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SW Aviator Feb/Mar 2001
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The Helicycle

The Boise, Idaho area is a hotbed of homebuilt activity. However, not too many folks realize that a next generation helicopter manufacturer is now also a big piece of this action. Caldwell, Idaho’s Eagle R & D, LLC, started by B. J. Schramm in 1997, has just completed the 20,000 hour task of building Detroit-style tooling, which will produce a revolutionary commuter and sport helicopter that sells for the price of a pickup truck.

B.J. Schramm started Rotorway in 1967, with the Scorpion and Exec kit helicopters to his credit. He says that his newest creation, the Helicycle, “Is the smallest styled pod you can strap on, take off vertically, fly at 95 mph even in rough air and land on a 10,000 foot mountain top at the end of the flight.” The high altitude claims are backed by the fact that Schramm has a certificate from the Leadville, Colorado airport manager that states the Helicycle has capably flown there.

The Helicycle is different from anything the sport rotorcraft world has seen before. First, and most importantly, the rotor system and drivetrain have a look and feel that inspires an immediate sense of confidence. These critical components look like someone reduced the rotors and powertrain of a Jet Ranger to 1/4th their original size in some kind of giant space age shrinking machine.

Next, the Helicycle is not just a helicopter. It can sprout stub wings with pusher engines and morph into a thing called a compound helicopter. The advantage here is a 20 mph increase in cruise speed. Just imagine flying right alongside a million dollar Jet Ranger, and landing next to it at 10,000 ft., for a monthly payment that wouldn't do much more than fill up the Jet Ranger’s fuel tank.
Another big difference is that the Helicycle comes with a turbine engine. True, it's a rebuilt version, but its got lots of life left in it. In addition, Eagle R & D makes the final reduction gear case. The price is low and the power is high.

The really big news for a first time sport aircraft builder is the method which describes and documents the construction process. Seventeen one-hour video tapes show the proper procedures for completing each phase of the construction. Seeing how it is done makes building much easier than just having the dimensions on a print.

Police departments and government agencies like the Forest Service don't have to construct the Helicycle. They can order it completed and have their pilots and mechanics trained at the factory.
The best news about the Helicycle isn't what it does, it's what it costs. The key to it’s low cost is found in the 20,000 hours of tooling mentioned earlier. This tooling and 250 fully documented CNC machining programs, at long last, make it possible to shrink the cost of quality down to an affordable size.

For more information, visit Eagle R&D on the web at and read through the ‘Frequently Asked Questions,’ or give B.J. Schramm a call at 208-461-2567.

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The material in this publication is for advisory information only and should not be relied upon for navigation, maintenance or flight techniques. SW Regional Publications and the staff neither assume any responsibility for the accuracy of this publication's content nor any liability arising fom it
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