Earlier this week in California, the Robinson eR-44 electric helicopter took its maiden flight
Tier 1 Engineering, experts in the electric aircraft design and development, conducted a successful first flight of the Robinson eR-44 electric helicopter with a magniX electric propulsion unit (EPU). The flight was held at the Los Alamitos Army Airfield with the announcement made by magniX, the firm fueling the electric aviation revolution.
The Robinson eR-44 electric helicopter took off from the Los Alamitos Army Airfield in California on Saturday, June 4 at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time and soared for nearly three minutes. Tier 1 Engineering piloted the magniX EPU-powered helicopter and are currently building electric helicopters for Lung Biotechnology PBC, a biotech firm that is aiming to alleviate the United States transplantable organ shortage.
Lung Biotechnology hopes to construct a fleet of electric planes that will transport organs to hospitals in the future. The converted Robinson eR-44 might eventually become the world’s first commercially viable electric heli. Tier 1 is collaborating with the FAA Certification Office in Los Angeles to get a Supplemental Type Certificate for the eR-44 project.
“MagniX has been powering all-electric aircraft since December 2019, and this flight represents another first for the company as we have now electrified a rotary aircraft,” said magniX’s CEO Nuno Taborda in a press release. “This landmark event demonstrates yet again magniX’s commitment to lead the electrification of aviation by designing and delivering industry-leading products through smart innovation and customer centricity.”
In progress for aircraft certification, the inaugural flight of the Robinson eR-44 electric helicopter this week was “historic”, according to Tier 1 Engineering president Glen Dromgoole. In a statement, Dromgoole stated, ““We are excited to expand the flight tests to greater distances and demonstrate safe, reliable all-electric flight.”