Plans to establish an air taxi company in China are taking off here at Farnborough.

News at the show is that Shanghai Energy and Chemicals (SECC) and Groen Brothers Aviation (GBA) have signed a Letter of Intent under which SECC will buy 200 H2X commercial gyroplanes from GBA.

The total dollar amount of the sale is not being released, but the aircraft are priced at more than $200,000 each. In addition to aircraft purchases, the order will include spare parts, training and vertiport technology.

GBA chairman Jay Groen says: "We are pleased to establish this relationship with SECC, such a vigorous company in China. We see this order as a major step towards a long and productive presence in the growing Asian economy."

SECC plans to establish an air taxi company in China, using GBA gyroplanes as its main form of transport. These aircraft are designed with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability.

In addition, the aircraft will be used for company business to facilitate SECC's expansion in the Shanghai area, which is experiencing severe transportation challenges.

SECC principally develops and produces clean energy, fine chemicals and electro-mechanical equipment, as well as being involved in environmental protection, construction and real estate.

The first demonstrator H2X aircraft will be delivered to SECC in spring of 1997. The GBA H2X is capable of carrying a pilot and two passengers, has dual controls, a range of more than 886km (550 miles) and a top speed of 139kt (258kmh).

GBA will export parts and components from its factory in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Shanghai, where final assembly will take place at an existing aircraft manufacturing plant.

Entrepreneurs David and Jay Groen more than a decade ago set their sights on developing an aircraft which blended the versatile capabilities of a helicopter with the safety and stability of a fixed-wing aeroplane.

GBA has since built and flown two prototype gyroplanes using patented rotor head technology. The GBA H2X will be followed by the Hawk V, a five-seat version now in mock-up form.



Source: Flight Daily News