Designed during the 1980s by Frank Robinson and his staff of engineers, the R44 first flew on 31 March 1990.

In January 2000, Robinson introduced the Raven with hydraulically assisted controls[2] and adjustable pedals. In July 2002, Robinson introduced the Raven II featuring a more powerful, fuel-injected engine and wider blades, allowing a higher gross weight and improved altitude performance.

During November 2015 Robinson announced the Cadet a Raven I with a cargo area instead of the two back seats with a slightly less powerful engine and a more efficient muffler.

Within its price range, Robinson's R44 is probably the best helicopter in the world for personal ownership and it might also be the best helicopter for primary training.

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