Robinson Helicopter has received FAA certification for its R66 Turbine Newscopter. The turnkey ready R66 ENG (Electronic News Gathering) helicopter is a solution for television news outlets wanting a reliable, economical, turbine powered helicopter with a state-of-the-art news broadcasting system.
Powered by the Rolls-Royce RR300 turbine engine, the four-place R66 Newscopter delivers greater capacity and increased altitude performance. The standard R66 ENG package includes a five-axis gyro stabilised gimbal that houses an Ikegami HD camera and Canon╒s 22-to-1 HD lens. For tighter coverage, an optional gimbal that accommodates the camera and Canon╒s 40-to-1 lens is available.
Also standard are Garmin’s G500H PFD/MFD system, Garmin GTN 650 navigator, three HD micro cameras, two seven-inch monitors, and two Geneva digital audio controllers. In the aft compartment, camera controls are located on the centre and laptop consoles and images display on several HD monitors. A multitude of options are available including a HeliSAS autopilot and air conditioning.
On 24 July, Robinson delivered the first production R66 Newscopter to longtime Robinson dealer SKY Helicopters of Dallas, Texas. SKY, a leading provider of ENG services, operates twelve R44 Newscopters.
“The addition of the R66 Newscopter allows us to provide our customers (including those at high- altitudes) with long-lens camera performance and dual-path simultaneous transport streams. This means we can send two different video feeds down one microwave path for stations that share the helicopter,” said Ken Pyatt, CEO of SKY Helicopters.
The R66 Turbine Newscopter meets the latest FAA crashworthiness regulations and is priced at US $1,307,000.