Groen Brothers Aviation (GBA) has signed a contract potentially worth $40 million, to supply 200 Hawk III gyro planes to Shanghai Energy and Chemicals (SECC) of China. SECC plans to establish an air-taxi company using the three-seat auto gyro.

The contract is contingent on GBA receiving Chinese certification for the aircraft. GBA plans to fly a prototype Hawk III in November, and expects US Part 27 certification within 12-18 months. Chairman Jay Groen says that GBA may use the airworthiness-testing capabilities of Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics to speed certification.

Groen has met officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of China and Aviation Industries of China to discuss certification and final assembly of the Hawk III in China. He says that GBA has received a letter of interest from the US Export Import Bank, outlining its terms for providing SECC with 85% of the financing needed for the deal.

Salt Lake City, Utah-based GBA has flown two single-seat Hawk 1X prototype gyro planes and completed a mock-up of its planned Hawk V five-seat version. The prototype Hawk III, which GBA designates the H2X, is nearing completion.

The aircraft will be powered by a Vee-8 engine, which drives a Hartzell three-blade propeller and spins up the two-blade main rotor for take-off.


Source: Flight International