Workhorse has submitted an application for full certification of their SureFly eVTOL aircraft from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a beaming Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group proudly shared.
The submission follows close work with the FAA under an experimental airworthiness Type Certification, which Burns says demonstrates the FAA’s confidence in their work to date.
The SureFly took its manned, tethered maiden flight on the 3rd of May in Cincinnati.
Targeted at high efficiency flying for the short hop segment Surefly is a two-place hybrid-electric eVTOL multi-copter aircraft , with several state of the art features like a 70-mile range and 400-pound useful load, and a top speed of 70 MPH.
It is powered by a gasoline piston engine that drives two generators, which charge the batteries for the prop motors.
The Surefly is truly a first-of-its-kind design. It not only utilizes a fly-by-wire flight control system designed to maintain the flight envelope of the aircraft.
It is also equipped with eight independent motors, each driving its own rotor system, the aircraft has the system redundancy required to land safely should a motor fail.
A special safety net – a standby to stand by – its 8 props are directly attached to an electric motor, powered by a generator which in case of failure is backed up by a lithium battery.
Finally, a parachute as yet another standby to assist landing, all this keeping in mind absolute comfort and ease of operating the SureFly for the pilot, making it a quiet, reliable, comfortable and practical aircraft.
Much of the FAA’s regulatory certification framework does not apply to SureFly, so Workhorse is collaborating with top experts in the field to develop new certification requirements that fit a hybrid-electric eVTOL like SureFly.
“The FAA has yet to certify an aircraft like SureFly,” says Burns
“We have been working closely with the FAA while we have been under our Experiment Certification status, and we feel that their acceptance of our Type Certification application represents a vote of confidence in our team, our product and the future of electric vertical take and landing aircraft here in the United States.”
“We are thrilled to fly this year,” he adds.
The two-seat aircraft was introduced at last year’s EAA AirVenture show. “We appreciate the opportunity to publicly demonstrate our exciting progress at the world’s greatest aviation celebration,” he continues.
An American original equipment manufacturer, Workhorse is a technology company providing sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the commercial transportation sector including high performance battery-electric vehicles including trucks and aircraft aimed at making the movement of people and goods more efficient and less harmful to the environment.
Workhorse also develops cloud-based, real-time telematics performance monitoring systems that are fully integrated with their vehicles and enable fleet operators to optimize energy and route efficiency.
Workhorse Group has now entered into and closed an agreement for a $6.1 million term loan. The loan is being provided by a fund managed by Arosa Capital Management, an alternative investment manager focused on the energy sector.
Till Bechtolsheimer, CEO Arosa Capital Management, adds, “The electrification of both fleet vehicles and aircraft presents significant growth opportunity. We are looking forward to our continued partnership with the Workhorse team.”