FAA Approves Robinson R66 Empennage Configuration

The change is designed to provide enhanced roll stability during high speed flight.

Robinson Helicopter Company has received FAA certification for a new empennage configuration for the R66 turbine model. [Courtesy: Robinson Helicopter]

Robinson Helicopter Company has received FAA certification for a new empennage configuration for its R66 turbine model. 

Robinson Helicopters, based in Torrance, California, has been building helicopters for the civilian market since 1973. According to the company, the new empennage configuration "replaces the existing 2,000-hour TBO horizontal stabilizer with a 4,000-hour TBO symmetrical horizontal stabilizer mounted on the tail cone and positioned forward of the original."

The change is designed to provide enhanced roll stability during high speed flight.

According to the company, Robinson will begin delivering FAA-registered R66 production aircraft with the new empennage and tailcone commencing with R66 S/N 1279.

In addition to FAA certification, Robinson is working with civil airworthiness authorities around the world to obtain regulatory approvals for foreign-registered R66s.

The Robinson R66 is a six-place design powered by a Rolls Royce RR300 turbine engine. The Robinson R66 was certified by the FAA in 2010. The R66 has been described as a slightly larger and faster machine than the piston-powered Robinson R44 from which it was derived.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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