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Tom Hamilton designed the Glasair to be an efficient airplane; it was fast yet fuel efficient and had a practical building time. The Ham2 was an all-composite, female molded, side by side, two place aircraft. It was conventional in design as far as aerodynamics go with a good looking appearance.

Originally, Tom had designed his airplane with tandem seating, but he ran into a few problems. The biggest problem was center of gravity travel, especially when soloed from the front seat. Rear seat solo proved to be awkward, cramped, and blind, especially forward through the other person’s head. Baggage space ended up being almost nonexistent and passenger’s weight became an issue.

Tom decided to switch the configuration to side by side seating, which eliminated many of his problems. He saved weight by not having to duplicate instruments and controls, gaining plenty of room for IFR avionics without going to very costly miniature instruments. The Ham2 could handle a pilot up to 6’ 2” in height, while all the succeeding Glasairs had an additional three inches in the canopy. Side by side seating could make an airplane less aerodynamic, but it didn’t affect the Ham2 at all in the speed department.

The engine was a Lycoming 0-235 using a fixed pitch wood propeller and full electrical system. The ideal engine for the Glasair was the 150 hp model, but the 125 hp model would be adequate as well. The Ham2 engine has never seen over 2750 rpm, except on a runaway Aeromatic prop which allowed it to rev up to 2850 rpm.

The Ham2 was the prototype for the Glasair, which became an airplane ideal for cruising around in with a friend. The Glasair was able to carry two full sized people in comfort, operate out of short gravel or grass fields, and throw in a roll or a loop every once in a while.

Utility and efficiency were at the heart of the Glasair design, and Ham2 was what started it all. Tom donated the Glasair prototype Ham2 to EAA in 1986.

Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair Ham2 Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair Ham2

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