John Fowler

HP-11A N502D was built beautifully and ruggedly by Dean Fleming of Adrian, MI and completed in 1967, although records show an initial FAA Experimental category airworthiness certificate in 1981.

N502D has nearly 900 hours on it, and flies straight and well hands off. The ship thermals tight and climbs excellently although it requires attention to airspeed control at low speeds.

N502D has 17m wings, with remarkably accurate NACA 65(3)-618 airfoils spanning flapped section (about 13m) with a reflexed camber trailing edge (simple triangular section are at the ailerons.)

Wing loading at gross weight: 5.8lbs/sq.ft.
Retractable landing gear and retractable nose tow hook.
Flap range: -10 to +90- mechanical rack and pinion left hand crank.
This ship has a large and lengthy cockpit, and 265lb pilot weight limitation.

N502D is now based in Middletown, California, at Crazy Creek Gliders. An unofficial competition number 1K adorns its v-tail and right wing undersurface.

John Fowler flies this ship regularly.


ASI, altimeter, G-meter, new PZL compass, new PZL mechanical vario, and Borgelt B-20 electric audio-vario, Garmin GPS and mount, new Nicks tube TE probe/antenna installed vertically aft of turtle deck, clock and battery power indicator.


Micro-Aire 720 radio w/PTT on fighter-grip stick and Telex headset/earpiece, O2 system removed, new four-point belts, new hydraulic brake and larger-gauge wheel retraction mechanism, screw-in tie down rings and waterproof canopy cover.


Stall: 34kts w/90 flaps, 35kts w/45 flaps, 37kts w/0 flap.
Min Sink: 115fpm at 43kts - +5 flap
Best L/D: 37:1 at 49kts, 0 flap
31:1 at 60kts, 0 flap
25:1 at 70kts, -2 flap
21:1 at 80kts, -5 flap
16:1 at 90kts, -10 flap.
Approach Speed: 52kts.
Vfe: 84kts.

Va: 105kts.
Vne: 130kts.

Minden Fabrication trailer modified to accommodate fixed "V" tail and 17 meter wings.

Webmaster Note: N502D was one of the first sailplanes to be listed in the "Trading Post." At the time is was owned by Hugh Taylor and based near Jacksonville, Florida. The following picture is from that period.

The airfield in the background is Naval Air Station, Jacksonville. (I spent a fair amount of time there in 1965 when assigned to Heavy Attack Squadron 10 flying A-3B SkyWarriors aboard the USS Franklin D Roosevelt.)