Robinson Helicopter plans to produce a lighter, two-place R44 derivative with better high-altitude performance margins in early 2016. The company said it has developed the R44 Cadet “with the training market in mind,” though it is “suitable for a wide variety of utilitarian applications.” The Cadet retains the basic airframe, rotor system and Lycoming O-540-F1B5 engine of the R44 Raven I. But Robinson has removed the rear seats and reconfigured the aft compartment for cargo. That has helped pare the maximum gross weight by 200 lb from the Raven I to 2,200 lb; takeoff power is de-rated to 210 hp, and continuous power is de-rated to 185 hp (compared to 225 and 205 hp for the Raven I). The new weight and power combination will give the Cadet better performance margins at high altitudes, Robinson said. In addition, Robinson is using a new muffler design on the Cadet that reduces its flyover noise signature by more than 3 dB compared to the current Raven I. The company said FAA certification is well underway and final flight tests are expected before the year’s end.