Robinson Helicopter Company has secured FAA approval for a new empennage configuration for its R44 aircraft. This accomplishment follows the FAA’s prior approval for the same configuration on the R66 Turbine, announced in September 2023. The development and testing of the new empennage design spanned several years, resulting in enhance handling characteristics during high-speed flight.
The new empennage design includes a symmetrical horizontal stabilizer and tailcone, and is now standard on all newly manufactured R44s registered with the FAA.
Robinson now offers a retrofit kit for all R44 owners. The KI-285-2 retrofit kit, originally priced at $7,050 is available at the discounted price of $3,600 until the end of December 2024, which can be purchased via Robinson dealers, service centres or direct from the manufacturer. The retrofit kit allows for the installation of the new symmetrical stabilizer on the existing tailcones in the field without the need for a complete tailcone replacement.
“Robinson continues to invest in engineering enhancements that make our aircraft more accessible and easier to fly”, said Robinson Helicopter President, Kurt Robinson. “Our aim is to deliver unrivalled safety and reliability so pilots can achieve their mission with confidence”.
Robinson is actively collaborating with civil airworthiness authorities worldwide to obtain foreign validation of the new empennage configuration. As these regulatory approvals are obtained, foreign-registered R44s will be delivered with the new empennage as standard.