It might be a little later than the CES 2018 target date, but let’s be sincere guys, it’s never too late to show the world how your electric helicopter flies. Workhorse Group has finally run a flying test of its hybrid-electric helicopter. The company touts that the flight is completely untethered and was an FIA-sanctioned flight. It all seems like it's getting much closer to production.
And it certainly does fly in the test video ... but not a lot. As you'll see, for its first time off the ground, it pretty much just hovers for a bit before landing again. But it does fly under its own power, and it's not connected to anything, which is an important milestone in its development. The pilot seems to find it pretty easy to fly, too. We can't fault SureFly for being careful though with their new vehicle. After all, a failure in the air is often higher stakes than with a car on the ground. We look forward to seeing longer, higher flights in the future.
The vehicle itself is pretty cool. Its motors are all electric, and an onboard generator produces electricity to power them. SureFly expects it to be capable of a 70-mile flight range. It also won't require much training to use, and the pilot of the test vehicle seems to echo the idea that it's very easy to use. SureFly proposes a wide variety of applications for its vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft, including taxi, agricultural, military, first responder and commuting duty.