Robinson R66 Passes Snow Testing

Helicopter performs in some of the worst winter conditions.

Robinson R66Robinson Helicopter

Robinson's turbine-powered five-seat R66 helicopter has passed testing required by the FAA and Transport Canada to fly in snow conditions. Flying in falling or blowing snow has been prohibited per the R66 Pilot's Operating Handbook, but with this recent successful test the restriction has been lifted.

To qualify, the R66 had to perform in some of the worst winter conditions found on Earth. To find these conditions, Robinson went to Spray Lakes in Canada, near Banff, Alberta, in November.

Under freezing temperatures, low visibility and heavy snowfall, the R66 test pilots conducted a 20-minute ground run, five-minute IGE (in ground effect) hover and 60-minute cruise flight. Robinson said that despite the extreme conditions there were no snow build-up in the engine intake area and no detectable decrease in engine performance, both requirements for passing the test.