Helicopter Pioneer Frank Robinson Passes

TORRANCE, CA., November 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In November 12, 2022 Robinson Helicopter Company said goodbye to its founder. Frank Robinson. 92-year-old Robinson died peacefully at his home Rolling Hills, California home

Frank Robinson 1930-2022

Frank Robinson 1930-2022

One of the most famous names in the helicopter industry, Frank Robinson was a pioneer, a man who, not by awards or accolades, but by vision, redefined the industry and changed general aviation forever.

Robinson is noted for the design and manufacture of the R22, R44 and R66 model helicopters. Popular helicopters are known for their simplicity and reliability, have a distinctive profile, and are easily and frequently seen around the world.

Robinson’s passion for helicopters began in 1939, at the age of 9, when he saw Igor Sikorsky’s VS-300 helicopter in Seattle at a scouting post, an image that captivated Robinson and set the course for his life’s work. did

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He earned his BSME degree from it University of Washingtonwill participate later Wichita State University graduated from the aviation engineering school. His career began with Cessna in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s he worked for many leading aerospace companies, including Bell and Hughes. In 1973, at the age of forty-three, unable to get any of his employers interested in the idea of ​​a simple, personal helicopter, he quit his job at Hughes and founded Robinson Verdes in Palos Verdes. California home Six years later, defying critics and overcoming enormous obstacles, Robinson was granted FAA certification for the R22 two-seat piston helicopter. An unknown helicopter company has delivered the first production R22 in the country October 1979. By 1989, the R22 had established itself in general aviation, opening up a previously untapped market for private helicopter ownership.

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In the early 1990s, realizing the potential of a medium-sized helicopter, Robinson introduced the four-piston R44. Orders for the R44 quickly piled up and the company became a recognized player in the aviation industry. In 2010, Robinson expanded its line once again with the five-seater R66 Turbine.

Robinson’s unwavering determination earned him the respect of both colleagues and opponents. Affectionately called a rock star in some aviation circles, Robinson retired in 2010 at the age of 80.

The list of honors and awards given to Robinson is long. The most important:


Daniel Guggenheim Medal – AHS International


Aviation Engineering Award – Living Legends of Aviation


Cierve Lecturer – Royal Aeronautical Society


Inducted into the US National Academy of Engineering


Howard Hughes Memorial Award – Ditto. Aeronautical Association of California


Name Laurels Hall of Fame – Aviation and Space Technology Week


Doolittle Award – Society of Test Pilots


Laurels Award – Aviation and Space Technology Week

1991 and 1990

International Cup Sikorsky Igor I. – American Helicopter Society

Today, the company continues under the leadership of Frank’s son. Kurt Robinson and has delivered more than 13,000 helicopters worldwide to date.

Robinson Helicopter Company Logo

Robinson Helicopter Company Logo



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SOURCE Robinson Helicopter Company


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