Changing the engine for a turbine on the ROBINSON R22 helicopter


Super Member
May 24, 2010
Low Earth Orbit
I did the same in 1993 using a Honeywell GTCP and got a "Nasty Gram"s from both Kurt Robinson & Honeywell AZ.

Did better on the vertical rate of climb at 2,700 fpm - Frank unlike his son was enthusiastic about the project. 🤗


Mar 2, 2016
Total Flight Time
ABOUT by GOOGLE translation
The CL02 is an ultralight French helicopter complying with "class 6" of the order of 23 September 1998 relating to ultralight motorized aircraft (ULM).
Its construction is based on a heavily modified Robinson R22 structure and mechanics.

The main modification relates to the engine. That of the R22 is a large piston engine that weighs 140 kg with its equipment. The one for the CL02 is a Rolls Royce turbine that weighs only 39 kg.

It is this immense weight gain - 101kg - that allowed the CL02 to fully meet the weight and power conditions allowing it to be identified in the ULM class 6 category.

Other important modifications were necessary such as the transmission, the clutch, the electrical circuit, the instrumentation, the development of an elaborate electronic device to control the turbo engine, to sequence the starting and to monitor any faults.

The result in terms of performance is breathtaking!

With a 25% mass reduction and identical power to the original R22, the CL02 allows two people on board vertical take-offs with exceptional climb rates.

The combination of proven mechanics and a turbine engine known for its reliability and consistency makes the CL02 a very safe helicopter.

A version with new composite blades is under study and will require a new flight test program. An additional tank to bring the autonomy to 3:45 is also planned.

Claude LESCURE's initial project concerned the transformation of certified factory helicopters (piston) into ULM helicopters (Class 6 in France) not requiring certification.

In France and until CL02, there was no piston helicopter that could meet the ULM classification. The only existing models are all foreign and have difficulty in respecting the maximum take-off weight of 500 kg and the empty weight of 310 kg.

For the conduct of his project, Claude Lescure carried out the transformation of his own factory certified Robinson R22 helicopter.

This transformation made it possible to lower the empty weight of R22 by 25% to reach 300.8 kg and thus a maximum take-off weight of 500 kg in operation. His certified Robinson R22 thus became the uncertified CL02 ULM class 6 helicopter.

This transformation essentially consisted of the replacement of the Lycoming piston engine by a Rolls Royce 40kg turbine and required many modifications such as those of the engine mount, transmission, electrical network, dashboard, electric generator, etc.

These modifications made on the Robinson R22 can then be duplicated on other similar models of certified light piston helicopters with other models of equivalent or similar turbines.

In the event of a total failure of the electrical circuit (Alternator and batteries), the CL02 can continue to fly in complete safety.

All these modifications have been the subject of in-depth work and are in the process of being filed for patents via the procedures in force with the INPI.

Claude LESCURE, the designer and builder of the CL02 wishes to share his work by helping all those who want to embark on this same project.

Being really happy to have succeeded, he enjoys every day the flights he performs with his reliable and efficient CL02, with the great administrative freedom that the practice of ULM allows.

© 2021 by Claude Lescure - Website creation by Thomas Huertas

Martin W.

Active Member
May 10, 2020
Good way to build turbine time.
But what the R22 has always needed was a rotor blade that does not de-laminate.
The de-rated R22 factory Lycoming was excellent ..... good for 2200 hrs TBO ... previously unheard of for piston helicopters ...


Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Oct 21, 2006
Colorado front range
Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
Total Flight Time
stopped caring at 1000
The R22 has its shortcomings, but I would not put the engine high on the list.