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

June 9, 2022

 magniX, the company powering the electric aviation revolution, today announced that Tier 1 Engineering, specialists in the design and development of electric aircraft, achieved a successful first flight of an all-electric Robinson 44 helicopter with a magniX electric propulsion unit (EPU). The helicopter flew on Saturday, June 4 at 8:00 am Pacific Time for over 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 severe shortage of transplantable organs in the U.S. Tier 1 Engineering integrated its battery system and the magniX EPU on the helicopter, and has started its flight testing program.

"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, magniX's CEO. "This landmark event demonstrates yet again magniX's commitment to lead the electrification of aviation by designing and delivering industry-leading products through smart innovation and customer centricity. This is a significant achievement that will lead to the sustainable delivery of life saving organs."

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. We are excited to expand the flight tests to greater distances and demonstrate safe, reliable all-electric flight," said Glen Dromgoole, President of Tier 1 Engineering.