The US company Tier 1 Engineering has announced it has successfully completed an airport-to-airport flight with its all-electric helicopter design. The aircraft, a modified Robinson R44, flew between California’s Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport and Palm Springs International Airport – a distance of about twenty-five miles. The company says the trip is ‘the first helicopter flight between airfields solely by electric power.’

“Progress in the development of all-electric propulsion is similar to other periods of significant advance in aviation,” said Tier 1 Engineering President Glen Dromgoole. “The first aircraft flew short distances, and many people were afraid to ride in the new flying machines. Today’s historic flight demonstrates the potential of all-electric rotorcraft, and we are thrilled by this achievement.”

The flight was conducted in collaboration with medical research and development company Lung Biotechnology. The aircraft is Tier 1’s third generation ‘e-R44’, and uses quick-swap battery technology that allows battery packs to be changed in fifteen minutes.

PHOTO: Tier 1 Engineering