Groen Brothers Aviation
|Traded as||OTC Pink: GNBA|
|Founder||David and Jay Groen|
|Headquarters||Salt Lake City, Utah, United States|
|Slogan||Vertical. Practical. Achievable.|
Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc. is an American autogyro research and development company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company was founded in 1986 by David Groen and his late brother Jay Groen. David Groen remains the company Chairman, President and CEO.
Groen Brothers Aviation started out by incorporating helicopter design components into autogyro design. They added helicopter-style collective pitch control which allowed their aircraft to achieve vertical takeoff and landing and to stabilize flight at high and low speeds.
The company holds three US patents and several international patents associated with their variable pitch rotor system. Following the first flight of their proof-of-concept aircraft in 1987, the company flew several larger prototype autogyros during the 1990s.
In September 1999 the company flew their first piston-engine powered prototype of the four-seat Hawk 4. The turbine-engined prototype first flew in July 2000, with a Rolls-Royce 250 420 hp (313 kW) turboprop engine and was the world’s first turbine powered gyroplane. The design's rotor blades used a company-developed natural laminar-flow airfoil.
In 2002, the company provided the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command (UOPSC) a Hawk 4 prototype for perimeter patrol around the Salt Lake City International Airport during the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The Hawk 4 completed 67 missions over 75 hours of flying time during the 90-day contract.
In February, 2003, the company introduced its “Stabilization Augmentation Kit,” designed to improve in-flight stability and safety for kit gyroplanes on the market. The company entered the kit market with the Sparrowhawk. The company discontinued Sparrowhawk kit production, but formed American Autogyro, as a subsidiary to produce and sell Sparrowhawk kits as a separate business.
In November, 2005, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected a company-led team to design a proof-of-concept high-speed, long-range, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft designed for combat search and rescue. The project was named the “Heliplane” by DARPA and intended to meet economy and performance goals not achievable by existing aircraft. The company completed work for Phase I of the project in 2009, but the project has not been further funded.
Aircraft Flight Test Programs
- Hawk Point Five: single seat gyroplane with collective pitch-controlled rotor, open-frame gyroplane. First aircraft built by GBA. (1987)
- Hawk 1: single seat gyroplane with collective pitch-controlled rotor, retractable landing gear, fully enclosed stressed skin monocoque design.
- H2X: side-by-side two seat version of the Hawk 1 gyroplane.
- Hawk 4: four seat gyroplane with piston engine, designed to meet FAA type certification. (1999) Eventually incorporated a Rolls-Royce gas turbine engine, named the Hawk 4T. (2000)
- RevCon 6-X: test conversion of a Cessna 337 Skymaster airplane. This aircraft conversion tested the theory of using fixed-wing airplanes as the basic airframes for gyroplanes to reduce cost and shorten development time.
- SparrowHawk: two seat gyroplane with aluminum frame, centerline thrust aircraft, wide-molded fiberglass cabin with adjustable seating. (2003)
Aircraft Design Programs
- GBA GyroLiner: commuter airliner.
- GBA GyroLifter: heavy-lift gyroplanes and gyrodynes of various sizes up to 160,000 lbs. GVW.
- GBA-DARPA Heliplane: gyrodyne capable of 400 mph, 1,000 nautical miles range, HOGE at 4,000 feet and 95 °F.
- GBA ArrowHawk: seven seat turboprop gyroplane.
- GBA ShadowHawk: tandem two seat gyroplane for aerial observation.
- Best Inventions of 2001, Time.com, retrieved 3 January 2012
- "Heliplane", GlobalSecurity.org
- Scott, W.B. "Hawk 4T breathes new life into gyroplanes," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 6 November 2000, Vol. 153, no. 19, pp. 54-56.
- "Best Inventions of 2001", Time.com
- One Step Beyond, Rotor & Wing, retrieved 3 January 2012
- "Groen Brother’s Aviation", U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- Garvey, W. "Gyrocopters Grow Up," Popular Mechanics, June 1996, pp. 75-77.
- “Hawk 4 Gyroplane”, Aerospace-Technology.com[unreliable source?]
- “Olympic Security Aided by Groen Brother’s Hawk”, Aero-News Network
- “Groen Brothers Announces Kit Market Entry,” Aero-News Network
- “DARPA Funding Gyrodyne Heliplane R&D”, Defense Industry Daily
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