Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Greetings from Brazil!

Greetings from Brazil!

There is nothing in the world like flying to the South side of the globe to fly HoneyBee G2's with friends. That is precisely what Jeremy and I are up to this week. We boarded a plane in Grand Rapids with our tickets, bags, and laptops and arrived 26 hours later where we were met by our friends Sebastian and Paulo.

Because Jeremy and I were able to get some sleep on the plane, we went right to the "real airport" in Goiania to see Sebastian's Flight Operations, HoneyBee G2's, meet a few friends and finally have dinner at "Copa Cabana", one of the nicest restaurants in downtown Goiania. A good night's rest later and Jeremy and I were off to the airport for a good time with friends.

Having flown at Escolinha Airport (Portuguese means "Little School") with Ebson (CFI) in the hills of Goiania has been an eye opener. I am not a stranger to flying in international airspace but here at Escolinha I have seen how great CFI's (like Ebson and others) who truly LOVE aviation and the ones they teach make all the difference in the world; at least in this part of the Brazilian aviation world. When this goes on, it breaths life into an airport and this airport is more than alive. There is a plethora of aircraft flying everyday. These guys exhibit flying in harmony and they are doing it at a field that is being extended, getting a new taxiway and sustaining an active (and I mean active!) flight training program every where you look on the field. There are more commercial operations at "Little School" than I ever remember seeing at a field this size. Aviation is booming at "Little School" and HoneyBee G2 is thrilled to simply be here and in some small way just be a part of it. I am especially looking forward to flying many, many HoneyBee G2 from this "Little-Busy-School". It is especially sweet when you get to work with people that have withstood the test of time; those associated with the challenges of doing international business together. When it is all said and done and the dust settles, the best part is you are still with your friends.

Selfishly speaking I desire this kind of fire and passion for aviation to spread across the US again. With this kind of spirit, everyone wins...and if everybody wins, nobody looses.

Make a flying friend today...even if he is on the other side of the Earth!

Take care,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Single Place-Deluxe Update: 10-19-2012

Greetings from 9D9!

No flying at 9D9 today or the last couple of days for that matter. It has been so "Fall like", with cold and rainy days since the 5,200' flight earlier in the week. 

When we get days like these, when the CNC machines are busy doing what they have to do, when the powder-coater is busy doing their part, we finally have some time to get back on the aircraft that are underway on the floor, namely the 2013 SP-Deluxe that you have been reading about. 
The one pictured here is showing the Floors, the Upper Surrounds, the Drag & Trailing Links and Interim Control Rod Arms. This aircraft is becoming exactly what we hoped it would be  within this segment of the G2 Line for 2013. 

One change we have been kicking around over coffee is whether or not to use the ROTAX 503DCDI or to put a ROTAX 582 DCDI on it. The 503 will do the job, but there is nothing like more power when it comes to flying a Gyroplane. It is nice to have the power and not need it vs. to have to use all of it...all the time. Reserve is nice. It is also easier on fuel, easier on the engine and better when the heavier pilots fly this  aircraft. 

We don't have to decide about the engine for awhile; I will keep everyone in the loop on that decision.  For now, there is lots of discussion on the aircraft....getting there is more than half the fun for sure.

Next week we will be in Brazil! I will be blogging from there!

Vejo você mais tarde do Brasil!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hastings At 5,200'!

Hastings At 5,200'
Yesterday, the 16th, was an absolutely beautiful day in West Michigan! Clear as a bell, mid-50's and a South wind at 6 MPH. 

My flying for the day began on a flight with Jerry from Elk Grove, CA while his delightful wife Ruth took pictures from the ground of two older guys flying by in a Yellow 2PT.  An hour or so later Hugh, pilot extraordinaire, from Jenison, MI and I went out and ran the G2 2PT through its paces. Hugh flew most of the time, I just got to set back and enjoy the view and someone else enjoying the G2.  An hour later, we were on our way back to Hastings doing the landings of several types. We had a great time for surprise!

Since Hugh was my last flight of the day it made sense to grab a quick lunch with him and then get back to the office to finish up some office work there.  Here was the problem...there was lots of gas (and gas does go bad if not used right away!) in the 2PT, it was a beautiful day (more rare this time of year) and there was no good reason not to go back to the airport and just fly.

I did a quick pre-flight, buckled in and off I taxied. With a South wind at 6 MPH I could either use Runway 12 and manage the cross-wind from my right...or do a max pre-rotate to  175 RPM's and take-off from the North-South Taxi way that leads to Runways 12-30. Either way, it is all paved and the aircraft stays clean. If I do a taxiway departure I save myself 5-7 minutes of taxi time not to mention the tires and hassle of going to the West side of the airport for a departure to the South. Since the airport was quiet I exercised the benefits of being a rotorcraft.  

