Image courtesy of Robinson Helicopter
Robinson Helicopter’s development of a lighter R44 is not a sign that the smaller R22 (with which the company was launched) may be phased out. There had been some speculation the two-seat R44 Cadet, which pares 200 lb from the R44 Raven 1’s maximum gross weight by removing the rear two seats, could lead to the end of R22 production. But Robinson President Kurt Robinson told R&WI that is not the case. “The R22 has a distinct market,” said the company president. Demand persists among individuals who want a comparatively inexpensive helicopter for personal and business purposes. Also, the R22 is very popular for rounding up cattle, he said. “It’s quick and nimble.” But weight limits prevent operators from adding equipment to the R22, he said. The Cadet will give customers an option for an aircraft that can handle more equipment at a price between that of the R22 and the Raven 1.