You have the fastest cars on land and a personal boat by sea, but maybe your upper-class cred isn’t enough for a personal jet or helicopter. Unless you’re an accomplished actor, corporate exec or a head of state, it takes a special position to be able to fly in first class with no one else on board.
Fortunately, the folks at Workhorse have found a way to get you a bit closer to that dream. Previously known as AMP Electric Vehicles, the company made waves manufacturing the first 460 HP electric pickup fleet vehicle and medium duty step vans, both with their patented range extending technology. In another first, they’ve reinvented the helicopter.
Dubbed the SureFly, the two-seater vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft may be marketed towards agricultural farmers, emergency respondents, and the military, but with a $200,000 USD price tag, makes it seem more a rich boy toy or a backup for Batman (when the Batwing is being serviced). Still, we want a couple.
With eight motors powering one carbon fiber propeller each, the SureFly can reach a height of 4,000 feet and move at a max speed of 70mph–Not ideal for avoiding incoming enemy fire, but gets the job done for a leisurely flight with your significant other after dinner.
It looks like a drone though, right? So are the controls like a helicopter or a drone?
I’m glad to pretend you asked. While flying an unmanned drone is usually done with a controller resembling that of an RC car, aircraft holding human lives are typically commandeered using a flight stick. According to Flying magazine, a simple joystick allows you to control the direction of the SureFly while buttons and a computer take care of the altitude and throttle. Because it’s classified as a light-sport craft, you only need 20 hours of pilot training before you can brag to your friends, rather than the 1,500 hours needed to learn how to fly a larger helicopter.
Adn look, it’s even environmentally friendly. While not completely powered by electricity, the gasoline-piston engine uses dual motors to provide a good one hour of air time, with a backup battery providing five minutes of reserve power in case you need to make an emergency landing. If that isn’t safe enough for you, there’s a ballistic parachute installed into the center of the drone to float you and your frightened passenger safely back to terra firma.
With a carbon fiber fuselage and prop design, the SureFly weighs about 1,100 lbs with a payload of 400 lbs for take off. That’s equivalent to two really hearty people or one person, a large dog and a 50 lb boulder. If you’re wondering where to store a VTOL without a helipad, fret not. The aircraft’s carbon fiber arms can fold up, allowing the SureFly to be stored in a standard garage.
We may not quite be in the future where everyone drives flying cars, but for those who can’t wait, you can reserve your very own SureFly on Workhorse’s official website with a $1000 completely refundable deposit.
Who wants to go in on one?