Some Parts Sold To Spruce; Gyros Remain in Limbo
When Ken Brock (right)
died in a freak Thorp T-18 accident on October 19, 2001 -- the
tailwheel failed, and the plane groundlooped and overturned,
breaking his neck -- there were long odds against the survival of
his company. Sometimes you beat the odds, but sometimes the odds
beat you, and the Ken Brock Manufacturing Company of Stanton,
California closed its doors at the end of 2005, after a would-be
buyer backed out at the last minute.
Marie Brock, who survived the 2001 crash, has attempted to sell
off the lines of business that were of greatest interest to the
aviation community, with mixed results.
Ken Brock Manufacturing may have been best known for its
high-quality gyroplane kits. Ken was known to airshow-goers as the
guy who did the gyro demonstration -- Ken's black gyro was always a
welcome sight at airshows. His company offered two gyros, the KB-2
(below), which was very similar to a Bensen, and the more powerful
Due to the high thrustline of the KB-3, and the large numbers of
options for those seeking an open-frame, Bensen-inspired gyro like
the KB-2, Mrs Brock has been unable to sell this line of business
at this time. Much of the parts inventory has been sold.
Brock manufacturing also made a wide range of metal components,
controls and fittings for experimental aircraft, especially canards
like the Long-EZ and Cozy. With no new Long-EZ construction
starting, the Cozy parts were the most active line of business, and
that has been acquired by Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co.,
including "all existing inventory, tooling, and drawings for the
prefabricated metal parts used in construction of the popular Cozy
Mark IV aircraft." Brock had made the Cozy parts as an outgrowth of
its other canard-parts business for thirty years.
"As the owner of the design rights for the Cozy Mark IV and the
source for plans and kits, Aircraft Spruce wanted to insure that
builders would continue to have a source for the former Brock
parts, and now has the existing inventory in stock. There was no
remaining inventory of some of the parts, but these parts will be
available as soon as new production sources are established,"
Aircraft Spruce posted on its website.
The Ken Brock Manufacturing website remains up, showing no signs
of the closure of the company, but it's definitely closed, despite
the "undead" website. Should any reader have an interest in the
gyro business, drop us a line and we'll try to put you in touch
with the principals in the case.