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Company e-Newsletter - October 19, 2021

Skywheels Rotor Blades Are Back!

Customer deliveries begin

Following three years of work, Skywheels LLC President Joe Covelli is pleased to share customer deliveries have begun.  According to Joe, "Our first two customer orders have shipped from the factory, and we are now officially in the rotor blade business.  It has been a strong team effort getting Skywheels back into manufacturing and on the market again for new rotor sales".

The effort represents a culmination of work to bring back one of the best - if not the best - gyroplane rotors engineered to date.  Skywheels has had a loyal pilot following since 1985 when Founder Jim McCutchen first introduced them.  The high-inertia design favors performance, stability, predictability, and forgiveness.  They are designed to exceed Federal Aviation Administration Regulation Part 27 (requirements for normal category rotorcraft).

Flight Tests and Process Improvements

Two pilots familiar with Skywheels flight-tested the new rotors during the summer and fall of 2020.  "I've trained students on these blades for hundreds of hours over the years," CFI and Skywheels test pilot Greg Bradley said.  "Man, they nailed it.  These blades are a joy to fly."

Skywheels partnered with Blackhawk Aerospace in October 2019 to manufacturer the new rotors to the same high-quality standard as the original blades.  According to the two test pilots, the new rotors met and exceeded the flight performance characteristics of the original blades.

As the Blackhawk team reviewed its processes, it realized the improvements were due to manufacturing hardware and software advancements.  "The technology advancement that we see here is the precision and reproducibility of what's being made," said Bill Smrtic, Senior Manufacturing Engineering Tech at Blackhawk.

Rotor Spin Testing Upgrades To A Digital Platform

To adhere to Blackhawk's AS9100 aerospace quality control standards in having a means for documented testing, Skywheels and Blackhawk shared in the $40,000 investment to design and custom-make a new high-tech digital spin test platform.  Bill said, "The most high-tech part on the original blade spin-up machine was a 2-foot long piece of 1/8-inch diameter all-thread (rod) extending down from below the rotor head you watched for vibration."  The original test stand was built in the early 1980s and that's what they used at the time.  It worked well over the years since over 3,000 blade sets were spin tested that way with passing results and a strong reputation for quality and performance.

With the new spin-up platform, dynamic rotor testing is consistently done at 300 rpm and can go as high as 420 rpm.  The new rotors are optimally tracked and balanced to precision using mounted digital sensors and machine-learning computer software. Blackhawk has been working with the new equipment the past many months and seeing rotor spin-up numbers for various blade set lengths between .01 ips and .05 ips. For the rotor spin  test, .1 ips is acceptable, and anything less is outstanding.

"Following an eighteen-year pause in manufacturing, it's a privilege to offer Skywheels rotors again to the sport-flying gyroplane market", said Joe.

Picture insert, Joe Covelli, left, and Bill Smrtic.

Portions of this article were written from "Classic Concept Meets Modern Manufacturing", author Beth E. Stanton, EAA Sport Aviation Magazine, May 2021.

New rotor sets ready for immedaite shipment!

Sixteen new rotor blade sets are in inventory ready for immediate shipment.  Click below for our rotor selection guide.

Click To Check Inventory

The wait is over! Yes, Skywheels is back.

Order your new rotor blade set today!  All that's required to get started is a deposit of $250 USD.

Click To Pay $250 Deposit

Current Skywheels Rotor Blade Inventory & Pricing

The combination of two rotor blades and one center section comprises the "set" and determines the overall diameter length.  Contact us for assistance or to answer your questions. 

The below list represents products currently manufactured and in inventory ready for immediate shipment.  Rotor blades can be ordered in other diameter lengths, blade tip ends, and in red or white colors.  Please allow for an additional lead time.

Rotor Blades
11.0 Ft - Qty 2* (Red)
11.5 Ft - Qty 10* (Red)
12.0 Ft - Qty 12* (Red), Qty 2* (White), Qty 4** (Red)

*Square Blade Tip, **Swept Blade Tip

Center Sections
3 Ft - Qty 7 (Red), Qty 1 (White)
5 Ft - Qty 5 (Red)

Go Flying with Captain Ron Menzie

Common Pilot Mistakes

Join CFI and DPE Ron Menzie in his gyroplane flying video series dedicated to making better pilots.

In this video, Ron straps on the video camera to take us along to review common pilot mistakes.

Disclaimer:  The video series is not a substitute for actual in-flight instruction and training with a qualified and certified gyroplane flight instructor.

Click For Video "Common Pilot Mistakes"
Click To Review Captain Ron's Video Series

Employment Opportunity Just Posted

Business Development Manager

Air Command International and Skywheels Rotor Systems are looking to hire a part-time business development manager to our team with the opportunity to expand into full-time work based on productivity.

The work location is remote or from Morgantown, Kentucky.  The work schedule is flexible and would include hours during the day, evening, and some weekends. Some travel is required. Learning to pilot and safely provide flight demonstrations of the companies’ products is a requirement of employment.

We are committed to helping make aircraft ownership possible through our “Build, Train, Fly” program. To review the job description or apply, click here.

Rotax Stops Manufacturing 582 Engine

Parts supported for 10 years

BRP-Rotax announced that it will stop the production of the legendary 2-stroke Rotax 582 UL aircraft engine by end of 2021. This decision has been taken considering the nearly full transition of the light and ultralight aircraft market towards 4-stroke aircraft engines.

“The Rotax 582 UL engine is the last 2-stoke aircraft engine in series production and was definitely part of our company success in the past,” said Peter Oelsinger, General Manager BRP-Rotax / Member of the Management Board, Vice President Sales, Marketing RPS-Business & Communications. “The decision however reflects the market reality. Almost 100% of the customers demand 4- stroke aircraft engines; a demand that we can definitely fulfill with our range of innovative and high- quality 4-stroke aircraft engines,” he added.

The Rotax 582 UL will still be available via the Rotax authorized distribution network worldwide as long as the existing stock at the distributors lasts. Following its excellent service standards, the company and its network will continue to provide technical service for all existing Rotax 582 UL customers and aims to provide Rotax genuine spare parts availability up to 10 years after stop of production.

The 582 engine has been manufactured since 1989.

Clearance Items At Discounted Prices

Checkout our recently updated list of clearance items priced at significantly reduced prices offering you the best deals and opportunities.  Please contact us with any questions or to verify availability.

Click To Review All Clearance Items

Muffler for Rotax 582 Engine (used)



Fuel Seat Tank Cover, 5-Gallon



Partial Enclosure Single-Seat Gyroplane



Partial Enclosure Tandem Two-Seat Gyroplane


Click To Review All Clearance Items

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Air Command International, LLC

Build-To-Fly Gyroplanes

Skywheels, LLC

Safety and Performance Since 1985

Mail Address
PO Box 884
River Falls, WI 54022-0884 US

Phone and Text
+1 903-527-3335




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