The Project Firefly is based on an S-300C light helicopter, with a 190-horsepower electric motor replacing the standard piston-engine and lithium ion battery packs added to either side of the cabin.
The lithium-ion batteries are produced by the German Gaia. The total battery capacity is 48.1 kWh, enough for a flight of approximately 15 minutes. The first flight is expected later this year.
Sikorsky’s head of research and engineering Mark Wilner says rising fuel costs are starting to threaten the role helicopters play in many fields, making research into alternate fuels essential.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]