilot License.

 

Q: What engine options are available for the H5?

A: The H5 utilizes a full VW.  There are various sources for engines.  We generally recommend Hummel Engines and Machining owned by Scott Casler.  

 

Q: Can I build just from plans?

A: Yes – our plans are 42 pages or 24” x 36” detailed sheets showing the entire construction process with many full size templates on the pages.

 

Q: How long with it take me to build from plans (scratch built)?

A: This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on many factors.  We generally tell new builders that it may take about 1000 hours to complete a scratch build aircraft.

 

Q: Do I have to buy the entire kit all at once?

A: No! We have the aircraft broken down into sub-kits that spread out the cost.  This also allows you the freedom to build at your pace and at your budget.

 

Q: Do I need any special tools to build the kit?

A: No not really.  General hand tools, cleco pliers, a few hundred clecos, and a pneumatic pull riveter are about all that is needed.  Any solid riveting is done at the factory.

 

Q: How much space do I need to build the kit?

A: A one car garage will accommodate most all building until you are ready to install the wings.  At that point, you will need to get to a hanger, or a larger building.

 

Q: Can I just buy some of the parts and hand-build the rest?

A: Certainly.  We offer various groupings of parts that we have found that are helpful to the plans builder.  We offer formed wing rib sets, bulkhead sets, welded parts, and various other components.  Just check out the online store!

 

Q: Can I come see an aircraft?

A: Yes! We have visitor hours on specific days at the demonstration hangar.  Please call us as we may have a customer near you that would show you their aircraft.  If not, we can make arrangements for you to visit us.

 

Q: I am really tall / kind of big.  Can I fit into an Ultracruiser?

A: The H5 is capable of a maximum weight of 850 lbs.  (Empty weight can be as low at 460 lbs).  There is room for plenty of useful load and big pilots.

 

Q: How many H5 are flying?

A: Plans were first introduced in 2005.  We estimate that there are about 50 aircraft flying., more added every year.

 

Q: How long does it take me to get a kit?

A: We generally have most of the sub-kits on the shelf or ready to ship within a few weeks.  In the event that we don’t have a complete kit ready to go, we can get you started on one of the sub-kits, and ship you the rest when stock is available.  Please call us to discuss as stock levels change constantly.

 

Q: Can I buy an H5 Ready to Fly?

A: No, unfortunately the H5 falls within the LSA / experimental aircraft category.  This requires that 51% of the aircraft is completed by the builder.  Our kit satisfies this requirement, so you will need to do 51+% of the building.

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