Friday, June 21, 2013

Partial Kits, Parts & Pieces Question

Good morning!

On a somewhat regular basis I get emails from HBG2 fans that want information on partial kits, our engines, our parts and pieces either for sale to build a G2 at home or for use on other scratch built Gyroplanes. 

I know that this is how the industry has done business over my 16 years of flying, building, kitting, redesigning, re-manufacturing, test flying and loving the Gyroplane.  This is however a basket case for liability in the event of an "accident" that might involve a piece that came out of a manufacturing concern....IE: a commercial Gyroplane manufacturer, herein after CGM.  

Without explaining all the ugly legal ramifications, you can simply thank the US legal system. It simply does not offer fair or balanced Tort Law in the United States toward CGM's and aircraft manufacturers in general. 

Having said that, HBG2 does not sell anything but complete kits because of this litigious environment that we live in. In the long run, a program that includes a properly engineered, a properly tested and a properly supervised build is by far the best way to have a great overall Gyroplane experience. 

Hope that answers the questions!

Take care,

HoneyBee G2 Ultralight Update

Good morning!

Many people have expressed continued interest in the HoneyBee G2 Ultralight, it is a great machine. I have personally loved the Part 103 Ultralight HoneyBee's and since 1997 have flown 100's of hours in them.

The current status for our 103 is this... HBG2 has invested hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to design and build these 103 machines. Like any gyro, the 103 machines also MUST have certain items on them to safely fly. The statistics prove this no matter what the "popular opinion has been. HBG2 has worked with Jim Stephenson of the ASC for the last 9 months attempting to acquire a Letter Of Relief from the FAA for the weight of four key safety items.  Unfortunately this effort by us has been totally denied by the FAA.  

For the record...what HBG2/ASC has tried to do would have helped all of the Gyroplane Manufacturers in the US, including our competitors. Do you think that HBG2/ASC is  committed to helping the US Gyroplane market? We are. The bottom line is that a “legal” Part 103 Ultralight Gyro (of any brand) due to the Part 103 requirements will not make the 254# weight limit if it includes these KEY SAFETY ITEMS:

1. An Adequate Pre-rotator of any type
  • Without a pre-rotator, the pilot must hand spin the blades while standing on the seat; the statistics clearly demonstrate that this is a no-no, especially with the engine running out of a necessity to immediately start taxiing. 
  • The little recoil types will work on some blades if you have enough upper body or arm strength to use them. I know, we designed one of these units in 2000.  
2. An appropriately sized horizontal stab for pitch dampening
  • I know there are those that say you don't need an appropriately sized horizontal stab but the statistics say otherwise.
3. An electric start
  • Granted the younger guys can use a recoil start and get by just fine
  • The older audience typically does not have the strength to pull a recoil for a 50 - 65 HP engine.
  • The only engines that will fit into the Part 103 parameters is the MZ Line, specifically the 202 which has an electric start but offers no provision for a recoil. When I talked to Compact Radial Engines, the engine was not simply adapted to a recoil. If that has changed then I stand corrected. 
  •  The 201 does not make enough thrust to safely fly a 103 machine; tested at HBG2.
  • ROTAX has dropped the 447 and 503 engines leaving
  • Our Letter Of Relief Submission included the use of small Four-Stroke engines due to the retreat of engine manufacturers from the smaller displacement engines. 
4. Rotor Brake
  • If you don't have a Rotor Brake, sooner or later, you are going to damage your blades and or a rudder or a car or even worse...a person. 
  • Locking and controlling a part of the aircraft that can kill people is of UTMOST importance to anyone concerned about safety. It only makes sense looking at the statistics; they show that spinning blades have killed people and cut down the tops of trees. 
The statistics scream these items are more than required to safely fly a Gyroplane or any size and of any brand. HBG2 has done everything it can at its own expense (with lots of support by our fan base) to make a "Legal Part 103 Machine"....not a fat one, and frankly it has been a total waste of our time and resources.  

Currently, the FAA, has denied the best efforts of the ASC/HBG2 to make the Part 103 Gyroplane (for everybody) safer by  our statistical efforts.  Because of that, all of us need to move onto a Sport Pilot Category Gyroplane and forget about it until the FAA changes its position of safety items for the Part 103 Gyroplane. 

