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New Mosquito Guy Questions - bryancobb - 08-11-2010

Hi Fellas,
I am a commercial Helicopter pilot from Cartersville, GA. I was successfully involved in the Mini 500 stuff in 1997-98. I Built and registered 2 for others, and test flew 1 of them. I wound up getting close to 100 hours in them before Revolution imploded. I never felt scared in N25JT. That's not tosay it was the safest thing to be up in, it just never scared ME. I bought my own Brantly B-2B and restored it 1n 1999, keeping it until 2006 and putting 300+ hours on it.[Image: yho3br.jpg]

Even though the Brantly was the cheapest helicopter to fly, I was going broke on avgas. I sold it for double what I paid for it. I got excited when BJ developed the helicycle but when it got a 13GPH turbine... I saw $$$ go down the tube again so it wasn't an option.

Now I see that the Mos seems to be filling the void, the Mini-500 left. Just like the Mini-500 community, back then, I see the Mos folks having a "Boatload" of fun for pennies. I also see the design and maintenance issues coming to the surface. I also see the fatal crashes beginning to occur. AND... I AM STILL INTERESTED!

I feel the Mini-500 could have been a steamroller of success, if Fetters had set the business model right and tackled its' shotcommings instead of doing what he did.

NOW TO THE MOS. Someone like me, who has the money, expertise, and pilot skill, to be a Mos buyer... Really needs to be educated.
Here's some of the questions that are blocking me from buying one YESYERDAY!
1) Is the company straight-up with customers about the cause of mechanical or safety problems?
2) Does the company have the resources to chase down problems, notify owners, and come up with a fix?
3) Are accidents compiled into an easy to access database with honest information that doesn't blame the builder?
4) Does the company have a place for potential buyers to go, to gain knowledge and detailed info on how the helicopter
and it's systems work, so he (me) can make an educated buy decision, or is everything secret?
5) If customers have an idea how to improve something, will the company listen and incorporate the changes?
6) Do people who own the Mos like it? feel like it's safe? feel like it's well-designed? feel like maintenance is not extensive or too frequent? feel like their Mos is holding up well?
7) Are build times and performance figures honest?

I understand the excitement the Mos community has!!! I had it in 97!!! Is the excitement here to stay. I'm watching in anticipation. If it proves to be a well-designed, relatively-safe, durable ship.
I will buy one.




RE: New Mosquito Guy Questions - garyd - 08-11-2010

Bryan,
I can only speak for myself but if you were to visit Dwight's family operation in Trenton, Florida and talk with Dwight, you would in my opinion be convinced that the Mosquito is way more than what you would expect as far as quality and service goes. Dwight and his family go waaaaaayyyyyyy overboard in making sure you get all your issues resolved in a timely fashion when building your own machine. I've even had Dwight call ME!!!! and ask how a certain issue was coming along. How often do you ever run into that????? NEVER!!!!! That guy and his family eats, sleeps and breathes service and quality in the product that they sell.
I just can't rave enough about him. That guy is top notch and true blue. Boy Scout material. We need more people like him in this world. He inspires me in the work that I do to try and duplicate his integrity and dedication to his work. Anyone who knows him will 100% agree with me. Hope you try to make it down to Trenton to at least visit the factory and see for yourself, first hand.
Gary


RE: New Mosquito Guy Questions - ldiebel - 08-11-2010

Dwight and the "Composite FX" gang are doing a factory build of my machine, it will be done soon.
I've been down to the factory in Trenton about 10 times over the last year or so and I whole heartedly second all that Gary said.
I believe that all involved in the Mosquito understand the risk involved in a pursuit such as the Mosquito and take their responsibility very seriously.

I was in a position to observe from the side lines as Mark, John, Dwight, Mike and others spent many painful hours investigating the recent fatal accident that took one of our best friends in the Mosquito community.
In this case it's not possible to know for sure exactly what happened first to trigger the catastrophic series of events, but I can assure you that there was never any sense of trying to cover anything up or pass the blame.

There is a builders forum that you have access to after you start your purchase, and it has a few more details and some safety recommendations etc.

I found no surprises there, the issues discussed there were pretty much all talked about on the regular forum as well.


