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 6200 are delivered to customers all over the world.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the R44 Astro helicopters is R44.
The 1999-built Robinson R44 Astro c/n 0656 was registered PH-ELI in the Netherlands
with Chopper Holding BV, Lelystad, on 24 September 1999. Lelycopters BV at Lelystad airfield was
registered as operator of Robinson R44 Astro PH-ELI on 5 October 1999.
Registration PH-ELI was cancelled as exported to the UK on 11 November 2010.