Workhorse SureFly

Quick Summary

The Workhorse SureFly VTOL is a hybrid-powered personal transport vehicle being developed in Ohio, with a target entry to market price of less than $200,000. The vehicle is developed by Workhorse, a leader in electric and hybrid vehicle solutions. The SureFly uses 8 contra-rotating propellors to generate lift, and is roughly the same size as a pickup truck.

Workhorse designs and manufacturers electric trucks and VTOLS.

Stage of Development

Preliminary Design

Prototype Build

Flight Testing


Commercially Operating
Technical Details

Electric Driven Props: 2 props per arm, contra rotating. Eight motors, each driving a single propeller

Curb Weight: 1100lbs.

Max Takeoff Weight: 1500lbs

Dual Lithium Battery Packs: 7.5kWh each, used for emergency landing power (5 minutes) in the event the gasoline generator fails

Top Speed: 70 mph

Flight time: One hour per tank of gasoline

Ceiling: 4000 feet.

Funding: Acquired by Navistar, which has $256M funding and 2 other acquisitions according to Crunchbase

Other features:

  • Piloted Vehicle designed to carry pilot and passenger or pilot and cargo
  • Fixed Prop Pitch and no transitional parts (No wings, tail, tilt rotor or tilt wings) for simplicity and safety
  • Full computer and electrical system redundancy
  • Ballistic Parachute
  • Fuselage and props are carbon fiber for durability and light weight
  • Gasoline Piston Engine drives dual generators to provide power to prop motors

Our Take on SureFly

Workhorse's SureFly VTOL conducted its first flight in May of 2018 and is moving forward quickly with the FAA Type Certification Process. While the company still has not officially applied for a Type Certificate for the SureFly, it is currently operating under an Experimental Type Certificate from the FAA. Workhorse's CEO, Steve Burns, stated that SureFly intends to work "fully" with the FAA during the certification progress and is energetic and positive regarding the relationship between manufacturer and regulator moving forward. The SureFly VTOL is gas powered, and has a backup battery for emergencies. Additionally, the SureFly boasts a ballistic recovery parachute for emergency situations where multiple rotors fail; however, the company claims that the VTOL can fly with one of its eight rotors inoperative. Workhorse leverages manufacturing experience of electric trucks.