Test Pilot Services

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

OC Helicopters provides research and development pilot application services.

Electric Technology for Aviation

21 SEP 2016

In 2016 Tier 1 Engineering’s battery-powered manned helicopter program achieved a successful first hover on Tuesday, September 13th, a first hover taxi on Wednesday, September 14th and a record five minute cruise flight to 400 feet altitude with a peak speed of 80 knots on Wednesday, September 21st.   The helicopter was a modified Robinson R44 test piloted by Captain Ric Webb of OC Helicopters.

All flights were accomplished at the Los Alamitos Army Airfield under a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category issued by FAA’s Los Angeles MIDO.

VTOL Electric Technology Demonstrator “Max”
00:30:33

16 Feb 2017

Test flight of the Lung Biotechnology Tier 1 Full Size (2500 lbs) Electric Helicopter at Los Alamitos Army Airfield, piloted by Ric Webb of OC Helicopters. This is a world record for duration and altitude of a battery-powered helicopter. Duration was 30 minutes, reaching 800 feet and flying at peak speed of 80 knots with 8% battery state-of-charge remaining after a safe hover landing. Average power drawn was 105KW, 140 KW IGE hover and 160 OGE hover. Temps normal throughout with experimental cooling system.
This is a world record for duration, altitude, payload, weight and speed of battery powered rotorcraft or helicopter flight. There has never been a full-sized, meaning person-carrying, helicopter powered solely by batteries that has flown this long, or this fast or this high. There has never been a battery-powered helicopter weighing nearly 2500 pounds.
This helicopter, powered by Brammo Batteries and power managed by Rhinehart Motion Systems, was conceived, built and successfully demonstrated in under one year, for under one million dollars by under ten people managed by Martine Rothblatt of Lung Biotechnology and Glen Dromgoole of Tier 1 Aviation. The purpose of this electric helicopter demonstrator is to prove the way for Electrically-Powered Semi-Autonomous Rotorcraft for Organ Delivery (EPSAROD).
Just six months ago, in September 2016, the same team set the world record for electric helicopter flight at 5 minutes, 80 knots and 400 feet altitude, again with a 2500 pound helicopter and a 200 pound payload.

1st two person electric helicopter

4 Mar 2017

Dual pilots, 100+knots, 800′

After the flight

Martine Rothblatt VTOL-E Captain
Ric Webb VTOL-E Captain