Photo: Robert Deering 1991
Fort Worth, Texas
is a two-bladed, single-engine light utility helicopter
manufactured by Robinson Helicopter. The two-seat R22
was designed in 1973 by Frank Robinson and has been in
production since 1979.
Due to relatively low acquisition and operating costs, the R22 has been popular as a primary rotorcraft trainer around the world and as a livestock management tool on large ranches in North America and cattle stations in Australia. The R22 has a very low inertia rotor system and the control inputs are operated directly by push rods with no hydraulic assistance. Thus, the flight controls are very sensitive and require a light touch to avoid over correcting. A student that masters an R22 generally does not have a problem transitioning to a heavier helicopter. Due to the issues relating to a low inertia rotor-system and a teetering main rotor, operation by any pilot in the United States of the Robinson R-22 or R-44 requires a special endorsement by a certified flight instructor. Tip weights were added to increase rotor inertia, but the small rotor limits weight.