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Workhorse cleared to test Surefly helicopter

9th January 2018 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Workhorse Group has received an FAA Experimental Airworthiness Certificate to conduct test flights of its SureFly electric hybrid helicopter, the company announced on 3 January. The flight testing will be conducted in Las Vegas, Nevada.

SureFly is an electric hybrid helicopter that features a drone-like octocopter design, a two-person, 400lb payload capacity and a flight range of approximately 70 miles.

The helicopter has four propeller arms, with two fixed contra-rotating propellers on each arm; a hybrid propulsion system combining gasoline and electric power; and a backup lithium battery pack to drive the electric motors in the event of engine failure.

SureFly also includes a ballistic parachute designed for the safe return of the aircraft to the ground in emergency situations.

SureFly is expected to provide support to precision agriculture, surveillance, aerial inspection, emergency response tasks, urban commuting and various military applications. The company is expecting to achieve full FAA certification for the helicopter in late 2019.

Future models of the helicopter are also intended to be capable of autonomous flight.

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