Robinson delivered R66 Turbine serial number 1,000 to company dealer Les Gillespie of Gardner Aviation of Peachtree City, Georgia, on July 29. The retail purchaser is Donovan Valentine of Monarch Helicopters of Nashville, Tennessee, who previously owned a piston-powered R44 and decided to upgrade to the five-seat, light turbine single to better serve his tour company.
Robinson delivered the first R66 in November 2010, and the in-service fleet recently surpassed 1.2 million flight hours without a single reported in-flight failure of its Rolls-Royce RR300 turbine engine. R66s have flown to the North Pole and circumnavigated the globe multiple times.
“Delivering serial number 1,000 demonstrates the R66 is the top performer and leader in its class,” said Robinson president Kurt Robinson. The company has delivered a variety of options for the R66 over the years, including cargo hook, lithium-ion battery, fuel flow system, auxiliary fuel tanks, impact-resistance windshields, touchscreen avionics, an SAS/autopilot, air conditioning, and heated seats. The aircraft is also available in police, news, and float configurations.
The helicopter's base price is $920,000, while the R66 Marine with pop-out floats runs $965,000. The R66’s cabin measures eight inches wider than that of the R44. Empty weight is 1,290 pounds and the useful load with full totals 1,420 pounds.