Sportcopter 2-any have one built and flying? Reviews?

GyroRon

Former Gyro know it all
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
16,757
Location
Fort Mill South Carolina
Aircraft
Vans RV4 / Dominator 582 Ultrawhite
Total Flight Time
ALOT
The issue is, no one but a small handful of people actually know what the cash flow is like at any of the companies that produce gyros, engines, blades, avionics, or any of the parts we want or need.

It should be pretty clear that some companies, And I think Abid pretty well fessed up that he does this, use incoming deposits on machines to fund the current build of someone else's machine. And that is ok so as long as someone else comes along and makes a deposit so there is money to build the next one and so on and so forth. That is why he doesn't like Escrow, because the deposit isn't just a show of commitment from a potential buyer, but its capitol for the company to use and operate with. That probably explains why Sportcopter has not been able to refund this persons 60 grand deposit.... Cause that money is already spent, along with probably all the other deposits, and SC simply doesn't have the cash to be able to make a refund.

Big problem with this, is this shows that there is financial woes with Sportcopter, and this could scare away future potential customers. I know if I had a deposit with them, I would be VERY concerned right now.
 

Abid

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
4,670
Location
Tampa, FL
Aircraft
AR-1
Total Flight Time
4000+ 472 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
Well, when you do a big project like develop a new model you need a lot of R&D. It’s one thing to do small amounts of R&D to make some changes on existing model. It’s completely something else to develop a large project with deposits.
I did not do a side-by-side Gyroplane and only doing it now when we have specific investment just to develop it in a separate bucket. Part of the selling price of the side by side would be to recoup the half a mil it takes to design and develop it for future projects.

Now imagine I developed a side by side that completely missed the market. Too heavy for Sport Pilot which is 90% of the market. Performs lousy even with a big engine and expensive to make. Basically, I didn’t engineer an aircraft. I just made a tank. Tanks don’t fly. Now what. So I decide to make another one which is lighter to hit targets both market wise and engineering wise. But I never recouped the money from developing the first model and only sold less than 10 of those. Basically, I am screwed and the people who put deposits on something that doesn’t exist yet with me are also. Everyone is paying for my education to become an engineer to get it to target.
I actually developed that new airplane based on my previous one. I paid for that development personally from my bank account. Now I will look for investors to put it in production, but the trickiest part is done without taking deposits or any investors and I won’t have to give up half that airplane company to an investor who doesn’t know aviation market from jack yet thinks he should call the shots.
 
Last edited:

Tyger

Super Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,017
Location
Clermont, NY
Aircraft
Magni M16
Total Flight Time
475
Funding small-company growth in any industry is tricky. Growing a company without outside financing is almost always difficult and slow (unless the founder has plenty of personal cash himself to risk). Outside investors usually understand the risks they are taking, even if they don't fully understand the business. But, as Abid says, outside investors can often take the whole endeavor off the rails.
Think of the founder of Icon aircraft, who got a really cool plane built, but underestimated the costs of mass production (more than doubling the "estimated" price), then found that the plane was priced way above what most of his original market (new sport pilots) would pay and, ultimately, found himself turfed out by his (Chinese) outside investors.
 
Last edited:

Abid

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
4,670
Location
Tampa, FL
Aircraft
AR-1
Total Flight Time
4000+ 472 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
Funding small-company growth in any industry is tricky. Growing a company without outside financing is almost always difficult and slow (unless the founder has plenty of personal cash himself to risk). Outside investors usually understand the risks they are taking, even if they don't fully understand the business. But, as Abid says, outside investors can often take the whole endeavor off the rails.
Think of the founder of Icon aircraft, who got a really cool plane built, but underestimated the costs of mass production (more than doubling the "estimated" price), then found that the plane was priced way above what most of his original market (new sport pilots) would pay and, ultimately, found himself turfed out by his (Chinese) outside investors.

