Used Aircraft Guide

June 2008 Issue

Used Aircraft Guide: Robinson R44

A utilitarian and affordable four-place helicopter for the common man.

Pilots looking for a used aircraft usually have a mission in mind: Carry a specific payload over a certain distance in a minimum amount of time. And if you need to get to and from remote locations while mixing it up at nearby Big City International, you might have overlooked the helicopter. Until the early 1990s, anyone needing a personal helicopter configuredhad to go the turbine route; there were no piston-powered four-passenger helicopters. That changed in late 1992 when the Robinson Helicopter Company obtained FAA certification of its R44, a four-place rotorcraft powered by a Lycoming piston engine. While offerings from Enstrom, Schweizer, Brantley and even the venerable Bell 47 have proven popular, none of them seat more than a pilot and two passengers at most. Robinsonís R44, on the other hand, takes the standard two-plus-two seating configuration of the a personal airplane and gives it a vertical takeoff and landing capability. The result is a hugely popular four-seat singleóRobinson sold 664 copies of the R44 in 2007óthat just happens to have a rotary wing.

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