SOURCE: Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc.

July 14, 2005 07:00 ET

Groen Brothers Aviation Joins the Georgia Institute of Technology Team in a Joint Heavy Lift Proposal (JHL) for the US Army

ATLANTA, GA and SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 14, 2005 -- The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, a top five U.S. graduate engineering research university, with the top public aerospace engineering program in the country, including a world renowned rotary wing technology program, and Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc. (OTC BB: GNBA), Salt Lake City, the world's leading autorotative flight technology company, announced jointly today that they have formed a team, led by Georgia Tech, that includes Shafer Corporation, one of this nation's most capable systems engineering and integration technology firms, and Dancila LLC., developer of important new piezoelectric, flow control, and "smart-material" technology. This "Best Value Team" has developed and presented a proposal to the United States Army for the US Military's Joint Heavy Lift vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft Concept Design Analysis (CDA) competition. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (stock symbol "LMT") and Rolls-Royce Gas-Turbine Engines (stock symbol "RYCEY") have both indicated a willingness to support this team if granted one of the CDA awards. It is anticipated that up to five teams will be selected and funded to proceed with CDA development.

The Georgia Tech Team proposal is based upon the "gyrodyne" concept long espoused by Groen Brothers Aviation and extensively researched by Georgia Tech. A gyrodyne is similar in appearance to a helicopter and like a helicopter is capable of hovering and VTOL. Unlike a helicopter, however, a gyrodyne's rotor is driven for hover, takeoff and landing, by tip-jets at the end of its rotor blades, not by the main engines, thereby eliminating the need for the cost, weight, and complexities of a main transmission, tail rotor, and tail rotor drive system typical of helicopters. The tip-jet approach substantially reduces the aircraft empty weight, compared to a similar helicopter thus increasing payload and range, critical requirements in the JHL competition. Furthermore, the tip-jets are only used briefly in the takeoff and landing phases being turned off in cruise flight when the aircraft flies in autorotation as a non-powered rotor gyroplane (technology Groen Brothers has specialized in for nearly two decades). In this mode, the aircraft is capable of substantially higher speeds than any conventional helicopter, also a critical JHL requirement.

"As the Groen Brothers have been articulating for years, the gyrodyne is a very cost effective, high performance, and safe VTOL aircraft -- technology that should have had its own evolution into the modern age. With advances in turbine engine and rotor technology applied to the gyrodyne concept, it now can," said Dr. Daniel P. Schrage, Professor and Director, Center of Excellence in Rotorcraft Technology (CERT), and Director, Center for Aerospace Systems Analysis, School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. "It is only right and proper that it should be considered for heavy lift, as it scales up favorably with gross weight while most other rotary wing concepts do not. We are at the right time, the right place in history, and we have the right team to make it happen."

"This powerful team is capable of creating an aircraft that the US Military has been dreaming of for many years: a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft able to carry the Future Combat System loads at high speed and long range without the need of runways, and, most importantly, is affordable!" said David Groen, President & CEO of Groen Brothers Aviation. "No other design that can meet these mission requirements will come close to this design in affordability -- of development cost, production cost, operating cost, and life cycle cost. No other design can compare in reliability and therefore mission readiness, to the elegant simplicity of autorotative flight."

In its proposal the Team intends to use a Lockheed C130 Hercules as its test vehicle, fitted with a tip-jet powered rotor designed by the Team. The use of the fully developed C-130 as the base aircraft will add meaningfully to the affordability and the timeliness of the development project. The Team is therefore particularly pleased that it has been formally advised by Lockheed that if and when it is successful in its bid, Lockheed will be pleased to support the Team's effort. Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer of the engines in the C-130J will also be available to provide technical support to the team as needed.

Professor Daniel Schrage, a former Army aviator with combat command experience in the Vietnam War, is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Prior to coming to Georgia Tech in 1984 to lead the Georgia Tech Center of Excellence in Rotorcraft Technology (CERT), Dr. Schrage was an engineer, manager and senior executive with the U.S. Army Aviation Systems Command (AVSCOM). In these positions he was involved in the design, development and airworthiness qualification of all the Army's current combat aviation systems, including the UH-60 Black Hawk, the AH-64 Apache, the CH-47 Chinook, and the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. As the Director of Advanced Systems for AVSCOM he oversaw Army Aviation's Science and Technology Program and lead the concept development for the LHX, which lead to the development of the RAH-66 Comanche.

Schafer Corporation has spent more than thirty years developing a reputation for quality and integrity while providing important support to aerospace industry's innovations for the future. Dr. William Marx, the Schafer JHL Best Value Team Program Manager, leads a motivated, talented, and creative staff who are in large measure responsible for developing Shafer's outstanding technical capabilities in the area of systems engineering and integration.

Professor Stefan Dancila has developed technology that may be a key to creating tip-jet performance enhancements beyond anything ever before contemplated. Dr. Dancila will also be providing important scientific support in this program's use of composite "smart materials." In addition, his innovative approaches to flow control will also be considered for incorporation.

This technology also directly translates to any size commuter airline aircraft. Commuter airliners now account for 40% of all commercial airport landing slots. Most commercial airports in this country are operating in excess of design capacity -- now a greater number of daily movements than even before 9/11. Growth in demand on these landing slots is accelerating because the population is getting larger and the percent of the population that flies is also getting larger. And, the percent of landing slots being used by small commuter airliners is growing, which instead of increasing passenger through-put, actually decreases through-put. This reduces the average number of passengers per landing slot at a time when the world's airports are nearly desperate for the ability to increase those numbers.

Safe and affordable commuter airliners that do not need runways will have a dramatic impact on freeing up these limited landing slots for larger and more profitable airliners. This will significantly increase passenger through-put and delay the need to build enormously expensive new airports and new runways. City center to city center operations of these VTOL airliners can further relieve pressure on this nation's overcrowded airports.

"The successful development of this technology will have an impact on the world's transportation system that will be unlike anything seen since the advent of the Jet Age," said David Groen, GBA's President & CEO.

Safe Harbor Statement/Forward-Looking Information Disclaimer

Certain statements in this news release by Groen Brothers Aviation are forward looking within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking information is subject to risk and uncertainty. Certain statements in this Press Release may contain forward-looking information that involves risk and uncertainty, including but not limited to projections for deliveries, sales, and other trend projections, including receiving US Government research grants. Actual future results and trends may differ materially depending on a variety of factors, including the Company's successful execution of internal performance plans; product performance; risks associated with regulatory certifications of the Company's commercial aircraft by U.S. and foreign governments; government bid uncertainty; other regulatory uncertainties; collective bargaining labor disputes; performance issues with key suppliers and subcontractors; governmental export and import policies; and the ability to adequately finance operations including meeting its debt obligations, to the date of FAA certification, manufacturing, and delivery of products.

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