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Robinson Cadet certified

Two-seat R44 for training

Robinson Helicopter Co. is ready to sell the R44 Cadet following FAA certification announced this month. The two-seat trainer shares the airframe, rotor system, and Lycoming engine of the R44 Raven, minus two seats, and is priced to appeal to the training market.
The Robinson R44 Cadet is a two-seat version of the R44 Raven certified May 6 by the FAA. Photo courtesy of Robinson Helicopter Co.

Robinson engineers removed the rear seats, reduced the maximum gross weight to 2,200 pounds, and derated the Lycoming O-540-F1B5 engine to 210 horsepower for takeoff and 185 hp for continuous operation. The lower weight and derated power give the two-seat Cadet more performance margin at high altitudes, and extend the time between overhaul by 200 hours, to 2,400 hours.

Economy is a key selling point. In addition to the longer-lasting engine, the R44 Cadet is priced at $339,000 (or $367,000 with floats), though buyers can select some options that will boost that bottom line a bit, including air conditioning, stability augmentation and autopilot, and IFR avionics. The company is now accepting orders, and reported in a news release that the lead time is estimated at 10 to 12 weeks.

The R44 Cadet arrives as Robinson and other helicopter makers face a softening market. Robinson’s first-quarter revenue was down $13.8 million over the same period in 2015, according to data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The downturn has affected turbine models in particular; Robinson saw an increase in R44 sales of eight aircraft for the quarter (combining the R44 Raven I and R44 Raven II models).

Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor-Web Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: Helicopter

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