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Mon, Mar 05, 2007

Robinson Helicopter's New R66 Heli To Be Rolls-Powered

New RR300 Turbine To Power Big Brother To R22, R44

Rolls-Royce announced at Heli-Expo 2007 last week it will supply a new turboshaft engine to power the Robinson Helicopter Company’s newly announced R66 rotorcraft.

The new R66 model, a five-seater, is Robinson's first venture into gas turbine-powered rotorcraft -- and into a market dominated by offerings from Bell and Eurocopter. The new helo will complement the company’s existing line of piston-powered aircraft (a four-seat R44 is shown below.)

Representatives with Rolls Royce tell ANN the RR300 will provide 300 shaft horsepower at takeoff, excellent hot and high performance and outstanding value. Rolls-Royce expects FAA type certification by 2008 with full-rate production to follow.

Under the agreement with Robinson Helicopter, Rolls-Royce will provide several hundred RR300 engines in upcoming years.

"We are honored to join with Robinson Helicopter Company on its first turbine-powered aircraft, the R66," said Scott Crislip, President Helicopters & Small Gas Turbine Engines for Rolls-Royce. "We anticipate a great future partnership on this industry-changing aircraft. The RR300 engine represents the latest technology in turbine power and once again Rolls-Royce is leading the way. You will see big things from this small engine."

Key attributes of the RR300 include: lower acquisition and operating costs; low-weight, compact design; improved specific fuel consumption; an embedded engine monitoring system; and an optional, through-life, peace-of-mind maintenance program.

Robinson Helicopter Company is the world's leading producer of civil helicopters and is known for its high performance, reliable aircraft. Founded by Frank Robinson, the company sold 806 rotorcraft in 2005, the most civil helicopter sales of any company in the previous 25 years. The company has produced more than 7,000 helicopters overall.

FMI: www.robinsonheli.com, www.rollsroyce.com

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