When the tachometer hit 175, I turned onto the taxiway, eased to full power and 150' later I was off and climbing at 700 - 900' FPM to somewhere South of the airport.  I really did not have a plan as to where I was going; I just knew that I wanted to climb. The 2.34 Drive does a great job of that for sure.....all the way to 5,200' in six minutes without really having to work at it.  What a beautiful view from a mile up in the air; makes me want to go flying right now.

It is so much fun to fly an aircraft that has an ultimate, Minimum Forward Speed of 25, will loiter for hours at 35 and when you spool it up will fly at 85 an open frame. I can not wait until the enclosure is done, fitted, painted and screaming along at....well, very, very fast speeds. 

Got to love it! 
...All 5,200' of it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Flying At 9D9 Today!

Today I had  the distinct privilege of taking two friends flying.   Jeff was the first. This was Jeff's first ride in a Gyroplane.  Jeff brought his camera and took aerial pictures of his house and his beautifully manicured yard while we did a side-wards descent to it.  We flew all over Barry County and enjoyed the beautiful Fall color here in West Michigan. What a blast. Jeff, one question for you....I forgot to ask you what color you want your G2 to be? 

The second passenger was our Jeremy (University Of Michigan guy) and my adopted Son in the Gyro World!  Jeremy has been flying with me since early Spring this year.  Because it has been such a busy year,  he and I simply have not had much time to fly together.  Due to the re-schedule of another passenger today, Jeremy and I got to go up together and work on some good solid, Practical Test Standard procedures. Jeremy did a great job on Turn Around A Point, emergency field selection and initial procedures to get there and  finally acrostics; HOT-GLUMPSR & HAT-Te-MeR for those that have ridden with me before.  We got right up to the "Cake" of Class C airspace for Kent County Airport too.  We worked on trim conditions and setting the aircraft up for a nose or tail heavy condition and how to read the telltale of airspeed and what to do to correct it. 

The best part about my job is seeing people flying what I love and have committed so much of my life to.  It is great to fly!

I love flying Gyroplanes...
...especially with my Friends,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Imprint™ Control System Integration!

Good Evening!

The first entries in my logbook in 1981 were in a beautiful, 1946 Cessna 120 out of a little strip on the Ohio River in Ona, WV; home of Chuck Yeager. Donny Chapman was a CFI extraordinaire for sure. He also went by the name "Okie Skidmore" so you kind of get the feeling that Donny was just a good old boy. He was kind enough to get me started on my journey to become a Private Pilot. What a gift that was Donny! Thank you!

His Cessna 120 (tail dragger) had a control wheel. A couple of hours later I went onto fly a tired old Cessna 150 (tricycle gear) with Ricky Jones out of Robert Newlon Field along the Ohio River just outside of Huntington, WV; it had a control yoke and was very different from the 120. Four or five hours later I was in a Cessna 182 with more knobs and gauges than I had ever seen.  Then my internship was done in WV and I was off to Michigan again where I would eventually settle down and begin flying a tired old Cessna 152 out of Hastings, MI. It was a piece of junk too. It has more gauges than the 120, less power than the 182 and the nose gear shimmied so bad that you had to do soft field take offs every time or you would shake the nose wheel off the airplane. Two attorneys eventually crashed it to put it out of its misery. Later on I would finish my Private Pilot License in one of two 172's that I flew out of Lowell City Airport in Lowell, MI. Both of these aircraft were at the extreme of equipment and power and feel and on and on it goes. 

So what is my point? How we survive flying (and getting our Sport or Private Pilot License) in such different and sometimes junky old airplanes at the average FBO is beyond reason. It is a tribute to our tenacity for sure!  This is precisely the reason for  the G2 Imprint™ Control System! That's right, every Single Place-Standard and above will have the critical controls in the same place allowing you, the customer/student/etc. the simplicity of being "Imprint™" by habits that transfer directly to your single or two place HoneyBee G2. 

Expanding on this more....Train in a G2 2PT and then transition to your Single Place-Standard/Deluxe/HP or 2PT with identical controls!  This will result in better transitions, safer-confidence building experiences and overall, a life-time start on the best possible Gyroplane experience in the world. Seriously.....

If we always do, what we have always done, we will always get what we have always got....

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Flying In Michigan

When I looked at the weather at 6:50AM it was 38 Degrees. Later in the morning it will be in the Mid-40's and by the afternoon low to mid 50's.  Heatwave coming for sure!  Let's give it a couple of hours to "warm up" a bit.

