FARNBOROUGH: Sikorsky develops all-electric Firefly

Washington DC
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Sikorsky has revealed that it has developed an all-electric 200hp (150kW) helicopter, the Firefly, that will be unveiled later this month and fly later this year.

Based on the S-300C piston-powered helicopter, the electric version will feature a high-efficiency, electric motor and digital controller from power conversion specialist US Hybrid, coupled with a lithium ion energy storage system from Gaia Power Technologies. Eagle Aviation Technologies completed the airframe modifications and assembled the demonstrator helicopter.

In the cockpit, Sikorsky says integrated sensors will provide real-time aircraft health information through a panel-integrated interactive LCD monitor.

Sikorsky says the demonstrator will be unveiled on 26 July at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture exhibition in Oshkosh, Wisconsin as part of the world symposium on electric aircraft.

"Our objectives with Project Firefly are to provide a proof of principle concept to validate the benefits of an electrically powered rotorcraft; to develop the technologies to enable the manned flight of that technology, and to drive future development of improved, state-of-the-art green technologies and practices," says Chris Van Buiten, director of Sikorsky's technology organisation, Sikorsky Innovations.