Photo courtesy of Robinson Helicopter
After waiting years for the required conditions, Robinson Helicopter said, it has achieved FAA and Transport Canada snow certification of its R66 Turbine following testing last month in Canada. Certification testing was conducted quickly on Nov. 13 after Aerial Recon Ltd., a Robinson dealer in Calgary, Alberta, alerted the manufacturer that conditions in the area were right. At Spray Lakes Reservoir about 50 nm west of Calgary, Robinson said, the R66 performed a 100% engine ground run for 20 minutes, a hover-in-ground effect for 5 min and cruise flight for 60 min—all in heavy snow at freezing temperatures and low visibility—with no snow build-up in the engine intake area and no performance reduction. The R66 already had cold-weather certification. But due to the rarity of the required weather, even in Canada, snow certification (one of Robinson’s highest priorities) had eluded the company. “The number one thing that we’re trying to get, and we’ve been trying to get this for a few years, is the snow certification,” said President Kurt Robinson in March at Heli-Expo.