Company founder Frank Robinson made a point of showing up at the Torrance, California, factory he built for the ceremonial delivery of Robinson helicopter number 10,000, an R44 that was delivered to Brazilian dealer Audi Helicopters. During the ceremony, Robinson spoke to attendees, telling them with pride that his company did it on its own and never received orders from government agencies. It has, nonetheless, according to president Kurt Robinson, produced more civil helicopters since the early 1980s than every other manufacturer combined, a testimony to the company’s focus on value and utility.
Unlike most airframe manufacturers, Robinson is not going through tough times. Its current output is approximately 10 helicopters per week, and it expects in 2011 to double its 2010 total output. The elder Robinson also credited the city of Torrance for its steadfast support of the company in its early years, a commitment that has paid off over the years, it should be noted, in terms of good paying jobs and tax revenues. A number of city officials attended the event, along with representatives of the FAA, many customers, company employees and vendors and partners.