I have always enjoyed flying in the cooler  weather.  Aircraft of all types fly better in the cooler air, the same is true for Gyroplanes. Blades work better, engines run cooler and the Fall color can be breathtaking at times.  There has been one very obvious difference flying this Fall over last Fall however. Last year on an average flight, I would see between 40 -50 deer on every flight. "Buck sightings" were common place...spikes, 4's, 6's, 8's and once in awhile, a Monster Buck.  That my friends has changed here in Michigan. Our deer population has really taken a beating due to EHD. It is sad to loose deer this way. 

For those coming to fly with me over the next couple of weeks however, please remember to bring your cameras and warm clothing. If we don't see deer, we will go take pictures of some of the beautiful fall colors exploding here in West Michigan!

Pure Michigan!

Friday, October 5, 2012

2013 HoneyBee G2 Models

2013 HoneyBee G2 Models

HoneyBee G2, LLC is thrilled to announce the 2013 HoneyBee G2 "General Aviation" Branded Line of Gyroplanes.  Our staff has worked hard to create a unique approach to many new features and improvements.  Those aircraft are…

HoneyBee G2 Ultralight: The HoneyBee G2 Ultralight will continue to be available for 2013 Model Year in the same arrangement as the award winning 2012 Bensen Days Grand Champion. One note however, the G2 Ultralights are being made in limited quantities only. Call early to reserve yours! Standard HoneyBee Yellow is our standard color, for 2013 Bright White is available at no extra cost. 

HoneyBee G2 Single Place-Standard: Formerly known as the G2 MicroLight, the Single Place-Standard has the features of our larger frames buts offers the pilot a great, light Gyroplane experience. This aircraft comes Standard with:
  • Imprint™ Control System Integration, more on this later!
  • MZ 202/60HP engine, up-gradable to a ROTAX 582
  • 14 Gallons Fuel Capacity
  • Deluxe Instrument Pod for DVFR to IFR Instrument Panels
  • Square Tube Keel & Tail Boom to handle upgrades later
  • Ultralight 24v Pre-rotator with a 120VAC Wall Charging System
  • Improved Hydraulic Rotor Brake System with “Park Feature”
  • Heavy-Duty Tail Surfaces like the larger frames
  • Alloy Wheels/Standard Size Tires/Hydraulic Brakes with “Park Feature”
  • 25/26’ Blades depending on customer needs
  • Standard HoneyBee Yellow is our standard color, for 2013 Bright White is available at no extra cost.
HoneyBee G2 Single Place-Deluxe: This model is totally new this year and comes with all the features of the Single-Place Standard Airframe but also includes:
  • Imprint™ Control System Integration, more on this later!
  • MZ 202/60HP engine, up-gradable to a ROTAX 582
  • 14 Gallons Fuel Capacity
  • Surrounds/Floor/Arm Rests for ease of entry and comfort in-flight
  • Deluxe Instrument Pod for DVFR to IFR Instrument Panels
  • The same Ultralight 24v Pre-rotator but with its own “on-board” 24V Charging System.
  • Improved Hydraulic Rotor Brake System with “Park Feature”
  • Alloy Wheels/Standard Size Tires/Hydraulic Brakes with “Park Feature”
  • Standard HoneyBee Yellow is our standard color, for 2013 Bright White is available at no extra cost.
Single Place-High Performance: This airframe just keeps getting better and better all the time. The SP-HP as it has been known, offers all of the features of the Single Place-Deluxe but also includes:
  • Imprint™ Control System Integration, more on this later!
  • Heavy-Duty Landing Gear similar to the Two-Place Tandem
  • 14 Gallons Fuel Capacity
  • New Rotor Blade Options
  • Twin Bearing Rotor Head for heavier payloads
  • The all new 36V Heavy-Duty Pre-rotator and own On-Board Charging System
  • Re-designed Heavy-Duty Landing Gear allows for better trailering
  • Improved Hydraulic Rotor Brake System with “Park Feature”
  • Deluxe Instrument Pod for DVFR to IFR Instrument Panels
  • Alloy Wheels/Standard Size Tires/Hydraulic Brakes with “Park Feature”
  • A totally redesigned-Heavy-Duty Engine Mount
  • All NEW, 138 HP-1.4L Engine Platform
  • Last but not least, this airframe is enclosure ready
  • Standard HoneyBee Yellow is our standard color, for 2013 Bright White is available at no extra cost.

