When others were looking for Santa in the sky, this team was flying high over the holiday! This is real Green technology in transportation! See video below!
Q&A: Tier 1 Engineering’ battery-powered helicopter flight and EPSAROD program:
What is the range of the electric helicopter?
The range of the proof-of-concept helicopter tested on September 21st is estimated at 20 minutes or approximately 30 nautical miles. We expect to improve the endurance using higher energy density batteries, a more efficient electrical drive system, and ultimately a more aerodynamic airframe.
Can you provide us more information about the test pilot who flew the historic flight?
Ric Webb is a commercial helicopter pilot at OC Helicopters. He has 25+ years military service as a member of the air force, navy, army and coast guard.
Who led the design, build and installation effort?
Glen Dromgoole, President of Tier 1 Engineering.
Was this project in partnership with Robinson Helicopters, or any other companies?
There was no involvement with Robinson Helicopters, as we simply purchased a used R44. Design and development partners in the project include Rinehart Motion Systems and Brammo Power. Test pilot services were provided by OC Helicopters. Lung Biotechnology PBC sponsored the project.
Is the US Government or military involved in the program?
There is no US Government or military involvement in the program other than the permission for conducting test flights at JTB Los Alamitos.
What was the size of the design & build team?
How long did it take to design, build and install the electric propulsion system?
6 months. The design effort started in January 2016. The installation was completed in July 2016.
What was the biggest challenge?
Finding a design solution within the certified takeoff weight of 2500lbs.
What modifications were made to the helicopter?
We removed Lycoming IO-540 internal combustion engine, installed a custom mount for the electric motors and a reduction gearbox to interface with the existing drivetrain. No changes were made to drive train or flight control system. The engine bay contains the motor controllers and cooling system for the electric drive components. The battery modules are supported by a lightweight composite panel and attached to the landing gear under the belly.
Stay tuned for more Green de jour!