Workhorse Group’s SureFly personal passenger drone will take off for the first time at CES 2018 in Las Vegas on January 8. This follows the receipt of an Experimental Airworthiness Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The SureFly, which emerged at Paris Air Air Show in June last year, is a manned, personal helicopter. Early models will be pilot-operated with a joystick controller but future models will use autonomous technology.
Steve Burns, the company’s CEO, describes it like this: “The SureFly is a two-person (or one person with cargo) manned helicopter with eight rotors, each powered by its own electric motor. It is meant for short flights, with about 70 miles of range. A gasoline generator supplies the power to the motors, and two lithium-ion battery packs act as backup, providing five minutes of time to land after it’s out of gas. It’s small enough to fit in a garage, thanks to its folding arms. Workhorse intends for the price to be about $200,000 or less.”
SureFly takes off
Ahead of the debut next week, Workhorse has also announced it will spin off SureFly as its own business.
SureFly, Inc. will take over Workhorse’s aerial technology, but Workhorse will still retain the assets to its HorseFly delivery drone.