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HomeAircraftHelicopterMiniature Aircraft Whiplash & Fury 55 › Miniature Aircraft USA
03-13-2014 04:31 AM  4 years agoPost 1
slickporsche

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American/Philippines

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Anyone know the reason they sold out to flyco? No rumors please!

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03-13-2014 01:09 PM  4 years agoPost 2
kcordell

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O Fallon, MO

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That was a business decision by Tim Schoonard several years ago. Tim was all that was left of the Schoonard family that originally started the company and he wanted to get out and this was a great opportunity for him at that time. It was about 5 or 6 years ago.

Team Synergy/Rail, Team Scorpion, YS Engines, VelTye

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03-18-2014 05:08 PM  4 years agoPost 3
Dr.Ben

rrMaster

Richmond, VA, USA

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Uh.....didn't Flossie still have her stake at the time of the sale?

Ben

Peak Aircraft/Team Minicopter Team Futaba Team Kontronik USA

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03-20-2014 07:03 PM  4 years agoPost 4
kcordell

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O Fallon, MO

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I think Tim did a lot of talking, trying to get Flossie to slow down and get out of the business and he finally succeeded. Now Flossie tours the world with several of her friends.

Team Synergy/Rail, Team Scorpion, YS Engines, VelTye

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03-29-2014 03:44 AM  4 years agoPost 5
IYKIST

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London united kingdom

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Now Flossie tours the world with several of her friends.
How do you know that and she couldn't have gotten that much to travel the world with friends from that sale, she might have made her money else where.

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03-29-2014 06:24 AM  4 years agoPost 6
Dr.Ben

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Richmond, VA, USA

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In its peak years, Flossie made a fine living off the profits of the company as did Ted and Tim. Tim and Flossie built their dream homes well before the business sold. And that's ok. The company that sold was but a fraction of that which existed in the early-mid 90's in terms of sales and thus net worth. I saw nothing in Kevin's post that suggested that Flossie is fueling her world travel with sales proceeds. It's just what the lady is doing with her retirement.

Ben Minor

Peak Aircraft/Team Minicopter Team Futaba Team Kontronik USA

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10-01-2014 06:44 PM  4 years agoPost 7
coptercptn

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Mesa AZ. USA

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I know this is an old post.. but does anyone have a link to the company that bought out MA? and is there any source for parts?

Thanks...

Home of the "Sea Cobra".....

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10-01-2014 06:52 PM  4 years agoPost 8
jbjones

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Columbus, Mississippi

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I don't think they sold. They just went out of business. I haven't heard of a buyer, anyway. Not saying someone hasn't bought them...I just haven't heard of it.

Hoard what parts you can find.

-JB

J. B. Jones

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10-01-2014 08:32 PM  4 years agoPost 9
kcordell

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O Fallon, MO

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The only part left of FlyCo (parent company of Heliproz, Heliproz South (Ron Lund bought his part out), HeliWholesaler (you can buy from them now, they are eliminating inventory at 60% off!), Miniature Aircraft and Big Sky Machining (company who made the parts)) is Heliproz itself.

Only thing that MA really had anymore was name and a pile of CNC files for the parts.

Team Synergy/Rail, Team Scorpion, YS Engines, VelTye

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10-01-2014 08:44 PM  4 years agoPost 10
FenderBean

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Fort Hood TX

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So are they going to continue the line?

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10-01-2014 09:13 PM  4 years agoPost 11
wjvail

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Meridian, Mississippi

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Only thing that MA really had anymore was name and a pile of CNC files for the parts.
It's this part I keep coming back too. The only value those files have is in... CNCing something. It seems the work is done. Put a few files on a jump drive and take 'em to a shop that does this work and tell 'em you need 10 of something made. Is there no profit in this business model?

I will freely admit I don't work in the CNC industry but my understanding is that the cost is in producing the drawings and code and after that, producing 10 parts or 1000 parts was about the same. The first part produced represents the majority of the cost and parts after that come from just letting the machine run longer.

I know there are some terrible exaggerations here but the notion is that the design, drawings, and CNC coding are done.

What I do know for certain is that if you don't have parts made, the drawings they are holding are worthless.

What am I missing?

"Well, Nothing bad can happen now."

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10-01-2014 09:18 PM  4 years agoPost 12
fastflyer20

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N. Tonawanda, NY

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Flyco tried to sell, however no one was interested in purchasing the intellectual information. Heli mfg was no longer profitable for them. Retail/distribution was, so they kept Heliproz.

