The Robinson R44 Raven II is a four-seat light utility helicopter
powered by a single fuel-injected, angle-valve, tuned-induction,
Lycoming IO-540 piston engine. The Robinson R44 is built and developed by the Robinson Helicopter Company in Torrance, California.
Design 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 hydraulically-assisted R44 Raven.
The development from the first R44 Astro in 1993, via the R44 Raven I to
the first R44 Raven II delivered in 2002, has been remarkable. For the
pilot the most important difference is the conversion from a carbureted
engine on the Astro to injection and hydraulic controls on the Raven II.
Today the four-seat Model R44 is the world's most popular
helicopter of which already over 6400 are delivered to customers all
over the world. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the R44 Raven II helicopters is R44.
On 6 February 2012, SP Luftbild, Dattenberg, Germany, started the
monitoring flights over the Netherlands on behalf of Gasunie out of
Teuge airfield near Apeldoorn. The Southern part of the monitoring
flights was done by Robinson R44 Raven II D-HHJS; the Northern part of
the flights was done by Schweizer 269D Model 333 D-HSPZ. Within a few
weeks Schweizer 269D Model 333 D-HSPZ was replaced on these flights by
Robinson R44 Raven II D-HMSH. In May 2014, Robinson R44 Raven II D-HMSH
was replaced by Robinson R44 Raven II PH-ABZ. In 2017, the new contract for the
monitoring flights over the Netherlands on behalf of Gasunie was awarded to Heli and Co.,
which company replaced SP Luftbild on the contract.
On 19 July 2013, the Robinson R44 Raven II s/n 13487 was registered PH-ABZ in the Netherlands with S.P. Helicopter-Service GmbH, Dattenberg, Germany.
On 2 May 2014, the 2013-built Robinson R44 Raven II PH-ABZ was delivered at Teuge airfield and replaced the Robinson R44 Raven II D-HMSH in service
with SP Luftbild GmbH at Teuge Airfield. On 20 March 2018, registration PH-ABZ was cancelled as exported to Germany. On 14 June 2018, the Robinson
R44 Raven II was registered D-HABZ in Germany. On 14 September 2014, when seen at vliegveld Hoogeveen, the Robinson was equipped with pop-out
floats for above water operations.