RE: New Mosquito Guy Questions - Steve - 08-11-2010

Eagle Scout material Gary Smile

Dwight is the best and truly represents the best qualities of the mosquito helicopter family and the best qualities of humanity,

The world needs more Dwight's

Hey, sounds like a T-Shirt Logo

Wink

Regards

Steve


RE: New Mosquito Guy Questions - rhrocker - 08-11-2010

The world needs several more John U.'s also!

Rob2


RE: New Mosquito Guy Questions - Rob Hall - 08-11-2010

Ditto from Rob1!


RE: New Mosquito Guy Questions - tyc - 08-12-2010

bryancobb - 8/11/2010 11:34 AM
Here's some of the questions that are blocking me from buying one YESYERDAY!

Take a good look at the answers you've received so far ... "He's the greatest", "They're the best" etc. On this end I'm still waiting for a written response to my letter posted in March of this year. As for your assessment of the Mosquito series machines, suspicision has it you are correct, which is to say, it does appear to be a well designed, sturdy little aircraft, with a low per hour cost of operation.

As for your questions:

1) Is the company straight-up with customers about the cause of mechanical or safety problems?
The answer appears to be yes.

2) Does the company have the resources to chase down problems, notify owners, and come up with a fix?
I'm waiting for a reply from the Canadian government, one which may give me somewhat of an answer in that regard as well. The manufacturer presently offers essentially zero information in that regard, which is to say, he's playing his cards far too close to his chest at present, which in turn causes suspicision, i.e., will he be here tomorrow, next week, next year?

3) Are accidents compiled into an easy to access database with honest information that doesn't blame the builder?
While a review of the builder's logs clearly suggest that the indiviuals are indeed quite skilled mechanically, as you might expect it is reasonable to believe that the home builder is and will continue to be the primary suscpect for accidents in these type of machines; modifications made while building and or lack of proper rotorwing flight training in the first place. See the early "Larry Learns To Fly" videos as posted on YOUTUBE. A gutsy fellow that one but he did it appears to successfully teach himself the basics.

Save for the most recent accident, one regarding an XEL, (the second such Mosquito accident and both were XELs) this site appears to be mum in that regard and the source for data released so far regarding the most recent accident is the man's son, an individual who when you consider the circumstances, seems to be doing a rather decent job of it. That the accident in question was reported to FAA is at present, an unknown here. As of the other month, a check on my part with the FAA has shown that accidents regarding the Mosquito aircraft, if they have in fact occurred, not one has been reported, including the earlier and just noted XEL accident in which the pilot was also killed.

4) Does the company have a place for potential buyers to go, to gain knowledge and detailed info on how the helicopter and it's systems work, so he (me) can make an educated buy decision, or is everything secret?
I to would like to see things such as a copy of the Heigh Velocity Curve (the "Dead Man's Curve") for the AIR as well as the XE series aircraft. At present and to the best of my knowledge it is not posted here or for that matter, readily available from the builder.

5) If customers have an idea how to improve something, will the company listen and incorporate the changes?
Poking thru this website the answer here appears to be a definite YES. It clearly appears that the man is an engineer (not a marketing/salesman) by trade and understandably proud of his invention but he appears to be very secretive, so much so that you are expected to purchase on faith as opposed to simple, basic, hard facts.

6) Do people who own the Mos like it? feel like it's safe? feel like it's well-designed? feel like maintenance is not extensive or too frequent? feel like their Mos is holding up well?
I've yet to hear anyone who has purchased one, say anything bad about the design; save that it is cold to fly it in the Winter. Yes, it would be interesting to see a good faith posting of maintainance required for every ffity, one hundred, two hundred hours or so for these machines but at present that to is, if it is at all available, lacking. Perhaps you have to purchase a kit to find out.

7) Are build times and performance figures honest?
I've recently seen and had a "hands on examination" of a Mosquito AIR and I can suggest that the proposed build time for that particular machine, the Mosquito AIR, is indeed realistic.

All in all, as one who is also familiar with the Brantly B2 series aircraft, you may find the little Mosquito (be it the AIR or one of the XE class) while only a single seater, the cost per hour of operation will be far less than that which you have experienced with the Brantly, let alone a Hughes 300, an Enstrom or a Bell 47. My research so far suggests strongly that the Mosquito aircraft are indeed the "next step" beyond the R22; simpller, cheaper, as rugged as any that have come before it but keep in mind, with your rotorwing experience, the manufacturer of the Mosquito is by trade an engineer. While he may have some business experience, he appears to have very little experience in the area of marketing, something which in its own right just may be a good thing for the prospective consumer such as you and I. "Bells, whistles and chrome" don't make an airplane fly better but they do help in the sales effort.

