Right in time for the Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo, which will open its doors next week in Louisville, Kentucky, Robinson Helicopter announced it is far enough along in the development process of its new R44 Cadet helicopter to begin taking orders.
The two-seat Cadet, which was announced in November, will be on display at the international helicopter show. It is a lighter, less powerful version of the Raven I. While the airframe, rotor system and Lycoming engine remain identical, the maximum takeoff power has been de-rated from 225 hp to 210 hp. In addition, Robinson has removed the rear seats, providing a large cargo area in back and reducing the max gross weight by 200 pounds to 2,200 pounds.
Despite the reduced power, the lighter-weight helicopter will perform better at higher altitudes, Robinson said, and the TBO will also increase from 2,200 hours to 2,400 hours, providing a much-appreciated operating cost savings for the training market. The initial price tag is also $40,000 lower than that of the four-seat Raven I.
Customers will be required to put down a $40,000 deposit in order to get in line for the $339,000 helicopter. A float version is also available for $367,000.