Robinson R66 Newscopter certified
Robinson Helicopter Company has received FAA certification for its R66 ENG (Electronic News Gathering) helicopter, dubbed ‘Turbine Newscopter’. The standard R66 ENG package includes a five-axis gyro-stabilized gimbal that houses an Ikegami HD camera and Canon’s 22:1 HD lens. For tighter coverage, a gimbal that accommodates the camera and Canon’s 40:1 lens is optional. Also standard are Garmin’s G500H PFD/ MFD and GTN 650 navigator systems, three high-definition micro cameras, two seven-inch monitors, and two Geneva digital audio controllers. In the aft compartment, camera controls are located on the centre and laptop consoles and images display on several HD monitors. Other options include a HELISAS autopilot and air conditioning. Robinson delivered the first production R66 Newscopter on 24 July to long-time dealer SKY Helicopters of Dallas, Texas, which already operates twelve piston-engined R44 Newscopters.
Robinson has also added the True Blue Power TB17 Lithium-ion battery to its R66 options. It offers substantial weight savings, improved starter performance and longer life, the company says. Weighing 16 lb, the TB17 is significantly lighter than the R66’s standard battery, which weighs 42 lb, and its optional high-capacity battery, which weighs 52 lb. Lithium-ion chemistry holds a higher charge voltage and provides a more constant discharge rate than lead-acid, delivering consistent, more reliable turbine starts. The battery’s internal heater facilitates operations in temperatures as low as -40°C. Typical battery life is eight years with a minimal maintenance requirement of a two-yearly visual inspection and capacity check. A cockpit indicator warns the pilot if a battery fault is detected, in which case it automatically takes itself offline. The TB17 is now available on new R66s at $6,900.
The Electronic News Gathering R66 is fitted with cameras and laptop consoles