- 22 Jun 2021
- Tony Kioussis
- Aviation Podcasts
Robinson Helicopters first delivered the R66 light helicopter in 2010. While it resembles the piston engined R44 it has a wider 5-seat cabin with a 3-place rear bench and features a separate externally accessed baggage compartment. Powered by a 300 shp Rolls-Royce 300 turboshaft, it is the least expensive turbine helicopter in current production.
A Robinson R66 costs between $500k for a 2011 model and $950k for a 2021 edition, according to Aircraft Bluebook’s summer 2021 data. The price data provided by Aircraft Bluebook gives an average retail value for aircraft, by their year of manufacture. The value of pre-owned R66 models will depend on several factors, including maintenance condition, the number of hours on the airframe and engine (i.e. the proximity of the next major overhaul), meaning that the actual sale price of two pre-owned R66 helicopters from the same year of manufacture could vary significantly from one another.
There are a number of popular single-engine turbine helicopters available on the market, with an operator’s choice depending on a range of factors, including cost. One option that competes closely with the Robinson R66 is the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X, which was certified in 2016 and can also carry one pilot and four passengers. Powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine, the Bell 505 has a range of about 306nm.
The Robinson R66 stands out because it is a flexible, reliable helicopter, which is particularly strong on price, being the least expensive turbine helicopter currently in production. Among its other attributes, the company highlights the R66’s spacious 300lbs capacity baggage compartment, and its RR300 engine which offers increased reserve power, additional payload and improved altitude performance.
The Robinson R44 Raven II was launched in 2002, offering a fuel-injected Lycoming IO-540 piston engine, a two-bladed rotor system, streamlined instrument panels, and more. It is a smaller helicopter than the turbine-powered Robinson R66, capable of accommodating three passengers and one pilot.
Robinson R66 Turbine Helicopter Overview
By Gerrard Cowan
The Robinson R66 has been a significant success story for Robinson Helicopter Company since it was first produced, and more than 1,000 units have been delivered to a wide range of customers around the world.
The R66 resembles the piston-engine R44, though it offers a wider cabin that can accommodate a pilot and four passengers. In addition to a passenger seat next to the pilot, the aircraft features a three-place rear bench. It also has an externally-accessed baggage compartment.
What features does the Robinson R66 offer?
The Robinson R66 features a single Rolls-Royce RR300 turbine engine, and offers a maximum range of about 350nm.
The aircraft has a two-bladed rotor system and incorporates the most modern Robinson technology, including energy-absorbing seats and crash-worthy bladder fuel tanks.
Robinson has continually updated and upgraded the R66 over the years. For example, the aircraft was upgraded to offer the Garmin G500H Avionics Display System and the Genesys Aerosystems HeliSAS autopilot, offering pilots modern technologies in the cockpit.
What came before and after the Robinson R66?
The Robinson R66 is now a key focus for the long-running Robinson helicopter family. Its other current platforms are the piston-engine R22 Beta II, which replaced the standard R22 Beta model in 1995 and offers more power via its 131hp Lycoming O-360 engine. Robinson’s third major focus area is the various variants of the piston-engine R44, notably the Raven II.
The Robinson R66 is the first and only turbine-powered model that Robinson has produced to date.
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