Robinson Delivers 13,000th Helicopter


Robinson Helicopter Company announced on Tuesday that it has delivered its 13,000th helicopter. The aircraft, an R44, went to Robinson dealer SKY Helicopters in Dallas, Texas, for its Part 135 air taxi and tour operations. The helicopter will be the 27th Robinson model in SKY’s fleet.

“Robinson Helicopter Company has a come a long way since 1979 when its first 2-place R22 was delivered,” the company said. “Fast forward 42 years, today’s Robinsons are offered in a multitude of sizes and configurations. Whether it is an R22, R44 or R66, Robinson helicopters continue to set the standard for reliability and remain the most cost-effective helicopter on the market.”

Robinson Helicopter Company was founded in 1973 by Frank Robinson. It’s R22 prototype flew for the first time in 1975 and the model received its FAA type certificate in March 1979. Along with the two-seat R22 and four-seat R44 piston models, Robinson manufactures and five-seat R66 turbine helicopter. The company’s 10,000th helicopter was produced in 2011.

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. No mention of its abysmal safety record in the early years from crappy manufacturing quality control leading to main blade delaminations and inadequate dealer and training supervision and assistance leading to common concatenations where crew after crew found themselves in a low rpm “coffin corner” and died with insufficient HP and torque to power out of it….until FAA took notice and issued lifesaving corrective ADs, urged warning systems, and Robinson belatedly increased engine power and made RPM Governors standard instead of optional.
    The R22 had 182 fatal accidents between March 1979 and June 2010 from a total of 1230 incidents. In late 1981, the R22 had its type certificate temporarily revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration. Fatal R22 accidents per 100,000 flight hours peaked at 6.0 in 1982 vs industry standards closer to point five which they approach today. And now you know the REST of the story.
    Anyway, IMHO and with all due respect to their inventor Leonardo da Vinci, helicopters are inherently dangerous and unnatural. Have you ever seen a bird with its wings spinning around and around over its head? Me neither. At best, a helicopter is thousands of individual moving parts flying in loose formation. Avoid them except for very limited specific tasks they perform best. Like killing tourists in Hawaii and at the Grand Canyon.