Robinson production at lowest for 23 years

Robinson production at lowest for 23 years 7 Jan, 11, Source: HeliHub.com

In line with the global recession, Robinson Helicopter Co produced a very modest 162 helicopters last year, just 18% of their peak figure of 893 just two years earlier.  The total was made up of

  • 40 x R22 Beta II
  • 32 x R44 Raven/Clipper I
  • 80 x R44 Raven/Clipper II
  • 10 x R66 Turbine

When working with HeliHub.com on these numbers, Frank Robinson’s daughter Terry Hane made particular note of the fact that these figures are for production and not deliveries.  Either way, the total of 162 is the lowest annual figure they have released since 1987.

In October 2010, HeliHub.com interviewed Frank Robinson at length, and the following is a paragraph taken from an article we wrote “Surviving the recession, by Frank Robinson” explaining the company’s approach through the recent difficult times.

“Seeking his current views on how the recession was panning out for RHC, Frank said they were cautiously optimistic. With steady increases in sales, RHC was pulling out of the recession at an rate that is both realistic and sustainable. This contrasts with the depths of the downturn when RHC reduced their headcount by 300. Although Frank was unhappy at the need to carry out such a reduction, he felt it was a positive move for the company as it allowed them to refine the workforce by making the lowest performers redundant. At the appropriate time, they will recruit again, and California laws do not require them to re-employ the same people they had previously laid off. So the recession had a vicarious benefit in allowing RHC to become leaner.”

Looking ahead to 2011, another recent article by HeliHub.com noted production rates at 7 per week – thus approx 350 for the year – made up of one R22, three R44s and three R66s.  This certainly provides a more positive outlook as the company heads back to the levels they recorded between 2004 to 2008.  Across these five years, they produced 3,961 helicopters – averaging 792 per year.

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