Helodyne

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Hot Wings

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Sounds like a CarterCopter with contra-rotating blades and maybe some FBW thrown in, just to get the investors excited. It must be convenient for their webmaster that their lawyers don't want them to post pictures?
 

bmcj

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Helodyne... no photos on their website. I balk at airplane companies who only have artists renditions and no actual photos to sell their planes, but it's sad when a company can't even afford an artist to do an artist's rendition.

Here's another unique concept, and they did have an artist:

Sky Voyage - Personal Aircraft by Jet Shao » Yanko Design

sky_voyage_06.jpg


EDIT: My post here was meant as a humorous interjection and not as a judgement of Helodyne. In my attempt to add illustration to my humor, I included a picture of another craft that is totally unrelated to Helodyne. Though the pictured craft (Sky-Voyage) is interesting, please refrain from discussing it here because it just confuses the issue between Helodyne and Sky Voyage. If you wish to discuss the Sky Voyage, I think starting a new thread would be appropriate. I apologize for introducing something that may have muddied the waters of this conversation about Helodyne. This is not in anyway a 'kiss up' to Helodyne... it's a courtesy to the forum.
 
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Topaz

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Well, there's nothing here (Helodyne) to look at for us non-investor types. That page is solely targeted at gaining venture capital, and is keeping everything else mum. Personally, I take that as a good sign. Big claims, but most folks with the kind of money they're looking for are savvy enough to research that beforehand.

I don't know - this one is behaving more like I'd expect a qualified startup looking for investors to act. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
 

Detego

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Helodyne... no photos on their website. I balk at airplane companies who only have artists renditions and no actual photos to sell their planes, but it's sad when a company can't even afford an artist to do an artist's rendition.

Here's another unique concept, and they did have an artist:

Sky Voyage - Personal Aircraft by Jet Shao » Yanko Design

View attachment 17865

Normal parking for this thing must be blown-over on it's side.

Looks like fun, as long as there is no wind blowing.
 

bmcj

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One of the things that caught my attention was the range chart on the Helodyne vs Driving page. It has a 250 mi range with 4 aboard, 500 mi with 3, and 750 mi with 2 aboard. That's a huge change in range for a one person weight difference.
 

Topaz

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One of the things that caught my attention was the range chart on the Helodyne vs Driving page. It has a 250 mi range with 4 aboard, 500 mi with 3, and 750 mi with 2 aboard. That's a huge change in range for a one person weight difference.
Knowing nothing about the aircraft, we can't discount unconventional solutions such as plugging in aux tanks in place of removable seats. In terms of more conventional designs, I agree with you completely, but at this point, we just don't know. It's also at least nominally a compound helicopter of some type, so perhaps weight plays a larger factor - it's possible the rotor isn't completely unloaded at cruise speed unless there's only two aboard. That would have a big effect on cruise drag, and therefore range.
 

Aircar

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Given that both these (and many other) aircraft tout themselves as 'solutions to personal transport' and a better competitor to the motor car they ought to defend their claims on that basis --neither of these look remotely viable and do nothing for the 'last mile' (or ten if airport based..) of a journey which is where MOST of the personal mobility task takes place and distinguished the car from other part way transport means.

Thanks Bruce for the link to this latest "crazy" to add to the pile of pretenders to the personal flying machine/commuter crown --it has elements of the Parafoil and the rigid mast like the Saint Maverick with even more drawbacks than either . as noted it will blow over with no provocation and looks to be rigid and uncollapsible even (and why run the lift wires to the TIPS? ..) --doesn't anybody think things through anymore while doing their photoshopping and CAD rendering ?
 

Topaz

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...Thanks Bruce for the link to this latest "crazy" to add to the pile of pretenders to the personal flying machine/commuter crown --it has elements of the Parafoil and the rigid mast like the Saint Maverick with even more drawbacks than either . as noted it will blow over with no provocation and looks to be rigid and uncollapsible even (and why run the lift wires to the TIPS? ..) --doesn't anybody think things through anymore while doing their photoshopping and CAD rendering ?
Looking at the rest of the website, you can see that this is being put forward by an industrial designer who may (or may not) have some level of experience with flying PPC's or PPG's. Industrial designers sometimes get it in their head that an aircraft is no different than any other design project, and something like this "Sky Voyage" is usually the result. They're neat to look at, and sometimes have some clever ideas, but rarely are they workable aircraft.

