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Tier 1 completes first flight of Robinson 44 with magniX electric propulsion

June 16, 2022  By Helicopters Staff

Tier 1 Engineering Achieves Successful First Flight of Robinson 44 Helicopter with magniX Electric Propulsion Unit

Tier 1 Engineering, specialists in the design and development of electric aircraft, achieved a first flight of an all-electric Robinson 44 helicopter with a magniX electric propulsion unit on June 4. The flight lasted for approximately three minutes at Los Alamitos Army Airfield, California.

Tier 1 is developing the all-electric Robinson R44 for Lung Biotechnology PBC, a biotech company on a mission to address the shortage of transplantable organs in the U.S. Tier 1 Engineering integrated its battery system and the magniX Electric Propulsion Unit (EPU) on the helicopter.

“magniX has been powering all-electric aircraft since December of 2019, and this flight represents another first for the company as we have now electrified a rotary aircraft,” said Nuno Taborda, CEO, magniX.

Tier 1 Engineering is currently working with the FAA Aircraft Certification Office in Los Angeles on the e-R44 project to obtain a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). Lung Biotechnology PBC plans to acquire a fleet of aircraft to fly transplant organs.


“This historic flight, of an all-electric helicopter with a certifiable electric engine, was an important step towards obtaining aircraft certification,” said Glen Dromgoole, President of Tier 1 Engineering.


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