ROBINSON R44 VOLCANIC AIR SAFARIS NEW ZEALAND
Photographie prise en bordure du lac Taupo - Tauranga - Nouvelle-Zélande.
Le Robinson R44 est un hélicoptère léger à moteur à piston lycoming 4-places produit par la compagnie Robinson Helicopter depuis 1992. Au fur et à mesure des années cette machine s'est imposée avec les nouvelles versions R44 Raven et le tout nouveau R44 Raven II (2006). Alliant fiabilité et performance, il est devenu l'hélicoptère le plus vendu au monde dans sa catégorie avec environ 714 exemplaires livrés en 2008. Existe en version police, Clipper, munis de flottants et en version adaptée pour la transmission télévisée, le newscopter.
The Robinson R44 is a four-place light helicopter produced by the Robinson Helicopter Company since 1992. Based on the company's two-place Robinson R22, the R44 features hydraulically-assisted flight controls. The R44 was first flown on 31 March 1990, and received FAA certification in December 1992, with the first delivery in February 1993.
Design and development
The R44 is a single-engined helicopter with a semi-rigid two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor and a skid landing gear. It has an enclosed cabin with two rows of side-by-side seating for a pilot and three passengers. Tail rotor direction of rotation on the R44 is reversed compared to the R22 for improved yaw control authority. On the R44 the advancing blade is on the bottom. Designed during the 1980s by Frank Robinson and his staff of engineers, the R44 first flew on March 31, 1990. The R44 Astro was awarded an FAA Type Certificate in December 1992, with the first deliveries taking place in January 1993. In January 2000, Robinson introduced the Raven with hydraulically-assisted controls and adjustable pedals. In July 2002, Robinson introduced the Raven II featuring a more powerful, fuel-injected engine and wider blades, allowing a higher gross weight and improved altitude performance. In 1997, a Robinson R44 was piloted by Jennifer Murray for the first helicopter circumnavigation of the world by a woman, covering a distance of 36,000 miles in 97 days. Chilean president Sebastian Pinera owns one of these choppers, and has made several public appearances flying it.
Crew: one or two pilots - Capacity: four, including pilot - Payload: 900 lb (408 kg) - Length: 21 ft 5 in (9.0 m) - Rotor diameter: 33 ft (10.1 m) - Tail rotor diameter: 4 ft 10 in (1.5 m) - Height: 10 ft 9 in (3.3 m) - Empty weight: 1,450 lb (657.7 kg) - Loaded weight: 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) - Powerplant: 1× Lycoming IO-540-AE1A5 6 cylinder, flat engine with fuel injection, 245 bhp (183 kW) - Fuel: 100 low lead (100LL) fuel or 100/130. Main tank capacity: 31.6 US gallons (120 liters) - Main tank usable fuel: 30.6 US gallons (116 liters) - Auxiliary tank capacity: 18.5 US gallons (70 liters) - Auxiliary tank usable fuel: 18.3 US gallons (69 liters).
Maximum speed: 130 kn (240 km/h; 150 mph) - Cruise speed: 110 kn (200 km/h; 130 mph) - Range: 300 nmi (560 km; 350 mi) - Altitude restrictions: 14,000 ft (4,300 m) density altitude or 9,000 ft (2,700 m) above ground level in order to be able to reach ground within 5 minutes in case of fire.