Robinson Helicopter Company

Founded in 1973 by Frank Robinson, the Robinson Helicopter Company produced top-quality, affordable, reliable helicopters. Its first model, the R22, was introduced in 1979. It gained popularity for its simplicity, affordability, and ease of maintenance.

Catering to private owners and flight schools, the R22 continued to rise in popularity. Because of this, the 4-seat R44 Raven I launched in 1992 and evolved into the enhanced R44 Raven II with improved performance capabilities.

In 2010, the company achieved FAA certification for the 5-seat turbine-powered R66 – further expanding its product line.

Robinson’s best-selling models throughout its history are the R44 and R66 helicopters. Both are available in various configurations to meet diverse needs such as float, news, and police applications. The recent addition of the R44 Cadet targets the training market.

Emphasizing research and development, Robinson continually enhances its technology offerings to include glass avionics and helicopter-specific autopilot systems.

Safety remains a top priority for the company. This is why they host regular safety courses for instructors and technicians and maintain active participation in safety initiatives like the International Helicopter Safety Team. With over 13,000 helicopters delivered globally, the Robinson Helicopter Company maintains quality in-house manufacturing, assembly, inspection, and testing at its Torrance, California facility.

Robinson Raven Development

The Robinson Helicopter Company expanded its product line by developing the 4-seat R44 helicopter. With similarities to the R22, the R44 prototype first flew in March 1990 and received its certification the following year.

Production for the Raven R44 began in Torrance before moving to Santa Maria, California. Within the first day of R44 sales, 36 deposits were taken – orders reached 150 by mid-1993. The R44 is known for being fuel efficient with a patented tri-hinge rotor with a rotor brake.

  • Country of Origin: America

Robinson Raven R44 Statistics

  • Maximum Speed: 108 kts
  • Maximum Range: 350 nm
  • Maximum Occupants: 4
  • Range Of Years Manufactured: 2000–2002
  • Total Aircraft Build: 6,000+
  • Current Operational Aircraft: 4,900
  • Useful Load: 1,005 lbs.
  • Average Sale Value: $444,000
  • Average Days On Market For Sale: 105 Days
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Operational Resources

Operations Manual

Maintenance Document

Local Resources



Robinson Raven Details


A Robinson Raven R44 helicopter features a spacious cabin with seating for up to 4 total passengers. Seating comes in a choice of tan, charcoal, gray cloth, or leather upholstery and is placed next to large windows for excellent visibility. The Raven R44’s cockpit is equipped with Garmin avionics and instruments.


The exterior of a Robinson Raven R44 helicopter features a sleek and compact design. It has a 2-blade main rotor system and a 2-blade tail rotor. This helicopter is constructed mainly of metal with components made of composite materials to reduce its weight. The Raven R44 has a distinctive bubble canopy, which provides excellent visibility for the pilot and passengers.


A Robinson Raven R44 (2002) may or may not have the following avionics:

  • Garmin GNS 430 GPS
  • Garmin GTX 327 Transponder W/ ADS-B Out
  • Avionics Innovation AICD III Music Player
  • Attitude Indicator
  • Directional Gyro
  • VOR Receiver
  • Turn Coordinator
  • Pilot Accessory Bar

Optional Additional Equipment

  • Millibar Altimeter Pilot Co-Pilot Bubble Windows
  • Rear Passengers Bubble Windows
  • 4 Interfaced Headsets for Left and Right Seats
  • Dart Replacement Window Kit
  • Dart Cold Weather Baffles
  • Dart Bearpaws
  • Dart Cargo Mirror
  • Dart Floor Protectors
  • Tail Pedal Boot Kit
  • 14 Volt Aux Power Outlet


  • Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Skids
  • Max Seats: 4
  • Max Take-Off Weight Raven I: 2,400 lbs.
  • Max Take-Off Weight Raven II: 2,500 lbs.
  • Cruise Raven I: 113 kts
  • Cruise Raven II: 117 kts
  • Range: 350 nm
  • Length: 29 ft. 5 in.
  • Height: 10 ft. 10 in.

Robinson Raven Models

Robinson Beta R22

Initially introduced as the R22, subsequent models like the R22 HP and Beta series incorporated enhancements, such as a:

  • More powerful engine
  • Modified landing gear for improved ground performance
  • Additional features like a rotor brake and optional floats

The R22 Beta II was further upgraded to a larger engine for increased altitude performance and standardized features like the engine speed governor and carburetor heat assist. Despite variations in configurations for specific applications like instrument training or law enforcement, the R22 retains the classic skid landing gear design in current production models.

Robinson Astro R44

Robinson welcomed its R44 Astro in 1993 after making its debut flight in March 1990. What makes this aircraft unique is that it is powered by a 6-cylinder boxer engine with a carburetor and lacks hydraulic control. Because of its lack of a hydraulic system, it takes much more physical effort to fly compared to later models with hydraulics added.

