Metro and Piasecki Aircraft partner to further develop PA-890 Pathfinder Electric Helicopter
March 8, 2022
Metro Aviation and Piasecki Aircraft were pleased to announce today their signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to further develop Piasecki’s upcoming PA-890 Pathfinder Electric helicopter, with its revolutionary Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric propulsion system. The Pathfinder will be a seven-passenger, two hundred nautical mile compound helicopter. The Hydrogen Electric system, developed by Piasecki with its partner HyPoint, has a projected energy density that is five times that of today’s Lithium batteries. It will provide carbon-free vertical flight suitable to a wide range of applications, particularly Emergency Medical Services. In addition to the fuel cell, the Pathfinder will feature a unique Piasecki-patented compound configuration, featuring an articulating wing and swiveling tail rotor, to maximize the helicopter’s efficiency in cruise flight, offering quantifiable reductions in noise and vibration. The result will be a helicopter ideally suited for various mission profiles including EMS, law enforcement, corporate, airline, and cargo carriage, with direct operating costs 40% to 60% lower than today’s gas turbine-powered helicopters, all with no carbon emissions.
John Piasecki, CEO of Piasecki Aircraft, was enthusiastic about the new partnership: “Piasecki Aircraft is thrilled to be working with Metro Aviation to bring the voice of the customer to our design as it matures. Metro offers us huge breadth and expertise in the technological advances of improving safe helicopter operations. They have also helped us understand the viewpoint of a very successful completion, repair, and overhaul facility, as well as one of the world’s most advanced helicopter flight training centers. The background and depth Metro offers us during Pathfinder development – in all facets of the helicopter community – will be invaluable to us and our customers.”
Mike Stanberry, CEO of Metro Aviation, added, “Piasecki Aircraft’s legacy of innovation speaks for itself, and we are excited to work with them as they develop and commercialize this exciting new technology. The Pathfinder is a transformative and credible step forward for vertical lift aviation. We look forward to a long-term partnership with Piasecki, sharing our expertise in helicopter completions, flight operations, maintenance, training, and support to help make the Pathfinder a truly transformational product for our industry and customers. Metro has always been a leader in bringing new technology and innovation to the industry. This step to bring affordable, carbon-free, quieter technology to the world of helicopters is timely and exciting. We’re glad to be a part of it.”
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