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Robinson Helicopter hits milestone, makes 10,000th chopper

November 15, 2011 |  6:30 am


Robinson Helicopter Co., the nation's leading maker of commercial helicopters, hit a major milestone when its 10,000th chopper came off the production line.

To mark the occasion, the company held a celebration at its factory, which now hugs almost half a mile of runway at the east end of Torrance Municipal Airport. The event took place last week with employees, city officials and representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Also in attendance was Frank Robinson, the company’s 81-year-old founder, who spoke briefly about starting the company in 1973. He retired in August 2010 and turned over the chief executive role to his son, Kurt.

Kurt Robinson predicts the company’s total aircraft production for 2011 will more than double last year’s production of 162 choppers.

At Robinson Helicopter's complex in Torrance, hundreds of workers churn out 10 helicopters a week -- from start to finish. The company manufactures more civilian helicopters than any other helicopter manufacturer in the world, making the two-seat R-22, four-seat R-44, and the new five-seat R-66.


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-- W.J. Hennigan

Photo: Kurt Robinson, Robinson Helicopter Co.'s chief executive, makes a toast at the firm's Torrance complex. Credit: Robinson Helicopter