Photo courtesy of Workhorse
The Workhorse Surefly drone completed a successful manned, untethered test hover into the air with a person in it for the first time, the company said in a press release. It hovered above ground for a few seconds before touching back down. The test took place outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Surefly was first unveiled at the Paris Air Show in 2017. It is a two-person aircraft with eight independent motors each driving a single carbon-fiber propeller.
The drone will include a hybrid gas combustion engine to generate electricity and a battery pack to store charge. This eliminates the need for long battery charging periods between flights. There is also has a gasoline generator along with a lithium battery for emergency situations. The backup battery can drive the electric motors in the event of engine failure. There is also a ballistic parachute for safe landing.
The Surefly can reach speeds of up to 70 mph, an altitude of up to 4,000 feet and a range of one hour on one tank of gasoline.
Workhorse was granted an FAA experimental certification to test the drone. The hover is a step forward for the company in the development of the Surefly