Innovations That Matter

Hybrid aircraft

Sustainable helicopter is designed for personal and easy flight


An American company has unveiled an easy-to-fly hybrid personal helicopter.

Springwise has already seen development of a flying car and a hovercraft that doubles as a golf cart. Now American technology company Workhorse Group Inc. brings personal flight a step closer with their two-seater SureFly quadcopter.

Workhorse focuses on efficient and cost-effective solutions to commercial transportation that are less harmful to the environment than current options. The SureFly is a hybrid helicopter which uses a gas combustion engine to generate electricity, and features a parallel battery pack to provide a backup power source. The dual power sources eliminate the need for long battery charging periods between flights. SureFly is also designed to be safer and more stable than a typical helicopter.

Four propeller arms with two fixed, contra-rotating propellers on each arm, the ability to drive the electric motors on battery power alone in the event of engine failure, and a ballistic parachute that can safely land the entire aircraft are just a few of the safety features. Others include a 200 horsepower gasoline engine that operates on premium unleaded, an onboard GPS navigation system, detect-and-avoid sensors, and a maximum flight altitude of 4,000 feet. The helicopter is designed to be easy to pilot, and will be able to carry a pilot and one passenger, or cargo, up to 70 miles before refueling.

Workhorse unveiled the SureFly at the 2017 Paris Air Show, and is currently accepting pre-orders for the craft. The company’s goal is to eventually develop fully autonomous models of the SureFly which will be capable of carrying payloads of up to 400 pounds. The company anticipates using the autonomous craft for, among other uses, transporting commuters, emergency responders and military personnel. What other uses might there be for an autonomous personal helicopter?




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