Some will say "I told you so" or "I knew it was a waste of time" and frankly, that is the easy way out.  Is it possible to make a "Legal" Part 103 Gyroplane"? Yes, but the exotic materials that have to be used will make the Ultralight Gyroplane so expensive that no one can afford one. 

With that said, HBG2 is eliminating the HoneyBee G2 Ultralight from all future product lines until further notice. For those that wish to purchase a 103 Gyroplane, you need to weight it before you fly it. The fines for violations of the Part 103 requirements far out weigh the cost to get a Sport Pilot License.  

HBG2 is totally committed to building the Safest Gyroplanes In The World, that means they will only be sold with all of the "key safety items"!  For your own sake, please don't fly  a Gyroplane of any kind without them.  The statistics tell the story and it is a sad one.

Sorry for this kind of news...


Thursday, June 20, 2013

AvMap 600 Panel

Good morning! 

Over the last three years HBG2 has designed several custom panels for our Deluxe Instrument Pod. Note that this Pod will be  standard on all models beginning with the 2014 Product Line. One of the panels that we have done is the one pictured here. It has an AvMap 600, an ICOM A210, MGL Electronic Compass & Artificial Horizon (neat little package!) and a Garmin GTX 327 Transponder.  The EIS provides the other key information.  This panel feels "well rounded" and so far has been a joy to fly. I would be the first one to admit though that the AvMap 600 should be programmed before departure due to its screen size. With that said, following the little line and reading ground speed is doable once you get used to it. 

As we begin to wrap up some of the details for the 2014 Panel options, we are looking for suggestions. We know we are going to the Garmin SL-40 as our standard COM Radio because we can get local support from so many places.  When it comes to the GPS, we are open to suggestions. One customer has suggested the IFlyGPS which is impressive and affordable for sure.  Have any suggestions? Please email your suggestions to

Have a great day!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Two More Upgrades!

Good Morning!

It has been a marvelous weekend of flying in West Michigan!  On top of that, Hastings City Airport/9D9 has to be the best airport in the world to fly!  The key to a great airport is a great Aiport Manager and Mark Noteboom is one of the best! Thanks Mark for keeping it fun and friendly!

Over the last five hours of flying, I have been enjoying two upgrades that Engineering came up with. The first one is the latest in a series of Pitch and Roll Trim devices; this one is by far the best I have flown in a Gyroplane, ours included.  Once I got it set, the 2PT is virtually a hands free experience, even after I rotate on takeoff; all I have to do is guide it and adjust for P-Factor in climb with the rudder pedals. It is great! Thank you Jeremy!

The second update was a change in the chassis wiring circuits that allow the pre-rotation batteries to only be charged when the engine is running and having that circuit "totally" unplugged  when the engine switch is turned off.  Helps with bringing aircraft online again, up here when the Spring flying starts again. 

That's it for today!

Take care,

Friday, March 1, 2013

Even More Deluxe!

Good morning!

Since the very early days of the HoneyBee G2 Project, there has been a desire to have a beautiful instrument pod. We did not want one that came from a wholesaler somewhere or was on every other Gyroplane.  With that serving as the prime motivator, that effort created what is today our Deluxe Instrument Pod. Many people have commented on how good it looks on the G2. I looks great on all of our aircraft. 

In the spirit of building a better G2 in everything we do, we collectively agreed that though it looked great, it was difficult to manage what was behind the panel. 

With that in mind, we came up with a new "access panel" (shown above) that is an absolute HOME RUN to make this part of the G2 even better.  The new "access panel" will be held in place with 1/4 turn fasteners and will allow for easy access to all the wiring that used to be hard to get to.  

Isn't this what you have come to expect? 
Committed to building Great Gyroplanes!

Folding Mast Update

Good morning! Three weeks until Spring!

Last Spring our crew loaded up the HoneyBee G2, 2PT  and  Ultralight, in our 32' trailer and headed for Florida.  Some of us drove with the equipment, the majority flew. Without retelling the entire story, that was a long trip. It was that experience that caused us to seriously begin the process of designing a folding mast system on our 2PT. 

Since then, all of the engineering has been completed and the first example (shown here) is ready to bolt onto the aircraft.  For those that want the "Folding Mast Option", it can always be added to an existing frame in a matter of a couple hours. Also, this option allows a 2PT to fit into an 8' opening which is great for garages or lower trailers.  

