Mohawk Aero Celebrates 10th Anniversary 2022

N962GT

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orig Northville, Mich
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Ten years ago, July 2012, Greg Mills started work installing the first Yamaha Genesis 4-cylinder (YG4) RX1 snowmobile engine on an aircraft of any type, an Air Command tandem lowrider gyrocopter. On November 12, 2012 it flew from KCTJ for it's maiden flight, putting power to the 68" Warp Drive prop through an Arrow gearbox with sprag soft start clutch.

The Yamaha YG4 power plant conversion installation was flawless, everything anyone could ever ask for in a gyroplane power plant, and his red Air Command YG4 has been flying locally and cross country ever since with zero forced landings. (The highest-time MAC customer is now approaching 900 hours on his YG4 conversion with no forced landings due to powerplant failure.)

People started asking for parts and equipment to their build their own YG4 aircraft conversions soon after seeing Greg's success. Eventually he got around to giving the business a name, MOHAWK AERO CORPS (MAC), and launching a website. In 2017 MAC started using Quickbooks to track sales orders and accounting records.

***************************************************************

Asked about a MAC sales history, I did a data dump from QB, redacted customer personal info and posted the spreadsheet on the two Yamaha conversion Facebook discussion groups. Since it's already public record, figured may as well make this information available to readers of RF.

SO > here 'tis, complete with warts as well as triumphs. How symmetrical, 50 paying customers since I started keeping records in 2017.

And only one disgruntled customer in all that time - Jody Hawkins, a cop, in 2017. (Karma, and note to Ron Awad, et. al.: The following year, using a competitor's adapter and their required Rotax C PSRU w/RK400 clutch, Hawkins' Highlander RX1 YG4 suffered catastrophic PSRU bearing failure in flight. Ironically, this was the very thing Greg Mills publicly warned of when he advised against using Rotax C gearboxes on YG4's, many times, on many web forums, including RF. In fact, Teal Jenkins & Steve Henry suffered similar Rotax C bearing failure, as did a host of others. To date there are no less than 12 known Rotax C bearing failures on various YG4 conversions, as well as those that happened on 582's, the engine the PSRU was designed for. Fortunately these failures have not brought down any aircraft we know of, all have been able to land safely at an airport. That said, Mohawk Aero is the only Yamaha conversion business operating since 2014 with a perfect track record of no forced landings, and no damaged customer aircraft due to faulty Yamaha conversion parts/kits. Knock on wood.)

Here's the best part: 50 PAYING CUSTOMERS, ZERO FORCED LANDINGS SINCE 2012 by ANY customer due to ANY powerplant issues whatsoever. None. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. Oh, wait, there was this one...

A Phazer YG2 80HP conversion was customer-installed on a small FW, who ran the magneto pickup coil wires from the engine to the MAC wire loom in such a way that they came loose and melted on the exhaust. The engine quit, resulting in a forced landing.

  1. Greg Mills has been doing Yamaha conversions longer than anyone in the business, and...
  2. ...has done more, different Yamaha engine type conversions with 100% success than anyone, including
    1. YG4 RX1 140-145 HP (2012, Air Command tandem low rider)
    2. YG4 APEX 150 HP (2017, 2018 Oshkosh Airventure Grand Champion LSA, Highlander STOL)
    3. YG4 EXUP 165 HP (2020 Air Command II CLT)
    4. YG2 Phazer 80HP (2019 Quicksilver)
  3. ...has implemented more types of PSRU redrives with 100% success than anyone, including
    1. Arrow with internal sprag
    2. SPG4 (Type B) with RK400 centrifugal shaft coupling clutch
    3. MAC Silent Drive, Hy-Vo chain PSRU with Arctic Cat break-away plate clutch mounted in the top gear for prop strike protection
    4. MAC AK7 spec (Type B) PSRU with both RK400 clutches and MAC GTF flex shaft (BMW rubber donut) couplings
    5. Rotax C with both RK400 clutches and MAC GTF flex shaft (BMW rubber donut) couplings
    6. Rotax E with both RK400 clutches and MAC GTF flex shaft (BMW rubber donut) couplings
    7. Simonini C with MAC GTF flex shaft (BMW rubber donut) couplings
 

