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,