Headwind Plans
WelcomeStewart Aircraft


Stewart Aircraft Corporation
W8923 North Lake Road
Vulcan MI 49892
E-mail: dstewart@alphacomm.net



Stewart Aircraft is celebrating 56 continuous years
of service to the Homebuilt community.


Welcome to our web site

Stewart Aircraft was formed in 1961 when I designed the Headwind. The name "Headwind" was derived as a bit of fun by naming it the opposite of the Whitman "Tailwind", a very fast, two place cabin airplane. The Headwind is constructed from steel tube, wood and fabric and is a combination of several designs and concepts that I developed over a period of several years previous to building the airplane.

Headwind Model B owned Bob Benveniste

The prototype Headwind was built over a period of 5 months and was first flown on March 28, 1962. The airplane flew well right off the drawing board but in the intervening years, many structural (to simplify and make it easier to build) and aerodynamic improvements have been made to the design so that now the only part of the original design still used is the engine mount and the portion of the fuselage between the cockpit and the stabilizer. Everything else is new.

In the forty some years that the Headwind has been in existence, many examples have been built all over the world. Well over one hundred airplanes are now in service powered by a variety of engines, however, only the Volkwagen engine is shown on the plans. No other engine data is published.

The Headwind was the first design to use the Volkswagen engine in the United States and much development work was required to get the engine to it's full potential as an aircraft engine. The most important development in the engine work was the design and patenting of a propeller speed reducing unit (PSRU) to allow the engine to develope it's full horsepower. I named the unit the "Maximizer" and have the name protected. This PSRU design now forms the basis of all belt driven small engine PSRU's in use worldwide on engines powering everything from Ultralights to airboats. A twin engine version was also designed, developed and patented and flown extensively in the middle 1970's and early '80's in various Ultralight aircraft.


Vno 80 - 85 mph
Vne 110 mph
Vso 38-42 mph
R of C 650 fpm 1st minute
T.O. distance ( 0 wind ) 300'
Landing run ( 0 wind no brakes ) 400'
Endurance 2 hours

Dimensions and Areas:
Wing Span 28' 3"
Length 17' 0"
Height ( tail down ) 5' 9"
Stabilizer Span 7' 7"
Wheel Track 5' 2 1/2"
Wheel Base 13' 6"
Wing Area 110.95 Sq. Ft.
Ailerons ( eff. area ) 14.83 " "
Fin 2.17 " "
Rudder 4.17 " "
Stabilizer 7.00 " "
Elevator 9.54 " "

click drawing to enlarge

Approved Maneuvers:
Steep turns ( 60 degree bank ) Entry - Cruise
Lazy Eight " - 85 mph
Chandelle " - 85 mph
Spin ( one turn ) " - Stall
Maximum aft limit for spins 14.8"


I designed the 265 after many years of dreams, sketches and remembrances of when I was a kid working at the local airport pumping gas, answering the phone, etc. One day an airplane landed that was so pretty it took my breath away. It was a Ryan ST and I couldn't take my eyes off it. I determined that someday I'd have an airplane like that. Many sketches and ideas were done from that time on.

I wanted the airplane to be in my favorite category, which included the Champ, Chief, Cub and all the rest of the 65-85 HP clan. The problem was that

there was no engine available that fit the conception of my "perfect" airplane.

A publicity release in 1993 for the Mikron III answered my need for the engine and so I got down to work and finished the design work on what's become the 265. Two people, sixty five horse power.

At this time, December 2007, the airplane has over one hundred hours of good service with no problems other than making some new fiberglass parts to remove weight. The airplane cruises at about 90 MPH, stalls about 40 and handles very nicely. The engine burns 3.7 GPH which makes it very economical these days.

I've received many requests for plans. Many indicated that they wanted to install large engines which are not compatible with the 265. For that reason, I don't have drawings for sale.


The FooFighter was designed and built in 1967 and was styled to resemble a World War One fighter. The construction features of the airplane follow closely the same methods used in the Headwind. It was first flown with a Ford Falcon six cylinder 200 CID engine in 1970. This engine used a PSRU but the engine proved to be too heavy for the power provided and the airplane was modified to use a Franklin "Sport Four" of 130 HP.

This engine went out of production and so the airplane was once again redesigned to accept any of the four cylinder Lycoming engines from the O235 up to the O320 series. It is a very docile sport airplane that offers limited aerobatic capabilities.

click drawing to enlarge

(click photo for larger image)
FooFighter over Oshkosh - Photo by Don Dwiggins