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Robinson Helicopters for Sale


Ever wanted to build your own helicopter in a shed? Well, that’s pretty much what Frank Robinson, founder and owner of Robinson Helicopters did. His aim was to make a mass-market, affordable, simple helicopter for the average pilot to learn to fly and go on to fly solo without the expense of single engine turbine aircraft. If you have taken a trial flying lesson, or ever been to a helicopter airfield in the UK, chances are you’ve seen Robinson’s most popular and iconic aircraft; the R22.

The R22 is a 2-seat, piston engine very light single engine helicopter with a conventional tail rotor. Costing in the region of £170,000 brand new from the factory, and available on the used market from as little as £20,000 they represent extraordinary value for money.

As with most things in life however, you get what you pay for. The R22, whilst easy to fly and relatively comfortable in flight, lacks the refinement and specifications of its more expensive turbine cousins. The aircraft can only comfortable accommodate two (light) occupants and has a maximum speed of around 90kts depending upon the environmental conditions. The aircraft has a manual throttle requiring the pilot to make adjustments to the engine throttle as he raises and lowers the collective. However, all of that said, flying the R22 is probably one of the purest forms of rotary wing aviation and something that every pilot should try. The R22’s poor performance make it unsuitable for most commercial work but it is almost the default choice for helicopter flying training schools and is many pilot’s first privately owned aircraft.

The success of the R22 led rapidly to the development of the R44 “Raven”. A larger 4 seat version of the R22 with enhanced performance, comfort and a far larger cabin, the R44 has been an extremely popular aircraft for light charter and private ownership, as well as pleasure flights. Costing in the region of £270,000 new from the factory and with quality used aircraft available from £55,000 on the open market it represents excellent value in the 4-5 seat arena. The R44 shares many common components with the R22, keeping maintenance and operating costs far lower than its turbine competitors.

One of the key ways that Robinson keep costs low is to “life” their aircraft. Unlike other aircraft that, providing they are maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, can go on flying almost indefinitely; Robinson aircraft have fixed airframe lives beyond which they cannot be flown. This is a key area to investigate and consider when purchasing a used Robinson aircraft.

Robinson are embarking upon an exciting new chapter with the development of the R66, their first turbine powered aircraft. With a much improved cabin, carrying capacity and performance, the aircraft is likely to cost in the region of £600,000 brand new from the manufacturer; considerably less than its competitors. The jury is still out on how it will perform, but if the pre-order book is anything to go by it looks set to be a very popular helicopter.

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