Robinson now offers air conditioning in the R44 Raven II. Each seat is equipped with an individual overhead vent providing a total airflow of 250 cubic feet per minute. The 33-pound system, mounted on the aft cabin bulkhead and thus preserving all four baggage compartments, uses the latest automotive refrigerant and has a cooling capacity of 12,000 BTU per hour.
During operation, the system uses approximately three horsepower and is controlled by a toggle switch with off, low and high fan settings. The compressor is engaged when the fan is switched on and, to ensure maximum aircraft performance, automatically disengages when the engine is near full throttle.
Robinson has spent two years on the design. While the system is relatively light, the added weight is still a factor to be considered. The goal is to provide relief in areas where the climate is hot and, without air conditioning, would seriously limit the use of the helicopter.
The system costs $18,000 and will be sold as an option on the R44 Raven II only.