Author Topic: 'Helio Alaska'  (Read 1164 times)

Doug Johnson

'Helio Alaska'
« on: October 10, 2020, 12:34:10 PM »
Gordon called me yesterday and told me that he had talked with Abe Harman, and was told that Maytag had sold the Courier part of the Helio type certificate to Lukas Stutzer and him. The purchase did not include the stallion.

I had Abe's phone number so I gave him a call instead of waiting for him to call me, we visited for about an hour he also gave me permission to post this, but they don't expect to make any announcment to the Aviation community for quite some time. They have been asking everyone to keep things toned down because they are still trying to decide if they can start a viable business for anything more than a limited parts production.

Because Maytag kept the Stallion type Certificate, "Helio Aircraft inc" will still be around.

Abe and Lukas have started an Inc. called Helio Alaska inc last November, They are located at Birchwood AK, they have recently hired their first employee who has an engineering background. The details are here https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_ak/10117441

Abe says they do understand that Helios will never reach the assembly line point and they will basically he a handbuilt aircraft also they will probably only build 3 or 4 per year. They may contract some data plate rebuilds as well. Abe says they have been in contact with most of the Helio owners in and around Anchorage AK as well as Wright Air Fairbanks. They have also been in contact with Lycoming and they refuse to manufacture any parts for the GO-480 no matter how many parts they guarantee. They talked a bit about the GIO-540 but it is a heavier engine than the GO-480 and they would have to restart a production line not much interest there either. Lycoming suggested their new IO-580, but it would be difficult to get the low end torque needed for the Helio out of it. I mentioned that the first Helio had a belt driven reduction drive and a bunch of helicopters have belt driven reduction drives. Abe says they may need to look into it.

Obviously the engine will be their main hurdle for going back into production of complete a/c. Maytag has pretty much ruled out the radial and the turbine engine as far as a bush planes go. Maybe it's time to look at electric might be a litttle hard to charge the batteries.

Abe says they have been in contact with Hartzel and MT as well and if they reach that point they would offer the MT as an option just for the weight saving.

Abe says covid (I call it China Flu) has slowed them practicaly to a stand still, but when things return to some semblance of normal their goal is to begin to build their first Helio fuselage and as they build parts for it they will probably build a few extra for resale. He also said the Jigs for assembly have been sitting outside in Arizona for 30 years and the attachments that position the cage in the jigs are missing. Abe says it my be cheaper because of shipping costs to just rebuild from scratch rather than try to refurbish them , this will take time also.

I was told to tell everyone not to get in a hurry and don't try to contact them for parts as they expect it will be at least two years after the China flu goes away before anything is offered for sale.

Another thing that slows everything down is even though they own the type certificate, you still have to have the PMA approval to build parts in the first place, lots of FAA inspections to go along with it is my understanding.

I of course asked for pictures and Abe says they are busy looking through the files for blue prints and other production related info, but if they run across something they will keep me in mind. I'm thinking I may have to visit my family in Ak this winter while I have some free time so I can help look through the file cabinets.

I found my previous post about the type certificate http://flyhelio.com/smf/index.php?topic=1557.msg7623#msg7623

Louis, I recently read an old post where you mentioned the FAA didn't have H-7/800 prints
I asked Abe if they had H-7/800 prints and he said they did and their list says the FAA does as well.
but without looking at them its difficult to know what they do have.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 02:10:15 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

Louis

Re: Helio Alaska
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2020, 06:05:03 AM »
Thanks fo this announcement

Louis

Doug Johnson

Re: 'Helio Alaska'
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2020, 11:01:42 AM »
I forgot to mention that Helio Alaska has reserved the domain name helio-alaska.com and will open a website probably when things get back to some semblance of normal.

