R66 Receives Simultaneous FAA Type, Production OK

 - October 26, 2010, 12:04 PM

The FAA handed over two certification documents to Robinson Helicopter founder Frank Robinson and his son and company president Kurt yesterday at a ceremony at the helicopter manufacturer’s Torrance, Calif. factory. Surrounded by three freshly finished Rolls-Royce RR300-powered R66s, FAA deputy Rotorcraft Directorate manager Mark Schilling handed over the R66’s type certificate, and then Kevin Hall, manager of the FAA’s local Aircraft Certification Office, presented the R66 production certificate to Frank Robinson. “Now I can produce them,” Robinson said, “and I can actually collect money for them.” The company has been working on the R66 for the past seven years, although engineering studies began earlier on an R55 that never made it off the drawing board. Robinson Helicopter selected long-time R22 and R44 dealer HeliStream, based at John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa, Calif., as the first delivery customer for the $770,000 (base price) R66. HeliStream plans to use its R66 for turbine transition training and charter. “This is truly a historic milestone,” said Kurt Robinson. “Finally ‘turbine engines’ and ‘Robinson Helicopter’ won’t be an oxymoron.”