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Robinson R22

Robinson R44
Robinson R66 Turbine
N7040P Robinson R66 Turbine c/n 0185 - JayHawk Air - Merrill Field Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, USA - 15 June 2013 Robinson R44 Astro

The Robinson R66 Turbine is a five-seat light utility helicopter powered by a single Rolls Royce 250-C300/A1 Turbo-shaft engine, better known as the Rolls Royce RR300. The Robinson R66 is built and developed by the Robinson Helicopter Company (RHC) in Torrance, California, USA. The Robinson R66 is derived from its predecessor, the R44 helicopter. Preliminary design of the Model R66 began in 2001, as Robinson wanted to add a turboshaft-powered helicopter to its portfolio. But there were problems with such a plan, as there wasn't, in Robinson's estimation, a suitable turboshaft engine for his needs. Robinson originally intended on utilizing the Turbine helicopter with the standard Roll Royce Model 250-C20, but this was not a suitable turboshaft engine for the light helicopter. Robinson needed a light weight turboshaft engine. In order to meet the demand for a suitable low cost turbine power for the light helicopter and general aviation market, Rolls Royce developed a light weight turbine engine, the RR300, a rebadged and downrated variant of the Rolls-Royce Model 250-C20 engine. With this new Rolls Royce RR300 turbine soon available, engineering for the R66 Turbine helicopter started in 2005. Three R66 prototypes were built, with the first flight of c/n 0001, registered N466R, on 7 November 2007. The second prototype, Robinson R66 c/n 0002, registered N266RH, flew first 18 February 2009. The certification of the helicopter was delayed due to failure in the conventional tail rotor design. On 25 October 2010, the Robinson R66 received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type certification, three years and eight months after Robinson Helicopter publicly announced plans to develop a five-place turbine helicopter. Full rate production started after receiving the FAA Type Certificate No. R00015LA for the R66. The Robinson R66 Turbine incorporates many of the design features of the R44 including a two-bladed rotor system, T-bar cyclic and an open cabin configuration. The R66 is 20 centimetre higher at the mast than the R44. Although the taller mast makes preflight inspections more difficult, it also expands the longitudinal centre of the gravity envelope. The R66 is 20 centimetres wider at the back-seat than the R44. There is space for three at the back-seat, only the centre seat isn’t really big. The R66 is the first Robinson helicopter to have a baggage compartment. On 30 April 2014, four years after initial FAA certification, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued its type certificate for the Robinson R66 Turbine helicopter. Today, over 1.000 Robinson R66 Turbine helicopters are delivered to customers all over the world. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Robinson R66 helicopters is R66.

On 27 August 2012, the 2012-built Robinson R66 s/n 0185 was registered N7040P in the USA with A.C.E. Flyers Inc., Anchorage, Alaska. A.C.E. Flyers Inc.is doing business as JayHawk Air. On 19 June 2018, the A.C.E. Flyers Inc. owned Robinson R66 N7040P was substantial damaged in service with Ridgeline Aviation during a landing-incident at Codova, Alaska: after multiple attempts to find a suitable landing site on a mountain ridgetop, the tail rotor impacted brush during landing. The helicopter pivoted, the main rotor contacted a communications tower, and the helicopter then rotated 180° and rolled onto its left side. On 8 July 2019, Robinson R66 N7040P was registered with Dodson International Parts Inc., Vermont, Kansas.
On 15 June 2013, Robinson R66 Turbine N7040P was seen in service with JayHawk Air at Merrill Field Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

page last updated: 03-01-2021
Photo Copyright © Jack Poelstra, the Netherlands

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