Electric Helicopter to Fly This Year

Sikorsky Firefly

In brief: Sikorsky will fly a full-sized, piloted electric helicopter this year.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: Firefly
Manufacturer: Sikorsky

The word

Sikorsky Firefly

Dubbed the "Firefly Project," the electric helicopter from Sikorsky promises to be a first: the first piloted, full-sized, all-electric helicopter to fly.

The body is an existing design, the S-300C helicopter, which is a popular 2-seater design for training based on the Korean War-era Hughes Aircraft of the 1950s. The 190hp gasoline engine has been replaced with a 200hp electric motor and batteries (lithium-ion).

The Firefly Project is a technology demonstrator which will possibly lead to future designs and aircraft for market.

And so ...

Sikorsky's head of research says that with current battery performance and options available, it's not likely an all-electric helicopter would have anything close to the performance of a standard aircraft, however.

Photo credits: Sikorsky

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