Robinson Helicopter's New Turbine, The R66
A newly certified five-place Rolls-Royce turbine powered helicopter is now available from Robinson, which hopes to fit the aircraft into the market between its own very popular piston R44 and more expensive light turbine helis. The turbine blends vastly improved high-altitude performance and load-carrying capabilities with a moderate increase in fuel burn.
The R66 burns about 22 gallons in the same hour its piston sibling burns closer to 15. As company president Kurt Robinson told AVweb Thursday, aside from the added capability and some nuances specific to turbine helicopter operation, "the aircraft actually handles very similar to an R44" ... it just does it with a 300-horsepower Rolls-Royce turbine.