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Robinson R66: A Popular Helicopter

by generalAviation
Robinson R66

The ever-popular Robinson R66 is a helicopter made by RHC or Robinson Helicopter Company. This helicopter has 5-seats, an individual cargo cubicle, and is run by an RR300 turboshaft engine. This is also a bit smoother and faster than the previous R44 model. The Robinson R66 helicopter has obtained both type and production permits from the United States Federal Aviation Administration on the 25th of October 2010.

However, this helicopter will do lots of the tasks the Bell 2068 does, however, for a lower price. Not like major manufacturers of helicopters in the world, Robinson has produced helicopters just for the national market- this is why they are very affordable. As mentioned above, it was powered by an RR300 engine from Rolls Royce, which is considered the latest engine based on the reliable and very powerful 250 series. It is installed at a thirty-seven-degree angle in the rear of the transmission deck, offering fast access for maintenance. This also generates 300-shaft HP and is also derated to 270HP for five minutes takeoff rating. It has 224HP for utmost continuous operation.

This plane was announced in the year 2007; state of the art Robinson R66 helicopter was made to be the first helicopter made by the company powered by the turbine and to prolong its range of products to compete with bigger helicopters made by the companies like Eurocopter and Bell Helicopter. Some of the Robinson R66 design is based on the previous piston engine R44.

The company began takings orders in 2010 February. It went into the first-round production in the year 2010, and in 2011 it became a full production. The current dual-seat R22 helicopter and 4-seat R44 helicopter continued in production. A 4-seat police type of the Robinson R66 has entered construction with a FLIR or forward-looking infrared camera system, external public address system, and searchlight as standard equipment.

In the year 2012, the company delivered 191 Robinson R66s while other companies in the light one turbine sector offered just forty units. Approximately 70% of the production of Robinson R66 is exported to different countries. In the year 2014, the rate of production slowed down to approximately two aircrafts a week for a total of 101 units.  The company made three units a week in 2015 and collaborated with Rolls Royce as the main supplier of their turbines which is 100 pieces a year for one decade.

Design

This one-engined helicopter comes with a dual-bladed main as well as tail rotors. This is also integrated with the fixed landing gear. This helicopter is made from modern and groundbreaking aluminum alloy sheets, composites as well as Chromoly steel. Like its predecessor, the R66 has optional digital cockpit glass as well as electromechanical instruments.

The Robinson R66 helicopter is the first helicopter of the company that has a cargo hold and carries 300lbs or 140kg.

The super-powerful RR300 Rolls Royce engine is compact as well as lighter compared to the Lycoming 0-540 6-cylinder piston engine, which runs the R44. This R66 is also a bit lighter than its predecessor. The engine has made one stage centrifugal compressor easier that makes it cheap and affordable. This also leads to lower costs in maintenance.

The super-powerful turbine has the capability to burns Jet-A fuel at 23 gallons per hour, opposed to 15 gallons of avgas an hour for the Lycoming O-540 engine. The company also presented a cargo book at the 2018 Heli Expo as optional equipment. The alteration increases the utmost gross weight of the aircraft from 2,700 pounds to 2,900 pounds. At this point, it is on hand in two types.

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