Back AD & D Hummingbird

Hummingbird hovering in free flight

Aero-Design & Development (Israel)

AD & D Hummingbird

TYPE: Lifting vehicle.

PROGRAMME: Launched as private venture, reviving concept explored by US Hiller VZ-1 in the 1950s but incorporating new features. First (tethered) hovering flight 28 August 1997; first free (untethered) flight (4X-BEB) 4 October 1998. Availability in kit form originally planned for 2000, but has been delayed; no new date reported bу mid-2003.

COSTS: Estimated US$30,000 (1998).

DESIGN FEATURES: Naturally stable VTOL platform which can be flown by persons with limited piloting experience. Has full engine redundancy, and can continue flying safely throughout full flight envelope after a single engine failure (initial hovering flights used approximately half of total available power). Air duct has outwards-curved lip on upper surface and diameter:length ratio of approximately 2.75:1. Quoted build time approximately 250 hours.

FLYING CONTROLS: Vertical speed (rise/descent) is controlled by pilot increasing or reducing rotor rpm via a twist-grip throttle with the left hand. Lateral (sideways) and longitudinal (fore/aft) motion is achieved simply by the pilot tilting his body slightly in desired direction. Maximum allowable speed is attained when pilot's body reaches limit imposed by circular railing at waist height. 'Nose' of vehicle can be turned by a small lever at pilot's right hand.

STRUCTURE: Engines are mounted on four sides of a square gearbox which also serves as pedestal supporting occupant. Rotors extend from lower end of gearbox. Engines and propellers are basically off-the-shelf ultralight components. Circular outer duct is of graphite/epoxy construction.

LANDING GEAR: Four non-retractable, free-castoring single wheels, each with shock-absorbing oleo. Can withstand vertical impacts of up to 3.7m/s without injuring pilot or damaging airframe.

POWER PLANT: Four 16.4kW Hirth F33-15A single-cylinder piston engines, each with dual ignition, own carburettor and own fuel line. Engines are coupled through torsional dampers and one-way clutches. These drive, via an AD & D gearbox equipped with a chip detector, two three-blade contrarotating propellers/rotors which are synchronised to obtain practically zero yawing moment at all throttle settings. Alternative engines under consideration. Standard fuel capacity 19 litres.

ACCOMODATION: Pilot only, standing inside tubular metal frame.

AVIONICS: Instrumentation: Battery voltage meter; rotor tachometer; four CHT gauges with an ignition kill switch for each engine; four warning lights (engine out, transmission chips, engine temperature and low battery); master switch; emergency parachute activation handle (optional); and mode selector button for yaw stabilisation augmentation system.

EQUIPMENT: Ballistic parachute recovery system optional.

Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 2004-2005

Hummingbird, complete and in kit form

Technical data for AD & D Hummingbird

Diameter: 2.20m, height overall: 1.90m, empty weight: 145kg, max T-O weight: 260kg, never-exceed speed: 74km/h, hovering ceiling, IGE: 2440m, hovering ceiling, OGE: 1525m, range, standard fuel: 31km, endurance, standard fuel: 30min

Mike, e-mail, 20.08.2010reply

I corresponded with the designer & builder of this aircraft about 10 years ago. His kit plans never got off the ground. I guess he couldn't improve the design to get it to properly fly out of ground effect. I think his ducted fan design was too deep. The original Hiller platform had a slimmer ducted design, allowing it better control but less stability.

Tom, e-mail, 20.08.2010reply

want one

Bob Blewett, e-mail, 07.02.2012reply

Does the humminbird still exsist? And if so how much is the cost?

Dennis severs, e-mail, 13.06.2014reply

Would like to help get this project up and going, let me know what it would take to make this flying platform happen.

assan al heiff, e-mail, 28.12.2009reply

Could you please send plans or the cost to me?

Also include please any method of mounting guns to the platform

praise Muhammad

tim, sullivan, e-mail, 26.11.2009reply


wayne wallace, e-mail, 29.12.2008reply

Very interesting

john fromberg, e-mail, 08.05.2008reply

give us a price and a phone number - we want one thanks

Jonathan, e-mail, 20.01.2008reply

I'm thinking about building one of these,
does anyone got CONCRETE plans, well-detailed and correct?

Martin, e-mail, 30.12.2007reply


Drew, e-mail, 17.10.2007reply

Hi, please email me when the kit becomes available to buy. Thanks.

Gary Omer, e-mail, 14.07.2007reply

interesting, I would like to build one of these. Anyone got one yet? plans etc kit? UK based

luke, e-mail, 07.07.2007reply

who has the plans? so i can build one

Merrill Haug, e-mail, 30.06.2007reply

Are you interested in a new type of platform for your craft?

Bob Blewett, e-mail, 03.06.2007reply

Whats going on with returning my questions?

Bob Blewett, e-mail, 31.05.2007reply

Are you responding on selling the hummingbird? And if so How much for the kit?

Bob Blewett, e-mail, 13.05.2007reply

Is the kit still available? And if so how much?

richard gaze, e-mail, 12.11.2007reply

Has anyone actually got one and if so, where from.

Do you have any comments ?

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