New Brantly President

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New Brantly President

Postby Ron Spiker » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:00 am

Kyle Hardman Named President Of Brantly International Helicopters

Helicopter Industry Veteran To Lead The Reintroduction Of The Brantly B-2B Light Helicopter

Coppell, TX, Dec. 21, 2010 — Representatives of Brantly International announced today that helicopter industry veteran Kyle B. Hardman has joined the company as its new president.

"We are extremely pleased to have Mr. Hardman join Brantly International," said Cheng Shenzong, Chairman of the Qindao Brantly Investment Group, owners of Brantly International. "His depth of experience as a program leader and helicopter engineer will be invaluable in guiding our efforts to bring the Brantly B-2B light helicopter back into production."

"I can't begin to express my excitement about this opportunity and the gratitude for the trust they have shown in me to take this project forward," Hardman said. "I guess you can say helicopters are in my blood. My father was with Bell for 36 years. I grew up across the street from the factory."

"People have forgotten what an incredible machine the Brantly B-2B is. At the height of its production, the company built one-half of the civilian helicopters manufactured in the U.S.," he added. "Being able to start the program with a proven design like the B-2B and improve it with today's computer-aided design and manufacturing techniques is going to help us make a great helicopter even better."

Hardman stated that the company is currently in the process of selecting a location for its new factory and is looking at sites in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well as in other states.

"After the building is completed, state-of-the-art production tooling and equipment will be installed and the training, production and re-certification process will begin with the FAA," he said. "With its mix of performance and low operating costs, I think the market is going to be very happy to see the B-2B back in production."

Prior to joining Brantly, Hardman was a Principal Engineer with Bell Helicopter Textron in Fort Worth, Texas. Before that he was Lead Engineer Senior with Vought Aircraft. Hardman is an aircraft owner with single- and multi-engine land, seaplane and glider ratings. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Engineering Technology degree.
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby scrapper » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:48 am

I had heard something lie this was in the works. Relatively new to studying this but I think there is a big market for civilian copters in this size/price range. Demographics, there is a bug sector of baby boomers approaching retirement years for which hobby in this price range is feasible and attractive.

47s no longer made, isn’t it just the Hughes 300 & R22 in competition?

As I talk up my recent interest I find most assumed it was way out of their price range, but they get intrigued. Beyond everything else there is just something extra fun in this Brantly business!

My hope would be they get moving fast and I think there is just one major issue. HP.
How can the HP be raised just marginally without taking on too much weight and having to redesign the whole ship. Doubt it, does Lycoming make a 200hp engine.

Personal weights on avg have just gone up too much. If I get a Brantly and want to give rides to clients, 230 and up, I can’t. Some Brantly aficionados believe weights may have contributed to many accidents.

Congrats to Brantly, lets hope this all keeps on track.
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby scrapper » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:00 pm

The R22 seems to get along with the same Lycoming 180 HP engine.
Is the Brantley less efficient in using the same engine?

schweitzer 300 uses HIO-360-D1A 190 HP
only$ 61kNEW yikes.
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby fraundo » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:59 pm

I hope that one of the first things the new President does is improve responsiveness to inquiries for parts and information from current owners. I sent a question to the Chinese office directly since the USA office was closed and it took 6 weeks to get a definitive answer. In the interim I had a Chinese colleague call them in Qingdao, China to see if they got the message, the answer was yes and they were working on it. Then a day later or so they sent me an email saying they would get me a response ASAP (this message also copied the Superior engines contacts). Three weeks later when I still had not heard back from anyone in the USA or China I sent another email asking all on the email list what their definition of ASAP was. 3 weeks after that I got the actual quote for the part. I told them via email that I had already purchased the parts elsewhere and the delay was too long to wait for them. I also asked how long I should expect for a response in the future and I stressed that having a ship down waiting for parts is wasteful given hanger space and insurance etc. They have not bothered to respond to that question. I really liked being able to call John at the factory and get an answer same day. This situation is remarkably unprofessional and really I would have to in good faith caution anyone considering buying a Brantly(that is not an A&P himself or herself) to think seriously about what will happen when the few who can work on these ships currently(Harold is who I use) stop working on them. If the situation does not improve with yet this newest of management leaders then I think the time is drawing near when this ship will not be adequately supported with parts and services and will go extinct for all but a few passionate preservationalists and/or aviation historians.
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby seneca2e » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:55 am

Ron,
Thanks for keeping us up to date. That is the best news in a long time. It looks like MAYBE, just maybe, there is at least a shot at the Brantly being reborn and updated. That would be awesome!

