SUU Aviation Program adds new high-tech helicopter to fleet

Photo of Southern Utah University Aviation Program's new helicopter, the Robinson R44 Cadet, Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A brand new Robinson R44 Cadet helicopter was recently delivered to Southern Utah University’s Aviation Program straight from the factory and painted “SUU red,” a symbol of the school’s commitment to improvement and growth.

The R44 Cadet is the third such model purchased for the aviation program to provide more students with access as enrollment and popularity remain on the rise.

Read more: Southern Utah University student aviators take to the skies when calls for help go out

The aviation program now boasts a fleet of 12 helicopters, including seven R44 Raven IIs, two Bell 206s  and three R44 Cadets.

SUU’s Aviation Program aims to provide students with the best opportunities to learn preparing them for future careers.

“R44 Cadets are part of a continued dedication of the aviation program to offer students the safest, newest, and most up to date aircraft possible,” Robert Paul, assistant chief instructor of the program said.

The R44 Cadet is one of the newest helicopter models available. This particular model has only been on the market since May 2016 and comes equipped with high-tech features and state-of-the-art design, including a new Garmin touch-screen avionics package designed to simplify navigation and increases efficiency.

According to the manufacturer, Robinson Helicopter Company, the two-seat R44 Cadet is a versatile helicopter ideally suited for flight schools and operators “that want the economy of a small helicopter without sacrificing the power and performance of a large helicopter.”

The new helicopters were purchased to replace a much smaller helicopter model, the R22, an upgrade that will lower fuel and maintenance costs while drastically increasing safety for both students and instructors.

The aviation program now has two models of R44 helicopters: the Cadets and the Raven IIs. Although the two aircraft are similar, instructors believe the addition of the Cadet will provide a significant benefit for the program.

“Between the Cadet and the Ravens, everything is essentially the same in engine and frame,” Paul said. “However, one major difference is the Raven seats four while the Cadet seats two, making the Cadet lighter weight and reducing the amount of fuel needed.”

There are other differences as well. The Cadet uses a carburetor system while the Raven is fuel injected, and the engine on the Cadet is de-rated to reduce the amount of power available for use than its counterpart, which lowers fuel costs.

For more information, go to the Southern Utah University Aviation Program website.

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1 Comment

  • LocalTourist December 21, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Nice to see SUU’s aviation program keeping updated equipment for students to learn on!

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