Operators and enthusiasts alike are passionate about their favorite helicopters. Ever since 1939 when the world’s first practical helicopter took flight in Stratford, Connecticut, people of all ages have loved to fly them and watch them fly.
With well over 20,000 commercial helicopters in the world and plenty in private ownership, there are quite a few helicopters for sale these days. And some of them are downright cool!
The Robinson R44 Raven 1
Undeniably one of the top, if not THE top, piston helicopters available today, the R44 is a four-seat follow-up to the highly successful R22 two-seat trainer. The Astro, the first Robinson R44, was certified in 1992 and in many ways was simply a larger R22 with a 260 hp carbureted Lycoming 6-cylinder engine that is derated to 205 hp for continuous operation.
However, it wasn’t until the introduction of the replacement of the Astro with the Raven 1 and its hydraulically assisted flight controls that the popularity of Robinson took off. Just like the R22, the Raven 1 has flight controls that are directly linked via pulleys and push-pull rods, which along with an expanded engine life to 2,200 hours or 12 years between overhauls, has made this one of the coolest and top Robinson helicopters available.
2019 Raven II
The 4-seat R44 Raven II is very popular. This is due to the fact that it is a high performing and reliable helicopter that is easily maintained and has the latest in Robinson technology. With the Raven II’s aerodynamic fuselage, you get optimum fuel economy and airspeed, and pilots love the streamlined instrument panels and crashworthy bladder fuel tanks.
The Raven II also reduces flyover noise with its newly designed muffler, large cambered tail, and low tail-rotor tip speed. And last but certainly not least, the Raven II’s hydraulic controls eliminate feedback forces and provide responsive handling that you’re going to love.
The R22 Beta II
A proven workhorse, the Beta II of the R22 has delivered exceptional performance for over thirty years. With its two-bladed rotor system, T-bar cyclic, light yet rigid airframe, and those crashworthy bladder fuel tanks, it is one of the coolest two-seaters available.
The Beta II has a maximum range (no reserve) of around 250 nm and a maximum operating altitude of 14,000 ft. Its aerodynamic fuselage optimizes airspeed and fuel economy and its Lycoming O-360 engine (derated to 131 hp for takeoff and 124 continuous) provides reserve power as well as performs better at high altitudes and in hotter climates.
In other words, this early Robinson helicopter is cool and still very popular.
R44 Clipper II
The popular, lightweight, 4-seater R44 Raven I & II have a cool “cousin” in the Clipper I. Basically, the Clipper I is the high performing, reliable, and easy to maintain R44 Raven I with additional corrosion proofing for water operation. The Clipper II is the popular Raven II with the same upgrades for corrosion prevention.
Whichever Robinson helicopter above you decide on, you can rest assured that it is reliable and is built to last.