Orbic utilizes only the newest and most high-tech helicopters available today. Take a few minutes to checkout our fleet!
Robinson R44 Raven I & Raven II
The R44 range is the mainstay of the Robinson lineup. With the ability to provide ~80% of the capability of light turbine helicopters at less than half the cost, it’s not surprising that the four-seat R44 has become utterly ubiquitous in the helicopter world, completely dominating the light piston helicopter market. Yet despite its low cost and unadorned aesthetic, the R44 is not to be underestimated: these rugged machines have circumnavigated the globe, paid visit to both the north and south poles, and flown just about everywhere in between. Here at Orbic we use the R44 for training, tour and photography flights, wildlife surveys, aerial film production, agricultural flying, and just about everything else you could imagine doing with a helicopter.
Robinson R44 Cadet
Originally envisioned as a replacement for the smaller R22 for the helicopter training market, the R44 Cadet is a training- and utility-optimized variant of the ubiquitous R44 helicopter. Combining the proven airframe and power plant of the R44 Raven I with a reduced seating arrangement (pilot and co-pilot / passenger only), lower maximum takeoff weight, and slightly lower maximum power allowance, the Cadet is able to offer the forgiving flight characteristics of the Raven I at a lower price that is more compatible with the training market.
While the Cadet costs a bit more per-hour to operate than an R22, we firmly believe that the R44 Cadet’s docile flying characteristics, increased safety and power margins, roomier cabin, and powerful air-conditioning system make the learning process significantly easier and more comfortable for our students, resulting in faster progression. With fewer hours spent training to achieve proficiency, the total cost increase associated with learning in a Cadet vs an R22 is minimal. It also has the benefit of giving students experience flying the type of helicopter they’re most likely to rent, purchase, or fly professionally after achieving their license!
The R66 is Robinson Helicopter Company’s newest helicopter model, and their first foray into the turbine-engine marketplace. First flown in 2007 and entering production in 2010, the R66 has revolutionized the light turbine marketplace, offering an unbeatable combination of simplicity, reliability, economical operation, and passenger comfort. At the heart of the R66 is Rolls Royce’s RR300 gas-turbine power plant: a modern derivative of the legendary Rolls-Royce / Allison 250 turboshaft engine. Originally developed during the 1960’s for military applications and used in a variety of venerable, rugged workhorses such as the Bell JetRanger and MD-500 series helicopters, the RR300 combines tremendous performance and battle-proven reliability with very light weight. This capable powerplant allows the R66 to be equipped with five seats as well as a generously-sized baggage hold, yet still clock in at a lower empty weight than the four-seat R44. These features make the R66 an ideal light helicopter for personal ownership, as well as rendering it well-suited to our charter operations.
Robinson R22 Beta
The original Robinson helicopter, the R22 is a small, two-seat aircraft optimized for speed, efficiency, and low operating costs. While it is widely-employed as a training aircraft for initial students due to its affordability, the R22’s minimal reserve power margins, low-inertia rotor system, small cabin, and limited per-seat and max-gross takeoff weights make it a challenging aircraft to learn in. While its demanding flight characteristics can produce excellent outcomes for those students with an abundance of natural aptitude, we’ve determined that most new students are better-served by the more docile R44 Cadet when attempting to meet their primary training needs. That said, all of us at Orbic still adore the R22 and love to fly it! We currently offer advanced training in the R22 for those pilots already possessing their helicopter rating. Whether you’re looking for a more challenging and affordable way to build flight time towards a commercial rating (with an instructor), need an R22 SFAR PIC endorsement, are seeking to become an R22-proficient flight instructor yourself, or simply want to spend some time flying an engaging and fun machine, our immaculately-maintained, factory-overhauled R22 Beta is ready and eager to fly!
Magni M16 Tandem Trainer
Helicopters aren’t the only class of rotorcraft! Our Magni M16 autogyro is an efficient, capable, two-seat, Italian design with dual controls optimized for flight training. While helicopters use powerful engines to turn their rotor blades, allowing them to hover as well as take off and land vertically, autogyros utilize a slightly different approach to rotary-winged flight. In an autogyro, the engine powers a propeller rather than the main rotor. Similarly to an airplane, this propeller produces thrust that pushes the aircraft forward through the air. In contrast to the airplane, however, the autogyro produces lift from a set of un-powered rotor blades which windmill through the air in a state known as autorotation. This results in an aircraft that combines different aspects of helicopter- and airplane-like flight: autogyros are capable of level flight at very low airspeeds, are not prone to stalls during low-speed, high-angle-of-attack maneuvers like airplanes are, and while they can’t take off or land vertically as a helicopter can they are capable of extremely short-field takeoffs and landings. These characteristics and capabilities combined with the gyro’s open cockpit and modest acquisition and operating costs– make the autogyro a superb choice for simply enjoying the wonders of flight. Our immaculately-maintained M16 is available for flight training for those wishing to add a gyroplane rating to their existing rotorcraft certificate, or who simply want to experience this uncommon and exhilarating form of aviation.
The Leonardo (formerly Agusta) 109 is a twin-engine, retractable-gear, multi-role light utility helicopter produced in Italy. Used in numerous applications from VIP transport,
Search and Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, Military, Defense roles and Police operations, the AW109 is a common sight throughout the world of rotary-wing aviation. Utilizing twin turbine engines and an array of redundant systems, as well as an advanced avionics suite and on-board weather radar, the 109 is equipped and certified for single-pilot IFR operations, giving it vastly increased weather capability. Here at Orbic, we use the 109 primarily for providing twin-engine training for pilots seeking multi-engine certifications or experience, as well as for advanced instrument training. With the 109’s tremendous speed, redundant engines and safety systems, all-weather capability, modest landing site requirements, and the ability to comfortably seat four to six passengers in its luxurious passenger cabin, we intend to offer part 135 charter services featuring the 109 in the near future.
One of the first commercially-successful, mass-produced helicopters, the Bell 47 is an aviation classic. Ours example hails from 1963, and although it has undergone one or two choice modifications as well as a meticulous, ground-up restoration process since then, it retains its forgiving handling, unparalleled visibility, and classic looks. In addition to being available for tours and photography flights (seating for one to two passengers, depending on weight), rated helicopter pilots who would like to experience the novelty of the 47 are welcome to come in and fly this historic aircraft with one of our experienced instructors.