First flight of my Helicycle helicopter was on January 31, 2019 after two years of part-time building. Previously, before I retired, I built an RV-8 and a Zenith 750.
The Helicycle was my first post- retirement project. I discovered I had more building time when I was working. Now trips, lake time, skiing, etc. interfere with building. Nevertheless, the Helicycle was a very satisfying project and I didn’t have the usual anxiety thinking about the first flight in something I built.
The factory has a well thought out, firm policy that their production test pilot do the final set up adjustments and first flights to ensure everything is operating properly and in spec. As a result, my first flight was pure joy with no surprises.
Everything was great fun: the turbine start up whine, the smell of burning Jet-A, the whomp of the blades, the smooth engine hum at 61,500 RPM, the responsive controls, hot rod performance and turbine run down after shut off. It couldn’t have been better. I’m eager for better weather so I can venture farther from home.
–Steve Phillabaum, Deer Park, Washington