As to the other responses on this thread you have to realize that Brantly right now and really for a year or more has for all intents and purposes been shut down. No use trying to hold them accountable like an up and running company because that just wasn't (isn't) the case. Lots of the parts have not been made in many, many years but it's always better to have a heartbeat than to be totally dead. Because there's hope for a recovery! Brantly has a chance now it sounds like!
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby 9121u » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:58 am

EVERYONE FOR GETS ENSTROM IS STILLIN BUSINESS VERY GOOD AND POWERFUL - SAFE HELICOPTER...hard to beet that one?.. 2191u. tom
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby fraundo » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:34 pm

If in April 2008 when I completed the purchase of my ship from Brantly directly(it was one of the used ones they had for sale at the time) and took receipt of it at the factory they had told me they would be shutting down and not supporting me with parts or service I would likely have looked more seriously at other options such as Enstrom. In hindsight it is easy to second guess but I do not think I would have purchased the ship had Vernon not emphatically and repeatedly told me the company would not shut down and the Chinese owners were planning to expand so I had nothing to be concerned about for continuing support. I understand he likely had no idea of the future and probably truly believed what he told me. I obviously failed to adequately discount their assurances. Anyway, when they shut down the factory I called in and they assured me they would be keeping a tech support and parts staff on hand in a small office for current owners. Then they terminated John, Jason, etc and we have the situation we find ourselves in today. Effectively no support. Given that I bought my ship relatively recently with assurances and promises directly from the company on what I could expect for support in the long term if I was to purchase a ship from them, which they have now failed to be able to make good on, I am to put it mildly....disappointed. So I share my thoughts on the issue in the hopes that the new president, if he happens to read this thread, understands the concerns I have and will strive to better serve existing customers in the future.
Last edited by fraundo on Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby scrapper » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:24 pm

Fraundo - Comments appreciated. Is your email active? I sent you an email. I may be interested in your craft.

Full sympathies but I will throw out any business hopes/plans to stay in business and needs to be optimistic. We were in a bubble 04-08, 0 percent interest rates pushed excess behavior, “it happens at the margin”, by nature economic excess, yin, is followed the counter active yang, rough times follow, many marginal businesses failed. Lets hope we come out of this and avoid a depression.

I didn’t realize until recently that Brantly was open/ closed several time in its history. Maybe there were always parts/support but there were periods when Brantly didn’t produce copters. From a distance considering the relatively small amount of output I think it is lucky capital has been advanced and Brantly did what it did.

I may sounds nuts but really think Brantly has a significant future. Demographics: recreational market, 175-200k new, fun, fun, machine. Simple minded here but baby boomers, age 50-65, who could afford this and could be lured into a Brantly hobby, I think the market is immense. I don’t know the #s but would think it would take 25 yr 1, then 50 then 100 unit annual sales to make it a go. Cache would build and pricing moves up, they snag a premium price. (for original fans, we get new ones at cost!! Ha). I see metal blades for a BELL 47 are 270k, (I know wooden are less) Hillers I assume will gradually disappear, leaving R22 and Schweitzer 300.

Personally biased but if Brantly can keep part prices under control, it would be come the defacto 2 passenger fun copter. No idea if even then the bis has economic legitimacy but …….

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Re: New Brantly President

Postby fraundo » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:08 pm

Hi Scrap. Yes my email is active. I am not planning to sell my ship just yet but I am aware of another B2B that will be available for sale soon. Drop me an email if you want to get the contact information.
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby scrapper » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:04 pm

faundo- Ha I could see that coming, your craft is too beaufiful to sell!
Hmmmm,, trade for a spouse? Probably not.!!

Thanks I will be in touch, am surveing the scene with plans to buy in early spring.
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby 9121u » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:24 pm

ANY one here of any new news abought the factory yet. something has to be going on.....tom
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby fixnfly » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:15 pm

I talked to Kyle Hardman about 2 weeks ago , he was headed for China for a CEO meeting and promised to let me know what was in the fire when he returned. I suggested he let us all know by way of this site. It will be interesting to see what he has to say.
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby Ron Spiker » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:13 am

From "Rotor & Wing" magazine: http://www.aviationtoday.com/rw/issue/departments/people/

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Coppell, Texas-based Brantly International has appointed Kyle Hardman as company president. He comes from Bell Helicopter Textron, where he was a principal engineer. Hardman will assist with efforts to return the Brantly B-2B light helicopter back into production.
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Re: New Brantly President

Postby scrapper » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:45 pm

Has anyone talked to Kyle, any sense of a timeeline?

TIA

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Re: New Brantly President

Postby BirdDog » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:18 pm

Scrap,

As Patton once said, "The first casualty of any battle is the plan." Any timeline I might submit would probably change by the time I got it posted. I am currently spending a little better than half time in China. The current push is to get the two facilities there up and running as soon as possible. The Vernon facility is closed for good and the hunt for a new site in the U.S. is on going. I am in this for the long haul and all these things take time. I will keep you updated as I can.

With all my traveling the best way to get in touch with me is email. Send me note at khardman@brantly.com and let me hear from you.

-Kyle
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