About the Helicopter

We fly a Robinson R44 Clipper I. The Robinson R44 is an American-made four-seat helicopter with hydraulically assisted flight controls produced by the Robinson Helicopter Company in Torrance, CA.

The Robinson R44 Clipper I is very similar to the more popular Robinson R44 Raven I, but is equipped with pop-out-floats. Pop-out-floats are designed for use in an emergency during over-water operations. The pilot can pull a lever to release pressurized helium from a tank under the helicopters front left seat. The six chambers of the pop-out-floats inflate within two to three seconds and the pilot can land the helicopter on water. Since some of our tours go over Lake Michigan, we appreciate the extra safety feature of the Clipper.

The helicopter has a carbureted, six-cylinder Lycoming O-540 engine. The engine is derated to 225 horsepower for takeoff and 205 horsepower continuous power for maximum reliability.

The crew consist of one or two pilots. The controls at the front left seat are removable. Maximum capacity is four people including pilot(s). Most of the time we fly with one pilot and two or three passengers.


Maximum Speed 130 kn (150 mph)
Cruise Speed 110 kn (130 mph)
Range 300 nmi (350 mi)


Length 38 ft 3 in (8.96 m)
Main Rotor Diameter 33 ft (10.1 m)
Tail Rotor Diameter 4 ft 10 in (1.5 m)
Height 10 ft 9 in (3.3 m)


Empty Weight 1,450 lb (657.7 kg)
Loaded Weight 2,500 lb (1,134 kg)

Fuel Consumption & Capacity

Fuel Consumption 15 US gallons (57 l) per hour
Fuel Grade 100 low lead (100LL) Avgas
Main Tank Capacity 31.6 US gallons (120 liters)
Main Tank Usable Fuel 30.6 US gallons (116 liters)
Auxiliary Tank Capacity 18.5 US gallons (70 liters)
Auxiliary Tank Usable Fuel 18.3 US gallons (69 liters)

If you are interested in aviation, ask the pilot about the helicopter. If time permits you may get the behind-the-scenes tour and can watch the pilot preflight the helicopter.