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Robinson R44

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Robinson R44

Old 28th Feb 2008, 19:42
  #961 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: UKdom
Posts: 2
It depends on what your comfortable with and what you have flown in before either on your own or with an instructor. Ive been up in a Raven 2 35kts gusting 50kts and it wasn't particularly nice - needless to say the flight didn't last that long and our landing site was nice and sheltered.

Gusty wind versus steady wind is always an issue. Low G may result in gusty conditions as the helicopter climbs and drops - so flying slowly at a reduced pitch is always a good bet.

Passengers, especially those who haven't flown much before, wont like it very much in 20kts with a gust spread up to 35kts.

Gusts up towards 40kts can result in the blades flapping significantly at low RPM which could result in a tail boom strike.

There is something in the flight manual that states maximum wind speeds you should be flying in if you have less than 200 hours in robos but i dont have a copy to hand and wouldnt want to misquote.

At the end of the day - if you're flying for pleasure - you dont have to be in poor conditions in the first place.
misterbonkers is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2008, 19:59
  #962 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Where it rains a lot .....
Posts: 213

hey, thanks for that - this is what the manual says:-

‘The following limitations (1-3) are to be
observed unless the pilot manipulating the
controls has logged 200 or more flight hours in
helicopters, at least 50 of which must be in the
RHC Model R44 helicopter, and has completed
the awareness training specified in Special
Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 73,
issued February 27, 1995.
1) Flight when surface winds exceed 25 knots,
including gusts, is prohibited.
2) Flight when surface wind gust spreads exceed
15 knots is prohibited.
3) Continued flight in moderate, severe, or
extreme turbulence is prohibited.’

I cant agree more on the flying for pleasure statement, If I'm not sure - i dont go. but having a machine sitting on back lawn i was looking for advice from you guys as the wind in the UK is a little up and down at the mo. I have booked some advanced instruction with my instructor over this weekend a its predicted to be 25mph gusting 35mph.
any comments would be appreciated.

nellycopter is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2008, 20:01
  #963 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Earth.
Posts: 464
Personally I would recommend you don't go experimenting in conditions you have not previousley flown in. Get some advice from instructors at your local school or where you trained. I does depend where you are flying though, we often get people asking for advice about conditions, which normally would be ok. The joys of lots of mountains! I have been caught unaware by some pretty bad turbulance before in a R44, my thoughts... "there's a nice field, time for a cuppa!"

"Better to be down here wishing you were up there, than being up there wishing you were down here!"


Beat me to it. Am I right in thinking that Robinson issued a notice to remove the recomendation of wind limits, as even pilots with more than 200 hours were having problems? Correct me if I am wrong.

Last edited by TiPwEiGhT; 28th Feb 2008 at 20:04. Reason: An addition...
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Old 29th Feb 2008, 07:38
  #964 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: midlands
Age: 60
Posts: 61
R44 corrosion

The later Raven 2's corrode. Period.

A fine machine blighted by a move AFAIAA to more environmentally friendly coatings.

Mine started to corrode extensively on the boom and tail after a year.

It started as small festers at overlapped joints, ie beneath the paint and got so bad that, at less than 2 years old, something had to be done. By this time, the fuel tank edges were starting to go too.

RHC denied all liability, citing the poor UK weather but - bless them - offered to repair the parts if I sent them back. As an alternative, they offered to supply the paint...(!)

Downtime and shipping costs precluded - I had it done in the UK. It cost me a couple of thousand quid.

RHC responded only to my first Email and have stonewalled me since.

My aircraft is privately owned and, as you would expect of a low time hobby pilot, not flown in poor weather. Indeed, I can number the times I have flown it in the rain on the fingers of one hand.

It otherwise lives in a heated/ dehumidified new purpose built hangar.

RHC's refusal to accept liability, all within the 2 year warranty period, leaves the innocent distributors exposed.

Having spent well over £200k on a new aircraft, you would reasonably expect the paint to last as well as that on a sixty quid Halfords bike wouldn't you?