I remember touring the gallery at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, many years ago. A professor had tasked his ID students with designing a new jet fighter. The results were "interesting" and visually appealing to say the least but, of the 20 or so submissions, I suspect maybe five could actually be made to fly, and only one might even be remotely suitable as some kind of combat aircraft.
 
H

Helodyne

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Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the long post, I just thought it would be easiest for everyone if I answered everything at once.

Starting with Tom's initial comment, yes the site is a bit secretive and I apologize for that, but as it says in the FAQs:

Under the direction of law firm Thorp Reed & Armstrong, it has been determined that displaying pictures of the Helodyne might jeopardize the ability to secure all patents related to the Helodyne's design. Therefore, there are no "public pictures" of the Helodyne available.

The Helodyne is a new aircraft type, but if I show you a picture of it and you or others posting here figured out what I have done over time, then I would lose the ability to patent the Helodyne. Sorry, it is just the way it is. Although, obviously not verbatim, but the general guideline for patents and pictures, is something like if someone knowledgeable within the industry can figure out what you have done just based on the picture and the picture is made publically available, then it has been publicly and is no longer patentable.

Unlike others, I have not invented any new physics or aerodynamic phenomena. The features of the Helodyne have all been used on other aircraft, but were proven to work but without being significantly better than standard design practices, so all have been abandoned for any conventional helicopter. What make the Helodyne different is that these independent technologies, that are weak independently, have a synergist effect for one another, supplementing the weaknesses of one with the strengths of another. Hence, the Helodyne is “greater than the sum of its individual parts.”

Concerning, Hot Wings comment, the Helodyne is a true helicopter, it can take off and vertically and it can do this from either water or land, and it can hover.

Concerning bmcj’s 1st comment, yes, no pictures, see above.

Concerning D Hillberg’s comment, yes, unfortunately, there are shysters in every industry and aviation is no different. The Helodyne and I are not. The desire for something like Helodyne was born out of sitting at a traffic light for 3 consecutive green lights and never moving an inch, not even the “squeeze the cars closer” that you typically get. Not an inch. This was about 30 years ago. The initial new concept was created about 29 years ago after having attended an aerodynamics lecture. The project mulled around for about 20 years, and then I got passed up for a promotion, I was literally told that I had. That was 2001. In 2002, I felt that even if I got the design right, I didn’t have the financial means to pursue this beyond the drawing board. And then a friend said to me, “all you need is OPM.” At the time, I didn’t know, so I bit. What’s OPM? Other People’s Money. With the thought that I didn’t have to fund this solely myself, I starting to pursue all aspects of the Helodyne and have been working on it ever since.

Concerning Topaz’s comment, thank you. Yes, I hope this is a “good sign” and I appreciate everyone’s interest in the Helodyne. And yes, I am in search of some Angel Investors to push the Helodyne.

Concerning Detego’s comment, yeah, I have become somewhat disillusioned with Gizmag and some of the other sites. If you draw anything it is now a new “design,” even though it has no chance of actually performing as the product it was intended to be.

Concerning bmcj’s second comment, well you have your numbers a bit messed up. If you hover your mouse over the edge of the colored rings, you’ll see that 4 on board is about 400 miles, 3 on board Is about 780 miles, 2 on board is around 1200 and pilot only is around 1300. Of course, these are all estimated and although we are reporting the exact number on the website, “your mileage will vary.” So Topaz has essentially answered this comment.

In many aircraft, Gross Weight is achieved with a full tank and all seats filled with the appropriately sized human being. Therefore, whether the seats are filled or not, the fuel capacity is the same. The Helodyne is different. Is has a very large fuel tank beyond what the seats filled capacity would allow. This is so you can make the tradeoff between fuel and seats. Think of your care, you probably have a 4 seater, of if a minivan a 7 seater, but how often do you actually fill all the seats? Sure, if you’re driving your kids team to their sport or something, sure. But what is that, 2 trips a week out of 20 – 40 trips you make a week. Same thing for aircraft, yes, when you need the seats you really need the, are you going to leave a family member behind? But most of the time you don’t.

You can see this on the Specifications page on the website, standard fuel is 52 gallons, maximum fuel is 132 gallons.

Concerning Aircar’s comment, I could not agree more. The Helodyne being amphibious VTOL, delivers you that last mile, even and especially if that final destination is a summer home on the lake. Land on the lake, taxi to the dock, you are now enjoying your weekend. Again, on the website, An Integrated Decision-Making Framework for Transportation Architectures: Application to Aviation Systems Design by Jung-Ho Lewe makes a good argument, which also follows common sense, that you either need a dual-mode vehicle or VTOL, but not both.