Two Place Tandem: Like the SP-HP, this airframe just keeps getting better and better all the time.  Our Staff has put so much effort into perfecting this airframe.  This airframe has the most new additions of our entire line. For those that are new to this part of our line, all the features and improvements are listed here:
  • Imprint™ Control System Integration, more on this later!
  • Our Trademark Moving Mast Feature offers the broadest possible CG options for virtually all passenger needs.
  • Re-designed Heavy-Duty Landing Gear allows for easier trailering
  • Two Place Tandem Seating
  • All NEW Folding Mast Option
  • New Rotor Blade Options
  • Improved Twin Bearing Rotor Head for Heavier Payloads
  • Improved Hydraulic Rotor Brake System with “Park Feature”
  • Deluxe Instrument Pod for DVFR to IFR Instrument Panels
  • Surrounds/Floor/Arm-Rests
  • The all new 36V Heavy-Duty Pre-rotator and On-Board Charging System
  • 14 Gallons Fuel Capacity
  • Alloy Wheels/Standard Size Tires/Hydraulic Brakes with “Park Feature”
  • Improved Heavy-Duty Engine Mount
  • 210 HP-2.4L Engine Platform
  • Last but not least, this airframe is enclosure ready
  • Standard HoneyBee Yellow is our standard color, for 2013 Bright White is available at no extra cost.

We will have new pictures and additional information soon! 

Happy New Year!
Jim Fields
HoneyBee G2, LLC
Committed To Building The Safest Gyroplanes In The World™

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New Roll Mount/Balanced Pressures

For those that have been tracking with the HoneyBee G2 Project, you have read our  commitment to Total  Quality Management, or TQM....making little improvements ALL THE TIME everywhere we can.  Some times this is for assembly, some times it is a material change, sometimes it is a cosmetic change and sometimes it is not a change, it is an addition. No matter how you look at it, we are always improving what we do in the G2.  The areas we improve come from our flying experience, customer feedback and the brain trust of our engineering staff. When we work on something until we get it right, it makes all the difference in the world; sometimes this is the first try...sometimes it takes more. When it is right, it is right.  If these improvements need to get to customers (no matter where they are at in the world) then we pack them up and ship them out. Jeremy and I are going to Brazil on the 20th of October and are shipping parts there for this very reason.  The original parts worked just fine, but there are a couple of little tweaks that we want to have on their aircraft.  That same thing goes  for all the domestic frames. We believe in and are committed to the G2 experience.....always something new coming and always improving. Always.....

The picture above shows the lower Control Stick Tubes. Jeremy came up with a way to keep the "Pitch Forces" the same while decreasing the "Roll Forces".  With a Right Rotation Prop and normal Rotor Blade rotation, the left force is always heavier than the right stick force. The solution is to harmonize Pitch & Roll pressures and "engineered stick return forces"....leading to complete, hands-off flying!  Piece of cake! Great job Jeremy!

Keeping up the great work together!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yesterday Was A Blast!

As the company grows, my time on the floor with the guys and in the air with customers gets less and less.  Conversely, the time I need to fill the role as President & CEO grows and grows. 

Well yesterday was different! I got to fly with customers (140 - 262#'s) from Southern, IL in the G2-2PT, fly with Jimmie "O" (me in the G2-2PT & Jimmie in his G1)  and at the end of the day, Louanne (my beloved wife) and I got to go up for an hour of just taking in the splendor of Fall color in Michigan!   Yesterday was a blast! 

For those that are contemplating a trip to Hastings this Fall, please let Don Vander Wall know early when you are coming.  The aircraft are busy and so are we; the earlier you schedule your trip to 9D9, the better we can serve your needs. 

Have a Colorful Day!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Safety Survey Comments Needed!

Okay Boys and Girls, I seldom go negative on this blog but my review of the Safety Survey Sight just killed me today. If there was ever a time when YOUR  public comments were being WELCOMED about PART 103, it is NOW. If we as a community don't or won't comment when we get the chance, we have no one to blame but ourselves.   To date, we have only had "4", yes "4" very positive comments.  Thank you to those that have take the two minutes to do that!

Compare and contrast here with me for a minute.  Why is it so easy for the Gyroplane community, blogs and forums to post so many, "poisonous, negative, inflammatory and mean comments" but when given a opportunity like this to make a HUGE difference in the Part 103 World, we get only "4" comments?  I personally can't believe it.

If you have not contributed your "formal comment" yet I invite you to do that by clicking on this link: Submit A Formal CommentPlease make your voice heard; it is greatly appreciated!

If we won't be proactive and make a "simple positive comment" when given the opportunity to do so, we should never say again that our friends at the FAA have not given us the opportunity of a lifetime to make a difference in OUR sport. 

"4" comments? 

2013 G2 Product Line Announcement

It's true! This Friday afternoon at 5 PM  HoneyBee G2 is  announcing its 2013 G2 General Aviation Branded Line of rotorcraft each with its new respective features. Going forward, October will serve as the time when the next model year is announced. 

Honestly, our staff has worked hard to understand the needs of our customers and then define which features go into which models for what reasons. It has been a lot of fun.  

We have also decided which  features will be held for the 2014 & 2015 Model Years!

Thank you for all the feedback!