The Honey Bee is a low-cost, easy-to-build biplane (and if you could go just on looks, I’d still be sold?hop in this, and you’ll look like a barnstormer of old) with basic aerobatic capabilities.
The Honey Bee was first introduced in 1988. The H-2 model designation is for an aircraft with one set of ailerons while the H-2A designation is for the aircraft with two sets of ailerons. Both aircraft are aerobatic but only the H-2A is capable of flying in aerobatic competition.
The H-2 Honey Bee offers a cruise speed of 55 to 68 mph (depending on the engine) and a top speed of 68 to 80 mph (also depending upon engine choice). The aircraft was designed around a Rotax 503 engine, but the company recommends going with at least a 582 or Hirth 2605. The 95-hp Hirth F-30 is recommended for the H2-A if you have competitive aerobatics in mind. VNE is 110 mph. It’ll get airborne in just 200′ on grass at a rate of 400 to 850 fpm. Landing distance on grass is 150 to 275′. The Honey Bee has a standard fuel capacity of 7.5 gal with an option for 12.
This craft is 15.8′ long, 6.1′ high, and hat a wingspan of 19′. Wing area is 140 sq ft and wing chord is 4′. Wing loading is 3.9 lbs/sq ft. Gross weight on the Honey Bee is 550 lbs and the empty weight ranges between 345 and 495 Ibs, depending on the model you build, and the engine you put in it. Structural limits provided by the manufacturer are +8 and -6 Go Stall speed is 28 mph. The cabin is 21″ wide, with an open cockpit, and has 54″ of legroom.
The H-2 Honey Bee is a lightweight aerobatic biplane first flown in 1986. With the H-2, designer Bert Howland introduced the technique of TIG-welding the fuselage from square 6061-T6 aluminum tubing, yielding a strong and rugged fuselage frame that weighs only 24 pounds.
The airfoil on the 4 equal span wings is 6-1/2? thick and features 7 aluminum-capped foam ribs per panel with a D-cell leading edge spar and a C-section rear spar. Design load factor is +8g to -6g.
Two or four aileron options are offered in the plans. With the 4 aileron option, an engine of at least 65 hp, and an inverted fuel system, the H-2 is suitable for competition aerobatics up to the IAC intermediate level. The aircraft has been powered with engines from 40 to 95 hp. Homebuilder plans consist of 40 engineering drawings and designer construction notes.
Estimated build time is a respectable 300, hours. The aircraft is constructed from aluminum tubing and fabric. Access to a TIG welder is necessary to build this aircraft. Builder assistance is available and a newsletter is in the works.
Design and development:
The H-2 is a single-seat, open cockpit biplane, with conventional landing gear and a single engine in tractor configuration.
The aircraft is made from aluminium and covered in doped aircraft fabric covering. The fuselage is made from square aluminum tubing that is TIG welded and weighs 24 lb (11 kg) when completed. Its 19 ft (5.8 m) span wings are of a straight planform and both of equal span. The wings have seven foam wing ribs per wing panel and incorporate a D-cell front spar and a C-channel rear spar. The landing gear is conventional, with suspended main wheels and a steerable tailwheel. The H-2 has an open cockpit, with a small windshield. Controls are conventional three-axis, with ailerons, rudder and elevator. The standard design has two ailerons, with four optional.
The aircraft has an acceptable power range of 40 to 95 hp (30 to 71 kW) and the Hirth 2706 of 65 hp (48 kW) is the standard engine recommended. Installation of the 95 hp (71 kW) Hirth F30, or an equivalent engine, along with an inverted fuel system, allows intermediate level competition aerobatics.
The plans consist of 40 engineering drawings and a booklet of construction notes. Estimated building time is 800 hours.
H-2 Base model with two ailerons and a 65 hp (48 kW) Hirth 2706 engine
H-2A Aerobatic competition model with four ailerons, inverted fuel system and a 95 hp (71 kW) Hirth F30 engine
Length: 15.8 ft (4.8 m)
Upper wingspan: 19 ft (5.8 m)
Lower wingspan: 19 ft (5.8 m)
Height: 6.1 ft (1.9 m)
Wing area: 140 sq ft (13 m2)
Empty weight: 495 lb (225 kg)
Gross weight: 700 lb (318 kg)
Fuel capacity: 12 U.S. gallons (45 L; 10.0 imp gal)
Powerplant: 1 × Hirth 2706 Twin cylinder, two-stroke aircraft engine, 65 hp (48 kW)
Propellers: 2-bladed wooden
Maximum speed: 80 mph (130 km/h, 70 kn)
Cruise speed: 68 mph (109 km/h, 59 kn)
Stall speed: 35 mph (56 km/h, 30 kn)
Range: 120 mi (190 km, 100 nmi)
Service ceiling: 9,000 ft (2,700 m)
g limits: +8/-6
Rate of climb: 850 ft/min (4.3 m/s)
Wing loading: 5.0 lb/sq ft (24 kg/m2)