The Southern Utah University Aviation Program continues to grow and improve with the arrival of a brand new helicopter. The Robinson R44 Cadet is straight from the factory, and specifically selected in SUU red.
SUU’s Aviation Program works hard to provide students with the best opportunities to learn preparing them for future careers. Robert Paul, Assistant Chief Instructor of the Aviation Program explains “The R44 Cadets are part of a continued dedication of the aviation program to offer students the safest, newest, and most up to date aircraft possible.”
This R44 Cadet is the third of its kind purchased for the aviation program, providing more students with access to the Cadets as the program continues to increase in enrollment and popularity. The helicopter fleet now stands at a total of 12 units, including seven R44 Raven IIs, two Bell 206s, and now, the three R44 Cadets.
Students and staff in the program are especially excited for the R44 Cadet due to its high tech, state-of-the-art features and design. It is equipped with a new Garmin touch-screen avionics package, which simplifies navigation and increases efficiency. The R44 Cadet is one of the newest helicopter models available, as Robinson only began producing the Cadet in May of 2016.
Not only will the Cadet be an impressive addition to the fleet, it will also greatly benefit the aviation students. The R44 Cadets have been purchased with the purpose of replacing the much smaller, R22s. The upgrade to the R44 Cadet will help the program reduce money it spends on fuel and maintenance, and will drastically increase safety for students and instructors.
The aviation program now has two models of R44 helicopters- the Cadets, and the Raven IIs. Although the two aircrafts are similar, instructors believe the addition of the Cadet will provide a significant benefit for the program.
“Between the Cadet and the Ravens, everything is essentially the same in engine and frame,” explains Paul. “However, one major difference is the Raven seats four while the Cadet seats two, making the Cadet lighter weight and reducing the amount of fuel needed. Other differences include that the Cadet is carbureted while the Raven is fuel injected, and the engine on the Cadet is derated further-meaning that you are not allowed to use as much power as in the Raven, even though it is capable of producing it.” The differences in the cadet are highly beneficial in reducing fuel and maintenance costs for the program.
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