Workhorse Group, based in Loveland, Ohio, stated the Federal Aviation Administration has accepted its application for Type Certification for the company’s SureFly eVTOL aircraft. The June 1st 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.
Courtesy of Workhorse Group
SureFly has been designed for ease of operation. Workhorse states it is safe to fly and the company expects it to be moderately priced relative to a conventional helicopter. SureFly has eight electrically driven props that are powered via a piston or turbine based generator. The craft also has a small lithium battery that is designed to power the motors for a safe descent and landing in the rare event that the generator should fail while in flight. In addition to these redundancies, the SureFly design has a ballistic parachute that works above an altitude of 100 feet.
"The FAA has yet to certify an aircraft like SureFly," said Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group. "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."
Due to the fact this is truly a first-of-its-kind design, much of the FAA's regulatory certification framework does not apply to SureFly, so Workhorse is working closely with top experts in the field to develop new certification requirements that fit a hybrid-electric eVTOL like SureFly.
You can check out a video of the progress SureFly has made over the past few months, all leading up to their recent untethered hovers, here.