The two-seat Robinson R22 was FAA certified in 1979 and the first R22 was delivered that same year. The resilient, hardworking R22 proved to be a popular utilitarian helicopter. Over 4700 units have been delivered since its inception. In the late ‘80s, the company developed the four-seat R44 which was FAA certified in 1992. The R44 (later designated the R44 Raven I) uses Lycoming’s O-540 engine and was designed to fill a void in the helicopter market between piston and light turbine helicopters. Ten years later, in 2002, Robinson introduced a more powerful version R44, the R44 Raven II, equipped with Lycoming’s IO-540 fuel injected engine and 28-volt electrical system. The IO-540 engine was designed by Lycoming in cooperation with Robinson. The fuel injected engine enhances the R44’s ability to perform at higher altitudes and hot temperatures. Sales of the R44 soon surpassed the R22. As of August 2016, over 6,440 R44s had been delivered. Robinson entered the turbine market with the 5-place R66, which was FAA certified in October 2010. Powered by the Rolls-Royce RR300 turbine engine, the concept for the R66 is the same that launched the R22 and the R44: a helicopter designed to perform as well or better than its competitors, but for less money. The R66 was certified to the current amendment of the federal regulations, including the latest crashworthiness standards. As of August 2016, over 700 R66’s had been delivered. The most recent addition to the Robinson line is the R44 Cadet. FAA certified in May 2016, the Cadet is a two-place utilitarian R44 designed for the training market.
Today, Robinson’s top sellers are its R44 and R66 helicopters. Both models are offered in a variety of configurations including float, Police and ENG (Electric News gathering) versions. Robinson Helicopter continues to make improvements and offer new technology for all of its models. Recently the company expanded its options list to include glass avionics and an autopilot designed specifically for helicopters.
Robinson places great emphasis on safety, conducting monthly safety courses for helicopter flight instructors and maintenance courses for technicians. Robinson is also member of the International Helicopter Safety Team.
Robinson manufactures, assembles, inspects and flight tests all of its helicopters at its 617,000 sq foot factory in Torrance. The factory is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery; including computer numerically controlled machining centers and coordinate measuring machines. To maximize efficiency a large percentage of parts are manufactured in-house allowing the company to control costs, eliminate delays and ensure the best possible quality. To date, the company has produced over 11,900 helicopters. In addition to new production, Robinson offers a factory overhaul program for older aircraft. A worldwide network of more than 400 Service Centers and Dealers provide service and support.
Robinson Helicopter Company employs approximately 1,100 people.
- Frank Robinson, Chairman Emeritus
- Kurt Robinson, President and Chairman
- Wayne Walden, Vice President of Production
- Peter Riedl, Vice President of Engineering
- Tim Goetz, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Attorney
- Terry Hane, Director of Sales and Marketing