Robinson Delivers 10,000th Helicopter
Robinson delivered its 10,000th helicopter last Friday. The milestone comes less than four years after the company delivered its 8,000th helicopter and 32 years after the first Robinson, a two-seat R22, was certified. Number 10,000–a four-seat R44 Raven II–was delivered to Audi Helicopters, one of two Robinson dealers in Brazil. Audi has been affiliated with Robinson for 25 years. Torrance, Calif.-based Robinson is currently building 10 helicopters per week and has orders for more than 300 of its new R66 turbine singles. Robinson saw its 2010 production slip to 162 helicopters, down from a record annual production of 893 in 2008. This year the company expects to produce more than twice as many helicopters as last year and it has already hired more than 100 new employees. Most Robinsons are exported, and the company is currently focusing on gaining foreign certifications and option approvals for the RR300-powered R66. It is also looking into various options for glass cockpits in its helicopters. An announcement on that could come next year, the company told AIN.