Robinson Helicopter Company was founded in 1973 by Frank Robinson, whose vision was to produce the world’s highest quality, most reliable helicopters in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible.
Robinson introduced its first helicopter, the 2-place piston powered R22 in 1979. The R22’s simple design, easy maintenance and low acquisition cost made it popular among private owners and flight schools.
As costs became less of a barrier, more people learned to fly and the demand for small, affordable helicopters increased. In 1992, following the same design philosophy as the R22 but with Lycoming’s larger, more powerful O-540 engine, Robinson introduced the 4-place R44 (later designated the R44 Raven I).
R44 Raven I
Ten years later the R44 Raven II was announced, the same as the original R44 but equipped with Lycoming’s IO-540 fuel-injected engine and 28-volt electrical system. Designed by Lycoming, in cooperation with Robinson, the IO-540 enhanced the R44’s ability to perform at high altitudes and in hot temperatures. The Raven II appealed to a broader market and by 2003 R44 sales had doubled R22 sales.
R44 Raven II
During that same time period, Robinson began contemplating ideas for a turbine-powered helicopter. In 2005, an agreement was reached with Rolls Royce to develop the RR300 turbine engine, a derivative of the RR250 series. With the engine in place, development of a 5-place turbine helicopter, the R66 Turbine, moved into high gear. The R66 was FAA certified in 2010 to the current amendment of the federal regulations, including the latest crashworthiness standards.
Today, the company’s top sellers are its R44 and R66 helicopters, respectively. Both models are offered in a variety of configurations including float, news and police versions. The most recent addition to Robinson’s line is the R44 Cadet, a two-place R44 specifically designed for the training market.
Research and development is of significant importance to Robinson with company continually making improvements and offering new technology. Among its latest offerings are glass avionics and an autopilot designed specifically for helicopters.
Robinson places great emphasis on safety, conducting monthly safety courses for helicopter flight instructors and maintenance courses for technicians. Robinson is also member of the International Helicopter Safety Team.
The company manufactures, assembles, inspects and flight tests all of its helicopters at its Torrance, California factory. To ensure the highest quality and maximize efficiency, Robinson manufactures a large percentage of parts in house and employs a highly skilled workforce. In addition to new production, Robinson offers a factory overhaul program for older aircraft. A worldwide network of more than 400 Service Centres and Dealers provide service and support.
To date, Robinson Helicopter Company has delivered over 12,000 helicopters worldwide.
The five-seat R66 Turbine helicopter is reliable, economical and easy to maintain. R66s have a two-bladed rotor system, T-bar cyclic and the latest in Robinson technology including streamlined instrument panels, energy absorbing seats and crashworthy bladder fuel tanks. What distinguishes the R66 is a spacious 300 lb capacity baggage compartment and the Rolls Royce RR300 turboshaft engine. The RR300 engine operates on readily available Jet A fuel and offers increased reserve power, additional payload and improved altitude performance. Hydraulic controls eliminate feedback forces and provide responsive handling.
Outfitted with pop-out floats, the R66 Turbine Marine offers an additional level of safety for over-water travel. Designed for emergencies, the six-chamber floats inflate within 2-3 seconds of activation. The installation adds approximately 65 pounds to the helicopter’s empty weight. When not in use, floats roll-up and stow in protective covers along the aircraft’s landing skids. The streamlined, low profile design minimizes drag and allows for easy entry and exit of the cabin.
R44 Raven II
Four-seat Robinson R44 Raven II and Clipper II helicopters are high performing, reliable and easy to maintain. R44s have a two-bladed rotor system, T-bar cyclic and the latest in Robinson technology including streamlined instrument panels and crashworthy bladder fuel tanks.
The R44’s aerodynamic fuselage optimizes airspeed and fuel economy. Hydraulic controls eliminate feedback forces and provide responsive handling. A low tail-rotor tip speed, newly designed muffler and large cambered tail reduce flyover noise.
Raven II and Clipper II helicopters are powered by Lycoming’s IO-540 fuel injected engine. The IO-540 delivers better altitude performance, increased payload and eliminates the need for carburettor heat.
R22 Beta II
The two-seat R22 Beta II helicopter is a proven workhorse that has delivered exceptional performance in a variety of applications for over thirty years. The R22 has a two-bladed rotor system, T-bar cyclic and the latest in Robinson technology including crashworthy bladder fuel tanks.
A powder-coated steel tube structure provides a light yet rigid airframe while the aircraft’s aerodynamic fuselage optimizes airspeed and fuel economy. The R22 is powered by Lycoming’s proven O-360 engine that is derated to provide reserve power and better performance at high altitudes and in hot weather.
The Robinson’s R22 officially turns 40-years-old on March 16th. In celebration, at this year’s Heli Expo convention in Atlanta, Robinson will display a new R22 (S/N 4797, N40YR) painted in the same scheme and colours as the very first R22 (S/N 0001). While the exterior will pay tribute to the R22’s origins, the interior will showcase modern avionics including the Avidyne IFD 440 GPS/COM with built in Wi-Fi and Synthetic Vision. The aircraft is also equipped with a pilot-side accessory bar designed to support personal devices, e.g., iPhone or iPad.
40th Anniversary R22