Although, I love both the Icon A5 and the Synergy and both are very sexy airplanes, and will probably be very successful airplanes, I do not believe that they will fundamentally change the way we travel. If you were already thinking of purchasing an airplane, then both are great choices. But as Aircar says, the last 1-20 miles, is unanswered. So unless the airport is really where you want to go, you are now stuck. So it is either rental car time, or you always need friends to pick you up.

I totally agree with Topaz. I like industrial designers; it just seems that anything gets posted.

Have a great weekend everyone!
 

Tom Nalevanko

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Hi there from Helodyne; thanks for your message. It would be great if you could offer a name like Fred or Bob so we could make this more personal. Coincidence that I, the starter of this thread, am originally from Pittsburgh too... So I know the area and the mentality, which is a bit different.

Patents don't take that long to file... When will you announce your aircraft to the world? Sounds like you are planning on using some of the Lockheed rotor hub technology. I have been in contact with one of the persons named on the patents and his stories are interesting.

Wishing you the best of luck with your design.

Blue skies,

Tom
 

bmcj

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Concerning bmcj’s 1st comment, yes, no pictures, see above.


Concerning bmcj’s second comment, well you have your numbers a bit messed up. If you hover your mouse over the edge of the colored rings, you’ll see that 4 on board is about 400 miles, 3 on board Is about 780 miles, 2 on board is around 1200 and pilot only is around 1300. Of course, these are all estimated and although we are reporting the exact number on the website, “your mileage will vary.” So Topaz has essentially answered this comment.
Hi Helodyne,

(Do you have a name we can call you by?)

Thanks for joining in and clarifying some misconceptions. For the record, my first post was meant somewhat as a bit of humor and not as a direct comment regarding Helodyne. No harm meant.

My second post was indeed wrong. I meant to say 2.5 hours, 5 hours, 7.5 hours, etc, but when I got around to the forum post, my brain skipped a beat and I ended up with 250, 500 and 750 miles. My apologies for that, but the observation (ratio of range per pax) was still valid and you addressed that here.

Bruce :)
 

autoreply

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Thanks Bruce for the link to this latest "crazy" to add to the pile of pretenders to the personal flying machine/commuter crown --it has elements of the Parafoil and the rigid mast like the Saint Maverick with even more drawbacks than either . as noted it will blow over with no provocation and looks to be rigid and uncollapsible even (and why run the lift wires to the TIPS? ..) --doesn't anybody think things through anymore while doing their photoshopping and CAD rendering ?
Rigid and uncollapsible? Doesn't the picture BCMJ added show a collapsed "wing", stored in the fixed mast? Apart from engine failure (does the wing collapse then?) and the VTOL mode (which is downright hilarious given the required power) it seems reasonably realistic to me?

Welcome "MrHelodyne". I'm disappointed with the lack of pictures, but that's to satisfy my curiosity, from your position that's not an unwise thing to do. Any guesstimates of a time-line?

The fuselage dimensions, I take it they're exterior dimensions? I first interpreted them as interior ones, in which case it would be a massive cabin.
 

Detego

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Hi Everyone,

... Under the direction of law firm Thorp Reed & Armstrong,
... it has been determined that displaying pictures of the Helodyne might jeopardize the ability to secure all patents
... Therefore, there are no "public pictures" of the Helodyne available.

Your already at a disadvantage, incurring costs for ART before you even build the prototype (20+ years). Hey at least your LAW FIRM got paid!

The fact is, you have NO models nor an actual working prototype to show, you must think Companies will beat a path to your door wanting to license your production rights.

Based on your comments, you have no original concept - "The features of the Helodyne have all been used on other aircraft" - What are your patent application numbers?

Detego
 

Topaz

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Your already at a disadvantage, incurring costs for ART before you even build the prototype (20+ years). Hey at least your LAW FIRM got paid!

The fact is, you have NO models nor an actual working prototype to show, you must think Companies will beat a path to your door wanting to license your production rights.

Based on your comments, you have no original concept - "The features of the Helodyne have all been used on other aircraft" - What are your patent application numbers?

Detego
Hmmmm... I'd be a little more generous than this. Helodyne wasn't featured in the artwork we saw earlier on this thread - that was another product from another company.

