On April 23, 2021, Robinson Helicopter delivered its 13,000 helicopter, R44 S/N 14438 to long-time Robinson dealer SKY Helicopters of Dallas, Texas.
S/N 14438 shows off a brand-new paint scheme and is equipped with the latest in R44 options; a Lithium-ion battery, heated seats, and a 4K cockpit video camera. The aircraft also includes a well-configured glass panel featuring Garmin’s 700L TXi, GTN 650Xi navigator, and a Genesys HeliSAS Autopilot.
SKY president Ken Pyatt wanted a new generation R44 to round out the company’s fleet. “We purchased this R44 for our Part 135 air taxi and tour operations,” said Pyatt, “because we needed a safe and reliable helicopter that can fly all day, every day.” A dealer since 1996, this latest acquisition puts SKY’s Robinson fleet at 27.
Robinson Helicopter Company has come a long way since 1979 when its first 2-place R22 was delivered. Fast forward 42 years, today’s Robinsons are offered in a multitude of sizes and configurations. Whether it is an R22, R44 or R66, Robinson helicopters continue to set the standard for reliability and remain the most cost-effective helicopter on the market.
The company was founded in 1973 by Frank Robinson, a former employee of Bell Helicopter and Hughes Helicopters. Since delivering its first helicopter in 1979, Robinson Helicopter has produced over 13,000 aircraft.
Plans for production of the Robinson R66 were announced in March 2007. It is a five-seat helicopter of similar configuration to the R44, but with the addition of a luggage compartment, wider cabin (by 8 inches), and powered by a Rolls-Royce RR300 gas turbine engine.
In 2013, Robinson was the global market leader, selling 523 light helicopters, a 1% increase from 2012. However, the production in 2014 was 329 aircraft. In 2015, Robinson produces one R22, 4-5 R44 and 1-2 R66 per week, and has contracted with Rolls Royce to supply 100 RR300 turbines per year for 10 years for the R66. The factory can produce up to 1,000 helicopters per year.