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HOVEY/ESTUPINAN WD-11 “Whing Ding” – N6272

The Whing Ding was designed by R. W. Hovey of Saugus, California and was intended to be a “minimum airplane”. Hovey’s goal was to design the lightest man-carrying airplane ever to fly. He used only the bare essentials on his creation, starting off the design with only one wheel and wingtip skids on each side. After a few initial tests, Hovey decided to remove the skids and add another wheel, which greatly increased the stability of the airplane while it was on the ground.

The Whing Ding had no brakes, so pilots had to drag their toes on the ground or press their heels against the landing gear wheels. Whing Ding pilots were warned to avoid jamming their heels into the ground to stop the airplane because they would run the risk of breaking a leg. As an extra safety measure, Hovey designed the WD-11 to have a higher seat, making it difficult for a pilot’s heels to reach the ground while seated in the airplane.

Hovey was adamant about warning people that his Whing Ding was not for the amateur pilot. Even to build a WD-11 using his plans presented quite the challenge. The WD-11 was designed to merely play around in, not for transportation. The Whing Ding was not meant to be flown over houses or people, and should have only been used in open areas where a pilot was able to make an immediate forced landing at all times.

The WD-11 is powered by a 14 hp McCullough chain saw engine and utilizes a chain reduction drive to the prop so as to allow the little engine to rev up to around 10,000 rpms where rated power is achieved. The design features wing warping and a reinforced cardboard stabilator for weight reduction.

Miguel Estupinan of Chatsworth, California donated his Whing Ding to EAA in 1972.

Hovey/Estupinan WD-11 Whing-Ding Hovey/Estupinan WD-11 Whing-Ding

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