Kurt Robinson was generally upbeat about the prospects for his family’s iconic helicopter company, Robinson Helicopter, during a press conference yesterday at Heli-Expo. Last year, the company delivered its 11,000th helicopter and it will soon deliver its 500th R66 single-engine turbine ship. Production currently stands at two to three R66s, five R44s and one R22 per week.
And that is before the company announced its optional new line of glass-panel avionics offerings earlier this month for all its helicopters. The new avionics feature Aspen and Garmin equipment, as well as the addition of a new electrical system, avionics master switch and full throttle caution light. Robinson called the availability of Garmin 600 and 700 series touchscreen GPS units in his helicopters a “great step forward” for pilot situational awareness and convenience.
Robinson said the company continues to expand its worldwide service network, from 433 authorized facilities last year to 461 so far in 2014. Meanwhile, the number of R66 approved service centers has grown to 98 and is expected to expand further this year. The company is also currently working on certifying float and cargo hook options for the R66.