Workhorse Electric Octocopter – (w/video)
The SureFly sure does fly.
Workhorse recently unveiled its electric two-seat octocopter SureFly, which tries to reinvent the 78-year-old helicopter to provide an easy, affordable and traffic-avoiding flying solution.
The SureFly is propelled by eight independent propellers and electric motors for full redundancy (well, there is a ballistic parachute just in case the octocopter fails). The electricity comes from a generator – 2L 4-cylinder engine and YASA generator and two 7.5 kWh batteries. The range is claimed to be around 70 miles on the generator, as the battery works more like backup power.
It’s designed to be simple to use – it will fly manually by setting altitude using the Up or Down buttons and move using a joystick. There will be an automatic mode too, in which you just set your destination.
Workhorse expects that the price will be under $200,000, although the company admits it will need a couple of years to get certification to fly the SureFly in our skies.
“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 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.”
“With our tech expertise developing carbon fiber drones and electric battery powered vehicles, we now showcase our two person, 8 rotor helicopter. This hybrid aircraft is designed for a short hop application with an estimated 70 mile range. In addition the SureFly packs an on-board fully redundant backup battery system. The four carbon fiber arms fold down providing a small footprint to store inside a standard garage.”
- 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 redudancy
- 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.
- Fix Prop Pitch and no transitional parts (No wings, tail, tilt rotor or tilt wings) for simplicity and safet