Helicopter gets first revamp in 78 years: Workhorse Group CEO

What some say is the first passenger drone to fly in America, is actually a revamped helicopter according to CEO of the Workhorse Group Steve Burns.

“We feel we have reinvented the helicopter after 78 years,” Burns told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.”

“If you look at the helicopter literally 78 years ago and today not much has changed. So we thought… why don’t you have a helicopter in your garage to commute?… It comes down to a few things. A: they are expensive. B: very difficult to fly and C: they have a lot of what’s called single point failures. If one thing breaks on a helicopter bad things happen,” he said.

The SureFly will make its maiden voyage next month and Workhorse will fly it. The gas-generated, pilot-driven rotorcraft costs $200,000 and has 8 electrically driven propellers, which make it much safer than a regular helicopter, according to Burns.

“You can lose a propeller, maybe even two, should you strike anything in the air for example”, Burns said. “If that should ever fail, you have a battery pack—5 minutes to get down. And on top of that it has a ballistic parachute that can carry the whole thing down.”

“The reason everybody calls it a passenger drone is it looks like your classic drone. It’s just a cock pit, two people and then four arms, two props per arm,” Burns added.

Burns said Workhorse is working with regulators to have SureFly on the market by 2019.