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Robinson Helicopter Company has completed the first delivery of a float-equipped R44 Cadet two-place helicopter — to an operator in Mexico. The floats provide added flexibility and safety when operating near or over water, and with the aircraft’s extended overhaul times, is well suited for tuna and fishing fleet operations.
The Cadet’s airframe, rotor system, and power plant (Lycoming 0-540-F-1B5) are the same as used in the R44 Raven I. Where the Cadet differs is the rear seats have been removed for additional cargo space, the maximum gross weight has been reduced to 2,200 pounds, and the engine power has been derated to 210 horsepower takeoff and 185 horsepower continuous. The lower weight and derated power provide increased performance margins at high altitudes and extend the time between overhaul from 2,200 hours to 2,400 hours.
On May 6, 2016, Robinson Helicopter Company received Federal Aviation Administration certification for the R44 Cadet. Combining the best of the R22 and R44, the modestly priced Cadet (US$349,000; with floats US$378,000) is targeted at the training market as well as operators that want the economy of a small helicopter with the comfort, power, and performance of a larger helicopter.
Customers have a choice of optional equipment, including air conditioning, stability augmentation system and autopilot, and avionic packages for visual flight rules or instrument flight rules training. Robinson is now accepting orders with an estimated lead time of 16 weeks.