The Icon founder was the idea guy. He was neither the tech lead himself nor a manufacturing guy nor a designer. He was the concept guy. He sold his concept to angel investors at first and got $25+ million right at the get go. Later on the full money invested in the company came to $125+ million. That is where his problems started. He brought in people who were very expensive to design the airplane and wasted a lot of money on things that were unrealistic and did not work or worked after many many design iteration and did not make a difference in the market anyway. Like the automatic folding wing and then the spin resistant wing while sticking with a puny 912iS instead of 914 or later 915 engine which is what the amphibian airplanes used and need. Then he assembled a team of the most expensive engineers to try and put the plane in production. They ate him and his company for breakfast. The time it took them to certify that airplane after it was designed and flying, I worked as a contractor at Searey with a 10-member certification team I lead, certified them with FAA with flying colors, set up their production line, hired 22 mechanics, got them trained and put out 19 Seareys and got them CAAC certification in China as well.
When you have too much money and not enough technical knowledge yourself, the technical people cost a lot and will take you to the cleaners and they did. Searey is also owned by Chinese investors, and they only spent $10 million total into that whole company. The Chinese investors for Icon invested 127 million and are at the same place as Searey except their airplane design is newer and sexier.
I quit working for Searey in 2013 shortly after I finished their CAAC certification. Mainly because I did not want to deal with Chinese bosses. They are a pain and really don't know what they are doing as far as aviation is concerned.

I got to give the founder of Icon props though because he made out before even a single Icon was ever delivered. Compare that with the founders of Searey (Richter family) who I believe only got $5.5 - 6 million between Kerry and his dad. Searey was basically bankrupt when Chinese investors came in but had 500 of them already flying. So, who was smarter. Richters or the Icon founder? Hmm ...
 
Last edited:

Abid

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
4,670
Location
Tampa, FL
Aircraft
AR-1
Total Flight Time
4000+ 472 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
The issue is, no one but a small handful of people actually know what the cash flow is like at any of the companies that produce gyros, engines, blades, avionics, or any of the parts we want or need.

It should be pretty clear that some companies, And I think Abid pretty well fessed up that he does this, use incoming deposits on machines to fund the current build of someone else's machine. And that is ok so as long as someone else comes along and makes a deposit so there is money to build the next one and so on and so forth. That is why he doesn't like Escrow, because the deposit isn't just a show of commitment from a potential buyer, but its capitol for the company to use and operate with. That probably explains why Sportcopter has not been able to refund this persons 60 grand deposit.... Cause that money is already spent, along with probably all the other deposits, and SC simply doesn't have the cash to be able to make a refund.

Big problem with this, is this shows that there is financial woes with Sportcopter, and this could scare away future potential customers. I know if I had a deposit with them, I would be VERY concerned right now.

No, it's not to fund someone else's build. At least not for us. We have a holding company as investors who funded R&D for side by side separately and made up the flow. We had an aerospace engineer from Embry Riddle last year and will have another replacement join us very soon. It's to fund your own build mainly and running expenses like labor that goes on in the time your kit and build is being done/ Obviously there is a pool of money from multiple orders and every 3 months we try and do a certain number of machines in one batch/lot. So, the pool finances that lot.
The problems happen when people midway into the order want to cancel it. Now what? That pool or lot gets screwed up. I allowed this before, but we very strictly do not allow it now. If you are medically unfit to fly because you can't even walk a quarter mile and need a scooter for that. Well, you knew that when you ordered the gyroplane with a dealer as well. We now will resell the machine once its finished for you for a 10% fee but not allow cancellation of orders midway unless things go past 1 year. The hardest things to sell are unfinished yet customized orders/kits. I have one right now. Customer was doing a flight school and halfway into the order decided to just retire and close down his flight school for good. It's a 914 powered corvette red kit partially painted. So, if someone wants a red 914 gyroplane and get it in 3 months instead of 5 months, I got one.

The other problem is people wanting to customize everything. Edge Performance engines which they take 1 year to get/deliver and require customized wiring harness and customized body trim and other things or this or that instrument. They think it's nothing. In production we have a documented way we follow to make a wiring harness. Redoing a wiring harness requires engineering expertise and we charge $225/hour for any customizations. Otherwise, people want everything for nothing. They have no idea what it takes. Our new investors won't even allow customization to be done on a current product any other way. They know it will eat into running expenses otherwise. I account for job man hours for customization, and they make an invoice for the customization time for the customer. I don't blame them. Of course people can do all these customizations on their own without builder's assist. I was loose with it before, but I know it's a slippery slope. My only wish is that they helped more with marketing, sales and financial day to day so I could simply be the tech guy, but I am working on getting them there.
 
