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Wed, Sep 06, 2023

New Empennage for Robinson R66 Turbines Approved

Best-Seller Given Brand New Tail Section for Improved Performance

A new tail layout for the R66 Turbine will provide "enhanced roll stability during high-speed flight."

Robinson Helicopter Company says that the new configuration also aids in operating costs, increasing the horizontal stabilizer's previous 2,000-hour time between overhaul to a much loftier 4,000 hours. The new empennage sports a symmetrical horizontal stabilizer mounted on the tailcone, also mounted a bit further forward than the original. The development is a simple effort at improving the handling, production efficiency, and design of the R66, Robinson's bread and butter aircraft.

The configuration is now standard on all new production FAA-registered R66 Turbine helicopters and will include a new 4,000-hour TBO tailcone. The first customer delivery sporting the new tail will be serial number 1279. Foreign validations for the parts are expected, with the same changes applied to new R66s as they make their way into customer hands abroad.

The company has continued to iterate on its lineup of light helicopters, aiming at modest but impactful improvements like crash-resistant fuel cells, integrated 4K cockpit video cameras, autopilot systems, and NVG-compatible cockpits. The additions have been successful in bringing customers through the doors, with sales coming in much stronger than the light helo market would usually see. The smaller R44 has remained the world's top selling civilian helo since 1998, with the R66 surpassing it in sales in 2021. Overall, the firm has more than 13,000 aircraft operating worldwide.



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