Robinson Helicopter Co have put out a press release to say that they have delivered two R44 Cadets to Texas distributor Sky Helicopters, noting the serial numbers are 30006 and 30007. Given the first one in the numerical series is the factory demonstrator and development aircraft, that means they have only delivered six Cadets since the FAA certified the model in May 2016. They also issued a press release in July when the first pair of Cadets were sold to Australia.
Six deliveries in five months is not a success for Robinson, in fact quite the opposite. It makes us wonder what research they did of the potential customer base, and what forward orders (if any) they took for the Cadet model to substantiate the R&D and certification costs.
It is also unusual for Robinson to issue press releases at all, let alone for small orders, and our view would suggest that this could be a desparate measure to try and bolster sales by trying to get the Cadet model back in the headlines.
Robinson continue R44 Cadet production with serial numbers 30008, 30009 and 30011 on the FAA register, and while we all know that production lines do not run in strict numerical order, the progress is lacklustre given the total production numbers they report overall each year across the full model range. Our analysis of Robinson’s overall 2015 production, and comparison to previous years can be found here.
Perhaps the Cadet will be more of a success if the California-based manufacturer decides, finally, to stop production of the venerable two-seat R22? In 2015, Robinson gave up the title of producing more two seater helicopters than any other manufacturer in the world when Guimbal made more Cabri G2s.
Back on 12th November 2015, HeliHub.com had the world scoop on the R44 Cadet model. On 17th we expanded our information in a second article, and Robinson came clean with their own press release on 18th. We understand this was a lot earlier than they had intended.
Maybe Robinson should stick to the successful models that they have built up an enviable reputation with?
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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