1995 Robinson R-22

classic wings r-22

The Robinson R22 is a two-bladed, single-engine light utility helicopter manufactured by Robinson Helicopter.  The two-seat R22 was designed in 1973 by Frank Robinson and has been in production since 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 of the Robinson R-22 or R-44 requires a special endorsement by a certified flight instructor (SFAR No. 73 to Part 61 in the Federal Aviation Regulations). Tip weights were added to increase rotor inertia, but the small rotor limits weight.

classic wings r-22


Robinson R22 on trailer. Trailer is 8 x 30-feet with a gross weight of 3500-lbs.  Because of its small size, relatively low empty weight and two bladed teetering rotor, the R22 is easy to trailer as a recreational helicopter.  While other helicopters can be trailered, their larger size or multi-blade rotor system makes that more difficult. The R22 can be landed on a trailer and secured without having to remove the blades or perform other tasks that should require a licensed mechanic.  The R22 should be securely fastened to the trailer with the tail boom and the blades supported. The trailer should be torsionally rigid to prevent motion and stresses being applied to the helicopter during transportation.  An accomplished pilot can easily take off from and land directly onto the trailer.


Robinson R22 hovering
The R-22 is a single-engined helicopter with a semi-rigid two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor. The main rotor provides a teetering hinge and two coning hinges. The tail rotor provides only a teetering hinge.  The normal production variant has skid landing gear. The Mariner version provided floats. Wheeled gear is not available. The basic structure is welded chrome moly tubing. The forward fuselage is made of fiberglass and aluminum with a Plexiglas canopy.  The tailcone, 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, and are often done so 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
Fitted with a 160 bhp Lycoming 0-320-B2C engine, an increase of 10 bhp (7.5 kW) over the original R22. The landing skid assembly on the R22 Alpha was modified by extending the rear struts, giving it a slightly nose-down attitude on the ground and better matching its attitude in a low altitude hover with two people onboard.  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. It 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 added a Lycoming 0-360 engine, remade of lightweight materials and derated for sealevel 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 “carb heat assist” which correlates adding carb heat with decrease in collective control. Only the basic skid style is currently being sold.

The R22’s cockpit, showing its unique “T-Bar” control.  Instead of a floor-mounted cyclic stick 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 teeter 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 certificated to fly the R22 or needs the room for technical or observer duties. A floor-mounted foot activated push-to-talk switch facilitates intercom communications for the left seat occupant. The R22 has no artificial horizon indicator.

The R22 is a simple and tight design
After 2200 hours of flight time, the R22 must undergo an extensive overhaul. There is also a 12-year inspection requirement if the aircraft has not reached 2200 hours of flight time. The overhaul and/or inspection can be performed by the Robinson factory in Torrance, California (at the Torrance Municipal Airport), or a factory authorized service center in which many of the critical components of the helicopter are checked and replaced per the R22 Factory Overhaul Price List 15 January 2011. After 4400 hours of flight the R22 undergoes an even more extensive overhaul, and is considered to be a “new” helicopter once the overhaul is completed.


General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 28 ft 8 in (8.7 m)
Rotor diameter: 25 ft 2 in (7.7 m)
Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.7 m)
Disc area: 497 ft≤ (46.2 m≤)
Empty weight: 796 lb (389 kg)
Loaded weight: 920 lb (417 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 1,370 lb (635 kg)
Powerplant: 1 ◊ Lycoming O-320-A2B or -A2C flat 4 piston engine, 124 hp (93 kW)
Main tank total capacity: 19.8 US gallons (75 liters)
Main tank usable capacity: 19.2 US gallons (73 liters)
Optional aux tank total capacity: 10.9 US gallons (41 liters)
Optional aux tank usable capacity: 10.5 US gallons (40 liters)
Never exceed speed: 117 mph, 189 km/h, 102 kts
Cruise speed: 110 mph, 177 km/h, 96 kts
Range: 240 mi (386 km)
Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4,267 m)
Rate of climb: 1,200 ft/min (6.1 m/s)
Disc loading: 2.61 lb/ft≤ (13.7 kg/m≤)
Power/mass: 0.095 hp/lb (0.147 kW/kg)
Endurance: approx. 2 hours, with 30-minute reserve

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