FTLComm - Tisdale
July 21, 1999
This remarkable aircraft is now the most common helicopter in civil aviation with four new ones being made every month at Torrence California it continues to sell world wide.
Powered by a Continental six cylinder engine that would more commonly be found in a Cessna or Piper, it is de-rated to 165 horse power for use in this little two place helicopter.
Helicopters by their very nature are absurdities of aviation, contraptions made of whirling parts requiring constant maintenance and with a reputation for falling out of the sky in significant numbers. The man who developed this one believed that they did not have to be that complicated, that expensive or that dangerous and as a result he has come up with a machine that makes sense out of rotary flying. As a researcher Mr. Robinson worked for a number of helicopter manufacturers then set up his own company and his success is truly remarkable.
The R22 will life 400 pounds of passengers and luggage but weighing only 1200 or so pounds itself it is a remarkably efficient piece of machinery. It can stay aloft for about two hours and normally can cruise along at 110 miles an hour. It is an ideal personal helicopter and is almost he standard training helicopter of this time. But it is also used for law enforcement, aerial photography and in agriculture.
|As in the tradition of Bell helicopters this machine is flown from the right side. I have heard few reasonable explanations why helicopters are flown on the right side but it is now a standard convention and most likely relates to the hand controls.|
picture was taken on the left (port side) of the machine looking at the instrument
panel and simple controls. I was impressed with the neat and easy to scan lay out
of the instruments and that seems to be the way the whole machine is designed, clever
The aircraft is designed for a 2,000 hour overhaul schedule so that all of its parts are designed to have a minimum life of that much time and like all aircraft this one needs a pretty thorough going over every hundred hours but in between on standard inspections and normal maintenance is needed.
The continental engine in this machine is remarkably
|durable and even if a major failure occurs in flight the engine is unlikely to shut down abruptly. Auto-rotation with this helicopter (emergency landing without power) is considered relatively easy compared to other helicopters and that has a lot to do with the very small size and weight of this machine.|
The picture on the left has more reflection of the photographer then what is inside but was taken on the right (starboard) pilot's side of the aircraft.
|Some interesting related sites:|
|Robinson Helicopter Company home page has information about their R22 Beta and R44 models.|
|Helicopter Aviation Home Page is a pleasant look at learning to fly a helicopter and has pictures of an R22 in use.|
|The history of the Robinson helicopter is on this simple one page site.|
|This is a page with four pictures of an auto rotation landing using an R22.|
|Here is a page that has the history of the helicopter and the biography of its developer.|
|This is a 1991 version of the R22 and advertised for sale at $108, 000 US.|
|Below is Transport Canada's information on this aircraft|