Robinson Helicopter has delivered its 1000th R66 turbine helicopter, less than a decade after it was certified. An outgrowth of the piston-powered, four-seat R44, the R66 uses the Rolls-Royce RR300 turbine and Robinson’s trademark two-blade teetering rotor system. The RR300 is itself a derivative of the Allison 250 turbine, an engine that Robinson says has never had a reported in-flight failure in 1.2 million R66 flight hours. “This accomplishment demonstrates a level of reliability that exceeds EASA’s stringent requirements for single-engine helicopters. The R66 has also risen to the challenges of flying to the North Pole and circumnavigating the globe multiple times,” the company says.
“Delivering serial number 1000 demonstrates the R66 is the top performer and leader in its class,” said Robinson President Kurt Robinson. The 1000th R66 was delivered to Lee Gillespie of Garner Aviation in Peachtree City, Georgia. “Because the R66 can be configured to meet the needs of any pilot or helicopter flight department, it quickly became our number-one selling helicopter,” Gillespie said.
Robinson continues to be the volume leader in rotorcraft, with more than 10,000 of the two-place R22 and four-place R44 helicopters built since the smaller ship was introduced in 1979.