Hope this was of some help.

tyc








RE: New Mosquito Guy Questions - tcurl - 08-12-2010

I more or less agree with all of your comment tyc, except for the "secretive" part. I have found John Uptigrove quite open about what he is doing and how he is going about accomplishing it. The "problem" is perhaps that John does not announce new ideas prematurely.

The Mosquito community is always pressing for more information on, you name it. John is working hard to meet what he feels to be the proper next steps in the evolution of his design. And make no mistake, John does take full ownership and responsibility for the design of the Mosquito line of helicopters. That is why he is so passionate about builders not making design changes that might impact the safety record of his design. I do not believe there has been an accident of which I'm aware, to date, that has not been attributable to pilot error or unauthorized design modification. There have been Mosquitos damaged in landing mishaps after engine failure. In my view, engine failures are a fact of life, and should not be considered design failures, unless of course, an engine, not up to the task, was specified in the design, as in the case of the original Mini-500 for instance.

Unfortunately, R&D often includes a lot of failures before there is success. Announcing each new trial, before it is proven is, as you have said, is the signature of a marketeer rather than an engineer. John is clearly the latter. I think I speak for most Mosquito owners in saying we prefer him this way.


RE: New Mosquito Guy Questions - mosquito - 08-12-2010

Howdy All,

While I appreciate the positive comments and encouragement, and I'm sure Dwight does as well, I'd like to ask that that kind of comment be kept to a minimum. Human nature dictates that there will always be someone who wants to take the opposite side of the coin so I'd prefer things stay more objective when it comes to discussions about the personalities involved. And I think I speak for rockstar Dwight as well who gets more than his fair share of positive attention (even if he does deserve it).

I want to leave the responses to Bryan's questions to others so I won't respond to them myself, but as for Tyc, I don't understand the comment about the letter or the secrecy issue. Did you send the letter to me or is that the one you sent to the Canadian government? If you sent it to me I don't recall receiving it or I would have responded. However, it is much easier to email me and get a response the next day. I answer all my emails in the morning except on occasion when I get behind due to other issues, so simply resend whatever it was by email and I'll respond by the next day. If you want the HV curve simply ask and I'll send it to you as I have to many others. I've also sent out operator manuals and even assembly manuals to those seriously looking into a purchase. As far as I know I'm pretty open to just about everything but I have to be contacted and asked. So if anyone else has things they need to know please email or phone and I'll be happy to tell you all I know. It probably won't take too long.


RE: New Mosquito Guy Questions - offroadaviator - 08-12-2010

Bryan, you sound like every jaded Mini-500 owner I've meet, and rightly so.  You've seen the worst side of the kit helicopter business.  I followed the whole Mini-500 saga and understand your position.  A kit helicopter is not something you purchase without thorough research.  You are approaching this purchase with the right mentality.  Reading all the posts in this forum will give you an honest perspective of current owners/builders.

1. John is very responsive to safety concerns and this fact is one of the main reasons I've committed to build my own Mosquito.
2. Improvements continue to be made.  This is not a stagnant design.  Revised build instruction, drawings and components are made available to builders/owners as they become available.
3. There is not an easy to access database of accidents.  I'm not aware of any manufacture that provides such a database.  Since this is an Experimental-Amateur Built, accident investigation is not handled in the same manner as Certified aircraft.  The information is available but requires searching the forum, which is very easy.
4. I think the best place to learn about the various systems and their components is to view the photos in the Mosquito Builder's Gallery.  By the time you view all the pics, you will have a thorough understanding of the build process and quality of design.  That's what I did and when I got the assembly manual there were no surprises.  If you want to know what alloy a part is constructed from or why a certain type of bearing was used, you'll need to contact John.  Height Velocity diagram was posted HERE.  Looks just like the H/V chart of any other single rotor helicopter.
5. See 1&2 above.
6. I have no personal experience but based on my research, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes.
7. Again, I have no personal experience and do not have stats to render an opinion.

You probably have several more questions.  If you can't find satisfactory answers by searching the forum, contact John or post your questions/concerns on the forum.  As you begin to research the fine details, you will not find any nasty surprises.  On the contrary, the more you know, the more appealing Mosquito ownership becomes.