Frank Robinson

nishanh

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Oct 19, 2022
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Oregon
RIP. Met him at the Robinson Safety Course many years ago. Great man. I always thought he had a very "Henry Ford" like quality to him.
 

MikeBoyette

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Plant City, Fl
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I was told by someone not sure who but at one time he was into gyros? I might have imagined or dreamt it. This getting old crap sucks but I can’t remember why.
 
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Abid

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
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4000+ 560 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes. Pilot Airplane
May he RIP. Left a lasting legacy in aviation
 

Mayfield

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I was told by someone not sure who but at one time he was into gyros? I might have imagined or dreamt it. This getting old crap sucks but I can’t remember why.
B.J. Schramm and Frank Robinson were friends who worked on gyros before they both gravitated toward helicopters. I remember a lot of mutual respect between them. My memory tells me Tommy Milton knew both of them at, or near, that time period.

Jim
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
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I was told by someone not sure who but at one time he was into gyros? I might have imagined or dreamt it. This getting old crap sucks but I can’t remember why.
From Vertipedia:

After Cessna, and with over three years of experience, Frank joined Umbaugh Aircraft Corporation working on gyroplane certification, then to McCulloch Motor Company to design low-cost rotorcraft.


(Umbaugh's gyro is better known as the A&S18A, and McCulloch built the J-2. At Cessna, he worked on the Skyhook project.)
 

okikuma

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May 21, 2006
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Santa Clarita, CA
I went with a group of friends to have a tour of the Robinson Factory at Torrance Airport in 1980 - 81 time frame. That day, Frank himself gave us the tour. It lasted about three hours as I recall. Without giving out any proprietary information, he answered many detailed and specific questions that was asked from the group. A very fun and memorable day.

It's to my understanding during the very early years, the Robinson Company was not insured against liability. I heard rumors during that time about supposed statements made by Frank (paraphrasing) "If someone desires to sue me, be prepared to own the factory", or similar type comment. I always figured that rumor was an urban legend.

RIP Frank.

Wayne
 

Mayfield

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I went with a group of friends to have a tour of the Robinson Factory at Torrance Airport in 1980 - 81 time frame. That day, Frank himself gave us the tour. It lasted about three hours as I recall. Without giving out any proprietary information, he answered many detailed and specific questions that was asked from the group. A very fun and memorable day.

It's to my understanding during the very early years, the Robinson Company was not insured against liability. I heard rumors during that time about supposed statements made by Frank (paraphrasing) "If someone desires to sue me, be prepared to own the factory", or similar type comment. I always figured that rumor was an urban legend.

RIP Frank.

Wayne
in late May of 2000, I was fortunate to be sitting at a dinner table with Frank Robinson and one of the Rolls Royce Model 250 production engineers.

Rolls was courting Mr. Robinson in a big way for the R66 program. This was approximately 10 years before the introduction of the R66.

As part of the dinner conversation Frank said he was forced to "go naked" for several years as liability insurance was not available to him. He also told stories about selling his house and all furnishings to make payroll.

He was certainly a personable and interesting man.

Jim
 
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okikuma

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Santa Clarita, CA
in late May of 2000, I was fortunate to be sitting at a dinner table with Frank Robinson and one of the Rolls Royce Model 250 production engineers.

Rolls was courting Mr. Robinson in a big way for the R66 program. This was approximately 10 years before the introduction of the R66.

As part of the dinner conversation Frank said he was forced to "go naked" for several years as liability insurance was not available to him. He also told stories about selling his house and all furnishings to make payroll.

He was certainly a personable and interesting man.

Jim
Absolutely agree with you Jim on how personable and approachable Frank was.

Wayne
 

Doug Riley

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Jan 11, 2004
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Another urban legend was that Frank considered offering the R22 as a homebuilder's kit.
 

MikeBoyette

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Plant City, Fl
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I went with a group of friends to have a tour of the Robinson Factory at Torrance Airport in 1980 - 81 time frame. That day, Frank himself gave us the tour. It lasted about three hours as I recall. Without giving out any proprietary information, he answered many detailed and specific questions that was asked from the group. A very fun and memorable day.

It's to my understanding during the very early years, the Robinson Company was not insured against liability. I heard rumors during that time about supposed statements made by Frank (paraphrasing) "If someone desires to sue me, be prepared to own the factory", or similar type comment. I always figured that rumor was an urban legend.

RIP Frank.

Wayne
Wayne that was my pops way of dealing with it too. He used say I will teach them how to sand and polish blades first.
 

Aaron R

Newbie
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
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Saint Inigoes, MD
I never met Frank, but I gained a lot of appreciation after watching his training videos when I did my SFAR 73 training. It's not often that you find a person who can present many topics without a single technically imprecise statement, yet in a way that an ordinary pilot can understand and benefit from. You can still find the videos online here. Select "Training Videos." Much of the content such as energy storage would be useful to gyro pilots also, not just helicopter and certainly not just Robinson pilots.
 

GyroChuck

Gyro's are more fun
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I never met Frank, but I gained a lot of appreciation after watching his training videos when I did my SFAR 73 training. It's not often that you find a person who can present many topics without a single technically imprecise statement, yet in a way that an ordinary pilot can understand and benefit from. You can still find the videos online here. Select "Training Videos." Much of the content such as energy storage would be useful to gyro pilots also, not just helicopter and certainly not just Robinson pilots.
Thanks for the link. Now I will have something to watch on the cold winter days ahead.
 

MikeBoyette

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Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
2,476
Location
Plant City, Fl
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Dominator
Total Flight Time
200+
I never met Frank, but I gained a lot of appreciation after watching his training videos when I did my SFAR 73 training. It's not often that you find a person who can present many topics without a single technically imprecise statement, yet in a way that an ordinary pilot can understand and benefit from. You can still find the videos online here. Select "Training Videos." Much of the content such as energy storage would be useful to gyro pilots also, not just helicopter and certainly not just Robinson pilots.
Chuck Beaty had the same ability. We used to call it dumbing things down for us normal folk to understand. He sounded like a old Florida hillbilly talking to us but, when you got him talking to someone with a similar education level he would transform. It was actually amazing to witness.
 
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