Abe also said that eventually they will put out some contact information and at that time try to help the Helio community as much as possible, but depending upon how much help, and what you need there may be a fee.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 02:10:40 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

Doug Johnson

Re: 'Helio Alaska'
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2020, 03:00:52 PM »
E-mail from Abe at 'Helio Alaska' that I'd like to share;

The main sentiment we would convey to the Helio community at this point I guess would be that we are very excited for the potential that this new Helio Courier venture has, and that we are very hopeful and optimistic that we will find a financially viable way to bring life back into something that has been dormant for so long. We believe that the Courier is too good of an airplane to just be lost to history and are committed to giving this an honest shot. That said, we also want to be upfront with people about what realistic expectations are for this project moving forward. The drawings and tooling have been essentially in idle storage for the last 40 years and in some cases are in various states of disrepair, so we have a tremendous amount of work to do in going through and organizing everything, bringing things up to date as needed, making repairs, and verifying we have all the information needed to move on to the next step. That is the phase we are in right now and we are looking at it as sort of a development phase. After we are able to get all the documents in order we will work on making prototypes, generating new jigs and tooling as needed, and getting all the FAA approvals for manufacturing and any updates to the design that are needed. So it is going to take us some time to get everything sorted out and finalized. There are also a lot of variables regarding parts and materials that may not be commercially available anymore due to the amount of time that has passed, so we will have to source and then substantiate appropriate replacements for all of those things as they come up. So it’s hard to estimate exactly how long this process could take. 

Once we get further along in the process where we have more to offer, and a clearer picture of what the future looks like, we will definitely get a website setup and put some contact information out there to keep people in the loop with what’s happening. For the time being we’re just focused on making forward progress and trying to get a lot of these preliminary things figured out. 

All the best, Abraham Harman

Helio Alaska, Inc


Helio Alaska Logo below
« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 02:11:07 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

Doug Johnson

Re: 'Helio Alaska'
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2021, 08:52:16 AM »
Abe sent me an email with some pictures, he asks questions I can't answer.

Maybe one of you guys can answer, would really appreciate some help here.

I will share it below and attach the photos.

You said to let you know if we came accross any pictures of historical Helio stuff. We did find some photographs while going through and sorting boxes of miscellaneous stuff from the Helio transfer files. Most of them had little as far as notations or context about what the importance of the photographs were.

None of these particular ones were labeled. And there are some which do not appear to be directly related to Helio at all, so I figured I’d send them to you to take a look at and see if they looked familiar compared to any other photos you’ve come across over the years. If these photos are not of the original Helio company I’m curious why they had them saved in their records. Maybe they are photographs of other companies that were vendors or they ordered parts from or something.

Factory 1 and 2:
These two photographs appear to be of the same factory, but neither of them seem to match with other historical photos I’ve seen of the Helio factory in Pittsburg, KS. All the parts and pieces seen in the photo are also far too large to be airplane parts. Not sure what the connection is from this place to Helio. Anything jumping out at you?

Machine shop 1 and 2:

Definitely possible these couple be taken at the old Helio Factory. Hard to say for certain unless anyone who’s actually been there recognizes it though.

Sheet metal shop:

Very clearly some kind of a Jig with a wing airfoil shape. The construction of the Jig base matches the type of methods I’ve seen of most of the original Helio aircraft jigs, but I don’t recognize this one specifically, and am having a hard time placing what parts of a courier wing might fit in this jig. Could be for a different aircraft?

Workshop:

The pillars and walls look very similar to those in the machine shop photos. Very well could be the Pittsburg facility, but hard to say unless anyone who remembers those days recognizes it.

Engineering 1:

I don’t think this one is from Helio. If you look closely at the drawings on the drafting tables, most of the things depicted look architectural, like buildings, not airplane parts. Maybe this was a photo of a local drafting school or somewhere that Helio would get draftspeople from?

Engineering 2:

This one has some photos of airplanes on the wall, so maybe this was part of the drafting/engineering area at Helio? Again hard to say unless someone from those days recognizes something.

We found some other photos as well that are more clearly Helio airplane and old Helio factory location related. More on them later. We are thinking maybe we’ll put those ones together into more of an organized historical archive record for those interested in Helio history.

Thanks, Abraham Harman {Helio Alaska, Inc.)



engineering 1

engineering 2

factory 1

factory 2

sheetmetal shop

work shop

machine shop 1

machine shop 2
« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 02:11:35 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

Doug Johnson

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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2021, 10:16:34 AM »
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« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 10:42:19 AM by Doug Johnson »
Doug