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Just wanted to wish my little buddy Happy Anniversary!

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A good question, Eric!


History and Wikipedia ;) tell us that RHC obtained certification of the R-22 in March of 1979, which is also when production started. Surely they were anticipating getting their TC and had ships ready for delivery. I'm not sure how many R-22's Frank was able to crank out in the rest of 1979. But let's use the first 12 months of production and say two dozen. Of those first twenty-four airframes, most have been written off, broken up, withdrawn from use or their registrations have simply been cancelled. Only one, SN002 has been preserved, presumably by the factory. SN001 was written off. After that happened, someone in the factory probably said, "Holy crap! We better find #2 and preserve it before *it* crashes too!"


According to Rotorspot (a terrific website), it looks like SN006 might still be living in Australia.


SN011 (N9015V) is still on the books, registered to a leasing company in Dallas, TX.


SN012 (formerly N9015Z) went to Mexico, but like SN06, its fate is unknown. (We can probably guess.)


SN017 (N9017Z) is registered to HelicopterAcademy.com.


SN024 is still registered in Britain.


That makes...*maybe* five flyable R-22s. However, like all helicopters, we can be sure that the only original 1979 part on the things would be the data plate.


But jeez, when you look at the first hundred or so R-22s, there sure aren't many of them that have survived. A sad comment on the hazards of the training environment in which most of them are used, I guess...

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Here's an article from the latest Robinson newsletter titled "R22 Celebrates 40 Years"



Apparently Quantum Helicopters in Chandler, AZ have three R22s with over 20,000 hours each.

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