Tom
CAUTION - my posts are based on my experiences, yours may be different.

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10-01-2014 11:14 PM  4 years agoPost 13
RM3

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Killeen, Texas - USA

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Put a few files on a jump drive and take 'em to a shop that does this work and tell 'em you need 10 of something made. Is there no profit in this business model?
belive me if it were that simple (and worth the trouble) someone would have done it by now.

the truth is alot of times CNC shops may actually have two sets of code. the first set is the one on the designers computers, then the actual edited G-code used by that particular machining center to make the part. Alot of times they will not update thier drawings and CNC code to reflect what the machines are actually using. It takes a shop foreman alot of hours getting this information back and forth to people that may not think its important at the time.

the second issue comes from the fact that alot of the code that the machining centers use is custom tailored to that machine.

Its a giant PITA to transfer code over into a new machine, which requires not only the tooling information, but also a trial run to see if it produces what is expected, therefore time and money.

Most shops charge a premium for small quantities, only when you go into larger quantities can you get a deal on a unit cost basis.

the fact is someone owns this information, but it takes money and signatures to get them to let go of it and allow someone else to make parts from whatever code may still exist, if it still exists at all.

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

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10-02-2014 03:33 PM  4 years agoPost 14
kcordell

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O Fallon, MO

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Machining time and material is $$$$. That is one of the many issues of the downfall of the MA line. The "company, MA" was offered up and the price deemed too high by the few that actually inquired. As of now, who knows where those files/computers are sitting.

All I know for sure is that if you had the files and went to a shop and asked for 10 rotorheads, you'd fall over at the price quoted to machine them.

Team Synergy/Rail, Team Scorpion, YS Engines, VelTye

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10-02-2014 04:32 PM  4 years agoPost 15
RM3

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Killeen, Texas - USA

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...you'd fall over at the price quoted to machine them
thats no lie there... I have experienced that for myself. asking for quote from CNC shops. Its just the reality of small quantities and custom work.
When I make parts for myself and others, 1/2 the cost goes into the material alone when it comes to premium alloys. otherwise the rest goes into design time, cutting time, and even a little to cover the cost of any tooling that may need to be replaced as a result of wear. Its worse when you screw up a part, cause all that work and material is wasted $$$.

big shops take all of that into account as well. Hense the reason for the high price of quality machining work.

MA must have had too much overhead and the owners just didnt have any fight left in them to justify the low profit vs Hassle.

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

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10-03-2014 01:36 AM  4 years agoPost 16
Gearhead

