Back in the heady days of 1991, Robinson built no fewer than 402 R22s in one year at their California factory in Torrance. By comparison, the most recent 200 R22s have been produced by Robinson Helicopter Co at a much more leisurely rate over the last four and a half years.
Analysis of these 200 reveals some surprising numbers. With the global recession, most people watching the economic news would expect the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – to be the top four national destinations of new aircraft. But two of these – Russia and India – have not taken one R22 from the production line in the last four and a half years. So just who is buying new R22s?
If you look at the top four destination countries, the USA sits at fourth in the ranking of R22 countries with 12 aircraft. Third and second spots are taken by BRIC countries – Brazil and China with 15 and 25 aircraft respectively. Way out in front is Australia with 104 aircraft. Yes, Australia have taken over 50% of the R22 production line for the last four and a half years, and their uses of R22s are mainly agricultural – spraying and herding in particular.
Robinson have advised HeliHub.com that the current R22 production rate is one per week, with a lead time from order of 8-10 weeks.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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