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Fri, Oct 06, 2017

Aero-TV: The Workhorse Surefly - A Different Approach to Future Rotorcraft

SureFly Hopes To Put A Manned Quadcopter In Your Driveway…

A prototype of the SureFly, a personal helicopter/VTOL aircraft, was on display in the Innovation Center at AirVenture Oshkosh in July.

The aircraft is being designed by The Workhorse Group, a technology company focused on providing sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the commercial transportation sector. Alan Arkus, R&D Mechanical Engineer for Workhorse, developer of the SureFly aircraft, told Aero-News editor Tom Patton that the company wants to bring helicopter technology to a broader audience with an aircraft that is easier to fly than a traditional rotorcraft.

The SureFly is designed to be safer and more stable than a typical helicopter due to its redundant design, which includes four propeller arms, two fixed contra-rotating propellers on each arm, a backup battery to drive the electric motors in the event of engine failure and a ballistic parachute that safely brings down the craft if needed.

The company says that early models will be pilot-operated, but ultimately they plan to introduce future models featuring autonomous flight capable of carrying payloads of up to 400 pounds. Anticipated markets for the SureFly are precision agriculture, emergency responders, city commuters and military.

SureFly's hybrid design leverages Workhorse's platform battery packaging, management systems and controls utilized in its currently commercialized medium-duty, range-extended battery electric vehicles. It features a gas combustion engine generating electricity and a parallel battery pack offering a redundant backup power source, eliminating the need for long battery charging periods between flights. SureFly is designed to be easy to pilot, and is expected to be capable of carrying pilot and passenger or cargo up to 70 miles.

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 3500 aviation and feature programs, including well over 1000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, hosted by Bri Cross, Laura Hutson, and Christopher C. Odom. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published over 360,000 news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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