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Rotor Technologies and Robinson Helicopter Company collaborate on uncrewed helicopter technology

Rotor Technologies and Robinson Helicopter Company have jointly displayed the R550X, an uncrewed helicopter based on the Robinson R44 Raven II, at Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California.

“The R550X is the first production uncrewed aircraft to be built on a Robinson platform. Capable of lifting heavy loads up to 1,200 pounds (550 kilograms) with no pilot onboard, the R550X is designed to conduct agricultural, utility, maritime, and cargo operations without exposing pilots to hazardous flight environments” according to the press release.

“The Spirit of New Hampshire, a static prototype of the R550X, was on display at Heli-Expo from February 27 to February 29, 2024, alongside a Robinson R66 police helicopter. Visitors interacted with the R550X’s synthetic vision, camera, and LIDAR systems, which offer 360-degree situational awareness even at night and in low-visibility conditions.

“Heli-Expo 2024 marked a major leadership transition for Robinson Helicopter Company, with David Smith named as the company’s new president and CEO. Smith is committed to the company’s legacy of innovation and growth. With his experience and fresh perspective, he plans to continue the culture of excellence and collaboration, driving the company forward with new product development initiatives, and expanded manufacturing capabilities. Smith recognizes the importance of staying at the forefront of technological advancements like Rotor’s.

“The R550X is an important project for Robinson’s customers and the future of light helicopters, where the adoption of digital systems and higher levels of automation will drive safety, mission capability, and scalability. At Heli-Expo, Rotor CEO Hector Xu and Smith celebrated milestones in the R550X program and plans to begin low-rate production.”

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(Image: Rotor Technologies)

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