This all-electric helicopter takes flight for the best cause.
Many people doubt electric-powered flight even more than electric cars. This makes sense since range is a much greater concern when you're airborne. Nonetheless, we've seen some pretty amazing electric airplanes lately, as well as a handful of electric helicopters. However, this full-size all-electric helicopter has beat all odds.
Tier 1 Engineering is working on an all-electric helicopter for Lung Biotechnology. It will deliver human organs to hospitals for transplant surgeries. To do so without further polluting the air is a commendable achievement.
The California-based engineering firm started with a Robinson R44 helicopter and added ~67 kWh of lithium polymer batteries and twin electric motors. The motors came from Formula 1 hybrid supplier Rinehart Motion Systems, while electric motorcycle maker Brammo supplied the batteries.
The previous record was set way back in 2011, when an electric chopper took flight in France for just two minutes. Now, in December 2018, the Tier 1 helicopter finally makes its way into the Guinness Book of World Records for its 22-minute flight. The attempt began at the Los Alamitos Army Airfield and reached an altitude of 800 feet at 92 mph.
*The above video is from a few years ago, but the helicopter just set the Guinness record on December 7, 2018.
Video Description via Tier 1 Engineering on YouTube:
Historic battery-powered helicopter flight at Los Alamitos Army Airfield
Tier 1 Engineering's battery-powered manned helicopter program achieved a record five minute cruise flight to 400 feet altitude with a peak speed of 80 knots on Wednesday, September 21st, 2016. The helicopter was a modified Robinson R44 test piloted by Captain Ric Webb of OC Helicopters. Tier 1 Engineering accomplished the project under contract from Lung Biotechnology PBC to produce an Electrically-Powered Semi-Autonomous Rotorcraft for Organ Delivery (EPSAROD). Documentation of the flight is available at http://www.tier1engineering.com/news.
Source: YouTube via Green Car Reports