Robinson R-22 Helicopter Model
Fly with the Robinson R-22 Helicopter Model. Each piece is carefully carved and painted to provide a unique piece you’ll love. With internal cockpit details.
Length – 16 inches
The Robinson R22 is a two-bladed, single-engine light utility helicopter manufactured by Robinson Helicopter Company. The two-seat R22 was designed in 1973 by Frank Robinson and has been in production since 1979.
The majority of flight testing was performed at Zamperini Field in Torrance, California. Flight testing and certification was performed in the late 1970s by test pilot Joseph John “Tym” Tymczyszyn and the R22 received FAA certification in March 1979. Due to relatively low acquisition and operating costs, the R22 has been popular as a primary rotorcraft trainer around the world and as a livestock management tool on large ranches in North America and cattle stations in Australia. The R22 has a very low inertia rotor system and the control inputs are operated directly by push rods with no hydraulic assistance. Thus, the flight controls are very sensitive and require a light touch to avoid over correcting. A student that masters an R22 generally does not have a problem transitioning to a heavier helicopter. Due to the issues relating to a low inertia rotor system and a teetering main rotor, operation by any pilot in the United States of the Robinson R22 or Robinson R44 requires a special endorsement by a certified flight instructor. Tip weights were added to increase rotor inertia, but the small rotor limits weight.
The R22 is a light, two-place, single reciprocating-engined helicopter with a semi-rigid two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor. The main rotor has a teetering hinge and two coning hinges. The tail rotor has only a teetering hinge.
The normal production variant has skid landing gear. The Mariner version — which is no longer manufactured — provided floats. Wheeled gear is not available.
The basic structure is welded chromoly steel tubing. The forward fuselage is made of fiberglass and aluminum with a Plexiglas canopy. The tailcone and vertical and horizontal stabilizers are aluminum. It has an enclosed cabin with side-by-side seating for a pilot and passenger. The doors may be removed for flight, as is often done for photographic flights, interior cooling in high temperatures, or a 10.4 lb weight saving.
The first version was produced as the R22, followed by the R22 HP, R22 Alpha, R22 Beta, and R22 Beta II. Superficially, the aircraft appear similar. The R22 HP was fitted with a 160 bhp Lycoming O-320-B2C engine, an increase of 10 bhp (7.5 kW) over the original R22. The steel tube frame on the R22 Alpha was modified by extending the aft landing gear mounting points, giving the ship a slightly nose-down attitude on the ground and better matching of the skids to the ground in a low altitude hover with two people on board. The R22 Beta added an engine speed governor (optional), rotor brake, and auxiliary fuel tank (optional). The battery was moved from below the instrument cluster to the engine compartment for better balance. The R22 has been offered as an instrument trainer version, with optional fixed floats as the R22 Mariner, and other special configurations for police work, electronic news gathering, and so on. The R22 Beta II received a larger Lycoming O-360 engine de-rated for sea level operation. It allows greater altitudes for hovering in and out of ground effect (HIGE/HOGE). The R22 Beta II also made the engine speed governor standard and included a carburetor heat assist which correlates adding carburetor heat with decrease in collective control. Only the basic skid style is currently being sold.
Instead of floor-mounted cyclic sticks between the pilot’s knees, the R22 uses a unique teetering “T-Bar” control connected to a stick that emerges from the console between the seats. This makes it easier for occupants to enter and exit the cabin and reduces chances for injury in the event of a hard landing. The teetering bar has a hand grip on both sides that hangs down between the pilots’ legs. Thus, if teetered to the right, the right side pilot would be flying and the left grip would be about 12 inches above the left pilot’s lap. R22 flight instructors quickly learn how to fly with their hand in the air. The left part of the bar, left collective control, and left tail rotor pedals can be removed if the left seat occupant is not certified to fly the R22 or if the space is needed for technical or observer duties. A floor-mounted foot-activated push-to-talk switch facilitates intercom communications for the left seat occupant, although some later models may be equipped with a voice activated intercom system.
The helicopter rotor system consists of a two-bladed main rotor and two-bladed anti-torque rotor on the tail, each equipped with a teetering hinge. The main rotor is also equipped with two coning hinges. Collective and cyclic pitch inputs to the main rotor are transmitted through pushrods and a conventional swashplate mechanism. Control inputs to the pre-coned tail rotor are transmitted through a single pushrod inside the aluminum tail cone.
To ease the pilot’s workload, a mechanical throttle correlator adjusts the throttle as the collective pitch control is raised or lowered. The pilot needs to make only small adjustments by twisting the throttle grip on the collective throughout the flight regime. Later models are also equipped with an electronic governor which works to maintain RPM within normal operating limits (between 97% and 104% RPM); the governor is active only when the engine is running above 80% RPM, and is most effective in normal flight conditions. The governor can be switched on or off with a toggle switch located at the end of the pilot’s collective pitch control. When the governor is not engaged, a yellow caution light glows on the instrument panel.