In 1969, George Pereira began the design of a small one-seat flying boat intended for homebuilders. This resulted in the Osprey 1 a small open cockpit plane powered by a single engine and a pusher type propeller. At about the same time the U.S. Navy began a search for a small light observation plane for use in Vietnam. One of the main requirements was that the plane be simple enough to be produced in Vietnam. The Navy approached Pereira in 1971 about his design and after examining the plane acquired it for testing. Designated as the X-28A the Osprey 1 joined the more famous X-Planes such as the X-1 and X-15. Navy testing in the fall of 1971 produced very good results with the plane meeting most of the requirements for the program. However, the program was cancelled with the end of the war in Vietnam and no military variants of the Osprey were built. George Pereira soon began work on an improved version of the Osprey. The main changes included an enclosed two-seat cockpit and amphibious capability. With the ability to land on both water and a conventional runway the usefulness of the plane was more than doubled. About 500 Ospreys of both versions have been built from kits and plans since 1975.
The Osprey 2 on display was built by Ernest Hummel and completed in 1986. It was built partially from parts scavenged from the wreckage of a previous Osprey he had built that was destroyed in an accident. The aircraft was donated to the museum in 1988.
Ernest Hummel, 1986
Pima Air & Space Museum
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