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FEATURE


BY STEVE GOLDSWORTHY


R66 ROBINSON’S Part three in three part series TURBINE The sound of metal skid shoes scraping against runway asphalt is never


pleasant. But today, there is nothing more fun than doing full down autos in Robinsons new R66. As a pilot who thinks the R44 is a blast to fly, I’m in for a real awak-


ening. The R66 has more room, more power and certainly a lot more inertia upstairs. The main rotor is only a few inches shorter than what you would find on a Bell 206, yet the 66 is around 500 pounds lighter. That makes for some pretty amazing autorotation characteristics. It’s a beautiful brisk morning as I walk


into the Robinson plant in Torrance, California. There is a high wind warning today, but you would never know it, as the winds are dead calm. Doug Tomkins, Robinson’s Chief Test Pilot says hi and we meet up with James from Sloane Helicopters in the UK. James is here to do his R66 checkout as Sloane is on the list of dealers soon to receive their R66.


Moments later, we are all admiring N4512G, Robinsons R66


C/N 0003. We start the preflight with Doug noting some of the differences from the R44. The luggage compartment, the re-designed tail


PHOTOS: MICHAEL EVERHART ROTORCRAFTPROFESSIONAL 34


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