Full Scale Multirotor Receives Experimental Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA - RC Groups

Full Scale Multirotor Receives Experimental Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA

After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented. SureFly is a personal full-scale helicopter/VTOL aircraft designed for safe and easy flight.

Splash

I was in a discussion with the RCGroups team and said that there had to be a full scale multirotor out there by now that we could fly in. Jason Cole replied with a link to the SureFly. $200,000 seems like a pretty good price to make a dream come true. NOTE - I have literally dreamed that I had a personal multirotor that I could travel in.

From Workhorse

The time has come. After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented. SureFly is a personal helicopter/VTOL aircraft designed for safe and easy flight. With eight independent motors each driving a single carbon fiber propeller, a backup battery power system, and a ballistic parachute to safely land in the event of an emergency, the SureFly provides unparalleled safety for a personal aircraft.

SureFly is changing the helicopter industry. Now is the time to discover the affordable, easy-to-pilot, safe answer to personal flight.

"Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS), an American technology company focused on providing sustainable and cost-effective electric mobility solutions to the commercial transportation sector, today announced 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. Workhorse announced that it intends to spin off its SureFly business into a separate publicly traded company called SureFly, Inc."

Specs

  • Electric Driven Props: 2 props per arm, contra-rotating. Eight motors, each driving a single propeller
  • Piloted Vehicle designed to carry pilot and passenger or pilot and cargo
  • Curb Weight: 1100lbs. Max Takeoff Weight: 1500lbs
  • Gasoline Piston Engine drives dual generators to provide power to prop motors
  • Dual Lithium Battery Packs: 7.5kWh each, used for emergency landing power (5 minutes) in the event the gasoline generator fails
  • Full computer and electrical system redundancy
  • Ballistic Parachute
  • Fuselage and props are carbon fiber for durability and light weight
  • 70 mph top speed
  • One hour of flight time available per tank of gasoline
  • Flight ceiling of 4000 feet.
  • Fixed Prop Pitch and no transitional parts (No wings, tail, tilt rotor or tilt wings) for simplicity and safety

Photos

Learn More

Head over to the Workhorse website to learn more about this amazing aircraft.

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Jan 19, 2018, 12:08 PM
Pro Hoarder
turbonut's Avatar
Approved by FAA...That is a bit misleading at best...My guess is the FAA said they can do R&D testing as an experimental aircraft..That is a long way from approval
Jan 19, 2018, 12:15 PM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
I have clarified this in the title and description.
Jan 19, 2018, 12:15 PM
Enterprise Support - 107
Tahoe Ed's Avatar
I saw a black version of the craft at CES. I thought that the other full scale MR was better with higher redundancy.
Latest blog entry: DJI Goggles RE x OcuSync videos
Jan 19, 2018, 12:29 PM
Registered User
better looking, too
Jan 19, 2018, 12:47 PM
Registered User
Boeing Chinook? 60's.

Kaman since latter 40's?

Any number of Russian multi rotor aircraft, probably no FAA involvement, though I have seen a few flying in Canada.

None of these are any more a 'drone' than the SureFly. There may be a need for a slightly different definition of the term 'multirotor drone'.
Jan 19, 2018, 01:15 PM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
They do state an autonomous version would be out so that puts it more in the "drone" designation.
Jan 19, 2018, 01:42 PM
some sort of retaining plunger
Russ_H's Avatar
Not a good undercarriage design, all that triangulation will make it strong but also very stiff...too stiff.
Sometimes innovators get very tied up in the new stuff they are dealing with and forget some basics

That said I wish them well.
Jan 19, 2018, 03:26 PM
Pro Hoarder
turbonut's Avatar
That would depend on what the gear is made from..
Jan 19, 2018, 03:33 PM
Registered User
sure looks like carbon fiber.
Jan 19, 2018, 06:14 PM
"On the Wing"
paulo810's Avatar
If there is a human pilot on board, it is not a "drone".
Jan 19, 2018, 08:53 PM
Registered User
DForbes's Avatar
Only flight footage I could find.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gIBujk7cAE
Jan 19, 2018, 09:41 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ_H
Not a good undercarriage design, all that triangulation will make it strong but also very stiff...too stiff.
Sometimes innovators get very tied up in the new stuff they are dealing with and forget some basics

That said I wish them well.
Probably a bunch of young engineers without a lot of (any?) practical experience. They're really fine engineers, but what looks good on paper (or CAD) doesn't work as well as they expect, but by the time they realize that, it is too late to change it. I see that often.

Seems like there would be a fair decrease in efficiency if you are going from gas to electric to a battery to a motor. However, it is much simpler than the mechanical design to drive eight props in that arrangement mechanically and have power transfer in the case of a failure.

In the video the thing has different landing gear which looks more like typical heli struts. Also, seems they need a DJI flight controller to get the thing off the ground level. Looks like it wants to roll right all the time.
Last edited by ssobol; Jan 19, 2018 at 09:47 PM.
Jan 19, 2018, 10:01 PM
Registered User
DForbes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssobol
Probably a bunch of young engineers without a lot of (any?) practical experience. They're really fine engineers, but what looks good on paper (or CAD) doesn't work as well as they expect, but by the time they realize that, it is too late to change it. I see that often.

Seems like there would be a fair decrease in efficiency if you are going from gas to electric to a battery to a motor. However, it is much simpler than the mechanical design to drive eight props in that arrangement mechanically and have power transfer in the case of a failure.

In the video the thing has different landing gear which looks more like typical heli struts. Also, seems they need a DJI flight controller to get the thing off the ground level. Looks like it wants to roll right all the time.
I think for concept the gear was made in a box configuration for ease of design and manufacturing, plus its cheap. As the design matures I am sure so will the gear and fuse. The test pilot was simply feeling out the controls which is pretty normal for a test flight such as this. I really like the idea of a hybrid system which helps in regards to range and safety.

Dennis
Jan 20, 2018, 04:16 AM
foamies never die
the_bunker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ_H
Not a good undercarriage design, all that triangulation will make it strong but also very stiff...too stiff.
Sometimes innovators get very tied up in the new stuff they are dealing with and forget some basics

That said I wish them well.
They explain their undercarriage design here:
https://youtu.be/SyRpZILjT2w?t=1m19s


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