Robinson Cadet R44

Introduced in 2022, the Cadet is a Raven 1 with AFT cargo, increased TBO, and lower performance. This aircraft also has floats as an option. This 2-seat R44 Cadet is a versatile helicopter designed for flight schools and operators seeking a cost-effective option – without compromising power and performance. Sharing the airframe, rotor system, and Lycoming O-540 engine with the R44 Raven I, the Cadet offers a:

  • Reconfigured cargo compartment
  • Reduced maximum gross weight of 2200 lbs.
  • Derated engine power at 210 horsepower take-off and 185 horsepower continuous

These adjustments enhance performance at high altitudes and extend overhaul intervals to 2400 hours. Equipped with streamlined instrument panels and a crashworthy fuel system, Cadets provide a reliable and efficient training platform for various aviation needs.

Robinson Raven R44

Developed based on the preexisting Robinson R22 aircraft, the R44 has been the world’s best-selling general aviation helicopter every year since 1999. On March 31, 1990, the R44 made its first flight and received the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification in December 1992 while making its first delivery in February 1993. The Raven R44 was introduced in January 2000. It features hydraulically assisted controls and adjustable pedals and is powered by a Lycoming IO-540 AVGAS engine.

Robinson Raven I R44

Other than minor upgrades and improvements the Raven I designation has the same essential design as the R44.

Robinson Raven II R44

The Robinson Raven II R44 was first introduced in 2002. It is a 4-seat aircraft widely used for training, tourism, and aerial photography. Furthermore, the Robinson Raven II R44 offers a sleek design and a powerful Lycoming IO-540 six-cylinder, fuel-injected engine.

Robinson R66

Launched in 2010, the Robinson R66 is a single-engine helicopter with 2-bladed main and tail rotors, a fixed skid landing gear, and construction of advanced composites, aluminum alloy, and chromoly steel. Its cargo hold is capable of carrying up to 300 lbs., a first for Robinson helicopters.

Powered by the compact and lighter RR300 engine burning Jet-A fuel, the R66 has a lower empty weight compared to the R44, offering cost-effective maintenance with a simplified compressor design. Optional equipment like a cargo hook and digital glass cockpit enhance its versatility and utility, expanding its maximum gross weight for various operational needs. Robinson’s R66 helicopter is currently in production.

Top Robinson Raven R44 Questions

The following are common questions about the Robinson Raven R44 series of helicopters.

How Much Is A New Robinson Raven R44?

A factory-new R44 Raven II with air conditioning costs about $592,230.

What Is The Robinson Raven R44 Known For?

On August 8, 1997, a Robinson R44 Astro piloted by Jennifer Murray set a record as the fastest piston engine rotorcraft to circumnavigate the world eastbound. Murray also set the record as the first helicopter circumnavigation of the world by a woman. Murray covered a distance of 36,000 miles in 97 days.

On June 30, 2002, a Robinson R44 piloted by Quentin Smith and Steve Brooks achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first piston-engined helicopter to land at the North Pole, showcasing the aircraft’s versatility and capabilities in challenging environments.

Is A Robinson Raven A Good Helicopter?

The R44 has been the world’s best-selling general aviation (GA) helicopter every year since 1999. It is one of the most-produced GA aircraft of the 21st century, with 5,941 deliveries from 2001 to 2020.

How Easy Is It To Fly A Robinson Raven?

The R44 is known for being a relatively easy helicopter to fly, especially for pilots transitioning from smaller aircraft or fixed-wing airplanes. But because helicopters require a different set of skills compared to single-piston aircraft, a Raven R44 pilot should have the skills of hovering and autorotation.

How Can I Improve The Value Of A Robinson Raven?

It is possible to increase Robinson Raven II’s value by up to $18,500 with the addition of air conditioning.

What Is The Average Cost Of Insurance To Cover A Robinson Raven R44?

The average insurance cost for a Robinson R44 is $9,690 with $200,000 in hull coverage. The average insurance cost for liability-only coverage is $2,187.

Is The Robinson Raven R44 Still In Production?

Yes, Robinson Helicopter Company still produces the Raven R44 as the R44 Raven II. The Raven II has a useful weight of 1505 lbs., a max speed of approx 300 nm, and a range of up to 109 kts.

The new 4-seat R44 Raven II is known for its high performance, reliability, and easy maintenance. It features a two-bladed rotor system, T-bar cyclic, streamlined instrument panels, and a crashworthy fuel system.

The Raven II has a lightweight yet strong airframe made of an aluminum monocoque and powder-coated steel tube structure with an aerodynamic fuselage enhancing airspeed and fuel efficiency. Hydraulically boosted controls ensure responsive handling by eliminating feedback forces.

Additionally, the helicopter’s low tail-rotor tip speed and large cambered tail reduce flyover noise. This aircraft is powered by Lycoming’s IO-540 fuel-injected engine. Custom base and trim color options for the R44 Raven II include:

  • White
  • Charcoal
  • Khaki
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Ferrara Red
  • Arista Blue
  • Black
  • Bright Silver Metallic
  • Charcoal Metallic
  • Sand Metallic
  • Medium Gold Metallic
  • Orange Metallic
  • Volcano Red Pearl Metallic
  • Red Metallic
  • Purple Metallic
  • Viper Blue Metallic
  • Dark Blue Metallic
  • Sherwood Green Metallic
  • Black Metallic

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