The Robinson Helicopter Company started in 1973 by aeronautical engineer Frank Robinson, delivered their 12,000th helicopter since the delivery of the first Robinson R22, delivered in 1979.
On December 23, 2016, Robinson Helicopters delivered its 12,000th airframe, serial number 0763, a Robinson R66 became the 12,000th helicopter to roll off the Robinson Helicopter production line. “A nice way to end the year,” said Robinson President, Kurt Robinson.
“A nice way to end the year,” said Robinson President, Kurt Robinson on the production of the 12,00th Robinson Helicopter.
The 12,000th Robinson will be delivered to customer Hover Dynamics, one of three long-time Robinson dealers in South Africa. The helicopter was purchased by a new charter and tour operator, Fly Karoo Air Services, operating in the area of Graaff-Reinet in South Africa. According to Dean Feldman of Hover Dynamics, Fly Karoo chose the R66 because of its powerful turbine engine, quieter cabin, spacious baggage compartment, and low operating costs.
Frank Robinson, an aeronautical engineer that had worked previously in his career with Cessna Aircraft, Bell Helicopter, and Hughes Helicopter, where some say Robinson was instrumental in the design and certification of the first NOTAR system. Robinson resigned from Bell to start Robinson helicopters in 1973, taking only six years to develop, produce and certify the company’s first helicopter, the two-seat Robinson R22. The first helicopter delivered to a customer in 1979. Coming to market fourteen years later with the company’s first four-seat helicopter, the Robinson R44 in 1993, followed by Robinson’s first foray into the turbine market with the five-seat Robinson R66 in 2010. Robinson also offers a multitude of variants including the recently introduced R44 Cadet, a two-place helicopter specially configured for training and a recently EASA certified R66 Marine version fitted with floats.
Robinson handed the reigns of the day to day operation of the company to son Kurt in August of 2010, shortly after his eightieth birthday and the completed development of the Robinson R66 turbine. Robinson helicopters remain the world leader in the manufacture of civil helicopters under Robinson’s leadership.
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