Tech Toys 360: Helicopters for High Flyers

Let’s get back to the TV show, Tech Toys 360. Last week I showed you the ICON, a personal airplane featured on the show. But before you run out and buy one, I’ve got another aircraft for you to consider. The Robinson R66.

The R66 is a turbine helicopter, which was approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration in 2010. Like the ICON, this ship (that’s what the guys at the air show call it) is also designed by a PTC customer, in this case Robinson Helicopter Co.

Here are a few specs you probably want to know before you write that check:

  • Cruise speed: 140 mph.
  • Cost to operate: 300 USD per hour, or $1.43 per road mile.
  • Range: 375 miles.
  • Cost of fuel to operate for an hour: $100.
  • Engine: 300 HP, specially built for Robinson by Rolls Royce.
  • Cost: $790,000.
  • Seats 5.

As you might expect, it has its own separate baggage compartment (unlike the older R44, which goes for $450,000 and only seats 4).

(Okay, the truth is that I wouldn’t be at all ashamed to land an R44, or even the original R22, on my cul-de-sac—even if it means I have to stow my lunch box under the seat.)

Here’s the video teaser from Tech Toys 360:

Neat, huh?

But here’s something equally as interesting–a short documentary featuring the engineer who followed his dream to create these helicopters. Frank Robinson started the company in the 1970s, and today builds world’s most popular helicopters.

The video also gives you a peek inside the California factory where the ships are built:

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