Hybrid Electric Octocopter Drone Achieves First Manned Flight
You'll be hailing an AirUber or AirTaxi sooner instead of later if SureFly keeps advancing and developing its air fleet capability.
The hybrid two-seat helicopter SureFly from the electric truck company Workhorse barely made it off the ground this week. But it was huge.
While it's only a few feet of hover, the VTOL (vertical take-off and landing vehicle) made an untethered liftoff with a pilot and that's a significant step toward flying with passengers inside. Five feet to 500 feet, the same tech, mechanisms and effort are needed to achieve lift.
Once in the air, this hybrid gas and battery powered VTOL will have a 75-mile range.
The hope is to one day make it safer to fly to your destination than drive. Doesn't everyone want something in their garage they can take out and fly?
That's an achievement SureFly is hoping will get the aircraft up and running by 2020. Technical and regulatory limitations have kept the craft grounded.
The passenger drone could compete with Uber's electric air taxi concept, along with many mainstream aviation companies' VTOL efforts, but it could also be a tool for a farmer, a commuter, or a paramedic.