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Robinson R22- Worst Fear or Fascinating Invention?

by generalAviation
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The Robinson R22 is one of the best helicopters in the market. Frank Robinson created a whole new helicopter market that raised the bar for all other helicopters in the world. The Robinson helicopter is safe, reliable, and does not cost too much. It is great for someone who wants to pilot a helicopter for recreational purposes as well as for someone who wants helicopter ownership. 

Moreover, due to the increasing number of pilots rapidly retiring, the Robinson helicopter is being used to meet the law enforcement pilot demands and the increasing emergency medical services. Of course, since military pilots have not been able to keep up, the demand for the R22 is increasing.

Features Robinson R22 helicopter

The Robinson R22 is a light, two-seated helicopter with one reciprocating-engine, along with a dual-bladed tail rotor. This helicopter was designed in 1973, and by 1979, it was widely produced by Robinson Helicopter Company. This helicopter is used for flight training, traffic reporting, police missions, agricultural spraying, as well as pipeline patrol flights. 

Since the R22 only weighs 1,300 pounds, it is known as a lightweight, low inertia helicopter. However, it does not feel small when flying because of how sturdy it is. 

Initially, the R22 drew power from a 150-horsepower Lycoming O-320 engine. As compared to other piston helicopters that were famous, the Robinson helicopter has a loafing engine while being used on full power. However, by 1981, loads of changes had been made to the R22. For one, the horsepower had been increased to 160, allowing greater performance in the air. Moreover, the main rotor tips were added to aid rotor inertia. 

Cons

The Robinson helicopter can feel tricky, even if you think you have learned to function it. Since it used to have a light inertia rotor system, the recognition time is extremely vital, especially during an engine failure that calls for autorotation. If the helicopter is not brought to autorotation in time, accidents may occur. However, once autorotation is achieved, the R22 does a good job at stabilizing itself. While Robinson is a great helicopter, it needs to be paid special attention to when flying to avoid any mishaps.

 If you shift your attention for a mere second, getting the helicopter in autorotation may prove difficult, and if the rotor RPM falls below 75 percent, you could be in serious danger. Hence, maintaining RPM and airspeed is of utmost importance. Always try to keep stored energy in altitude as the constant low operation will increase the risk of failure. In case of a rapid rollover rate, the helicopter can prove to be dangerous. Hence, when practicing, remember to hover and perform ground maneuver exercises. 

Despite some problems that the Robinson R22 may face, it is still a wonderful helicopter. However, attention must be paid to the rate of engine failure and the accidents that have occurred as a result of it. 

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