What are the Maintenance Considerations for the Robinson R-44?

What is the Robinson R-44? It’s a four-seater helicopter that many experts hold in very high acclaim, with some even considering it as the best helicopter ever designed. It’s also a very affordable helicopter, and the running costs are pretty small too. Aside from that, Robinson helicopters are very stable and do not require much maintenance at all, especially compared to other similar helicopters.

Some of the positive features of the Robinson R-44 helicopters are it’s light weight although being heavier than previous models, high engine power, and very little maintenance. The only maintenance you have to do for the Robinson R-44 helicopter is a service check up every 100 hours, which is very remarkable considering that other helicopters practically require maintenance and service after every flight. Another important point to consider is safety, and the Robinson R-44 stacks up very well in this area too.

Many pilots have ranked the Robinson R-44 as an extremely reliable helicopter, and some have even mentioned that their helicopter has never broken down. But even if it does break down, you can get replacement parts for your helicopter within 24 hours in most cases due to the fast shipping speed of the company. There are also many mechanics who are qualified to perform repairs on Robinson helicopters in most cities so should you need repairs done you won’t have to travel hundreds of miles, which is the case with a lot of other helicopter brands.

According to Robinson’s latest price guide, a new R-44 helicopter costs $333,000, which is pretty cheap for personal helicopters, and one guy even said: “It’s the best bang for the buck.”

robinson r-44 maintenance

One point you will need to keep an eye on is to check the blades occasionally. The latest blade design is quite fragile and is very thin stainless steel. They’ve been reported to get damaged from a minor options like plastic bottles or even high grass. Another point to keep watch on is the small screws on the metal sheet around the doors because they have been reported by some to become dislodged. Also when landing, if it is a very windy day, it is recommended that you don’t leave the Robinson R-44 helicopter pointing in the direction of the wind because there is a chance the blades will push back and hit the tail boom. That’s something you would want to avoid.

The main maintenance comes at the 2200 hour point or 12-year point. At that point, you can send the helicopter back to the factory, and they will replace virtually all aspects of the helicopter, bringing it to a nearly new condition.

Consider the full list of the scheduled maintenance for the R-44:

Robinson R-44 Scheduled Maintenance

First 25 hours:

  • Change oil and filter and inspect oil suction screen and filter per Lycoming SB480E.
  • Check alternator belt tension per Lycoming Service Instruction  SI 1129.

Every 50 hours:

  • Inspect and service engine per Lycoming Operator’s Manual, SL 1080,
  • Change oil, oil filter, and inspect oil suction screen and removed filter per Lycoming SB480E.

First 100 hours

  • Drain and flush gearboxes per Sections 1.120 1.130.
  • Inspection: Check engine exhaust valve guide clearance per Lycoming SB388C.

Every 100 hours:

  • Inspect per Section 2.400. Inspect and service engine per Lycoming Operator’s Manual, SB366, S11G8GB, SI1 1298, and SB342E (I0-540 only).
  • As required, inspect and service TCM ignition components per TCM SB643B.

Every 300 hours:

  • Lubricate C181-3 bearing per Section 1.140.
  • Replace hydraulic filter per Section 1.170.
  • Inspect valves and check engine exhaust valve guide clearance per Lycoming SB301B, S8388C, and Operator’s Manual.

Every 500 hours:

  • Drain and flush gearboxes per Sections 1.120 1.130.
  • Clean gearbox chip detectors per Section 1.115. Verify magneto drive cushion pliability.
  • Service collective spring assembly (manual controls only) per Section 8.221.
  • As required, inspect and service TCM ignition components per TCM SB658 and SB663A.

Every 2200 hours:

  • Overhaul helicopter per Section 2.700.
  • See R44 2200 Hour Inspection

Calendar

Every 4 months:

  • Change oil, oil filter, and inspect oil suction screen and removed filter per Lycoming SB480E.

Every 12 months:

  • Inspect per Section 2.400.
  • Clean gearbox chip detectors per Section 1.1 15.
  • Inspect emergency locator transmitter (ELT) per 14 CFR Part 91.207.
  • Inspect optional pop-out floats per Section 5.630.

Every 24 months:

  • Test and inspect transponder per 14 CFR Part 91.413.

Every 3 years:

  • Lubricate C181-3 bearing per Section ’1.140.
  • Inspect optional popout floats per Section 5.640.
  • Hydrostatic test pressure cylinder.
  • Every 4 years
  • Overhaul TCM magnetos per TCM 886438. Verify magneto drive cushion pliability.

Every 12 years

  • Perform 12-year inspection and limited overhaul per Section 2.600, or overhaul per Section 2.700.
  • See 12 Year Inspection

To receive expert Robinson R-44 Maintenance, Overhaul, or Repair Services please contact DXL Solutions. We will give you the exact timing to follow, whether it’s hourly, monthly, or yearly.