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MikeBoyette

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Really because I seem to remember my dad putting one on the yamanator long before you did. Matter of fact I remember you coming over and looking at his installation at Bensen Days and telling us you were considering doing it. You asked questions and dad told you the issues he had with the installation. He showed you the Sprag clutch that he had made that went between the gear box and prop. This he found was was necessary to swing the 70 inch Warp Drive prop he had on his machine. So you claiming you came up with all of this on your own when you clearly did not is quite frankly Bullshit. Maybe you should talk to yourself in third person some more and alter your post since you didn’t originate this. Seems to me you saw how my dad did it as the very first person to put a four cylinder Yamaha four stroke 150 horse engine on an aircraft and took two years to make your own version. I’ve heard that you said my dad‘s installation was not successful. It’s kind of funny lsince he flew for two years before he sold it never had a problem with it. He sold it to a customer who insisted on the throttle being moved to the other side the guy took some lessons and then ended up having a ground incident with it and it was totaled. There are plenty of people that saw it fly including yourself so I have no idea why you would say it wasn’t successful or pretend that you were the first person to put one on a machine. I would appreciate you correcting this inaccurate statement that you’ve made because it is not only inaccurate it is untrue. If you have an issue with anything I have said I would encourage you to come see me at any of the fly-ins we are both at. I’m sure we can settle it like men not like keyboard cowboys.


Check the date on this video it’s 2010. That’s two years before you did it buddy.
 
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BEN S

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So if I am reading this chart right there are about 50 people who could stand dealing with you long enough to actually give you money?
 

DonBishop

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If the origin story can't be trusted, how can the product? Maybe the numbers in the data have been whitewashed. How do we know? By the way, many of you don't know this, but I invented the wheel. You're welcome.
 

MikeBoyette

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Mike Boyette coming out swinging!
Thems the facts. Hate when someone try’s to take what my father pioneered. I will correct this kind of crap every time. I have a very good memory. Like I remember Todd was the first person to put a three cylinder on an aircraft. You were the first person to put a three cylinder on a two place gyro. Which is still flying and luckily Rick put a good muffler on because you made our ears bleed when you owned it Ron.
 

BEN S

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I got pics of Todds Rig way back when I went to visit.
I was shocked how physically big the engine looked perched on that machine!
It was already flying and the photo is tagged June 30th 2012.....
 

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MikeBoyette

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Todd was flying his three cylinder long before dad did the four cylinder. He chose the three cylinder for the simplicity. It was a carbureted engine as opposed electronic fuel injection and all its sensors to go with it on the four cylinder. I flew the Yamanator machine a couple of times it was a beast. It was very weird to taxi at 4500 RPM’s. Max power on climb out was 10,500. It would come up on the cam like a two stroke coming up on the pipe. This took some getting used to. Luckily Dad and I both had plenty of experience with 532’s and 670’s that were like this. It would do it right about the time you were rotating on takeoff. It would climb out with two up like most single places machines with a 582. Dad was at the end of his career and didn’t feel like developing a new engine so he sold the aircraft and despite his dislike for Rotax’s monopoly he would only use Rotax engines on the last few machines he built for customers.
 
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MikeBoyette

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I notice all we hear from the author that types in the third person is crickets. Guess there is no defense when the YouTube video clearly shows it was done two years before our self proclaimed hero.
 

GyroRon

Former Gyro know it all
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No one here, or there or in between pioneered Jack Shiet.... Other than Todd ( Racer on the forum ). Period.... End of Fruckin story.

Todd wanted to repower a geo Metro powered aircommand he bought with a more powerful engine and like so many other people, he did not want to pay Rotax prices for a Rotax engine, and considered why isn't anyone using modern four stroke snowmobile engines. He lives in Colorado in the high country and snowmobiles are quite common near where he lives and used sleds could be purchased for 2-3 grand all day long.... And under the hood of these sleds are lightweight four stroke engines that were legendary for their power and reliability. For 2 grand you could have the engine and everything needed to make it run on your workbench, and you just needed a way to put a PSRU and Prop on it. So he did just that.

He picked the three cylinder because the torque curve is more even on the 3 cylinder than the 4... And the engine doesn't need to rev as high. These engines are based on Motorcycle engines and Yamaha has very similar engines in the " FZ " line of bikes, and anyone who has ridden a Yamaha FZ-09 ( 900cc three-cylinder ) and a FZ-01 ( 999cc four-cylinder ) will tell you the 3 cylinder is much more engaging to ride, has a smooth steady power curve and pulls hard from much lower rpm, where as the four cylinder needs alot of RPM to begin making good power.

