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Heliflite Delivers World’s First Production R44 Cadet to GBR Helicopters Training School

Heliflite, Australia’s longest serving Robinson helicopter has recently delivered the world’s first production R44 Cadet to major north Queensland based training school GBR Helicopters.

The new 2-seat R44 Cadet is a welcome addition to the Mareeba based GBR Helicopters training school fleet of two R22 and two R44 helicopters. GBR Helicopters’ co-owners Chris Cooper (pictured) and Ian Johnston have long been keen followers of the R44 Cadet’s development.

"The larger R44 helicopter type is unquestionably an easier helicopter in which to learn to fly when compared to the R22. Students who learn to fly in an R44 will generally develop their skills faster which in turn will progress them through the practical elements of their training faster, helping them to become a better pilot," said GBR Helicopters' Chris Cooper.

"For aspiring commercial pilots, it also builds valuable time in a helicopter type that most will then go on to fly in their first job. Up until recently the comparatively steep price difference between the R22 and the R44 has put off many students who elect to train in the less expensive R22. This has all changed with the R44 Cadet," explained Chris.

"The R44 Cadet operates at a cost base much closer to the R22. For those wishing to learn to fly in an R44 helicopter, the Cadet brings everything within reach. This applies equally to those training for their private licence (and who may want to go on to purchase and fly their own R44 Raven or Clipper), or training for their commercial licence where they will gain valuable PIC time in a much more appropriate helicopter type," said Chris.

With a total fleet of 22 helicopters, GBR Helicopters is a leading helicopter tour, charter and scenic flight company with five operational bases in Queensland including Cairns CBD, Cairns Airport, Mareeba Airport, Port Douglas & Horn Island in the Torres Strait.

The R44 Cadet’s airframe, rotor system, and powerplant (Lycoming O-540-F1B5) are the same as the proven R44 Raven I. Where the Cadet differs is the rear seats have been removed providing ample cargo space, the maximum gross weight has been reduced to 2200 lb and the engine power has been derated to 210 hp takeoff and 185 hp continuous.

The lower weight and derated power provide increased performance margins at high altitudes and extend the time between overhaul (TBO) from 2200 hours to 2400 hours, reducing operating costs. Also, with a newly designed muffler, the Cadet’s flyover noise signature is more than three decibels lower than the current R44 Raven I.

A variety of optional equipment including air conditioning, stability augmentation system and autopilot, and avionic packages for VFR or IFR training are available.

For further information regarding the R44 Cadet, please contact Heliflite on 02 9766 0200

July 24, 2019

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