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Old 08-20-2017, 12:21 AM   #1
Dennis Flamini
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Default Ray Hegy

Smile if you ever woke up at 6am to about 20 biplanes led by this one!


Ray Hegy 2017-08-18-19-36-39_AATSC_resized.jpg  
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:27 AM   #2
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Yep, I was a victim of Ray's. Note Harold Neumann's Moncuope in the background.


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Old 08-20-2017, 01:30 AM   #3
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Oh yes, back in 1971 I was at Oshkosh and hade the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ray Hegy.
Looking inside his little, I mean very small cockpit. The was one funny instrument he had.
It was a gutted instrument with a small cut out sectional map on the bacK and a Pinguine
In front. That was his GPS sort of of back in 1971. He built two propellers for me for
my first homebuilt Volksplane.
He was one of a kind and I was honored to meet him.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:38 AM   #4
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One of the most iconic biplanes on the planet. I shared a hangar for many years with Harold and Little Mulligan. I miss both of those guys.
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:00 AM   #5
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Great Picture, Chupy was an inspiration to many of us....
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:40 AM   #6
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I love that era of aviation. Weird how it's all but dried up. Now all the new designs are carbon fiber 200mph plus machines that cost a zillion dollars. Back the it was just about the building and creating something unique and for way less than a zillion!
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:43 AM   #7
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For the benefit of us that are from a different generation, could someone give us an overview of the man and the plane?
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:59 AM   #8
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text from the EAA website:

"El Chuparosa originated as a chalk sketch on a wall in builder and designer Ray Hegy’s workshop in 1948. Ray named his airplane “after the Spanish word for hummingbird, as anyone who heard it fly overhead could understand; it truly was a hummingbird.”


No component of El Chuparosa’s design was from any previously certificated aircraft so the airplane was entirely Ray’s design. The structure was conventional steel tube with wood spars. The diminutive cabin biplane was powered by a 65-hp Continental A65 engine. The prop was Ray’s own manufacture, 58 inches in diameter and six inches wide, with a pitch of 52.


Not content with the idea of simply buying materials, Ray would scrounge far and wide to solve each problem as it arose. In this way, all of the parts for the airplane were fabricated from material taken from many sources. The wing spars were cut down from those of a damaged J-3 Cub, then reglued into a laminated assembly. The upper wing was one piece, with a two-degree dihedral built in. Wing ribs were reworked from Cub ribs with the 36-inch chord. Interplane struts were from a Piper PA-11 rear lift strut with adjustment for altering the incidence in the lower wing provided at the rear spar fitting. The cowling was built from parts of a Beech AT-10 nose cone combined with a set of Fairchild 24 wheelpants, while the carburetor scoop started life as a pair of Stinson landing gear fairings.


In 1959, after nine years of work, El Chuparosa passed FAA inspection and Ray was off and flying. Every year at the EAA Fly-In at Rockford, from 1960 to 1969, Ray would be up at the crack of dawn, buzzing over the campgrounds as the self-appointed camp alarm clock. The sound of El Chuparosa at high speed was described as sounding a bit like ripping canvas. Ray was so regular that campers could set their watches by his dawn patrol.


Ray’s airplane was a tiny, bright red biplane, complete with a warning sign by its augmenter exhaust that says “Beware of Blast.” After 18 years, 1,520.4 hours of flying time, and tens of thousands of miles, Ray and his wife Merrie donated El Chuparosa to EAA on August 14, 1977.


Length: 14 feet 1 inches

Upper Wingspan: 12 feet, 10 inches

Lower Wingspan: 11 feet, 10 inches

Empty Weight: 478 pounds

Cruise Speed: 110 mph

Seats: 1

Powerplant: Continental A65

Horsepower: 65 hp"
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:00 AM   #9
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Back in the day, Ray was also "the man" to go to when needing a custom prop for a homebuilt.........the Craig Catto of his era.
ray-hegy-chupa-300x218.jpg  
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:34 AM   #10
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Got my first wood prop from Ray, cost me 45 bucks!
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:39 PM   #11
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George Moffett wrote an article in Soaring Magazine about his first trip to Marfa TX, towing his sailplane from NJ. George was in the tiny terminal building sitting at a table with a FAA Inspector. Ray buzzed the terminal very close to the roof. George thought the world would come to an end. The fed calmly looked up at the ceiling and said "I see Ray's back". George said "that's when I realized just how far from NJ I was".
Two weeks ago tomorrow I made my first ever visit to Marfa. There is nothing in the terminal recognizing Ray which I found really sad. I did not even ask if anyone remembered him. I think I think I need to go back and nail a picture of Ray and Chupy on the terminal wall.
I also thought a lot about what it must have been like to fly that airplane from Marfa to Rockford and later Oshkosh. Very desolate country until you get into the lower terrain in North TX.
Ray's nephew Tom Hegy is in Hartford WI with a Pitts S1C, a Travel Air replica and a Piper PA12.
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:06 PM   #12
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We used to visit Ray in Marfa, as well as Zip Franklin up in Lovington, NM. (West Texas aviators were a pretty unified bunch). That was back in the time when a ramp fee would have brought out a rope, instead of a credit card.
The instrument previously noted sat on the trailing edge of the top wing. Ray called it the "Nav-a-Bird". It was the gutted-out case of an old gauge, with a Texaco road map lining the back surface; having Marfa, Texas at the center of it. A small bird sat in the case, attached to a shaft and knob protruding out the bottom. A tiny windshield wiper on the face of the instrument completed the affair.
The placard below the gauge read: "To get to home base, point beak to Marfa, follow bird. In inclement weather, use wiper."
I miss those days.

Tom

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Old 08-20-2017, 08:44 PM   #13
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More on Ray,
2017-08-20-15-42-15_AATSC.jpg  
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How can you not be romantic about biplanes.
If your Father is poor it's fate, if your Father-in-law is poor it's stupidity
Wilbur Wright said he "did not have time for both a wife and an airplane."
Which is the better portion -- bondage bought with a ring,
Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:00 PM   #14
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Here is a photo of Hegy's almost constant speed prop on friends RV-6. Note the approx. 35 laminations of 1/8" .
P4050961.JPG  
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How can you not be romantic about biplanes.
If your Father is poor it's fate, if your Father-in-law is poor it's stupidity
Wilbur Wright said he "did not have time for both a wife and an airplane."
Which is the better portion -- bondage bought with a ring,
Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

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Old 08-20-2017, 10:10 PM   #15
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I was amazed at the performance Ray got out of an A65. It helped he was skinny but that chupy was an airplane I didn't take my eyes off of when he was in the fly by pattern.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:46 PM   #16
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Anyone know where Ralph Hegy's Pitts is?
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Old 08-21-2017, 02:54 AM   #17
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Ray Hey and Harold Rehm from Dousman,WI were friends who both made props for experimentals back in the day. Harold and Ray traded off patterns and knowledge in regards to experimental props. Harold also had math formulas for predicting proper pitch and diameter for various applications. Ed Sterba and I both learned prop carving from Harold who was very generous with his knowledge. Harold always spoke highly of Ray.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:20 AM   #18
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Ray was a great man. Good friends with my late father. Robert johannes. My father was a avide model airplane builder. And built two super acro sports. I finished a acro ii. He started before he passed on. It was a great time to be a young man back in those days!
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:20 AM   #19
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This Hegy prop found its way to New Zealand in 1976 and still turning on my recently acquired Druine Turbulent.....
Studio_20170827_212131.jpg  
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:17 AM   #20
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I happened to get a photo of a Hegy Nav-a-bird that was installed in another home built. The road map lining is long gone but the bird is still there.


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