Robinson to launch R66 upgrade

Robinson to launch R66 upgrade


Following multiple online posts yesterday, it is now known that Robinson Helicopter Co (RHC) will soon announce  a new empennage configuration for the R66 Turbine, replacing the existing horizontal stabilizer with a symmetrical horizontal stabilizer located forward of the tail rotor.   The available images suggest a configuration similar to the Bell 505

The new empennage provides enhanced roll response during high-speed flight – in all other respects it apparently provides nearly identical flying qualities.

The FAA has certified the new feature very recently, following years of development and testing by Robinson.  The new configuration will be standard on all FAA-registered R66 production aircraft from MSN 1279.  Deliveries to other countries will depend on approval by the relevant civil airworthiness authorities, and RHC is already working with those organisations to gain the necessary paperwork.

The change does not alter the authorised flight envelope in any way.

It is not yet clear whether a retrofit will be available for earlier aircraft.

According to helicopter market intelligence firm Parapex Media, the current R66 fleet around the world includes 356 on the FAA register, 195 in Brazil, 128 in Russia, 98 in EASA countries, 60 in Canada and 50 in Australia.

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