Robinson Helicopter Company is the world’s leading manufacturers of civilian helicopters. It boasts selling more than 13,000 helicopters today. Founded in 1973 by Frank Robinson, this family-owned business emphasizes quality, efficiency, reliability, and affordability.
Since 1979, when the first helicopter was delivered, they have been continually improving and offering the newest and the best technologies in avionics. In fact, Frank Robinson received the coveted Daniel Guggenheim Medal for his idea and design of affordable and reliable helicopters in 2013. In addition, due to his great work, Frank is a full member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Cierva lecturer, member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the American Helicopter Society.
R22 was delivered late in 1979 after certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Afterward, it became the world’s top-selling helicopter, with the most world records in its weight class regarding speed and the altitudes it could reach.
R22 was a simple helicopter. More precisely, it was a two-seater with only two blades, a single-engine, and a very low inertia rotor system. Therefore, it was commonly used for recreation, training purposes, and as a livestock management tool on large ranches in Australia and America.
In 1985, Robinson Helicopters introduced an upgraded R22 helicopter known as R22 beta. It incorporates a Lycoming O-360 four-cylinder, and a carburetor-equipped engine. It also features Rotor brakes that allow the pilot to quickly stop the rotors to reduce the shutdown time after landing. Furthermore, R22 Beta has LED anti-collision and navigation lights that make flying safer and easier.
R44 is a four-seater machine introduced in 1992 after FAA certification. It is the world’s best-selling civil helicopter since 1999. R44 was a significant upgrade from R22 as it has a two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor. This feature improved the yaw control authority, ensuring better stability and longitudinal acceleration when it is flown. Besides, it has a skid landing gear that makes landing easier and more comfortable.
R66 is a five-seater copter that was introduced in March 2007. It has similar configurations to R44, but with a wider cabin, luggage compartment. It’s also powered by a Rolls-Royce RR300 gas turbine engine.