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Home > Gasser Model RC Helicopters > Other > Helibug No More?
jackp332

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Claremont, Nh USA

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I just received an email from Helibug saying they are getting out of the gas helicopter conversion kit side of the business and anyone interested in purchasing can contact them. It does say that all listed products will stay in production until further notice so I guess that means they are not quite done yet?..

01-06-2017 12:27 AM
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Gearhead

rrMaster

Vt

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I just received an email from Helibug saying they are getting out of the gas helicopter conversion kit side of the business
that's not surprising, if he wants to stay in business he should change the name and make complete heli kits

Jim
Buzz Buzz Buzz

01-06-2017 02:58 AM
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RM3

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Killeen, Texas - USA

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very sad... very sad indeed. just another brand/manufacturer calling it quits.

no surprize though
that's not surprising, if he wants to stay in business he should change the name and make complete heli kits
you just cant compete in this market, drones, cheap imports, heli sales on a down trend, lack of interest, hobby shops with models collecting dust... all bad news.

he couldnt sell enough kits complete or to stay afloat much less make a profit worth while. just cause a handfull of "man children" express interest in a type of model or conversion does not translate to a profit over time.

Im mean really how many 600 - 700 class gasser kits do you think you would sell a month? 3? 6? even at 15 you cant break even much less cover your overhead especially if you have decent CNC machining centers, a warehouse, people, design, etc.

how much you wana bet others like him are in line to close shop this year? sad but just the way things are going... hopefully they level out though.... what that level turns out to be is anybodys guess.

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

01-06-2017 04:04 AM
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gboden

Heliman

Chugiak, AK

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It seems the whiplash may be the single enduring full gasser kit,... for now.

01-06-2017 07:28 PM
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Carey Shurley

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Orlando, FL - USA

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it may not be a very big market, but its very rewarding when somebody discovers how much fun they can have with one of these things

If you're not flying a gasoline helicopter
You're paying 10 times too much for fuel!!

01-06-2017 10:01 PM
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RM3

Elite Veteran

Killeen, Texas - USA

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not so rewarding for the manufacturer... especially small operations.

I see many more dying off till then. just the new normal.

come to think of it... we will likely end up with the same market density as RC boats...

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

01-07-2017 12:30 AM
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jharkin

Senior Heliman

Holliston, MA - USA

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Im mean really how many 600 - 700 class gasser kits do you think you would sell a month? 3? 6? even at 15 you cant break even much less cover your overhead especially if you have decent CNC machining centers, a warehouse, people, design, etc.
Which begs the question - how do the engine builders even survive?

If yo Assume Ali is selling a dozen a month, and so is Carey Shurley/JC, and so is RMJ in England, the outfit in Australia and Miniature in Germany... you get what? 50 kits a month? 600 a year?

So that's 600 engine sales a year to split between TRM, Hanson, and stock Zenoah.

Something doesnt add up... The gas heli market is small.... but it cant be that small. There would be no profit for Zenaoh to even cast the cases at that volume.

It has been discussed over at at HF - Carey Shurley in the past asked Dave Johnson of DA if he would design a custom heli engine. Dave declined since the volume is not there. DA has sold 15,000+ DA50cc plane engines alone in the last 14 years. And that's one of a dozen models they make for RC. Not to mention their commercial UAV engines. It would be a safe guess to assume they make at least a few thousand engines a year of all sizes, and they are only one player in a crowded market (3W, BME, Evolution/MVVS, Moki, DLE, DLA and all the other china brands, etc).

Very hard for a one man show like Ali to compete in this market. And he is going to find it even harder to compete in his new venture in the generator market (going up against Generac and Honda? good luck )

-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks

01-19-2017 05:13 PM
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RM3

Elite Veteran

Killeen, Texas - USA

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I think part of the equation is to take into account that Zenoah is part of Husqvarna... so the demand for engine components is there... many of these smaller engines share alot of components like the rotating assembly, ignition components and carbs even bearings and fly wheels. the only thing different would be the engine cases which are basically cast, machined and then nikasil coated. they dont need the heli market.

Company outline

"Husqvarna Zenoah Co., Ltd", we are the leading manufacturer of Outdoor Power Equipment in Japan. Zenoah is a proud member of the Husqvarna group, the world's leading producer of innovative solutions for outdoor power equipments.

as you said DA also has military connections, I think their engines power some of our "smaller" drones... so they make a pretty penny there and likely dont need the heli market.

Now TRM and Hanson also do other work, they sell airplane engines, boat engines, 1/5 scalee buggy/truggy engines and likely have other aspects of the business to keep them afloat... they may also be distributors of the Zenoah line? but dont keep much stock... but what really keeps them afloat would be interesting to know.

but it appears that the heli market is really on the back end of it all for them at the moment.

and yeah... generators?... I dont see it going well there either.

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

01-19-2017 05:22 PM
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jharkin

Senior Heliman

Holliston, MA - USA

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Yeah RM3 totally agreed - the companies that survive are the ones that are diversified.

Thats why JR is in some trouble (almost totally hobby dependent) and Futaba is not (hobby is just a small part).

Yeah Zenoah got bought by Husqy, but even before they where bought they made power equipment in Japan, plus boat, car and plane RC engines.

Hanson and TRM sell all over even including scooter engines..

and so forth...

-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks

01-19-2017 07:59 PM
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Gearhead

rrMaster

Vt

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Zenoah "Zenoah Komatsu" also makes very large earth moving equipment

Jim
Buzz Buzz Buzz

01-20-2017 04:02 AM
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jharkin

Senior Heliman

Holliston, MA - USA

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Zenoah "Zenoah Komatsu" also makes very large earth moving equipment
Zenoah was owned by Komatsu from 1979 until they in turn sold the business to Husquavarna in 2007. Zenoah itself never made earth moving equipment.

-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks

01-20-2017 01:21 PM
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kogibankole

Key Veteran

albuquerque/ibadan

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Trump is kicking is ass back to Yemen !

if im not blade bogging youll find me pack puffing

02-10-2017 03:06 AM
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jharkin

Senior Heliman

Holliston, MA - USA

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^^ The racist commentary is uncalled for. Not cool.

-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks

02-10-2017 06:07 PM
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kogibankole

Key Veteran

albuquerque/ibadan

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because the guy sucks

if im not blade bogging youll find me pack puffing

02-11-2017 11:01 PM
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