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Workhorse to Sell SureFly eVTOL Business

Electric truck manufacturer Workhorse Group announced on Sept. 18 that it had engaged investment bank B. Riley FBR to sell its SureFly operating unit, which is developing its hybrid-electric SureFly eVTOL. “Now that SureFly is doing hover test flights and has entered into the Type Certification Process with the FAA, we believe it is the ideal time to find a suitable partner or buyer that wishes to lead the eVTOL race,” stated Stephen Burns, CEO of Workhorse. “Finding a suitable partner for SureFly will enable Workhorse to continue focusing on its N-GEN electric delivery truck platform as well as our W-15 Electric Pickup Truck.” Source:  Workhorse Group Inc. Engages B. Riley FBR to Manage Formal Process to Sell SureFly eVTOL, PR Newswire, Sept. 18, 2018

SureFly Flies Higher

Workhorse Group has posted video of its SureFly hybrid-electric two-seat eVTOL conducting multiple free flights. In a video posted on YouTube on Aug. 6, 2018, entitled “SureFly 8-2-2018 Flight Test Reel“, the aircraft is seen rising up on multiple hovers to a skid height of approximately 10-20 ft (3-6 m) for several seconds at a time, apparently at the Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company has also unveiled a new Workhorse Group logo and a separate social media channel for SureFly, which is a separate entity. In addition to @Workhorse_Group, the company now has @SureFly_Aero on Twitter and Instagram.

SureFly Takes Flight

Workhorse completed the first flight of its two-seat SureFly hybrid eVTOL quadcopter on April 30, 2018, in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was the world’s first manned free flight of a hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft. The SureFly made a 10-second, untethered hover with an experimental flight certification. Workhorse also announced in June that “the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accepted the company’s application for type certification for its SureFly eVTOL aircraft.” The company noted that “the June 1 application is an important step forward, as the SureFly design appears to be the first hybrid-electric eVTOL multi-copter to reach this important milestone with the FAA.”

Workhorse SureFly

SureFly Workhorse Group, Inc. Loveland, Ohio, USA First flight of the Workhorse SureFly “electric helicopter” was made on Monday, April 30, 2018 at the Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. The flight was a 10-second untethered hover. This was the world’s first manned flight of a hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft. Initially, the concept was planned to fly at CES2018, after tether testing in Jan. 2018. The company further announced that on June 1, 2018, the US Federal Aviation Administration had accepted the company’s application for type certification. The company notes “the SureFly design appears to be the first hybrid-electric eVTOL multi-copter to reach this important milestone with the FAA.” The company posted a video of flight testing on Aug. 6, 2018 of the SureFly conducting higher hovers from testing on Aug. 2, 2018. According to the Workhorse website: “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.” The company announced the program in a press release on May 31, 2017, stating: “It features a gas combustion engine generating electricity and a parallel battery pack offering a redundant backup power source, eliminates the need for long battery charging periods between flights. SureFly is designed to be easy to operate, and is expected to be capable of carrying two passengers up to 70 miles.” The SureFly is expected to sell for less than $200,000 each. The aircraft was displayed at the Paris Air Show in June 2017 and AirVenture in July 2017, as well as CES 2018 in January 2018. Its registered as an experimental aircraft with the FAA under N834LW. An accident occurred on April 11, 2018, when the SureFly rolled onto its side during a demonstration, luckily not injuring the test pilot. Specifications: Vertical take off and landing Electric Driven Props: 2 props per arm, counter-rotating. Eight motors, each driving a single propeller Piloted Vehicle designed to carry pilot and passenger or pilot and cargo Gasoline Piston Engine drives dual generators to provide power to prop motors Dual Lithium Battery Packs: 7.5 kWh 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 Fix Prop Pitch and no transitional parts (No wings, tail, tilt rotor or tilt wings) for simplicity and safety Onboard GPS navigation system Static ports and a heated pitot tube for altimeter and air speed measurements Detect-and-avoid sensors Maximum flight distance: 70 miles 70 mph (60 kt or 113 km/h) top speed One hour of flight time available per tank of gasoline Flight ceiling of 4,000 ft (1200 m). Curb Weight: 1100 lb. (500 kg) Max Takeoff Weight: 1500 lb (680 kg) Maximum payload: 400 pounds Battery backup system with max theoretical battery power of 20.8 amp …

