A Look at Robinson Helicopter Shows That Family Bonds Can Even Help Us Soar the Open Sky
Family is one of the most important words in the English language. Family is the driving factor in many of the world’s greatest success stories. And it also explains how Robinson Helicopter Company CEO Frank Robinson created a business that reached the sky.
In 1973 Frank Robinson was a man with a dream. It was becoming increasingly clear that helicopters were going to change the world. Various elements of the machines were becoming easier to manufacture and leverage. However, Frank also noted that the industry as a whole wasn’t really taking proper advantage of the changing market. They were essentially just looking at pieces of the puzzle rather than the larger picture. This prompted Frank to create Robinson Helicopter company.
By 1979 Frank had created the culmination of his dreams. His new company was ready to offer a helicopter he’d dubbed the R22. The R22 was the perfect tool for the job. The industry as a whole was still moving slowly. But flight schools had begun to grow as more and more people were drawn to the open skies. Robinson’s R22 offered a perfect lower-cost solution for flight schools. What’s more, the fact that it was easy to maintain made it an even better match for teaching institutions.
Robinson’s company would continue to grow as demand increased. However, Frank was initially drawn to the world of helicopters because he saw so much potential for innovation. The market was still changing, and Frank wanted to make sure his company stayed on the cutting edge. Over time he’d continue to create new models. But one of the company’s biggest hits was the Raven II. This vehicle was a leap beyond the R line which had started with the R22. The main selling point was a total revision of the engine system. Frank’s company worked hand in hand with Lycoming to create the IO-540 fuel-injected engine. His dedication to custom engine design continued on with the R66 Turbine’s RR300 turbine engine. This engine was created through a partnership with Rolls Royce.
However, it’s important to go back and consider just what gave Frank the motivation to keep going. Part of it is an undeniable love of innovation. But family is the other main component of Robinson Helicopter Company. It’s been in Frank’s family from the very start. And today Kurt Robinson carries on the family tradition. It’s not just a company founded on innovation. It’s also fueled by a desire to live up to the family’s history and liniage.