Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. 9840) recently delivered its 100th R66 single-engine turbine helicopter to long-time customer and South African-dealer National Airways Corp. Just 14 months after receiving FAA certification, Robinson has received 380 orders for the five passenger Rolls-Royce RR300-powered R66, 70 percent of those from the export market.
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.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is about to get its first-ever rotorcraft manufacturer, with local company Quest Helicopters unveiling a completely new design on today at 1:15 p.m. on the Dubai Air Show’s static display.
Robinson R66, Philip, S.D., Oct. 1, 2011–The light helicopter was destroyed and its owner/pilot was killed when the aircraft crashed in a pasture following an apparent in-flight breakup, according to the NTSB. The debris from the accident was spread over 15 acres and the main rotor was found approximately 500 feet from the fuselage wreckage. The flight had originated in Gillette, Wyo.
After a lackluster 2010, Robinson Helicopter is back on a healthier track, according to CEO Kurt Robinson. The Torrance, Calif.-based builder of single-engine helicopters recently hired 150 employees, bringing its workforce to 1,100, and increased production to some 10 helicopters per week.
A New Zealand company plans to build an all-composite, six-seat turbine single for less than the price of a new Robinson R66.
Engine maker Rolls-Royce released its annual turbine helicopter sales forecast at Heli-Expo 2011. The company predicts 16,900 new turbine helicopters will be delivered between now and 2020 with a value of $140 billion.
The obvious difference between the piston-powered R44 and the turbine-powered R66 is the engine, but there are other features that make the R66 an entirely new machine, even though there's no mistaking that it is a product of Robinson Helicopter.
Following a watershed year that marked the retirement of company founder Frank Robinson, the certification and first deliveries of its new R66 turbine single and its worst sales numbers since 1987, Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. 2928) is positioning itself for strengthening sales and new product development.
Uniflight (Booth No. 2654) is developing a supplemental type certificate (STC) to install the 475-shp Rolls-Royce RR500 in the Bell 206. The $599,000 (2011 dollars, less engine core credit) STC includes the RR500 engine, new engine cowling and exhaust, Donaldson inlet-barrier filter and diffuser-vent filter and a Sagem eight-inch multifunction display for engine instruments.