Nelson PG-185B Hummingbird

Nelson PG-185B Hummingbird

     

Ted Nelson, Harry Perl and Don Mitchell designed the Nelson PG-185B Hummingbird in 1953. Their goal was to build and fly a two-seat sailplane that a pilot could take off under power, shut off the engine at altitude, and soar at his discretion before restarting the engine and returning to the airfield. The pilot of a Hummingbird could completely retract the entire engine and propeller assembly into the fuselage. Without the drag of the engine, propeller, and pylon mount, the lift-to-drag ratio of the sailplane increased substantially.

Testing revealed that the Hummingbird's small two-cycle engine was difficult to start in the air, so pilots chose not to operate it except during takeoff and climb. Nelson based the Hummingbird on an earlier design, the Nelson Dragonfly (see NASM collection), the first powered glider to receive a type certificate from the Civil Aeronautics Administration. The Nelson Aircraft Corporation produced a few Hummingbirds as both kits and finished aircraft.

Gift of Charles R. Rhoades.

Physical Description:
Glider; motorglider; 2 seat; with trailer; all metal / fabric covered surfaces.

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Nelson Aircraft Company

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft

Dimensions
Wingspan: 16.5 m (54 ft)
Length: 7.3 m (24 ft)
Height: 2.3 m (7 ft, 8 in)
Weights: Empty, 383.2 kg (843 lb)
Gross, 576.4 kg (1,268 lb)
Engine: Nelson H-59 four-cylinder, two-stroke, 40 horsepower

Ted Nelson, Harry Perl and Don Mitchell designed the Nelson PG-185B Hummingbird in 1953. Their goal was to build and fly a two-seat sailplane that a pilot could take off under power, shut off the engine at altitude, and soar at his discretion before restarting the engine and returning to the airfield. The pilot of a Hummingbird could completely retract the entire engine and propeller assembly into the fuselage. Without the drag of the engine, propeller, and pylon mount, the lift-to-drag ratio of the sailplane increased substantially.

Testing revealed that the Hummingbird's small two-cycle engine was difficult to start in the air, so pilots chose not to operate it except during takeoff and climb. Nelson based the Hummingbird on an earlier design, the Nelson Dragonfly (see NASM collection), the first powered glider to receive a type certificate from the Civil Aeronautics Administration. The Nelson Aircraft Corporation produced a few Hummingbirds as both kits and finished aircraft. Charles R. Rhoades donated this Hummingbird, registered N68581, to the National Air and Space Museum in 1987. It is stored at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility at Suitland, Maryland.

Ted Nelson, Harry Perl and Don Mitchell designed the Nelson PG-185B Hummingbird in 1953. Their goal was to build and fly a two-seat sailplane that a pilot could take off under power, shut off the engine at altitude, and soar at his discretion before restarting the engine and returning to the airfield. The pilot of a Hummingbird could completely retract the entire engine and propeller assembly into the fuselage. Without the drag of the engine, propeller, and pylon mount, the lift-to-drag ratio of the sailplane increased substantially.

Testing revealed that the Hummingbird's small two-cycle engine was difficult to start in the air, so pilots chose not to operate it except during takeoff and climb. Nelson based the Hummingbird on an earlier design, the Nelson Dragonfly (see NASM collection), the first powered glider to receive a type certificate from the Civil Aeronautics Administration. The Nelson Aircraft Corporation produced a few Hummingbirds as both kits and finished aircraft.

Gift of Charles R. Rhoades.

Physical Description:
Glider; motorglider; 2 seat; with trailer; all metal / fabric covered surfaces.

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Nelson Aircraft Company

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft

Dimensions
Wingspan: 16.5 m (54 ft)
Length: 7.3 m (24 ft)
Height: 2.3 m (7 ft, 8 in)
Weights: Empty, 383.2 kg (843 lb)
Gross, 576.4 kg (1,268 lb)
Engine: Nelson H-59 four-cylinder, two-stroke, 40 horsepower

Ted Nelson, Harry Perl and Don Mitchell designed the Nelson PG-185B Hummingbird in 1953. Their goal was to build and fly a two-seat sailplane that a pilot could take off under power, shut off the engine at altitude, and soar at his discretion before restarting the engine and returning to the airfield. The pilot of a Hummingbird could completely retract the entire engine and propeller assembly into the fuselage. Without the drag of the engine, propeller, and pylon mount, the lift-to-drag ratio of the sailplane increased substantially.

Testing revealed that the Hummingbird's small two-cycle engine was difficult to start in the air, so pilots chose not to operate it except during takeoff and climb. Nelson based the Hummingbird on an earlier design, the Nelson Dragonfly (see NASM collection), the first powered glider to receive a type certificate from the Civil Aeronautics Administration. The Nelson Aircraft Corporation produced a few Hummingbirds as both kits and finished aircraft. Charles R. Rhoades donated this Hummingbird, registered N68581, to the National Air and Space Museum in 1987. It is stored at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility at Suitland, Maryland.

ID: A19870075000