Last edited:

Andino

Active Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2022
Messages
207
Location
near London, U.K.
Aircraft
many FW airplanes + various autogyros
Total Flight Time
>1000 hours
The issue is, no one but a small handful of people actually know what the cash flow is like at any of the companies that produce gyros, engines, blades, avionics, or any of the parts we want or need.

It should be pretty clear that some companies, And I think Abid pretty well fessed up that he does this, use incoming deposits on machines to fund the current build of someone else's machine. And that is ok so as long as someone else comes along and makes a deposit so there is money to build the next one and so on and so forth. That is why he doesn't like Escrow, because the deposit isn't just a show of commitment from a potential buyer, but its capitol for the company to use and operate with. That probably explains why Sportcopter has not been able to refund this persons 60 grand deposit.... Cause that money is already spent, along with probably all the other deposits, and SC simply doesn't have the cash to be able to make a refund.

Big problem with this, is this shows that there is financial woes with Sportcopter, and this could scare away future potential customers. I know if I had a deposit with them, I would be VERY concerned right now.
If there is reliable production, and the pipeline could be trusted to deliver <6-9 months, then I wouldn't have a general objection to the classic customer deposit scenario. If. However, four listed engines according to the Sportcopter website with only the 915 version flying translates to ample ongoing development to resolve mounting, weight and cg differences, wiring, flight testing, etc. Unlike the eternally promised PAL-V, their 915 ship already flies so are they producing that one while the other engine options are being developed?
 

Abid

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
4,670
Location
Tampa, FL
Aircraft
AR-1
Total Flight Time
4000+ 472 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
If there is reliable production, and the pipeline could be trusted to deliver <6-9 months, then I wouldn't have a general objection to the classic customer deposit scenario. If. However, four listed engines according to the Sportcopter website with only the 915 version flying translates to ample ongoing development to resolve mounting, weight and cg differences, wiring, flight testing, etc. Unlike the eternally promised PAL-V, their 915 ship already flies so are they producing that one while the other engine options are being developed?

I do not understand what you mean? Do you mean M2 is in production with 915 and there are some of them flying? If so I am unaware of that.
 

Capt'n Gator

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
554
Location
Goldsboro, NC
Aircraft
Dominator Single 582BH N401JC
Total Flight Time
150+
I do not understand what you mean? Do you mean M2 is in production with 915 and there are some of them flying? If so I am unaware of that.
I believe the original M2 has the 915 and has been flying but Jim was not satisfied with it's performance and is testing other engines.
 

Abid

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
4,670
Location
Tampa, FL
Aircraft
AR-1
Total Flight Time
4000+ 472 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
I believe the original M2 has the 915 and has been flying but Jim was not satisfied with it's performance and is testing other engines.
What other engines.
Lycoming. Continental.
Because besides those the rest are most likely alternative engines converted. That devalues the aircraft.
Lycoming would be at least 80 pounds heavier for similar performance.
I don't know the specifics but it's not the engine if the aim is to remain below 1320 pounds, the LSA weight limit. There is more going on than the engine then.
 
Last edited:

DavePA11

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,329
Location
USA
Rtrhd mentioned they are now testing the Aeromomentum AM15 Turbo and Viking 195T. Think the former is a Suzuki and the latter is a Honda engine converted for aircraft use.
 
Last edited:

rtrhd

Newbie
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
9
Location
South Carolina
Aircraft
Sportcopter M2 on order, AutoGyro, Helicopters, Airplanes, DG-202 Sailplane
Total Flight Time
13000+
Rtrhd mentioned they are now testing the Aeromomentum AM15 Turbo and Viking 195T. Think the former is a Subaru and the latter is a Honda engine converted for aircraft use.
That is correct as far as I know. Plus the EP912STI but I don’t know if that has been tested yet. All this is available on the Sportcopter website under the M2 info and updates.
 

Abid

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
4,670
Location
Tampa, FL
Aircraft
AR-1
Total Flight Time
4000+ 472 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
None of these engines are putting them in production in the next 7 months at least because that is the lowest delivery time for those engines and they have not been even fitted and tested with them. I have considered all these engines and eventually it is not a production solution for many reason the biggest being delivery times to OEM. Although I have not talked to Jan (Viking) in over 1.5 years. He may have a different situation. Aero Adventure (Aventura) uses AeroMomentum and I know what their times are like. Edge Performance is over 9 months. So may be Viking is a choice now.
Best of luck to SC with this.

