FAA approves True Blue Power TB17 battery on Robinson R44 helicopters

True Blue Power Press Release | October 12, 2016

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 15 seconds.

True Blue Power has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the company’s TB17 (17-amp hour) lithium-ion batteries on Robinson R44 helicopters. This is the first STC granted by the FAA for lithium-ion battery use as a primary electrical power source, including engine start.

Robinson R44
This is the first STC granted by the FAA for lithium-ion battery use as a primary electrical power source, including engine start. True Blue Power Photo

True Blue Power partnered with St. Louis Helicopter, LLC to secure the STC.

“We are extremely proud that the TB17 has received the FAA’s first lithium-ion main ship battery STC,” said Rick Slater, director, True Blue Power. “With this approval, the FAA recognizes that True Blue Power lithium-ion products are safe, effective, and a viable source of main ship power. This is their stamp of approval and it is groundbreaking.”

“The TB17 is a perfect solution for R44 owners and operators,” said Jim Robinson, president, St. Louis Helicopter. “Weighing less than 16 pounds, the TB17 is 40 percent lighter than the factory provided battery. Upgrading to the TB17 provides R44 operators the benefit of increased payload, faster engine starts, significantly reduced maintenance cost, and more than double the useful battery life. We found those benefits, combined with the visibility of the ACU to monitor and report battery status, to be ideal for our customers and R44 operators worldwide.”

True Blue Power operates within an AS9100C certified facility and specializes in the custom design and manufacture of advanced power solutions for the global aerospace industry. Select products feature proprietary Nanophosphate lithium-ion cell chemistry, which provides unmatched power, energy, safety, and life.

Along with receiving the FAA’s first STC approval, True Blue Power is the first company in the world to achieve FAA technical standard order and EASA European technical standard order certification for lithium-ion batteries.

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