An all-electric manned helicopter has set a Guinness World Record for distance flown.
The Robinson R44 developed by Californian company Tier 1 Engineering flew for 30nm at an average speed of 80kt, up to a height of 800ft.
The record was set by test pilot Capt Rick Webb at Los Alamitos Army Airfield, Orange County, California on Friday, 7 December, under a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category.
The electric R44 project is funded by organ transplant specialists Lung Biotechnology. The aim is to produce an electrically-powered semi-autonomous rotorcraft for organ delivery.
The Tier 1 team behind the electric R44 removed the original Lycoming IO-540 internal combustion engine, and installed a custom mount for the electric motors and a reduction gearbox to interface with the existing drivetrain. No changes were made to the drive train or flight control system.