Dinner Meeting Reviews
Kurt 20191120 202512-10179-800-600-100We had a great turnout for our November 20 dinner with speaker Kurt Robinson, President and CEO of Robinson Helicopter Company. Kurt started out by sharing a bit of what it was like growing up in the Robinson household on Longhill Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes. In 1973, his living room, family room and garage served as the beginnings of the very successful Robinson Helicopter Company started in their home by Kurt's father Frank. Kurt didn't think it was unusual, doesn't everyone have a budding business developing in their family home? Doesn't everyone have technical drawings all over their dining room table? Kurt shared with us about the expansion of the business that would eventually take them to a 600,000 sq. foot manufacturing facility located at Torrance Municipal Airport. Clearly Frank Robinson, trained as an aeronautical engineer in Seattle at the U of W, had the determination and vision to make it happen.

Frank Robinson's vision was to produce the world’s highest quality, most reliable helicopters in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible. It became apparent over the years that their helicopters, in addition to personal use, would become useful in many commercial operations worldwide, including police, news agencies, cattle herding and cargo hauling. The R-66 Marine is also equipped with inflatable floats for over water travel.

Safety and training is a huge focus with Robinson Helicopter Company, with intense training available domestically as well as overseas. There have even been several Around-the-World trips taken in both the R-44 and R-66 Turbine. Since Robinson discourages any high risk flying, they are very happy when those trips are completed! The company continues to expand with various types of R-22's, R-44's and R-66's with more specialized purposes. There is also a focus now on manufacturing diesel helicopters. To date, Robinson Helicopter Company has delivered over 12,000 helicopters worldwide.

They manufacture over 300 units a year and sell most of them overseas. It is a terrific benefit having Robinson based at KTOA, ensuring many years of local flying opportunities for all of us. We thank Kurt for sharing with us about the past, present and future of his thriving company, in addition for the opportunity to tour his facility in February.