As for the rest, I'd again point out that this kind of process is exactly how legitimate companies start up when they need venture capital. As for Helodyne itself (the company, not the person), we'll all just have to wait and see. I'm actually encouraged that he's taking the "keep it quiet" route and seeking traditional venture capital - the folks providing the latter more often have the tools to judge opportunity from scam, and the fact that the project's fundraising has been pointed in that direction is a good sign to me.

But in the end we'll all just have to wait and see. Maybe something will come of it, maybe not.

Helodyne, welcome to the forums, and thank you for your explanatory post. While I realize that you can't (or at least shouldn't) divulge much about your ongoing project, I hope you'll continue to contribute and join in the discussion.
 

bmcj

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NOTE: I just added a disclaimer to my post #3 asking, for clarity's sake, to take any conversation about the "Sky Voyage" to a new thread so that this thread remains only about Helodyne. Do it for me... I get confused easily. ;)
 
H

Helodyne

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Hi Everyone,

Again, sorry for the long post, I just thought it would be easiest for everyone if I answered everything at once.

Concerning Tom’s post – my name is Ray. The filing isn’t really the issue, it is defending it. Patents are published one year after filing, whether your company is or isn’t making money. So I have held off on filing until such time as I had a reasonable chance of defending them.

It is “announced” to the world, you have visited the website. For “visually announced,” it will probably be soon after funding or some other event.

I don’t believe that I mentioned anything about the Lockheed rotor hub, but yes, one of the advisors on this project is retired from Lockheed. If you want to mention his name on send a private email, I could confirm if it is the same person.

Thanks.

Concerning, autoreply’s post, currently, I am seeking around $175,000 to build a full scale “ugly duckling” prototype. After that I need 6.5 million to go into full kit production.

Yes, the fuselage dimensions are exterior, but it has a very roomy interior. Think minivan width and Tacoma Double Cab length. It is meant to hold 4 full sized adults or equivalent gear.

Concerning Detego’s post, yes my law firm has been paid. :)

I have several desktop models. And no, I don’t expect to license production rights, except perhaps in foreign countries. The original concept is the collection of the already public pieces. A new collection is patentable. And I have simplified this a bit for this group, there is a piece that is different as well.

So, if anyone knows of any "aviation angels" that have an interest in VTOL or helicopters or PAVs, please send them to my site.

Have a great weekend,

Ray @ Helodyne
 

Tom Nalevanko

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Hello Ray,

Thanks for your post and welcome again.

As for a patent, if you feel that you have something patentable, why wait? Assuming you want to spend the $$$. Someone else may file for the same claims and beat you to it and prevent you from building your aircraft. Filing may also help you with investors. Defending a patent is serious business; it is hard to believe that a kit startup would throw off enough cash to do so. So waiting does not put you necessarily in a better position.

You didn't mention the Lockheed rotor hub; I just surmised this from your statements on the helodyne website. I don't want to violate the privacy of the former Lockheed engineer by posting his name concerning this. But if you look at my posts, I am pretty sure that I mentioned his name in another context.

$175K will not go very far; particularly if you use a new engine. And as AVGAS has a pretty defined life, you either have to go turbine or diesel and these are both fairly expensive.

I am currently employed in the software industry where venture funding is readily available. But I hang mostly with experimental types and the chances of finding venture dollars for an experimental aircraft just are not very good. My experience is that venture investors in aviation have unrealistic expectations and insist on a lot of unworkable conditions.

An alternative might be to do a 1/10 or larger flyable model. Private flight sessions might bring you an investor.

Well good luck...

Tom
 
H

Helodyne

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Hello Tom,

Yes, I need to make a decision on the patent.

Again, the $175K is for an "ugly duckling" full scale prototype. This would be somewhat like Igor Sikorsky's early VS300, a frame with a seat. Engine is a turbo-charged automotive engine, so significant savings on cost there. Since it is an automotive engine, it doesn't need AVGAS. Of course, it could be converted to electric, but I haven't pursued that as I have enough to do currently. The large "fuel bay" mentioned earlier could easily house a bank of batteries.

Yes, venture funding might be a long row to hoe. The $175K is relatively modest for several Angels. I have recently worked on the "exit strategy" of the business plan, and the Angels would do very well. I have structured it so that it should meet or exceed their expectations. So if some of those software angels have an interest in bringing the "Jetsons" to reality, please send them to me.

Have a great week,

Ray @ Helodyne
 
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