Workhorse receives FAA certification for test flights of SureFly

Workhorse Group Inc., an American technology company focused on providing sustainable and cost-effective electric mobility solutions to the commercial transportation sector, announced on Jan. 3 that it has received an Experimental Airworthiness Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that will allow the company to conduct test flights of its SureFly electric hybrid helicopter.

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SureFly is the first electric hybrid helicopter, and it is able to carry two passengers with a range of approximately 70 miles. Workhorse Group Photo
SureFly is the first electric hybrid helicopter, and it is able to carry two passengers with a range of approximately 70 miles. Workhorse Group Photo

The first test flight is scheduled for 12 p.m. local time in Las Vegas on Jan. 8, 2018, prior to the start of the 2018 Consumer Electronic Show (CES).

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On Dec. 27, 2017, Workhorse announced that it intends to spin off its SureFly business into a separate publicly traded company called SureFly, Inc.

SureFly, the world’s first electric hybrid helicopter, features a drone-like octocopter design; a two-person, 400-pound payload capacity; and a range of approximately 70 miles.

SureFly was first unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June 2017, and it will be on display at the Workhorse CES exhibit, located on the Central Plaza at Booth #31. The company is currently accepting SureFly pre-orders here.

5 thoughts on “Workhorse receives FAA certification for test flights of SureFly

  1. NO WAY you would get me in this crazy contraption. I know the engineering team behind it. It’s overloaded, underpowered and 4 control arms is always a setup for failure and crash. Dumb, dumb, dumb design.

  2. I find this far more compelling a design than the Ehang 184. I do think that useful load of 400lbs is low so perhaps it is a bit under powered, but then again, maybe I’m a bit “over-powered” (in other words, I could loose some weight). As for the 4 control arms being a setup for failure and crash? Hmmmm I seem to remember a few millions quads out there doing very well. Troll, troll, troll, trolling….

  3. Dumb design … well it is a really one hideous to me but someone else could find that design interesting just saying. Anyway, it appears to be somewhere something serious about that flying thing and i can’t wait to see where that project will go shorting further in a successful way or in tragically one.

  4. The Airbus version of these concepts settled on somethng similar to the “SureFly”, a bit heavier with four seats. But they have a whole lot more rotor disc area (more than twice, by my reckoning looking at pictures and concept drawings). The Airbus version also has a duct shrouding each rotor disc. This means a lot. Airbus clearly appreciates the challenge in vertical lift with small rotor swept area: the smaller they get the less efficient the lift force. The duct helps in a meningful way.

    Airbus sees a need for 800kW of motor shaft power (total). That’s far more proportionately than the Workhorse people think they need. Even if Workhorse is within reality they’ll need at least 150-200kW of total rotor input power. They ought to be able to run the hell out of a battery for a few minutes in their demos, but the actual engne and generator combination to give the necessary power will be a horse (no pun intended).

    The other thing is that Airbus is building a completely integrated non-flying test stand that recreates the power bus and all the propulsion and control equipment. They’ve been running this since October and don’t plan to fly until late this year or early next. They also don’t predict certification for another 4 or 5 years.

    Workhorse is a little truck modification shop. They have no experience in manned aircraft of any kind. This is never going to see the light of day outside of sideshows at CES and EAA. It really IS dumb.

  5. Anyone know WHERE the test flight is in Los Vegas? Or is it secret, so they can just sweep the results under the rug if they look ugly?

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