Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Power Of Together!

The best part of  flying a gyro are the lifetime friends you make. It gets better when you fly with a buddy that also flies a gyro.  If this is your situation, you understand what I mean and probably feel like one of the luckiest people in the world.  I sure do.

For 2011, I challenge each person reading this post to find one person  who wants to learn how to fly a gyro and together begin flying. That may mean travel, it may mean sacrifice. It will take commitment but it will be worth the effort. 

This last fall I watched two of my gyro friends (Jimmy O. & John W.) do just that. They made a commitment to get instruction together. They traveled together. They trained together. They struggled together. They were together when each other soloed.  Then they soloed in their Bee's within a month of each other. Great job guys! I am proud of you!

Start today. Find a person and make a commitment to fly together. 



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Two Place Tandem Picture Update

Looking better every day..... The updates listed in the earlier post are beginning to show up in the HoneyBee G2 ™ Two-Place Tandem and they are beautiful!  Sometimes, getting it right just takes a little longer than it should.  

As flying season approaches, the 2011 BeeTour™ Schedule is taking shape.  One will be on the way to "Rotors Over The Rockies" with the Utah Rotorcraft Association.  This trip will take the craft to Wisconsin, Iowa, etc. and a few jogs in between.  If you are close to South East Wisconsin and en route to Salt Lake City, Utah please e-mail me so we can plan on some time together. 

Let's go flyin'

Monday, February 21, 2011

Two-Place Tandem Update!

Many have written and asked about the status of the HoneyBee G2™ Two-Place Tandem.

Here you go....Because the Two-Place Tandem is the best training system for those that will fly a HoneyBee G2™, it was necessary to move the "Moving Mast" aft to accommodate a larger student weight range. It is now possible for a student with a weight of only 130#'s to fly the craft from the front seat and be within the correct hang angle. Further, the mast can be moved forward to accommodate a student as high as 350#'s and still be properly configured. This revision, though painful, is proving to be a great decision for the long-term.  That's not all, have you read the other revisions I posted  several weeks ago?

There will be an unveiling of several new frames and many features at the Spring Shows. If you are going, please RSVP via my e-mail to let me know you are coming. Our staff will do its best to accommodate your interest and questions in the HoneyBee G2™ line.

Committed To Building The Safest Gyroplanes In The World™

Take care,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Welcome To The World! HoneyBee G2 Is Going Global!!!

ברוך הבא!
स्वागत योग्य है!

No matter how you say it, I want to Welcome each of you! Thank You for your interest in the HoneyBee G2™!  I, personally, am having so much fun just "Bee-ing" a part of what is going on globally with the project.  

To encourage each of you, know that AWI is working on the establishment of Domestic and International flight training settings. Thanks for your patience as we go global. 

Have a great week-end!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Working Our Tails Off....

Good Morning! I just wanted to show the partial stack of new tail components for G2's going out in February.  Some are for the Ultralight/Microlight Frames and the others are for the Single Place High Performance and  Two-Place Tandems.  They are a thing of beauty!  Many thanks to our sheet metal crew, Jim Ostrander and John Welt!

We are already beginning to plan for our March production of frames. Please let me know early if you want to be in that batch. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Julie & Julia... The Movie

There was a popular "chick flick" I actually saw three times.  If once was not enough, I watched it with Ellie, one of my Russian twin daughters first because Annie her sister had other plans that night. Then when Annie was free, of course we had to see it again because Ellie loved it and by that time, I was actually beginning to like the movie. What better thing to do on a Friday night than to take my wife Louanne to see it.  

The movie Julie & Julia  was a true story which chronicled how "Julie" decided to start a Blog about cooking the recipes of "Julia Child".  By now you might be thinking so what....why is Jim talking about this movie. Because....  Julie makes a comment on "blogging" during the movie that has run through my head since I started blogging about the HoneyBee G2™ in January 2011. She asked, " anyone actually reading what I am writing"?  In her case they really, really were, so much so that there was a movie made about it and Julie is probably retired by now. 

I too have wondered the same thing at times. The management tools that Google provides for blogging allows me to know that "you all" are hitting the site literally from all over the world!!! Welcome to the Blog!  One question still remains however, are you just looking at the pretty pictures of gyros or are you actually reading what I write? 

My solution! Offer a FreeBee!  Not a gyro but a Free HoneyBee G2™ Baseball Hat. For those that missed the "PS:" on my recent post, I committed to give the first five people that emailed me a brand new HoneyBee G2™ baseball hat, signed by me!   Who knows where you will see these guys show up wearing their new Hats!

My "Hats" are off to you!

Take care,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Journey Worth Taking....

1997 Photo
This posting is pretty personal for me.  Reading it will allow you to understand my love for the gyroplane.  Further, this will allow you to understand what it has taken, both developmentally and practically, to get the HoneyBee G2™ to market. It has been done with a company that I am proud and thrilled to be a part of, AeroWorks International, Inc.   

With that said…over the weekend, I had breakfast with some friends and was able to tell my story. Of course my story always includes the HoneyBee Gyro and how a neat little gyroplane expanded to the HoneyBee G2™. It has became such a huge part of my life. 

