The love for helicopters was ingrained in the heart of Frank Robinson at an early age. Robinson was nine years old when he first saw a picture of a VS300 helicopter. The idea of having a big machine flying in the air fascinated him. Frank, therefore, fixed his eye to the ultimate price, designing and manufacturing helicopters. He joined the University of Washington and graduated with a BSME degree in 1957. After graduation, Frank joined the University of Wichita for his graduate studies.
Frank Robinson started his career in the aircraft industry in 1957 when he joined the Cessna Aircraft Company. After three and a half years, Frank joined Umbaugh, where he worked for a year. Frank then joined McCulloch Motor Company for four and a half years, where he gained experience on rotorcrafts. After McCulloch, Frank joined Kaman Aircraft, Bell Helicopter, and then Hughes Helicopter Company in 1969.
Frank Robinson was creative and highly innovative. Nevertheless, none of his employers developed interests in his creative concepts for developing low-cost helicopters. Robinson was therefore convicted of establishing Robinson Helicopter Company (RHC) in June 1973. The company was established in Palos, Verde. Frank worked on his first R22 prototype model for two years before he could fly it. The R22 model received the FAA certification in 1979. The RHC R22 helicopter became the bestselling civil helicopter in the world.
After successfully developing the two-seater helicopter, Frank helped Robinson Helicopter develop its R44 helicopter. The four-seat helicopter flew for the first time in March 1990. The helicopter was FAA accredited and certified in 1992, with the first delivery done in 1993. RHC advanced their R44 helicopter, suiting police helicopter and news copter thresholds.
Frank has received novelty awards throughout his career at Robinson Helicopter, including the Daniel Guggenheim Medal in 2013. He is popularly known for manufacturing versatile, affordable, and reliable helicopters. Robinson has been involved in community service and has donated millions to institutions and foundations, including the University of Washington. Having engineered RHC into an upward path of success, Frank Robinson retired as the company’s President and Chairman. The company has remained the leader of world civilian helicopter manufacturers.