The Robinson R44 Astro is a single-engined light utility helicopter for up to 1 crew and 3
passengers, powered by a Lycoming O-540-F1B5 engine with carburettor. The Robinson R44 is built by the Robinson Helicopter Company in Torrance, California.
Development of the Model R44 began in 1985. The first prototype flew on 31 March 1990 and the second
in January 1991. Sales efforts got under way in March 1992 at a base price of 235.000 US-Dollars.
FAA Type Certification for the R44 Astro was achieved on 10 December 1992, and the first Robinson R44 Astro was delivered in February 1993. In 2000,
the R44 Astro was replaced as the main production model by the R44 Raven with adjustable pedals and standard hydraulic controls.
Today the four-seat Model R44 is the world's most popular helicopter of which already over 6300 are delivered to customers all over the world. The
ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the R44 Astro helicopters is R44.
The 1995-built Robinson R-44 Astro c/n 0154 entered service as OY-HFV.
On 22 December 1972, The Astro entered the UK register as G-BXPY. When photographed at Seppe airfield near Roosendaal in
the Netherlands it was stationed in Belgium and operated by Helicon on the inspection-flights
on behalf of the Gasunie. At the end of 2005 the G-BXPY was withdrawn from use and parked at the heliport
in Walem near Mechelen. On 22 March 2006, the G-BXPY was sold in Italy.
On 28 March 2006, begun the ferry-flight out of Mechelen-Walem to Rome. Registration G-BXPY was cancelled as exported to Italy on 17 October 2007.
The Astro was registered I-IPAT in Italy with Gruppo Salerno at Nepi (VT) on 10 January 2008.