Honestly, are you feeling discouraged about learning to fly a gyroplane and someday perhaps having your own gyroplane? If you have thought this, you are not alone.  Believe me, it will be worth the effort.  Everyone that I know that has learned to fly a gyroplane has fallen in love them. 

Here is path that I have taken to learn to fly gyroplanes and become Vice President Of Sales & Engineering for the HoneyBee G2™ Project:

I have always been was a hard working kid. At 8 years old I started my own lawn mowing business which expanded to a year round yard/driveway service by the time I was 12.  In 1972 I left my small business behind when we moved to the country and I soon began working on turkey and horse farms.  Rather than driving a lawn tractor or pushing a mower I drove John Deere™ 4020’s and other large equipment from sun up to sun down. At 16 I left the farm work to others and joined my buddies selling ladies shoes in the largest mall in Grand Rapids.  I adjusted well to my new suit and tie outfits vs. my crap kickers and coveralls.  I caught on immediately and became the top salesperson in a National Shoe Chain during my senior year.  I made more money than I knew how to save or spend.  I saved for college and went with virtually the entire process paid for.  My college course work taught me that truth does matter and that we are all in the people business one way or another.  During my college internship I got “reduced flight” instruction in Huntington, WV  just because someone took a liking to me. My move back to Michigan only delayed getting my Private Pilot License until I could really afford it.  In business, I learned to be part of business review teams that turned divisions of corporations around. I learned how to read P & L’s and the difference between an asset and a liability on a Balance Sheet and what debt ratios to watch out for. Why cash is king and so on. 

As my success was proven out in one responsibility others opened up whole new disciplines that I had never dreamed of. Soon I had the opportunity to learn AutoCad™. There was a “light version” and it worked perfectly on my laptop.  This allowed me to submit new product suggestions to the right departments in the right format.  When I traveled I could stay in my hotel room and design aircraft.  Soon, I discovered the internet and the PRA's Website and the free plans from Dr. Ralph Taggart.  Soon after meeting Dr. Taggart and drawing on lots of napkins and eating donuts, the original HoneyBee Gyro was born.  During the day I did my regular stuff.  At night I began living my dream of designing and flying my very own gyroplane. One that I had a part in!!!  Can you see the progression of steps and my preparation for the next step?

If you have read to this point, congratulations! You have probably read enough of my story to see how your life story is playing out. No doubt you have had your own struggles. To that end, I take my hat off to you for not being a quitter! Any one can quit!

Flying a gyro is not going to occur by accident. More than likely, when you finally get to take your solo flight, you will have earned it through patience, perseverance and the pursuit of your dream to fly a gyroplane. When you finally do, it will change you forever.  I know it has me forever!

Never quit! Just take another step!
Committed to building the safest Gyroplanes in the World™


PS: The first five people that send me their name & address to will recieve the all new, never seen before HoneyBee G2™ baseball hat, signed by me.... How's that?   Thanks for reading! Never Quit!  Jim

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How To Convert Your Ultralight To A Light Sport Aircraft (UPDATED 5-7-11)

A follower of the HoneyBee G2™ Blog wrote a great question I thought every Ultralight enthusiast should read.

Here is their question:
"If I had an Ultralight, can it be upgraded? For instance, if I wanted to add fuel tanks or upgrade the engine and register it as experimental further down the road. Can it be upgraded to practically a Microlight"?

Speaking to the capabilities of the Ultralight HoneyBee G2™ airframe, the airframe itself can carry additional fuel via an additional tank with very little effort. The original fuel sender will automatically compensate for this addition. If however the builder wants to increase the horsepower to 60HP the frame can handle it. NOTE: The HP was raised from the originally stated 52HP. I do believe that an Ultralight HoneyBee G2™ that is converted to an N-Numbered aircraft later would be an absolute "gas" (no pun intended) to own and fly so I am supportive of this later conversion for those that want to go this direction.

After speaking with those that know the regulations...
  • John Golda, Grand Rapids, FAA-FSDO
  • Tom Taylor, President, PRA #32, BARUC, my FAA Regulation Liaison is what they provided to me:  


By following these simple steps, an Ultralight Aircraft can be built and flown as a Part 103 Ultralight and later upgraded to a Light Sport Aircraft.  This is great news for all of the Ultralight builders.

An Ultralight Aircraft can be built and flown as an Ultralight then upgraded to qualify for Light Sport by registering it as an “Amateur Built - Experimental” as long as the following items exist.

  1. - Kit - qualifies for the 51% Rule
  2. - Sales Invoice - received from Manufacturer at purchase
  3. - FAA Bill of Sale - received from Manufacturer at purchase
  4. - Maintain Construction Log with Photos
  5. - Individual must be Original Purchaser and Original Builder

Aircraft can then be upgraded and still qualify for Light Sport at Owners discretion by following the existing  “Amateur Built - Experimental” certification process.

NOTE:    Once Registration Application is applied for, the aircraft is temporarily grounded until final FAA Inspection is completed.
In closing, great question, great answer! 

Updated: February 3, 2011. My original response was too long. The basic answer is "yes it can be done following these simple steps" (listed above) and the normal published registration proceedures from the FAA

Go Ultralights!