|R66 prototype in 2009|
|Role||Light utility and trainer helicopter|
|Manufacturer||Robinson Helicopter Company|
|Designer||Frank D. Robinson|
|First flight||7 November 2007|
|Number built||More than 500 (2014)|
|Developed from||Robinson R44|
The Robinson R66 is a turbine-powered helicopter designed and built by the Robinson Helicopter Company. It has five seats and a separate cargo compartment and is powered by a Rolls-Royce RR300 turboshaft. The R66 is slightly faster and smoother than the Robinson R44 from which it is derived. The R66 received both type and production certificates from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on October 25, 2010. Deliveries started in November 2010.
Announced in 2007, the R66 was designed to be the company's first turbine-powered product and to extend its product range to compete with larger helicopters manufactured by Bell Helicopter and Eurocopter. Most of the R66 design is based on the earlier piston-engine R44.
After flight-testing two prototypes and the new engine, the aircraft was submitted to the FAA for certification; the type certificate was awarded on 25 October 2010.
Robinson Helicopter Company started taking orders for the R66 in February 2010. It went into preliminary production in 2010, and full production in 2011. The two-seat R22 and four seat-R44 continued in production.
A four seat police version of the R66 has entered production with a forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera system, searchlight and external public address (PA) system as standard equipment. Robinson is also seeking certification for a cargo hook and floats for the R66.
In 2012, Robinson delivered 191 R66 while Robinson's competitors in the light single turbine sector delivered only 40 units between them. About 70 percent of the R66 production is exported.
The R66 is a single-engined helicopter with a two-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor, and a skid landing gear. The R66 is constructed from advanced composites, aluminum alloy sheet and chromoly steel. Like the R44, the R66 has both electromechanical instruments as well as the more modern digital glass cockpit.
The R66 is the first Robinson helicopter with a cargo hold; the hold carries up to 300 pounds (140 kg).
The RR300 engine is more compact and lighter than the Lycoming O-540 six-cylinder piston engine that powers the R44—the R66 has a lower empty weight than the R44. The RR300 is cheaper to buy, and has a simplified single-stage centrifugal compressor that is expected to result in lower maintenance costs.
The aircraft is operated by private individuals and companies.
A Robinson R66 Helicopter is being used in Colombia as a pediatric air ambulance.
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 4 passengers
- Length: 459 in (11.66 m)
- Rotor diameter: 396 in (10.06 m)
- Height: 137 in (3.48 m)
- Empty weight: 1,280 lb (581 kg)
- Loaded weight: 2,700 lb (1,225 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce RR300 turboshaft, 300 hp (223 kW)
- Maximum speed: 140 kn (161 mph, 259 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 120 kn (138 mph, 222 km/h)
- Range: 325 nm (375 miles, 601 km)
- Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4267 m)
- Rate of climb: 1000 fpm (304 m/min)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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- "r66-being-used-in-ems-role-in-colombia/". helihub. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
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