The EAA AirVenture VTOL Adventure

The EAA AirVenture VTOL Adventure By Kenneth I. Swartz Vertiflite, Sep/Oct 2018 Vertiflite attended the world’s largest annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to report on the latest developments in vertical flight for the experimental and general aviation market. The Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual AirVenture fly-in and convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was a showcase for conventional rotorcraft and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, with no fewer than eight prototype eVTOL aircraft displayed by five innovative companies and more than 50 rotorcraft showcased by manufacturers, operators and collectors. The seven-day aviation extravaganza in July attracted 602,000 attendees and more than 11,000 aircraft to Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport and the surrounding airfields. The attendance once again confirmed Oshkosh’s place as the world’s largest airshow and homecoming for pilots, and Wittman was again the world’s busiest airport for this one week of the year. VFS attended Oshkosh in 2018 as observer and participant, with the author (a VFS Board member) tracking down all the rotary-wing content on the vast exhibition grounds and making two presentations on “The Electric VTOL Revolution” — one at the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation’s Electric Aircraft Symposium and the other at one of AirVenture’s educational workshops. The eVTOL aircraft showcased at AirVenture included three models of the Opener BlackFly (see “Opener BlackFly Debuts at Oshkosh”), the Workhorse SureFly, and additional eVTOL aircraft in development by Assen Aerospace, Electric Jet Aircraft and Luminati Aerospace. CAFE Foundation Electric Aircraft Symposium For the second year in a row, the CAFE Foundation held its annual Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS) at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Alumni Center on the weekend prior to EAA AirVenture. This, the 12th Annual EAS, attracted 18 international speakers from a wide range of disciplines who provided an update on the opportunities and challenges facing electric-powered conventional take-off and landing (eCTOL) and eVTOL aircraft. This year, the Vertical Flight Society partnered with the CAFE Foundation to record all the presentations on video with the goal of sharing these electric aviation insights online with members, supporters and sponsors (see Rotary-Wing Exhibits One of the regular fixtures of AirVenture is the opportunity to take a $49, five-minute flight over the infield area of the vast exhibition grounds in a vintage Bell 47G. Four of the helicopters were fully dedicated to giving rides this year: two 47G2s, a 47G3B1 and a 47G4A. Over the course of the eight days — from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days, even when the afternoon airshow was taking place — the four historic aircraft flew 3,032 people two at a time. The oldest rotorcraft on display at Oshkosh was a 1941 Pitcairn PA-39 Autogiro (serial M98, registration N3908) owned by the EAA AirVenture Museum. The PA-39 was one of the few Autogiros that Pitcairn built for military use, with seven PA-39s delivered to the British Air Ministry, though none were employed operationally. Other helicopters on display at Oshkosh included historic Bell H-13, Hiller UH-23, Hughes OH-6A and Mil Mi-2 …