I was really upset but the jobs now done - I have moved on. Whilst the thing wasn't deriveted, ie to cure the corrosion within overlapped joints, it has been fine since.

I would urge anybody ordering a new machine to specifiy the additional corrosion protection - deemed completely unecessary when I spec'd my machine in view of the excellent corrosion history up until I order mine.

If you havent...stick a stethoscope against the tailboom, listen to those tin worms munching away and start saving up for the repairs.

There are some excellent inhibitors on the market. I insisted on a regular liberal coat of ACF 50(?) inside all vulnerable panels.

Thinking of buying a late 44?

I would think about the corrosion issues very seriously and either buy an older one or a brand new one with the addition protection. It shouldnt be difficult to ID the blighted serial numbers, mine is one of them of course.

Keen to share experiences with others.


Jackboot is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2008, 21:57
  #965 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 1,334
R22 to R44 expectations.

I fancy a change from elastic band to spring power, and want to make the most of my meagre funds.

Any advice from the Robbie pros out there for a very low hours chap to look out for? I just want to have some mental preparation for what to expect / look for.

BTW, the search algorithm moaned at "R22 to R44" having too few letters.
I would welcome being pointed at the (probably many) R22-->R44 threads...

I have already skimmed:

Thanks in advance.

Edit: @pologies Senior Pilot - i suspect this topic has already been covered.
Again, and again, and again, and again....

Last edited by Graviman; 29th Feb 2008 at 22:10.
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Old 1st Mar 2008, 07:30
  #966 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: midlands
Age: 60
Posts: 61

Having moved directly from the 22 to the R44 - then on to my own machine - the differences are all very positive.

The 44 is undoubtedly a safer machine.

It is easier to fly, especially with hydraulics and, even at high weights, you still tend to have plenty of power in reserve, unlike the 22. The 44 engine will invariably reach TBO because of this, whereas the 22, working a lot harder, will be very unlikely to - especially if used for training.

The 44 therefore doesn't routinely work anywhere near as hard, or as close to the limits.

The 44, especially the Raven 2, is such a capable machine. It will whisk 4 people in comfort, at speeds the older Jetrangers could never achieve, and with plenty of storage under each seat for luggage. Speed - 110kts is no problem, pulling only 21 or 22 inches whereas the 22 is thrashing itself to death to achieve anything beyond 85kts.

It will lift almost 1000lbs.

You will see elsewhere though that the new 44's corrode big time. My advice is to buy a new one and specifiy the corrosion option. Otherwise, check out the blighted serial numbers ( mine is one!) and either avoid them by buying an older machine or satisfy yourself that the corrosion has been addressed and the machine properly inhibited. The older ones never suffered from corrosion.

Bubble windows are nice but knock 5kts off! They also 'suck out' in the cruise allowing the rain to trickle in. You can specify an optional spoiler fit that prevents this so don't order the one without the other.

The standard trim is basic - take the leather option plus additional after-market door trims with pockets.

Hope helps.

Jackboot is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2008, 13:06
  #967 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Close to the hangar, UK.
Posts: 165
Graviman, I'd second everything Jackboot said. Bought mine last Nov and am pleased with it (to date - 70ish hrs).

Depending on how you think the $ will fair against the £ depends a lot on the depreciation you'll expect.

I took the bubble windows as they also give that extra bit of shoulder room, but haven't had a problem with leaks yet. Also took the leather and interior trim (handy door pocket). I also took the 4 point front harnesses which introduces a cross cabin bar that I've found passengers in the back like to hold on to if they feel edgy (or perhaps that's just my flying!).

Having just completed a type rating on the 206 Jet Ranger it is amazing how much more forgiving the 44 is when it comes to mass & balance and tail rotor authority. Taking off from a confined area with 4 PAX and a load of fuel in the Jet Ranger you'll spend half the time with your eyes glued to the torque gauge and an unexpected gust or sidewind could easily see it overtorqued.

