November 30, 2006 - We are continually amazed at the worldwide scope of a WWW based business. Our customers come from practically everywhere. Although dealing with customs is quite a challenge, we've managed to rack up an impressive array of customers in many different countries. November has been a good month for us here and we are quite swamped with work. The next Heli-Chairs won't be completed at least until January 2007, due to our workload and the holiday season. We've recently launched the discussion forum to get people talking about Heli-Chair, and it is slowly catching the eye of web surfers. Speaking of the web, we're delivering about 40 Gigabytes a month of videos, pictures and other information to the world, according to website statistics. The biggest news is that HC2 (Heli-Chair 2) is slowly developing on the drawing board. It isn't going to be a drastic change in appearance, but what will be impressive are the changes underneath. HC2 achieve a full IP67 rating (ingress protection to full water immersion). Now, for those of you contemplating flying in the rain, no problem! It also means increased durability for field deployment and mission critical systems. As always, simplicity is our design focus. The goal is to create a bullet proof product that never fails.
May 10, 2006 - It's time for an update! We haven't told you much news lately because we've been too busy building Heli-Chairs for our customers. It seems that the internet has done a great job of spreading the word about our product, more and more people are contacting us all the time. We recently went to the Central Sierra Helicopter Meet at the Miller ranch, right here in central California. We've finally finished up our mechanical drawing and electrical wiring packages, and for those of you building on your own, this is a much welcome addition to our product line. For about $60, you can have all the information you need to start constructing your own Heli-Chair. We have been working towards lowering the prices on our products, we think you'll find that the value you get is quite worth it. We have been working closely with the folks at Innovatortech, the manufacturers of the Mosquito ultralight helicopter. We're hoping to have a special package for Mosquito customers that is specifically designed to retrofit onto their airframe. We've even recently sent some drawings to NASA. No, a Heli-Chair will NOT be used to pilot the next space shuttle mission, but who knows what they'll do with the idea, anything is possible!
August 22, 2005 - Heli-Chair is gaining momentum. We are constantly getting inquiries from potential customers. As we continue to build products, we are able to meet your needs better. Each new customer has a unique requirement which keeps us on the leading edge of technology in order to meet the demand. Delivery times are currently around 2 weeks for the standard package. As always, we continue to maintain a very high standard of quality.
May 7, 2005 - We really did it this time. We eliminated all manner of doubt regarding the feasibility of using the Heli-Chair to learn how to fly a real helicopter. We went to a flight school and did it. We convinced a flight instructor to give us full control right from the start. Our student pilot was in a stable hover doing pedal turns in a Robinson R22 Beta II literally 2 minutes after liftoff. Read more and see videos on the "training works" page. Heli-Chair.com website is now averaging about 30 Gigabytes of transfer per month with 130 to 200 page views per day! We are growing!
April 9, 2005 - First successful flight using the headmounted display as the means of piloting the aircraft. Using the headmounted display we were able to lift off into a hover and maneuver the helicopter. We have purposfully focused on this critical phase of flight to keep the project on track. Being able to takeoff and land the aircraft by means of the headmounted display (HMD) is critical to the project's success. We do not use a safety pilot for takeoff and landing.
March 10, 2005 - With the deployment of our split screen video on the internet, we have experienced an explosion in web traffic. The first 7 days of March bring over 25 Gigabytes of bandwidth usage. Our first Heli-Chair logo merchandise is now available to customers, T-shirts can be purchased for $14 each plus actual shipping charges depending on your location. New customers will receive a T-Shirt with the purchase of a Heli-Chair. Researchers working on the remote immersive cockpit have successfully gathered together the technology required to put you INSIDE the helicopter. While expensive, this project will expand the envelope for Heli-Chair. If you are interested in the technology, please contact us to learn how you can help us fund its development.
March 1, 2005 - Our more common website name "learntohover.com" is published in our first magazine advertisement along with short mention in the "discussion session" in Experimental Helo magazine, a publication dedicated to advancement of experimental and homebuilt helicopters. You can see images of that advertisement here.
February 27, 2005 - Our on-line flight school is open! We only have one 'class' open right now but we will expand this in the future. If you want to learn about what makes a helicopter fly or how to fly a helicopter, this is the place to go.
February 23, 2005 - New aerial images and videos are located in our image and video vault. You can go to the aerial imaging start page to read more, view pictures and download videos.
February 17, 2005 -We are updating our product offering to include the first of our do-it-yourself kits. This kit helps you with the electronic end of things. Read more about it on the plans and kits page! (temporarily discontinued, August 2005)
February 1, 2005 - Thanks to every visitor to our website! Since June of 2004, over 10,000 unique page views of Heli-Chair.com have been recorded. We will continue to update our website with new content including images and video. At present, our research team has been collaborating with other companies in an effort to accelerate the pilot vision project. We are expecting the prototype head tracking system to be completed by April. The first flight relying completely on the video downlink will be conducted in May. We have a revolutionary system for image stabilization in the works that will really put you in the cockpit.
January 01, 2005 - Heli-Chair is now offering their expertise to interested think-tanks and research groups who would like to get a jump start with their remotely piloted aircraft projects. Please get in touch with us if you are interested. In addition, our product offerings are expanding continuously. We are hoping to offer an electrical kit for the do-it-yourselfers very soon. The kit will include all electrical components, supplies, tools and instructions for you to interface your own flight console with a modified radio transmitter (It will be up to you to construct a mechanical frame with the controls). Later in 2005, we hope to have kits that include the Heli-Chair flight console mechanics so that only some welding and basic machine shop workis required for completion.
November 03, 2004 - Heli-Chair is testing a new navigational menu-bar. Please help us by giving feedback if you enjoy the new layout or if you have difficulties getting it to load. Please note that the menu will not appear until the page finishes loading, however if you hit the stop button, page loading will cease and the menu will appear.
October 01, 2004 - We successfully conducted the preliminary testing of our pilot-vision concept. We are in the first stages of solving video quality problems and ready to quickly advance into flying using the first person view camera setup. Read more about this application here.