Robinson Helicopter Company was started in 1973 by Frank Robinson; the company produces high-quality yet cost-effective helicopters for civilian and corporate clients all over America. The history of the company’s founder with aviation started in 1957 when working at the Cessna Aircraft Company. For the next sixteen years, Frank spent his career working for different aviation company’s designing and developing new helicopter technology. When Frank Robinson finally finished developing new design plans for small, low-cost helicopters, he decided to branch out independently since he noticed a lack of interest from commercial helicopter manufacturers.
He started the company in a tin hangar and quickly set his sights on a design called R22; although it was just a prototype, he managed to get a flight-ready model two years after the project started. After three years of tests and analysis, the Robinson Helicopter Company’s first R22 received its FAA Certificate and was immediately a successful hit in the civil aviation community.
The next project by Frank Robinson’s company was a larger version of the R22, which was designed as a two-seater aircraft. The new design, christened R44, was developed as a four-seated helicopter with a larger engine. The new helicopter was certified in 1992 by the FAA and introduced to the market with great reception.
Apart from private owners getting the option to install floats on the R44, new versions were also introduced to be operated as the police and news copters. While the new R44 was in high demand for different operations, the R22 broke records in its weight class for its speed and altitude abilities.
The R22’s smaller size appealed to many people for different reasons; some people liked its quiet flight and simple maintenance; flight schools also preferred it for teaching new pilots because of how simple it is to operate.
Ten years after the R44 was released, a new model was ready to enter the market; this new model was called R44 Raven II. The latest version came equipped with a fuel-injected engine that allowed it to fly at a higher altitude. The Raven II was so famous that by 2010 over five thousand helicopters were in operation worldwide. 2010 was also the year Frank Robinson officially retired and handed over power to his son Kurt Robinson.