We will have an update and more details on this option as we get warmer weather and begin flying again. 

Have a great day!

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Tail Material!

Good morning!  Happy 2013! It is hard to believe that we are already 11 days into the New Year! 

Topic for this morning...Over the life of the HoneyBee G2 Project, our Team (& customers) has always been thrilled with the quality and appearance of our tail surfaces. Honestly, our quality rivals anything coming out of a Part 23 Operation. They are a work of art for sure.  

After four years of producing these quality, labor intensive tails, our engineering efforts has now taken a different approach with our tail surfaces.  This change means that the tails are now made from "Honey Comb" sheet.  It is lighter, stronger, quicker to build and requires 400 less rivets! Ultimately, they absolutely provide a great solution, better durability, better hinging system (more on this later) and one more way to build an even better G2 Gyroplane line.  

Just an FYI...For those that are in the current production batch of airframes...Happy Birthday! You are also getting this upgrade. Not all bad eh?  

2013 is going to be a phenomenal year!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wayne & Deb Meade Join The G2 Fans!

Good Morning!

For those that have been following the HBG2 Project for awhile you know that we are located in Michigan and that it is cold this time of year. In spite of the cold, shorter days and rain/snow once in awhile, we do manage to go flying too, once in awhile. 

Last week, I had the honor of giving rides to two close friends of ours, Wayne & Deb Meade.  Deb and I we were up having fun doing the roller coaster ride routine and looking for deer. We did manage to see a few here and there, unfortunately that includes more dead ones than those running around that are alive and well.  

For Wayne and I, we looked for deer from the start of the flight to the fact right up to the point where it was dark and we needed to get on the ground. Wayne and I saw a few more deer but it seems like we  needed to get down in the swamps more to find them. Without snow, this time of year it can be hard to see them against the open woods and leaves on the ground.  Both Wayne and I have hunt for years and appreciate the struggle the Whitetails have gone through this year. Like Baseball, there is always next year for the deer to make a comeback!  In this area, there is a lot to comeback for sure!
When it was all said and done, I had a blast flying and sharing my love for the HoneyBee G2 Tandem.  I just love going into the woods and swamps to find deer.  They are a beautiful, precious commodity these days for sure. 

For those that are thinking about coming up and going for a ride with me, please be sure to call early to schedule the event. There is a lot going on and our Team will do the best we can do to introduce you to our love for the Gyroplane!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

70,000+ & Counting!

Good morning to all 70,000+ of you!  

It is 10:52AM on November 27, 2012. Beyond the date and time, 2012 is a year that will go down in the history books of HoneyBee G2 as the year of many "firsts".  One of those firsts is that the blog is being well visited (Thank you again for all 70,000+ visits!) and that people from all over the world are enjoying it.  

Another first for us is our association with, staffing of and joint development of our flight training system in Gyroplane Training Centers International, LLC.  I love the people who are part of this and can not wait to be part of this company.  This project is as big as anything we have done to date and is of incredible value to our global efforts. 

It has begun with the right  people, the right equipment and the right long-term/vision in our approach.  We are building the foundation and I am pleased with where this is going. More on this later! 

I say all of this to say, Thank You for your friendship, your support and the encouraging words.  2013 is going to be an even better year!

Take care,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When Dreams Come True!

As our flying season begins to suffer from the cold weather and shorter days, the available time slots for giving rides  get harder and harder to make work.  For instance, this morning we are big time fogged in, a condition that is a bit rare in November for sure.  Because the weather does not cooperate all the time, it is hard to get everyone a ride that wants a ride. This Fall, I have been wanting to some how fit in a friend of mine's father. As it so happens, this afternoon is going to work. I will have the distinct privilege of taking a real  gentleman flying; that spot is being filled by Ed Schrock.  Ed is 79 years old and a long time friend of my brother Mike. Ed is a great guy that has a positive influence on everyone he comes in contact with.  

For some background, Ed is a fixed wing pilot from way back. He used to own a Cessna 150 and in that airplane introduced all of his kids to aviation.  The ironic thing is that, like so many of you, Ed has always wanted to fly a Gyroplane. Well today, that dream comes true in nothing less than a G2 2PT.  

Who says that dreams don't come true!

Have a Great Thanksgiving!

Take care,