Although there are many that think the Robies are under-engineered I've always felt they offer an affordable and safe form of rotary flying.
firebird_uk is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2008, 14:25
  #968 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 45

What are the "blighted serial numbers" as regards corrosion on an R44 ?? Have they been listed before?
cholmondeley is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2008, 22:14
  #969 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: midlands
Age: 60
Posts: 61
Cross cabin bar

If you are referring to the lateral bracing bar that runs the full width of the cabin and (also) supports the front seat backs - this is a standard part of the structure and not installed specifically to support the 4-point harness. Mine has the standard inertia reels plus this bar.

The optional non-RHC leather trim includes some neat rolls of padded leather around this crossbar.

Blighted serials? I dont know but I bet your maintenance centre will have a pretty good idea...?? They will know only too well when the corrosion problem started. If they are like mine, they will be frustrated to hell at dealing with irate customers and at the same time not enjoying the support of the manufacturer.

Its time RHC stood by their product, admit that they have a problem and deal with it in the proper way.

Here I am singing their praises for a fine machine and yet have had to shell out a considerable sum of money, well within the warranty period, to put a nearly new aircraft back in the condition it should have remained in for many years, not just one.....!

Jackboot is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2008, 09:15
  #970 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 1,334
Gosh, some great feedback already. Thanks, Jackboot, firebird_uk, cholmondeley!

Aplogies, but my inital post was misleading - for helicopters i still fly under instruction. I have piloted gliders solo, but gladly welcome the experience for helicopters. It's nothing to do with ability or enthusiasm, it's just that i don't have the cash to commit to a PPLH then maintain it to a safe standard. A couple of moments in gliders taught me about pride before a fall...

I gather the hydraulics stop any control forces, but the machine has a slightly slower response time over R22. Any hints for lift-off / touchdown, or hovering, taxiing?

Last edited by Graviman; 3rd Mar 2008 at 16:29.
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Old 3rd Mar 2008, 23:34
  #971 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: uk
Age: 57
Posts: 98
Something else that I like about the R44 is the endurance. If I go away for a weekend with Mrs. Ed we can chuck a couple of bags in the back, fill up to the brims with fuel and go flying. I did a trip from the midlands to cornwall in the R22 a few years ago and we had to fill up with fuel every 90 mins or so.

As to flying differences, autos are a dream. Try doing an auto from 100 kts at 800 feet and you won't believe how far you will travel after the R22. On my first lesson I found that stopping over a specific point from a fast walking pace would cause a bit of an overshoot with the extra momentum. It just took a few minutes to get the feel.

Have fun,

johned0 is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2008, 06:27
  #972 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 444
Try doing an auto from 100 kts at 800 feet and you won't believe how far you will travel after the R22.
Even better - try the 90/90 auto they teach at the factory in the 44. 90kts at 90% - you'll glide forever.
JimBall is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2008, 12:18
  #973 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 103
blade delamination

sorry to break up the robbie love in... But we have just been struck down with the dreaded delamination. Anyone got any experience of how long it takes to get replacements.. I'm guessing there is backlog
generalspecific is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2008, 14:20
  #974 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: midlands
Age: 60
Posts: 61
Blade delam

Delamination - Aaaargh. Tell us more please. Hours, age, conditions flown in etc. etc. Does this write the blades off or can they be repaired?

How much money are we talking about for new blades if so?

Were they both similarly affected?

I have looked at the Airwolf STC'd blade tape - seems a great idea - but my maintenance organisation tell me that RHC do not approve it????

I would fit it if approved here in the UK. Seems a very sensible investment to me.

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Old 4th Mar 2008, 16:02
  #975 (permalink)  

Cool as a moosp
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Mostly Hong Kong
Posts: 802
Jackboot, we have apparent delamination on a 200 hour blade. I say apparent as the only indication is that the paint has peeled beyond the leading edge/lower skin interface at the tip and that so worries Robinson. There is no adverse noise from the tap test.

