Robinson R66

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R66
Robinson R66 G-CIZG.jpg
Role Light utility and trainer helicopter
Manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Company
Designer Frank D. Robinson
First flight 7 November 2007[1]
Status In production
Produced 2007–present
Number built 1,000 as of August 2020[2]
Developed from Robinson R44

The Robinson R66 is a helicopter designed and built by Robinson Helicopter Company. It has five seats, a separate cargo compartment and is powered by a Rolls-Royce RR300 turboshaft engine. 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.[3]

Development[edit]

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.

Robinson started taking orders for the R66 in February, 2010. It went into preliminary production in 2010, and full production in 2011. The existing two-seat R22 and four-seat R44 continued in production.[4] 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.[5]

In 2012, Robinson delivered 191 R66s 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.[6] In 2014, the production rate slowed to about two R66s per week[7] for a total of 101 for the year.[8] In 2015, Robinson produced three R66s per week. RHC has contracted with Rolls-Royce to supply 100 RR300 turbines per year for 10 years.[9]

Russia certified the R66 in March 2013,[10] while Canada certified it in June 2013.[11] European EASA and Chinese CAAC certifications were granted in the second quarter of 2014.[12][13][14]

The R66 Turbine Marine with pop-out floats was FAA certified in November 2014. A journalist pilot described ground landing with them as "better than the standard R66". Retrofit floats are not available for the standard R66.[15]

A cargo hook was approved in the EU and the United States in 2015.[16]

In December 2015 Robinson announced it had sold 700 R66s.[17]

On July 13, 2017, Robinson announced certification of the R66 Turbine Newscopter (R66 ENG).[18]

On 25 January 2017 Robinson announced that it had delivered its 12,000th aircraft, an R66 to a charter and tour operator, Fly Karoo Air Services.[19]

On 17 July 2017, Robinson introduced the TB17 lithium-ion phosphate battery as optional equipment. The battery weighs 16 lb (7.3 kg), which is lighter than the previous 42 lb (19 kg) standard and 52 lb (24 kg) high capacity batteries.[20]

The company delivered the 1,000th R66 in August 2020.[2]

Design[edit]

The R66 is a single-engined helicopter with two-bladed main and tail rotors, and a fixed 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 and optional digital glass cockpit.[21]

The R66 is the first Robinson helicopter with a cargo hold; the hold carries up to 300 pounds (140 kg).[22]

R66 Turbine production model

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.[22] The RR300 has a simplified single-stage centrifugal compressor which makes it less expensive and is expected to result in lower maintenance costs.[23]

The turbine burns Jet-A fuel at a rate of 23 US gallons (87 l) per hour, compared to 15 US gallons (57 l) of avgas per hour for the O-540.[22]

At Heli Expo 2018, Robinson introduced a cargo hook as an optional equipment. This modification increases the aircraft's maximum gross weight from 2,700 to 2,900 lb (1,200 to 1,300 kg).[24] It is currently available in two variants.

Operators[edit]

The aircraft is operated by law enforcement, companies and private individuals.

 Indonesia
 Nigeria

Specifications[edit]

Data from Manufacturer[28][29]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 4 passengers or 1,200 lb (540 kg) external load[24]
  • Length: 29 ft 6 in (8.99 m)
  • Width: 4 ft 10 in (1.47 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 5 in (3.48 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,290 lb (585 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,700 lb (1,225 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 73.6 US gallons (279 l)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce RR300 turboshaft, 224 shp (167 kW) continuous, 270 shp (200 kW) takeoff (5 minutes)
  • Main rotor diameter: 33 ft (10 m)
  • Tail rotor Diameter: 5 ft (1.52 m)

Performance

  • Cruise speed: 110 kn (130 mph, 200 km/h)
  • Never exceed speed: 140 kn (160 mph, 260 km/h)
  • Range: 350 nmi (400 mi, 650 km)
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,000 ft/min (5.1 m/s)
  • Fuel consumption: 23 US gallons (87 l) per hour[22]

