Robinson Helicopter Company’s float option for its five-place R66 was FAA approved on November 15, 2014. Designated the R66 Turbine Marine, the R66 pop-out float option is similar to the R44 Clipper pop-out float option (in fact, the same float tubes are used) and like the Clipper, the R66 Turbine Marine offers an additional level of safety for over-water operations, according to Robinson.
The float option adds approximately 65 pounds to the helicopter’s empty weight. When not in use, the float tubes stow in low-profile protective covers along the landing gear skids minimizing drag and allowing easy cabin entry and exit.
Primarily used in emergencies, the floats activate by a lever on the pilot’s collective and inflate within two to three seconds allowing the pilot to make an immediate water landing if necessary. Pressurized helium from a tank mounted beneath the right rear seat provides the rapid inflation.
The R66 Turbine Marine is also approved for water takeoffs at reduced operating weights allowing for water operations training or limited amphibious use if desired. Base price for the R66 Turbine Marine is $875,000.