Night Vision Goggle-Compatible R66 Configuration Approved


Robinson Helicopter Company announced on Wednesday that it has received FAA certification for a night vision goggle (NVG)-compatible cockpit configuration for its R66 Police helicopter. An R66 owned by the Florida Polk County Sheriff Office’s (PCSO) served as the certification test bed for the configuration. The aircraft is the second of two R66s operated by PCSO, which is expecting the delivery of a third, also NVG-compatible, in January 2023.

“The PCSO air support flies on average 1,100 hours each year,” Robinson said. “Centrally located between Orlando and Tampa, the PSCO provides air support for every law enforcement agency in its 2,000 square mile county as well as surrounding counties. Much of the terrain consists of lakes and flatlands with little to no illumination at night making NVG goggles essential.”

Robinson noted that the R66’s interior and exterior lighting, instruments and avionics were evaluated for NVG compatibility, allowing it to be certified for operation day or night and with or without using NVGs. Powered by the Rolls-Royce RR300 turbine engine, the four-seat police version of the R66 single-engine utility helicopter offers a top cruise speed of 110 knots, service ceiling of 14,000 feet and time on station of up to three hours. As previously reported by AVweb, Robinson delivered its 1000th R66 in 2020.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Great story, as a follow up it would be interesting to know how they adapted the NVG to interact with the interior lighting/avionics.