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Robinson R44
PH-WBW Robinson R44 Astro c/n 0359 - Helicon - Groningen Airport Eelde in Holland - 2 March 2005 more Helicon helicopters

The Robinson R44 Astro is a single-engined light utility helicopter for up to 1 crew and 3 passengers, powered by a single carburetted. The Robinson R44 is built by the Robinson Helicopter Company in Torrance, California. Development of the Model R44 began in 1985. The first prototype flew on 31 March 1990 and the second in January 1991. Sales efforts got under way in March 1992 at a base price of 235.000 US-Dollars. FAA Type Certification for the R44 Astro was achieved on 10 December 1992, and the first Robinson R44 Astro was delivered in February 1993. In 2000, the R44 Astro was replaced as the main production model by the R44 Raven with adjustable pedals and standard hydraulic controls. Today the four-seat Model R44 is the world's most popular helicopter with over 6300 delivered to customers all over the world. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the R44 Astro helicopters is R44.

On 17 July 1997, the 1997-built Robinson R44 Astro c/n 0359 was registered G-OPHA in the UK with Heli Air Ltd., Warwick. After the heicopter was transferred to Portugal as CS-HDW, registration G-OPHA was cancelled on 29 December 1997. On 1 March 2000, registration G-OPHA was restored, with Webson Ltd., Halesowen, as registered owner. On 10 August 2000, Robinson G-OPHA was registered with Simax Services Ltd, Bury St. Edmonds. On 23 July 2004, registration G-OPHA was cancelled, and the Astro was registered PH-WBW in the Netherlands on 26 July 2004. The PH-WBW was registered with Beauville Nederland BV as owner and Helicon BV as operator, located first at Lelystad airport and since 9 December 2004 at their own heliport in Bergen op Zoom. On 12 March 2007, Astro PH-WBW was registered with O.J.C. Haines, Worchester in the UK. Registration PH-WBW was cancelled on 16 May 2007. On 17 May 2007, registration G-OPHA was restored, first with O.J. Heynes, Cirencester, and the same day, with H.W. Euridge, Salisbury, as registered owner. On 30 June 2011, registration G-OPHA was cancelled as exported to France. On 20 July 2011, the Astro was registered F-HPHA with Association Héliclub de L'Ain at aerodrome de Bourg Ceyzeriat. On 5 June 2015, Robinson R44 Astro F-HPHA was registered with Hélico 01, Mézériat.

page last updated: 23-10-2015
Photo Copyright © Jack Poelstra, the Netherlands

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