It took Bryan Cobb three years to assemble this helicopter while working a full-time job. It is equipped with all factory updates and the PEP tuned exhaust (78 HP). The Mini-500 started life as a new-in-the-crate kit, purchased on eBay in February 2013. Another old barn-find Mini-500 was also purchased on eBay from which to cannibalize all of the mast support and other items. A second-hand Rotax 582 bluehead was purchased off of a flying airplane (Rans S-14). Bryan has been a Mini-500 enthusiast since the early 90's and flew one for 100 hours in the late 90's.
Changes made during this build are:
- 4 matched feathering bearings in each blade grip (cones).
- 2-piece tail rotor driveshaft with 2 Morflex elastomeric couplings.
- Weldon main gearbox oil pump with large oil cooler.
- Arrow brand ring and pinion in main gearbox.
- Tapered roller bearings on pinion (indirect mounting method) to carry thrust load.
- Aluminum engine coolant radiator.
- Graphite impregnated Garolite slider for T/R pitch control.
- Aerospace-grade Aurora SS teter bearings.
- Centrifugal clutch balanced to 12,000 RPM.
Airworthiness certificate was received on May 11, 2016. Bryan has flown N500WW almost 30 hours into Phase I, and several times up to 100 mph all the way to the edge of the imposed 25 nm radius test area. He plans to fly it from Cartersville, Georgia to Trenton, Florida sometime this year. The helicopter weighs 524 pounds and a max takeoff weight of 840 pounds. It holds 14.5 gallons of non-ethanol 90-octane fuel and burns about 6 gallons per hour with the current jets (158 mains 2.78 needles).