Robinson Helicopters

Founded in 1973 by Frank Robinson, as of 2006 the company has about 1,200 employees and produces more helicopters annually than all of the other North American manufactures combined.

June 1973 : Company founded by Frank Robinson to design and manufacture a light, inexpensive helicopter for the general aviation market.

August 1975 : First flight of two-seat model R22 prototype at Torrance Airport.

March 1979 : Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues type certificate for R22; Robinson announces R22 base price of $40,000.

January 1981 : 100th R22 helicopter is delivered.

March 1981 : Robinson receives FAA Production Certificate allowing the company to do its own testing and inspection.

September 1981 : Model R22 HP is announced with more powerful engine, improved altitude performance, and a base price of $59,850.

October 1982 : Safety course for flight instructors is launched to standardize training at flight schools, where R22s are widely used.

September 1983 : Model R22 Alpha is announced with increased gross weight and a base price of $77,850.

January 1985 : Auxiliary fuel system is approved for R22 Alpha model, increasing range and endurance by 65%.

July 1985 : 500th R22 helicopter is delivered.

August 1985 : Model R22 Beta is introduced with higher take-off rating, larger instrument panel, and base price if $85,850.

October 1985 : Model R22 Mariner is approved with fixed utility floats, priced at $94,850; R22 sets world record for Distance in a Close Circuit for Class E-1a helicopters.

December 1988 : Robinson becomes leading producer of light helicopters, producing more new helicopters in 1988 than any other manufacturer.

January 1989: R22 sets world altitude record for Class E-1a helicopters.

Robinson R22 Prototype year 1973
Frank Robinson with Evio C. de Oliveira and the R22 prototype at Torrance Airport near Los Angeles, in early 1973. Notice "Experimental"

R22 year 1977

R22 BETA year 1985

April 1989 : 1000th R22 helicopter is delivered.

May 1989 : R22 breaks its own altitude record for Class E-1a helicopters.

December 1989 : 310 R22s are delivered in 1989, making it the year's most popular light Aircraft - including helicopters and airplanes.

February 1990 : New RPM governor is approved for R22.

Continue with Robinson Helicopters Part II

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