Tier 1's conversion of Robinson's is now the first helicopter, that managed to pass 30 miles on one go.
When talking about electric cars, the main topic is still their range or better yet, capacity of their batteries. Those have become more powerful in recent years, yet we still do not imagine them being used to provide enough energy for a normal helicopter, let alone an airplane. But one particular company from California thinks otherwise.
Tier 1 engineering, a company that is specialized in “design, fabrication and testing of lightweight composite structures”. This description on the others hand does not explain much about what they actually do or what they managed to achieve earlier this month. In fact, Tier 1 is now official World record holder of the longest helicopter flight, powered by electricity. It is going to get its place in Guinness book of World records.
Man in charge of the aircraft was Captain Ric Webb, who has set the record on Friday, 7th of December when flying a total of 30 Nautical miles at 800 feet of altitude and around Los Alamitos Army Airfield. He flew with an average speed of 80 knots.
The helicopter however was not Tier 1’s own machine, at least not entirely. Instead, it was a heavily modified example of Robinson R44 four seater helicopter, while the project itself was accomplished under contract from Lung Biotechnology PBC to produce an Electrically-Powered Semi-Autonomous Rotorcraft for Organ Delivery.