Robinson Helicopters celebrates the 40th anniversary of its founding this year by Frank Robinson on June 29, 1973. Today, it is the largest manufacturer of civil helicopters in North America. Its best selling helicopters started with the two-seat R22, which made its first flight on August 28, 1975. First delivery was in 1979, and has since produced over 4,500.
The Robinson four-seat R44 received FAA Certification in 1992. The four-seat R44 was designed to fill a void in the helicopter market between small two-to-three seat pistons and light turbine helicopters. First flight was March 31, 1990. Over 5,600 R44s have been delivered.
In 2010, the Robinson R66 Turbine received FAA certification. A five-place helicopter, the R66 Turbine is powered by the Rolls-Royce RR300 turbine engine, a derivative of the Rolls-Royce model 250 series. It first flew on November 7, 2007. Over 200 R66s have been delivered to date.
By Mike Hirschberg