But whatever, the fact is, Todd was the first to see the potential in using a Yamaha four stroke sled engine on a aircraft period.

He did it as a one off project just for himself. Then I, months after he began flying his gyro with the yamaha, decided I wanted a more powerful engine on my Dominator two place ( that was powered with a 75hp Rotax 618 two stroke ) and just like Todd, I wanted over 100hp and wanted four stroke design but didn't want to pay Rotax prices. I inquired with Todd if he would be interested in helping me make a duplicate engine to his and after he thought about it for a day or two he decided he DID want to help me and make me a duplicate engine as he was considering making engine kits for sale as a side business and I would be his first customer, and he knew if I had one of these engines, everyone would get to see it in person at Mentone and Bensen days etc... So that is what started the idea of a business of converting yamaha sled engines.

Of course, Ernie Boyette decided to put a Yamaha on his gyro a year or two after I did, and he chose a four cylinder and a fuel injected one at that, but I am not sure if there was any logic behind that decision other than he just ended up buying a used sled with that engine verses picking out a specific sled with a non FI engine and or three cylinder verses four cylinder engine. But to say Ernie was some kind of pioneer is a stretch, he just choose a 4 over a 3, otherwise they are still very similar engines.

To say that Greg Mills pioneered anything is also a stretch.

Teal Jenkins is about one of the only pioneers beyond Todd, only in the fact that he was the first person to bring real CNC machining to the yamaha engines and offer easy bolt on adapters to be able to easily put a Rotax gearbox on a Yamaha engine... And Teal's business continues to offer better products such as in house designed gearboxes and adapter kits for the yamaha engine.

Greg Mills is trying to do the same type of thing that Teal is doing, and I am not sure who started first flying a Yamaha or offering parts to others for yamaha's... But I do know Teal has never been anything but kind, and professional in the way he deals with customers, and how he handles communication on the forums and social media. Teal would never post something about himself in third person.

I actually would like to wish Greg good luck on his mohawk aero business, but GREG, if your reading this.... What the heck is wrong with you man?!?!?!???? Why can't you just be chill and be more like Teal? Do you think you have to come on the forum and talk yourself up to get pats on the back or drum up business? Do you think any of the postings you have made that always end up getting negative blowback actually help make you look better? Your over 60 years old, your for all intents and purposes a OLD MAN, your for sure not a child and my 11 year old child knows better about how to act and carry herself that she wouldn't do the dumb shiet you do on here. Learn how to carry yourself and stop being a crazyass and maybe with some time you can regain some level of reputation.

The one thing you did have going for yourself is although EVERYONE thought you were a lunatic online, those that have met you in person at fly-in's would all say, Gee that Greg Mills guy is actually a nice guy in person. But then you Fruck that up too, by Fussing at Greg Spicola or Fussing at Tim Verroi or Roy Davis about how they cut you off in the pattern or some other petty complaints. And don't think no one hasn't noticed that it appears the only people you give rides to at the fly in's are attractive younger woman and little girls.... Normally one would say Atta Boy, look at you getting all the pretty girls wanting gyro rides... But that is not how the other gyro pilots are receiving it

But whatever... Best of luck and cheers to your celebration!
 
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ultracruiser41

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Fun thread!! 👍🏻😁
 

MikeBoyette

Gold Member
Joined
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Messages
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Plant City, Fl
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Dominator
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No one here, or there or in between pioneered Jack Shiet.... Other than Todd ( Racer on the forum ). Period.... End of Fruckin story.

Todd wanted to repower a geo Metro powered aircommand he bought with a more powerful engine and like so many other people, he did not want to pay Rotax prices for a Rotax engine, and considered why isn't anyone using modern four stroke snowmobile engines. He lives in Colorado in the high country and snowmobiles are quite common near where he lives and used sleds could be purchased for 2-3 grand all day long.... And under the hood of these sleds are lightweight four stroke engines that were legendary for their power and reliability. For 2 grand you could have the engine and everything needed to make it run on your workbench, and you just needed a way to put a PSRU and Prop on it. So he did just that.

He picked the three cylinder because the torque curve is more even on the 3 cylinder than the 4... And the engine doesn't need to rev as high. These engines are based on Motorcycle engines and Yamaha has very similar engines in the " FZ " line of bikes, and anyone who has ridden a Yamaha FZ-09 ( 900cc three-cylinder ) and a FZ-01 ( 999cc four-cylinder ) will tell you the 3 cylinder is much more engaging to ride, has a smooth steady power curve and pulls hard from much lower rpm, where as the four cylinder needs alot of RPM to begin making good power.