I heard somebody was talking about SilverLight around Mentone and saying we do not deliver kits in 1.5 years. Utter rubbish. Even though 2021 and this first half of 2022 have been a supply chain nightmare with Sandia, Garmin, MGL, Kanardia, composites all having lead times going into 4 to 6 months and even Rotax having issues with timely deliveries on engines. We have never not finished an order in less than 1 year. Notwithstanding people who never pay to finish their order and let it linger halfway done. There are a couple of those. Right now, if one orders a FlightDesign (Tom Peghiny) or a Rans S21 (Randy) or a RV12 or a KitFox, all of these aircraft manufacturers have delivery times past minimum one year, because they are behind because of supply chain issues all across the industry.
 
Last edited:

HeliSwede

Gold Supporter
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
88
Location
Kansas
Aircraft
R44/22, Bell206L1, Hughes 300C, AirCommand, McCulloch J-2, AG Calidus, Magni M24
Total Flight Time
1,600
Abid is correct and the long waits apply to much more than kit aircraft. Our local GMC dealer just told me a min 12mo wait for a basic New Yukon Denali. New BMW iX 12mo wait. New Robinson R44II Helicopter wait is 12 months. New home build here used to take 9mos, now its 18mos. Just saying, still major issues out there with getting new major items. Heck, I've been trying to get a Kubota UTV 1100 for a year. The certified roll bars are made in China, which have caused most of the delay. I suppose a Deep recession next year could reduce demand a bit, but if it also causes layoffs, then not much will change. Not to mention sky hit prices beyond food and fuel, ...a 1977 Grumman AA1 which had a VREF value of $30,000 2 yrs ago, now sells for $65,000. It's crazy!!!! Getting new aircraft out the door in a year or less is the norm now.
 

Abid

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
4,670
Location
Tampa, FL
Aircraft
AR-1
Total Flight Time
4000+ 472 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
Abid is correct and the long waits apply to much more than kit aircraft. Our local GMC dealer just told me a min 12mo wait for a basic New Yukon Denali. New BMW iX 12mo wait. New Robinson R44II Helicopter wait is 12 months. New home build here used to take 9mos, now its 18mos. Just saying, still major issues out there with getting new major items. Heck, I've been trying to get a Kubota UTV 1100 for a year. The certified roll bars are made in China, which have caused most of the delay. I suppose a Deep recession next year could reduce demand a bit, but if it also causes layoffs, then not much will change. Not to mention sky hit prices beyond food and fuel, ...a 1977 Grumman AA1 which had a VREF value of $30,000 2 yrs ago, now sells for $65,000. It's crazy!!!! Getting new aircraft out the door in a year or less is the norm now.

We are about to get all caught up soon so our delivery times soon will come back down to 4-6 months depending on options. Trying to buy some excess transponders and radios now for a batch next. That is the determining factor. Rotax had an issue with 915iS deliveries but seems to be back on track now.
 

Andino

Active Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2022
Messages
207
Location
near London, U.K.
Aircraft
many FW airplanes + various autogyros
Total Flight Time
>1000 hours
I do not understand what you mean? Do you mean M2 is in production with 915 and there are some of them flying? If so I am unaware of that.
No, I was not claiming production, but only that their prototype is flying, which cannot be said for the PAL-V to my knowledge. I wish SC luck, as they seem to engineer high-quality machines. However, production is as production does. For example, this is Magni's assembly area:

Magni factory.jpeg

I've learned at dear cost throughout my life to believe more of what people do, rather than what they say (or claim).

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words.”
— Alfred Adler
 

HeliSwede

Gold Supporter
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
88
Location
Kansas
Aircraft
R44/22, Bell206L1, Hughes 300C, AirCommand, McCulloch J-2, AG Calidus, Magni M24
Total Flight Time
1,600
I've learned at dear cost throughout my life to believe more of what people do, rather than what they say (or claim).
For sure!!!!!! Plus, go see the factory in person - M-F, count how many employees are working and how many aircraft are on the line and being completed!
 
Last edited:
Top