rrMaster

Vt

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MA must have had too much overhead and the owners just didnt have any fight left in them to justify the low profit vs Hassle.
read the following quote from another RR thread>>>
I flew for MA until about a year before they were sold. For those watching closely, the seeds of this untimely demise were sown a decade ago.
In the old days of MA, the chief competition in the marketplace came from GMP, Schluter, Hirobo, and a few others. When MA first started, they had more or less two kits, the X-Cell 50 and the 60, and that was all. Stores had parts, and it was relatively easy to secure a kit when you wanted one. Over the next 5-7 years, MA added multiple new kits to the product line, arguably too many. When this happened, the ability to get a given kit when you wanted it fell away, and most dealers at most had a few examples of the product line. The company lacked the liquid cash to be able to do runs of multiple kits and to get them packed and shipped. The customer had to backorder what they wanted. BAD mistake number one. When guys want a model, they do not want to wait months to get it. It's OK for a boutique models like a TDR because guys know the deal there going in, but it is a nonstarter for a mainstream model mfg. The inability to delivery product in volume became that much worse as Align's popularity grew, and the customer could get any kit they wanted on demand from a multitude of dealers. Surely the low cost of the imported parts was a player in Align's growth, but market penetrance and distribution were what really did it for them.
The issues with parts count with MA models were legendary. Especially in the days of the X-Cell SE's and Pro's, the company had an amazing ability to make what could have easily been a one piece assembly instead be comprised of three pieces. This drove up kit cost, repair cost, and build time. Even as the situation improved in later designs, that reputaation persisted at a cost to sales.
Those of us who flew for MA in the old days used to make a joke about when a product would ship. Answer: "two weeks". It was funny to a point, but it ceased to be amusing to guys who waited for 6 months for a new release having been told "two weeks" for months on end. You cannot do this in today's market. When a product is announced, you better be able to ship within a few months or guys WILL NOT wait on you. MA's top two pilots flew a protoype Bandit for a solid year publically while MA told the public constantly changing relases dates that ultimately ended up never happening at all. During this time, no one wanted any current MA 90 sized model because they were waiting on the Bandit. Most eventually just gave up and bought another brand. Flying a prototype publically this way for so long with no hope of getting it to work and then ship was absolutely, postively mindbogglingly stupid. Even up to the time of the Whiplash, there were months and months sometimes between planned release dates and when product actually shipped.
Ongoing sales: in the early days of MA, everyone wanted a kit when they first came out, AND the subsequent demand for kits supported the company on an ongoing basis. Starting with the era of the first Ion's forward (almost a dead relase after the first run of kits because batteries were not yet affordable for the masses @ $800/set), MA never succeeded in generating an ongoing demand for product. At the time of a new kit release, all the MA fans got their model, and everything quickly sold out. When restocking occurred, that product would sit and sit and sit on dealer shelves. I think Ron Lund still has a Fury Extreme that has been there for god knows how long. At the time when Brian was with MA, I recall him telling me that during his tenure, there was only a brief period when the Fury 55 released that the company EVER ran in the black. I would hazard a guess that they have not been in the black since then. You cannot survive doing that but for so long.
The next thing that crippled MA was runs of less than optimum engineering. The Status looked good or paper and to build, but the reality is that you cannot backplate mount a 3.5 hp engine to a piece of carbon and think that things are no going to move around in flight. There were issues with bolts breaking with certain brands of engines, and those who knew what to listen for could hear the driveline bog down under heavy load in flight due to chassis flex. The rotor system would not deliver desired cyclic range to keep up with new flying demands, so they tried using step up bellcranks on a non closed loop control system. That helped the throw problem but assured servo geartrains got beaten to hell in short order. The small diameter tail boom was never quite stiff enough, so the answer was to come out with an Ultra boom that was not only expensive as hell but hard to source. There were some attempts to improve these situations, but you can't put lipstick on a pig. The Whiplash series had well known and documented issues with the primary driveline and the tail rotor drive system. The novel concept of the auto bearing on power plant looked good on paper, and that is where it stopped being good. As Darrick noted, these issues were never totally addressed, even on the EX (which, BTW, was hideously debuted at IRCHA 2013 by sticking that poor model on a tripod in the travel lane at the west end of the field with a few flying with basically no one there to mind the store or answer customer questions about anything). The company was in a bad position of having model with major issues that could not be fixed without what would have effectively been a complete redesign. Over the past 1.5 years or so, they lost the vast majority of their best team pilots over these issues. These things are noticed at the local field and at events, and it does hurt sales.
I own my own business, so I do not for one minute doubt the effects of labor costs, insurance, etc. as compared to the the Asian imports making business tough for MA. The problem is that the majority of the factors I listed above have comparatively little to do with where the company is based. To survive in this industry, no matter where the company is, you absolutely have to have good engineering, you have to be able to ship product, you have to be able to distribute product, and you have to be able to market it. Price point is a consideration of course, but we are in a hobby where guys routinely spend 200-300 on the latest backyard 150 class model that they fly for a few weeks and then make a Facebook video where they kill it with a hammer and then burn it up, so a mainshaft that costs little more than another company's does not itself sink you. The economy is utterly intolerant of mistakes in judgment that MA made for years and years in many of these areas, and it finally just caught up to them.

Jim
Buzz Buzz Buzz

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10-03-2014 01:58 AM  4 years agoPost 17
RM3

rrElite Veteran

Killeen, Texas - USA

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yeah I remember reading that, And agree with it.

they should have retired the old models and really done a better job on the engineering and overall market supply.

but oh well, lesson learned for any "Still" surviving companies, like TSA and Airstar, Bergen.

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

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10-03-2014 03:25 AM  4 years agoPost 18
carcrasher

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east coast

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Great points were brought up. To bad no one really cared to push MA to the next level in engineering and design. I remember the 450 fiasco then the 600 that also never made it to market before the Fury55. i wonder what their next model would've been like. So now I'm basically stuck with three MA helis that are worthless and two of them have major issues.

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10-03-2014 03:32 AM  4 years agoPost 19
FenderBean

rrElite Veteran

Fort Hood TX

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The whiplash was pretty great heli, the only one I have ever flown that felt like a simulator. Crazy response, low part count a super strong.

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10-03-2014 05:06 AM  4 years agoPost 20
carcrasher

rrElite Veteran

east coast

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I'm sure the FBL unit had a lot to do with that.

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