While much of the aviation industry was licking its wounds in
2010... there were some bright spots and changes that should make
2011 a brighter year for GA. In particular, 2010 marked a year of
transition for Robinson Helicopter Company.
Not only did the much-anticipated R66 start shipping, but Frank
Robinson passed the reins of management over to his son, Kurt --
who has been a part of RHC since 1987. Robinson intended to retire
on his 80th birthday in January, 2010 but elected to postpone his
retirement until the design of the R66 Turbine was complete. With
R66 production underway and FAA certification imminent, Robinson
decided to make his retirement official. Kurt Robinson was elected
by the Board of Directors to assume the positions of President and
Chairman on August 10, 2010.
During the first half of the year, the company worked to move
unsold inventory created by the unstable economy. By mid-year, the
inventory was gone and the company saw a surge in new sales.
Production was ramped-up as orders steadily increased most notably
in the third and fourth quarters. By the end of the year, Robinson
had accumulated a backlog of 169 new orders. Total production for
the year was 162 aircraft (40) R22s, (112) R44s and (10) R66s.
With the newly certificated R66 and a rapidly growing backlog,
Robinson’s focus for 2011 will be production and product