Piloted All eVTOL aircraft that operate with a pilot Aeroxo LV ERA Aviabike AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) Airbus CityAirbus Alauda Airspeeder Aquinea Volta Assen A1 Aston Martin Volante Astro AA360 (Passenger Drone) Avianovations Hepard Bay Zoltán Flike Carter Aviation Air Taxi chAIR Multicopter Dekatone Flying Car Dufour aEro 2 EAC Whisper Electric Jet EJ-1 Embraer DreamMaker Flexcraft FlytCycle Georgia Tech HummingBuzz Gravity X Hero Flyer Hi-Lite Lynx-us HopFlyt Venturi Hoversurf Scorpion JAXA Hornisse Jetpack Aviation Joby Aviation S4 Kalashnikov (unnamed) Kármán XK-1 Kenyan Passenger Drone Kitty Hawk Flyer Kitty Hawk Flyer (defunct prototype) Leap Vantage Malloy Hoverbike ManDrone Moller Skycar M200 Moller Skycar M400 Napoleon Aero VTOL NASA Puffin Neva AirQuadOne NUS Snowstorm Opener BlackFly Penn State University Blue Sparrow Ray Research Dart Flyer Ray VTOL Aircraft Sikorsky Firefly (defunct) Silverwing S1 Scoop Pegasus 1 Sky-Hopper Solution F Supervolant Pegasus Swarm Multicopter Terrafugia TF-2 Lift + Push Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor Terrafugia TF-X teTra 3 Texas A&M University Harmony Tier 1 Robinson R44 Transcend Air Vy 400 Trek Aerospace FlyKart 2 University of Kansas Mamba Urban Aeronautics CityHawk Vickers WAVE eVTOL Volocopter VC1/VC2 (defunct prototypes) Workhorse SureFly XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 View all pages with the tag “Piloted”

Electric Hybrid

Electric Hybrid All eVTOL aircraft that utilize both electricity and fossil fuels Aergility ATLIS aeroG Aviation aG-4 Assen A1 Aston Martin Volante Aurora LightningStrike (defunct) AutoFlightX BAT600 Axix SkyRider SuvA Bell Air Taxi Davinci ZeroG Dufour aEro 2 Flexcraft Jetoptera J2000 Joby Aviation Lotus (defunct) Moller Skycar M200 Moller Skycar M400 PAV-X PAV-X Ultralight Ray VTOL Aircraft Rolls-Royce EVTOL Sabrewing Draco-2 UAS Samad Starling Jet Terrafugia TF-2 Lift + Push Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor Terrafugia TF-X VerdeGo Aero PAT200 Vickers WAVE eVTOL Vimana AAV VTOL Aviation Abhiyaan Workhorse SureFly XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 View all pages with the tag “Electric Hybrid”

2 Passengers

2 Passengers All eVTOL aircraft that carry two passengers A³ Vahana Astro AA360 (Passenger Drone) Aurora eVTOL AutoFlightX BAT600 Autonomous Flight Y6S Avianovations Hepard Bartini Flying Car Bell Air Taxi Dekatone Flying Car DeLorean Aerospace DR-7 Digi Robotics Droxi Dufour aEro 2 EAC Whisper EHang 216 EVA X01 JAXA Hornisse Jetoptera J2000 Joby S2 (defunct) Kármán XK-1 Kitty Hawk Cora Lilium Jet Moller Skycar M200 Pop.Up Next Sikorsky Firefly (defunct) Tier 1 Robinson R44 VerdeGo Aero PAT200 Vertiia Vision VTOL Volocopter VC200 VRCO NeoXCraft Workhorse SureFly Zenith Altitude EOPA View all pages with the tag “2 Passengers”

Flight Testing

Flight Testing All eVTOL aircraft that have begun flying full-scale prototypes A³ Vahana AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) Aquinea Volta Astro AA360 (Passenger Drone) chAIR Multicopter EHang 184 EHang 216 FlytCycle Gravity X Hero Flyer Joby S4 Kalashnikov (unnamed) Kenyan Passenger Drone Kitty Hawk Cora Kitty Hawk Flyer Kitty Hawk Flyer (defunct prototype) Lilium Jet Malloy Hoverbike Moller Skycar M400 NUS Snowstorm Opener BlackFly Sky-Hopper Solution F Swarm Multicopter Tier 1 Robinson R44 Trek Aerospace FlyKart 2 Volocopter 2X Volocopter VC1/VC2 (defunct prototypes) Volocopter VC200 Workhorse SureFly Zee Aero Z-P2 View all pages with the tag “Flight Testing”