Photo by Richard Scheper
The ship was built at T. I. Westonís place in South Carolina. Len Niemi (designer of the SISU) was T. I.ís friend, and assisted with the assembly. The workmanship is superb! The sailplane was issued an airworthiness certificate in 1974, and flown in 1980 and 1981 by a group of sailplane instructors at a local glider club. T. I. took it back and stored it in his hanger in Columbia from 1982 to 1994. Pete Shelton bought it then and had it inspected thoroughly in Buffalo NY. Pete flew it mostly at Mayville, New York. The yellow paint was completely stripped off, and repainted with Jet-Glo Polyurethane in 1995; color white with blue and gray stripes. Pete had annual inspections performed yearly; the current annual is good until July 2001. Total time is now about 100 hours.
Richard Scheper purchased N678P in 2001. The picture shows Richard at his home club Caesar Creek in Waynesville OH. Richard thinks the design-build info that Pete Shelton provided (see table below) is accurate but he questions the performance numbers. T. I. Weston and Len Niemi built this HP-11 like a DC-3 - it is incredibly clean & strong, but light & nimble...450# empty. Flies great a little near the aft CG - but not a problem at Richard's 190# and 6# balast in the nose. Richard's only regret after 2 years is that he has not had time to add apprecialbly to its 110 hrs!! total flight time. This is a VERY impressive, simple airplane which easily stays with the glass birds 3-4 times more expensive. Richard decided to "name" it "Gabelschwanz! Teuffel", the Luftwaffe's term of respect and frustration in WWII for the P-38, fork-tailed devil.
Span 52.0 feet Flaps -5 to +90 degrees Length 22.0 feet Cockpit width 24.0 inches Height 46.0 inches Cockpit height 39.0 inches Wing Area 104.0 Sq. Feet Weight, Empty 400 pounds Wing Loading 6.26 PSF Weight, Gross 650 pounds Aspect Ratio 26/1 Max Design speed 180 miles per hr. Dihedral 3 degrees L/D maximum 40/1 * Twist 0 degrees Minimum sink 1.75 ft. per sec. * Taper ratio 2/1 Retractable landing gear and wheel well covers
Retractable tow hitch