Honey Bee

BushPilotTB

BushPilotTB
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
62
Location
Rochester, IN
Aircraft
Dominator Tandem
Total Flight Time
80 hr
Hello - I know that the Honey Bee G2 is no longer but, can someone give me an informed opinion as to why it never made it?
What was dangerous about it? - Can it be redesigned to work?

It appeared to be a nice little machine and from my inexperienced eye looked to be well built.

Thank you!

P.S. And don't tell me it was because of it's color! 🙃
G2.jpeg
 

Illini85

Gold Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Messages
269
Location
Hopkinsville, KY
Jim Fields had as an early supporter, Dr. Paul Rogers, a dentist from the Bay City MI area. Dr. Rogers provided funding for and was to own the prototype G2's both the ultralight and HP versions. Maybe the prototype two place as well. The neon pink colors were Dr Rogers signature colors as he owned powered paragliders and ultralight fixed wings in similar colors over the years. I had the opportunity to met Dr Rogers and his enthusiasm for flight was enormous. I believe he might have been an ultralight fixed wing CFI. I do believe he had received some gyro flight instruction but know not, how much or from whom.

Jim discovered the color, in a word was brilliant, from a marketing standpoint. It simply drew attention.

The ultralight photo above is the one Dr. Rogers was killed on during what I think was his second solo flight. Being a Part 103 aircraft I don't believe an accident report was completed. I do believe there was a lawsuit by surviving family members but the resources of such a new company were insufficient to overcome defending that and the damage the company image took from such a tragic event before significant numbers where out there flying. Kathryn's Report did catalog this accident.

It was indeed an attractive design that sought to retain the economics of the original bee. Jim did take some full purchase deposits and sadly those people never received their kits. I have some ideas of what might have happened however to speak without some verified facts would be unwarranted. We will probably never know exactly how and why the accident occurred.
 
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Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
8,186
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Don’t know anything about it handling qualities. Just on observation of the photo, would question the size of the wheels, engine position, and tail.

Remember speaking with Jim and family members at a Benson Days, certainly passionate about the product. Had a very unique method of moving the rotor head in the two place to alter CG position.

It was very sad about the accident, loss to family and friends, and, subsequent demise of Jim’s company.

Around that time that Dirty Dog died in an accident with his gyro a person I had again met at Benson Days and begun corresponding with during our respective gyro builds.

Sadly a branch of aviation that demands close attention and has no tolerance for mistakes. I have personally known more aviator fatalities in my few years of gyro flying than the other forty in fixed wing.
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,556
The layout of this gyro's airframe obviously puts the CG quite a distance below the prop thrustline. Note the low seat and prop shaft ABOVE the engine.

I don't know the specifics of the accident, but certainly PPO is one possibility. The H-stab may or may not have been powerful enough to prevent this -- tests on an intact model would be necessary to see.
 

Brian Jackson

Platinum Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Messages
3,253
Location
Hamburg, New Jersey USA
Aircraft
GyroBee Variant - Under Construction
I also seem to recall there were issues with the fiberglass rod main gear struts. There was a great discussion here on the numerous flaws with this design but the Forum's search function completely sucks (wish that were fixed). My take-away was it was a nice looking ship that was doomed from the start by not adhering to good gyro engineering practices.
 
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