E-I-C Note: The Aero-TV
Team -- Jim, Tom, Paul, Sarah, Nathan, The
'Other' Jim, Laura, Kristen, Birgit, and
Anjin, had an
amazing time last
week debuting our new LIVE Aero-Streaming initiatives at the
incomparable 2010 Aircraft Electronics Association 53rd Annual
Tradeshow and Convention. We produced and
delivered Four really great programs over the course of Three days
and are getting rave reviews from all we meet and talk
BUT... we're beat, we're trashed, we're (at best)
semi-conscious, we're wiped out, and we really need a break. SO...
excuse us for a few extra days as we offer up some of the VERY BEST
classic episodes of Aero-TV and try to rest up and remember who we
are, where we live, and where we parked the plane...
--Jim Campbell, ANN E-I-C
Some years ago, it was my pleasure and privelege to get to know
a gentle, sweet man by the name of BJ Schramm. Uncommonly talented
in all things rotary-wing related, BJ (pictured below, left,
working on a Helicycle) had a gift for rotors and was a truly
great human being, to boot.
The designer of the much lauded Rotorway heli series, it was
BJ's dream to build the ultimate little single helicopter for the
sport enthusiast... but to give it the kind of reliability that had
not heretofore been associated with sport helicopter kits.
The Helicycle folks sum up BJ's fascination with rotorcraft,
thusly, "Having flown many types of helicopters both piston and
turbine powered, for over 30 years and having constructed, from
scratch, over a dozen prototype helicopters from one to four seats;
it was B.J. Schramm's desire to create a personal single seat
helicopter which embodies all desirable features that could be
engineered into a single machine."
This was near the time that the horrific death toll of a
shoddily manufactured Mini-500 kit-copter was really escalating,
and a known and reliable expert like BJ was just what the sport
helicopter business needed to restore some respectability to an
industry traumatized by alleged con-man Dennis Fetters (a.k.a.
Mohammed Al Faris and God knows what other aliases he used) and the
tragedies brought on by his death-trap.
That was then... and when BJ was just about done with all he
could do to make the machine the best that he could, even to the
point of pioneering a truly lovely turbine installation, something
unfortunate happened and BJ "went home" to meet God -- who was
truly the cornerstone of everything he did.
Since then, family members and fans of BJ have kept the
Helicycle alive and in production, while dozens are now flying
safely and racking up hours right and left.
The Helicycle costs less than $40K to purchase, including the
Modified Solar T62 turbine 160 derated to 90 hp. The single seat
bird allows for pilots of up to 220 lbs max, a Gross Weight of 850
lbs, and an Empty Weight of 500 lbs.
Fuel Capacity is 21 gallons (16 + 5 reserve). A Helicycle's
range (with reserve) is 160 miles, and boasts a Rate of Climb of
900 fpm, as well as a Hover IGE of 9500 ft. The
Service ceiling is 11,000 ft and the bird cruises (with doors) at
approximately 95 mph, though it has a max level speed of 110 mph at
ANN caught up with three Helicycle builder/flyers at the recent
Lee Bottom Fly-In... three guys of varying experience and
backgrounds, who all built the same helicopter and now enjoy the
occasional group flight to find a bit of adventure. Let's let them
tell you what BJ's genius and passion, via the creation of the
Helicycle, means to them...