The Brazilian city of São Paulo lies south of the equator, straddling the Tropic of Capricorn, and is about as far east as the southern tip of Greenland. It is the homely sister to its more famous neighbor, Rio de Janeiro, which lies about 330 nm to the east and is considered by many to be the most beautiful city in the world. According to a popular Brazilian saying, Rio is for leisure while São Paulo is for work.
Robinson Helicopter Co. (RHC) will break ground on a 50-percent expansion of its Torrance, Calif. factory later this year. The 260,000-sq-ft combination manufacturing plant, flight-test facility and delivery center will extend westward along the south side of Torrance Airport’s Runway 11/29, adding 130,000 sq ft.
It wasn’t just the great Texas barbeque that put smiles on the faces of Heli-Expo visitors. A hot market for helicopters ensured that the show’s first trip to Houston would go down a record-setter.
Robinson Helicopter delivered its first R22 piston single in October 1979. Exactly 24 years later, the Torrance, Calif. manufacturer delivered its 5,000th helicopter. This milestone represents the production of 3,489 R22s and 1,522 four-seat R44s. The 5,000th machine, an R44 Raven II, was shipped to National Airways, a Robinson dealer based in Lanseria, South Africa.
Aircraft accessories provider Precise Flight (Booth No. 1421) of Bend, Ore., has received a supplemental type certificate for its high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting for the Robinson R22 series. According to Precise Flight v-p Scott Philiben, the HID lighting is “a great fit” for Robinson helicopters, providing illumination in low-visibility situations and dense urban environments.
Robinson Helicopter dealers who attended yesterday’s press conference said they are ready to place orders for the turbine-powered R66 currently under development at the Torrance, Calif. company’s headquarters.
Accessories make an outfit. They also make a helicopter, or at least they make it better. That’s the theory with which Jeff Shapiro launched Dart Helicopter Services (Booth No. 2263) in 2005, and it has apparently been a successful one.
At a press conference yesterday here at Heli-Expo, Bell Helicopter executive vice president of customer solutions Mike Blake further explained the Fort Worth, Texas helicopter manufacturer’s recent decision to “streamline” its production line. The rationalization will see the Bell 206B3, 210, 427 and 430 helicopters phased out of production by 2010, though the company promises to continue product support for these models indefinitely.
Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. 2531) has upgraded its R22 and R44 helicopter cockpits
with Mid-Continent Instruments’ Model 4300 electric attitude indicators, the instrument manufacturer (Booth No. 1615) announced Friday.
While Robinson Helicopter has had many visitors to its plant in the company’s 35-year history, certainly none were more noteworthy than President George W. Bush, who stopped by the Torrance, Calif. facility last month to deliver a speech on free trade agreements.