Robinson R44 Cadet

Announced in late 2015 and now available to order, the Robinson R44 Cadet is a brand-new training and versatile use aircraft. The new model incorporates some unique changes over previous R44 models, making it ideal for the training pilot or anyone looking to develop their skills in a modern helicopter with easy maneuverability and impressive performance at high altitudes.

Based on the original Robinson Raven, the Cadet has been modified to make it ideal for a training helicopter. The rear seats have been removed from the airframe, leaving the helicopter with two seats for pilot and instructor use.

The engine is a six-cylinder Lycoming carbureted engine, the same as available in other R44 helicopters. The difference with the Cadet is that the engine has been de-rated, giving it 185hp available for continuous flying and 210hp available at takeoff. The reduced power, combined with the lower weight, make the helicopter more efficient when considering performance at higher altitudes. Due to engine de-tuning, servicing and overhaul times are extended, making it a great investment for flight schools or private operators who seek affordable solutions.

The Cadet’s Maximum Gross Weight is 2200lbs, and it carries 177lbs of standard fuel (with the capability of carrying 102lbs Auxiliary fuel), and it has a maximum range of 300nm.

As a training helicopter, the Cadet is ideal for a number of reasons. Because it is based on the larger 4 seat platform, it allows beginner pilots to develop experience with a mid-sized helicopter, without having to deal with the extra weight or power. This is beneficial for developing skills in a scalable and safe environment.

The smaller size and reduced power also means that operating costs are lower, so flight schools and private operators can cut down on expenses. Best case scenario, total operating costs per hour can be as low as $203.00, which can make for more affordable training sessions, increasing the accessibility of helicopter pilot lessons in a number of key markets.

With a list price of $339,000.00 USD, the R44 Cadet is one of the more affordable helicopters in its class. This is the base price with standard configuration; however, operators can choose to fit optional extras like leather seats, air conditioning, door observation bubble windows, extra instruments and panels, and a variety of extra features. Options can be factory installed by Robinson, and Robinson also offers ground support extras.

The R44 platform is popular throughout the world, and the new Cadet model leverages the standards set by Robinson, with a lighter and leaner package that favors students and private operators alike. With accessible pricing, the R44 Cadet is likely to be a popular model in the coming years.

Casey Ryan Richards