Robinson Helicopter has added the TB17 Lithium-ion battery to its R44 options. At 16 pounds, the TB17 developed by True Blue Power, a division of Mid-Continent Instrument, is substantially lighter than the R44’s standard 29.5-pound battery. Lithium-ion chemistry also provides a higher voltage than lead-acid batteries for improved starter performance.
Robinson explains the Lithium-ion battery’s internal heater ensures optimal performance in cold temperatures as low as -40°C. Typical battery life is 8 years with minimal required maintenance (visual inspection and capacity check) every two years.
The TB17 battery passed rigorous manufacturer and FAA tests to ensure safety. An indicator light on the instrument console’s annunciator panel warns the pilot if a battery fault is detected. During fault conditions, the battery automatically takes itself offline. Built-in circuitry prevents overcharge and/or overheating, explains Robinson, and the TB17’s advanced Nanophosphate chemistry is much less susceptible to thermal runaway than many other Lithium-ion batteries.
(Photo: Robinson Helicopter)