Necessity is the mother of invention. No other statement could better explain the development of RobbyTow. RobbyTow’s creator, Dan Johnson, has an extremely varied background. His experience includes, but is not limited to, professional motor-racing, automotive manufacturing, custom handicap van design and construction, and the rarely attempted challenge of maintaining and flying a homebuilt airplane.
Dan has logged almost 10,000 hours in flight. Over 4,000 of these hours were spent in Robinson helicopters. From 1995 to 2010, Dan operated a pipeline patrol business in the Midwest with fixed-wing aircraft and used an R22 in the more highly congested Chicago-land area. In 2004 all fixed-wing patrol was converted to helicopter. This allowed him to advance his aircraft of choice to an R44.
Dan quickly discovered you couldn’t move a R44 around by yourself as you can an R22. Thus he began shopping for a tow, but he wasn’t satisfied with the design or the cost of the products he found on the market. Having to move his R44 in and out of the hangar four or more times a week, 52 weeks a year, come rain, snow, or shine, Dan had noted the short-comings of the currently available tows and the characteristics of what would make an ideal one. So, he decided to apply his extensive fabrication and design experience and years of aircraft-operations to build his own.
Dan began development of his customized tow in 2004. The first prototype began with a chain drive, no free wheel capability, a manual lift design, and a pickup-head with one small socket to line up. Dan immediately realized this design still came up short of the ideal tow. He’d have to be creative in manufacturing a tow that was hands-down superior to anything else on the market! Taking into account the popularity of Robinson helicopters, Dan could see there was a large market of pilots with whom he could share his innovation. Surely, he wasn’t the only one who had experienced the practical frustrations with the available helicopter tows. So, for six years Dan tested and tweaked the design of the ideal Robinson helicopter ramp tow. Enter RobbyTow! We are pleased to announce that our patent application has been granted, "without challenge". In December 2013 the United States Patent office granted a patent to the RobbyTow. Please take some time to examine the many pages of our web site to see how advanced the RobbyTow really is !
Dan’s hard work and innovation has resulted in a tow with qualities superior to any other available, and we are extremely excited to finally share it with other Robinson helicopter pilots! Check out the why is a RobbyTow better? page to see the many advantages exclusive to RobbyTow - no other tow can match it!