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Fri, Feb 14, 2003

Groen Brothers Announces Kit Market Entry

Two-Place Gyroplane in a Box Coming Soon

Groen Brothers Aviation has formed American Autogyro Incorporated (AAI), a new and wholly owned subsidiary, established to produce gyroplanes for the kit-built and upcoming new FAA "Light Sport Aircraft" category markets. AAI's new two-place "Sparrow Hawk" gyroplane is also being marketed as an excellent entry-level air surveillance vehicle for many law enforcement agencies.

In addition to GBA's turbine-powered Homeland Defender™ Hawk 4 Gyroplane (recently flown by ANN's Jim Campbell, who notes that Groen "has really done their homework"), Groen Brothers' existing network of 12 North American dealers, and 3 international dealers, are now permitted to offer the new AAI gyroplanes as well.

American Autogyro has already begun accepting fully paid orders for its Stability Augmentation Kit (pictured here). This kit, highlighted in ANN last Fall, was designed to dramatically improve in-flight stability and safety for the RAF 2000, the most popular competing kit gyroplane in that market. AAI is developing additional safety and performance enhancements for this and other kit gyroplanes and has also begun receiving paid orders for these components. AAI and GBA are committed to ensuring that the gyroplane remains the safest form of flight.

Jim Mayfield, AAI's new President, said, "The sport and kit-built aviation markets have never before been offered a gyroplane produced by a professional aerospace manufacturing firm. Because of the aerospace quality standards that we have been operating under for so long in the development of the Hawk 4 Gyroplane, AAI's aircraft will be designed, engineered and tested to standards that are typical only of production aircraft.

"AAI has at its disposal a highly skilled team of structural engineers, designers, stress analysts, aerodynamic and rotordynamic engineers, manufacturing engineers, tooling engineers, and a metallurgist. Our team also consists of aircraft technicians, machinists, tool setters, pilots, flight instructors, an examiner, and of course, the people necessary to maintain our corporate infrastructure.

"In addition, we have available all of the necessary flight stability and loads data measuring and collection equipment along with sophisticated 3D modeling and finite element analysis capabilities, so that our gyroplanes can be safe, dynamically stable, easy to build and fun to fly."

AAI will produce, market and sell gyroplane kits and their ancillary options and supporting parts. AAI will also operate builder assist centers and flight training centers, as well as produce a large variety of safety upgrade kits and components for existing gyroplane designs.

First deliveries of the Stability Augmentation Kits are expected to begin by the end of February. First deliveries of AAI's complete gyroplane kits are expected to begin before the end of summer 2003.

David Groen, President & CEO of GBA, said, "It is clear that GBA, through its wholly owned subsidiary American Autogyro Incorporated, in relatively short order can effectively and profitably enter the small gyroplane market. Because of the reputation of Groen Brothers Aviation and its in-house expertise, American Autogyro can play a dominant role in the existing gyroplane market and can dramatically expand that market.

"AAI's design also opens new and potentially much larger markets for fully assembled two place gyroplanes to both U.S. and international government agencies for whom it can offer unequaled low-cost aerial observation capabilities. The FAA's upcoming Sport Aircraft category, which is expected to be a huge market, can also be effectively serviced with a production version of this new AAI design."

FMI: www.gbagyros.com

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