Robinson Helicopter enjoyed a robust first six months, producing 234 aircraft–76 R66 turbine singles and 156 R44s. Sales of the R66 have been particularly strong, even as the base price of that aircraft was raised to $822,000, effective July 1. In response to demand for the R66, Robinson plans to raise production of that aircraft from four to six per week by year-end, increasing Robinson’s total aircraft production to 13 per week from the rate of 10 per week at the beginning of the year and the current rate of 11 per week.
Robinson Helicopter recently delivered its 100th R66 single-engine turbine helicopter to long-time customer and South African-dealer National Airways Corp. Just 14 months after receiving FAA certification, Robinson has received more than 380 orders for the five-passenger Rolls-Royce RR300-powered R66, 70 percent of those from the export market. Customer response to the R66 has exceeded expectations, said Robinson CEO Kurt Robinson.
The families of the two Colombian men killed in the July 2011 crash of a Robinson R66 have hired the high-profile Los Angeles law firm, Baum Hedlund, to represent them. Last month the law firm issued a press release featuring photos of the men with their families and blasting Robinson for placing “profit over passenger safety.”
Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. 9840) recently delivered its 100th R66 single-engine turbine helicopter to long-time customer and South African-dealer National Airways Corp. Just 14 months after receiving FAA certification, Robinson has received 380 orders for the five passenger Rolls-Royce RR300-powered R66, 70 percent of those from the export market.
Robinson Helicopter significantly increased production in 2011 from the 162 helicopters it manufactured in 2010. Last year the company built 356 helicopters (212 R44s, 88 R66s and 56 R22s). By the end of last year, the company had booked orders for 360 turbine-powered R66s and began this year with a backlog of orders for 400 aircraft. Robinson recently announced it has expanded its manufacturing space and is hiring more employees.
Robinson Helicopter built 356 helicopters (212 R44s, 88 R66s and 56 R22s) last year, a significant increase from the 162 helicopters it manufactured in 2010. The Torrance, Calif.-based company also booked orders for 360 turbine R66s last year, and it began this year with an order backlog for 400 helicopters. Robinson recently expanded its manufacturing facility and announced it is hiring additional employees.
Robinson delivered its 10,000th helicopter last Friday. The milestone comes less than four years after the company delivered its 8,000th helicopter and 32 years after the first Robinson, a two-seat R22, was certified. Number 10,000–a four-seat R44 Raven II–was delivered to Audi Helicopters, one of two Robinson dealers in Brazil. Audi has been affiliated with Robinson for 25 years.
After a lackluster 2010, Robinson Helicopter is back on a healthier track, according to CEO Kurt Robinson. The Torrance, Calif.-based builder of single-engine helicopters recently hired 150 employees, bringing its workforce to 1,100, and increased production to some 10 helicopters per week.
The current type certificate holder of the venerable Bell 47 might be interested in putting the iconic piston helicopter back into new production.
Robinson Helicopter CEO Kurt Robinson said his company has been working with the FAA for “some time” to address concerns about “mast rocking” on its R44 helicopters. On Tuesday, the NTSB issued five safety recommendations (A-11-82 through -86) related to this condition in the wake of several accidents/incidents recorded since 2006.
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