Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Hovey Whing Ding

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
First flight  February 1971
Hovey Whing Ding The Hovey Whing Ding II Ultralight Airplane Plans

Manufacturer  Vintage Ultralight and Lightplane Association
Similar  AmEagle American Eaglet, Eipper Quicksilver, Mitchell U 2 Superwing

The Hovey Whing Ding is an extremely minimalist American ultralight aircraft that was designed by Bob Hovey of Saugus, California, first flying in 1971. The aircraft is supplied in the form of plans for amateur construction by the Vintage Ultralight and Lightplane Association of Marietta, Georgia.


Hovey Whing Ding Whats it like to fly the Hovey WhingDing II

Hovey Wing Ding II lower wings

Design and development

Hovey Whing Ding East Campus Aircraft Air Zoo Aviation Museum amp Science Education

Hovey set out to create the lightest aircraft to carry a person ever to fly, with the resulting design being a biplane, with a plywood box filled with Polyurethane foam serving as the fuselage, supporting the pilot's seat. The aircraft features a conventional fabric-covered empennage carried at the end of a short tailboom made of aluminum tube. The horizontal stabilizer is made from reinforced cardboard. Early versions used wing warping for roll control, while later models used full-span ailerons. The specified pusher configuration powerplant is a McCulloch chainsaw engine turning a hand-carved wooden propeller via a chain drive. The first prototype had a monowheel undercarriage, with skids under the wingtips, but this was soon changed to twin mainwheels carried on a spring-type strut. With no brakes to stop the aircraft after landing, pilots were supposed to press their heels against the mainwheels.

Hovey Whing Ding Hovey Wing Ding Flying Related Keywords amp Suggestions Hovey Wing

The Whing Ding was designed long before the US FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles regulations were introduced, but it fully conforms to the rules. The Whing Ding helped generate interest in ultralight aircraft and lead to the ultralight boom of the late 1970s and 1980s.

Hovey Whing Ding cdn2planeandpilotmagcomstoriesiad2010aprilh

Hovey conceived of the aircraft as an experimental project and not as a form of transportation. Due to its unreliable powerplant he intended it to only be flown over open areas where a safe landing could be carried out at any time. The plans were complex to follow and were not intended to make construction easy. Construction time typically is about 400 hours.

Hovey Whing Ding HPA Builders39 Plan Gallery

The Whing Ding was marketed as plans, and sold extremely well - by 1979, over 6,000 sets had been purchased. In 2011 the plans were still available, and at no cost.

Operational history

Depending on the density altitude and the weight of the pilot, some builders discovered that the aircraft was under powered and suffered from too small a wing area to climb out of ground effect.


Whing Ding
Initial version
Whing Ding II
Improved version, incorporating a higher seat to prevent pilots dragging their feet on the ground to stop the aircraft, which resulting in broken bones in some cases.

Specifications (typical)

Data from Cliche and the Virtual Ultralight Museum

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 14 ft (4.3 m)
  • Wingspan: 17 ft (5.2 m)
  • Height: 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
  • Wing area: 98 sq ft (9.1 m2)
  • Empty weight: 122 lb (55 kg)
  • Gross weight: 300 lb (136 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 0.5 U.S. gallons (1.9 L; 0.42 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × McCulloch MAC-101 chain saw engine, 12.5 hp (9.3 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed hand carved wooden propeller
  • Performance

  • Maximum speed: 50 mph (80 km/h; 43 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 40 mph (64 km/h; 35 kn)
  • Stall speed: 26 mph (42 km/h; 23 kn)
  • Range: 20 mi (17 nmi; 32 km)
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 ft (1,200 m)
  • g limits: +3/-3
  • Rate of climb: 100 ft/min (0.51 m/s)
  • Avionics

  • none
  • References

    Hovey Whing Ding Wikipedia