We sent a photo of the area to Robinson and they said ground it. We do not know how long it will take to get a replacement, for which we will have to pay.

If such manufacturing defects occurred in most other machinery the company would be obliged to replace the part. I have heard it said that Robinson has more lawyers than engineers, so perhaps this is why we just go on paying.

I would assume that Robinson do not approve the Airwolf STC because by doing so they would admit to a design or manufacturing problem. It seems a good idea as long as it is done before the paint peels off.

When an R44 is flying, it is in my opinion one of the the best private flying helicopters available. The manufacturing problems are another issue, but they must be taken into consideration if you are thinking of buying one.

I also love the EC120 for private flying, at three times the cost, but on this thread that is serious thread drift
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Old 4th Mar 2008, 17:49
  #976 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: midlands
Age: 60
Posts: 61

Hi MooseP - the potential costs involved in replacing delaminated blades renders my wallet hit for corrosion after just one year mere chicken feed.

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that a machine designed to fly for 12 years/ 2400hrs is defective if a major part fails after just 200hrs.

Anyway - I would expect RHC to instruct you to ground it for sheer liability reasons. It may well be that you dont have the problem?

I agree that the 44 is a great machine. However, the customer support is poor. Surely there must be lawyer customers out there who have decided to do more than just sit on their hands??

Please keep us all posted on developments - this affects all owners big time.

Until your post I had expected it to affect high time machines, worked hard and in extreme environments.

I avoid rain whenever I can - my machine has rarely got wet. It has never flown in driving rain - ever.

Tape - RHC can surely endorse the tape without admitting they have a problem. Blade eroisin is a factor that effects helicopters - period.

Why else would the military fit the tape?

Jack B
Jackboot is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2008, 19:45
  #977 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: In the air with luck
Posts: 1,007
For it
Read about tape AMOC.
If it is approved what can Robinson say or do, if your blades delaminate, you are on your own anyhow, so the cost of tape is a bit like insurance
Against it

We use tape on the 300 & 500 saves erosion, but does not last the life of blade, especially with heavy use.

Click on protection blade
protection leading edge
This is for information not suggesting you use but interesting reading

Last edited by 500e; 4th Mar 2008 at 20:10.
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Old 8th Mar 2008, 01:20
  #978 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: airport
Posts: 343
Originally Posted by Jackboot
The standard trim is basic - take the leather option plus additional after-market door trims with pockets.
Where did you see that, any link or info on them?
Runway101 is offline  
Old 8th Mar 2008, 09:10
  #979 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: midlands
Age: 60
Posts: 61
Additional trim.

I bought my 44 from HeliAir at Wellesbourne. The additional trim is something they have perfected over the years. it is great. You get (1) Door trims on all doors - pilot and 2 rears with elasticated pockets ( Ie no pax side pocket in view of the collective on that side) (2) Seat backs/ pockets. (3) padded rolls for the lateral seat support tubes (4) Nice little pocket between the rear seat backs for Ipod etc.

The additional leather matches the original perfectly.

The 44 has very basic trim - all a masterpiece of weight-saving. however, a couple of pounds transforms the interior completely, commensurate with the amount of dought you spent buying the thing!

Why not contact HeliAir and see if they will supply the trim kit by mailorder.

Post your experiences here.

Jackboot is offline  
Old 8th Mar 2008, 16:44
  #980 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 1,334
R44 Hydraulics Schematics

Kind folks,

Now that i have sampled the delights of the R44 hydraulic system, i wanted to look over the schematics. This is to just gain an initial understanding helicopter hydraulic systems. I've tried googling but no joy, and i suspect the actual workshop manual is not widely distributed from the Robinson factory.

johned0, agreed about the endurance. Conditions were 23kt winds over hilly terrain so unfortunately a back seater became unwell, and i never really got the feel of the pedals before entering the hover. Still a great flight though.
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