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chase, Mike (February 1, 2014). "Aircraft Comparative Analysis—Robinson R66". AvBuyer. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Cook, Marc (August 11, 2020). "Robinson Delivers 1000th R66". AVweb. Archived from the original on August 12, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  3. ^ Thurber, Matt (October 26, 2010). "R66 Receives Simultaneous FAA Type, Production OK". AINonline. AIN Publications. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  4. ^ Goyer, Robert (June 7, 2009). "R66 Robinson Approaches". Flying. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  5. ^ "FAA Certifies R66 Police Helicopter" (PDF). Robinson News. Vol. 19, no. 1. Robinson Helicopter Company. February 15, 2013. p. 3. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  6. ^ Huber, Mark; Dubois, Thierry (August 3, 2013). "Bell Reveals more on 'short light single'". AINonline. AIN Publications. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  7. ^ Parkin, Jeremy (July 30, 2014). "R66 production slows, pushing lead time to six months". HeliHub. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "2016 General Aviation Statistical Databook & 2017 Industry Outlook" (PDF). General Aviation Manufacturers Association. 2017: 17. Retrieved June 8, 2017. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Huber, Mark (March 3, 2015). "Robinson Boosts Production as Sales Surge, Strikes Deal for 1,000 Rolls-Royce Turboshafts". AINonline. AIN Publications. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  10. ^ Drwiega, Andrew (March 28, 2013). "Russia Certifies Robinson R66". Rotor & Wing. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  11. ^ "Robinson Scores R66 Type Certificate from Transport Canada". Rotor & Wing. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  12. ^ Type Certificate Data Sheet (PDF) (Report). EASA. December 11, 2015. p. 3. EASA.IM.R.507. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Head, Elan (May 5, 2014). "Robinson R66 receives EASA certification". Vertical. MHM Publishing. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  14. ^ "China certifies Robinson R66". Vertical. MHM Publishing. Robinson Helicopter Company. May 8, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  15. ^ Maher, Guy R. (December 4, 2014). "Robinson unveils R66 Turbine Marine". Vertical. MHM Publishing. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  16. ^ "DART R66 cargo hook now FAA and EASA approved". Vertical. MHM Publishing. DART Aerospace. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  17. ^ "Robinson to Deliver 700th R66 Helicopter" (Press release). Torrance, CA: Robinson Helicopter Company. December 18, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  18. ^ "FAA Certifies Robinson R66 Turbine Newscopter". robinsonheli.com. July 27, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  19. ^ "Robinson Helicopter Company Delivers 12,000th Helicopter - Robinson Helicopter Company". robinsonheli.com. January 25, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  20. ^ "Lithium-ion Battery Now Available for Robinso R66". robinsonheli.com. July 17, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  21. ^ Maher, Guy R. (March 10, 2014). "Staying the course". Vertical. MHM Publishing. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c d Larson, George C. (March 1, 2011). "Robinson: Ready for the Rebound". Aviation Week. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  23. ^ "Aero-TV Checks Out The Robinson R66: Turbine Power, Familiar Face". Aero-TV. Aero-News Network. March 9, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  24. ^ a b "wR66 Turbine Optional Cargo Hook Carries Loads up to 1200 lb". robinsonheli.com. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  25. ^ "Helikopter BNPB Mendarat di Lapang Sindangsari Sukabumi, BPBD: Kunjungan Asintel KASAD". sukabumiupdate.com (in Indonesian). July 16, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  26. ^ "Dialah Yang Selama Ini Terbang Mengitari Mega Dan Bumi Kalsel". koranbanjar.net (in Indonesian). September 7, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  27. ^ Mornington-Sanford, Richard (December 2012). "Nigerian Air Force take delivery of their first two Robinson R66 (Turbine) helicopters". Mornington Sanford Aviation. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  28. ^ "R66 Turbine & R66 Turbine Marine". Robinson Helicopter Company. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  29. ^ R66 Pilot's Operating Handbook (PDF). Robinson Helicopter Company. October 25, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2017.

External links[edit]