But whatever, the fact is, Todd was the first to see the potential in using a Yamaha four stroke sled engine on a aircraft period.

He did it as a one off project just for himself. Then I, months after he began flying his gyro with the yamaha, decided I wanted a more powerful engine on my Dominator two place ( that was powered with a 75hp Rotax 618 two stroke ) and just like Todd, I wanted over 100hp and wanted four stroke design but didn't want to pay Rotax prices. I inquired with Todd if he would be interested in helping me make a duplicate engine to his and after he thought about it for a day or two he decided he DID want to help me and make me a duplicate engine as he was considering making engine kits for sale as a side business and I would be his first customer, and he knew if I had one of these engines, everyone would get to see it in person at Mentone and Bensen days etc... So that is what started the idea of a business of converting yamaha sled engines.

Of course, Ernie Boyette decided to put a Yamaha on his gyro a year or two after I did, and he chose a four cylinder and a fuel injected one at that, but I am not sure if there was any logic behind that decision other than he just ended up buying a used sled with that engine verses picking out a specific sled with a non FI engine and or three cylinder verses four cylinder engine. But to say Ernie was some kind of pioneer is a stretch, he just choose a 4 over a 3, otherwise they are still very similar engines.

To say that Greg Mills pioneered anything is also a stretch.

Teal Jenkins is about one of the only pioneers beyond Todd, only in the fact that he was the first person to bring real CNC machining to the yamaha engines and offer easy bolt on adapters to be able to easily put a Rotax gearbox on a Yamaha engine... And Teal's business continues to offer better products such as in house designed gearboxes and adapter kits for the yamaha engine.

Greg Mills is trying to do the same type of thing that Teal is doing, and I am not sure who started first flying a Yamaha or offering parts to others for yamaha's... But I do know Teal has never been anything but kind, and professional in the way he deals with customers, and how he handles communication on the forums and social media. Teal would never post something about himself in third person.

I actually would like to wish Greg good luck on his mohawk aero business, but GREG, if your reading this.... What the heck is wrong with you man?!?!?!???? Why can't you just be chill and be more like Teal? Do you think you have to come on the forum and talk yourself up to get pats on the back or drum up business? Do you think any of the postings you have made that always end up getting negative blowback actually help make you look better? Your over 60 years old, your for all intents and purposes a OLD MAN, your for sure not a child and my 11 year old child knows better about how to act and carry herself that she wouldn't do the dumb shiet you do on here. Learn how to carry yourself and stop being a crazyass and maybe with some time you can regain some level of reputation.

The one thing you did have going for yourself is although EVERYONE thought you were a lunatic online, those that have met you in person at fly-in's would all say, Gee that Greg Mills guy is actually a nice guy in person. But then you Fruck that up too, by Fussing at Greg Spicola or Fussing at Tim Verroi or Roy Davis about how they cut you off in the pattern or some other petty complaints. And don't think no one hasn't noticed that the only people you give rides to at the fly in's are attractive younger woman and little girls.... Normally one would say Atta Boy, look at you getting all the pretty girls wanting gyro rides... But for some reason it seems more of a creepy old guy / sexual predator type of vibe is what actually comes off, This may be because no one notices you give any guys rides as well.

But whatever... Best of luck and cheers to your celebration!
Ron I would agree with except for a couple of things. The engines although they appear physically similar have some differences that dad had to work out that Todd did not. Dealing with the built in gear reduction and how to build a gearbox that would absorb the 150 hp. He and Neal came up with this together. He also mounted it completely different. Then he built a muffler that made the engine so quiet you could barely hear it running except at flying power then it was mostly prop noise. The fuel injection was a bear to deal with as well which is why Todd chose the carb engine. Todd was of great help to dad but had no desire to mess with the four cylinder engines and told dad if he could make it work the market was his. The one thing that was majorly difference was the Sprag clutch that dad designed and Neal built that went between the prop and gearbox. The four cylinder just didn’t have the bottom end torque to swing a big warp drive without shaking itself to death. Kinda like a four cylinder Hirth without a RK400 on it.
 
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GyroChuck

Gyro's are more fun
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I enjoy Ron's style of writing. On point and to the point.
 
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