FAA authorises tests for Workhorse’s Horsefly parcel delivery drone
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a Certificate of Authorization (COA) to the Ohio/Indiana UAS Center and Test Complex, which will allow Workhorse Group and the University of Cincinnati to continue their joint development of Workhorse Group’s Horsefly parcel delivery drone. The Horsefly tests will take place at the Wilmington Air Park in Wilmington, Ohio.
The Horsefly is an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) which is designed to fly to and from a standard delivery vehicle. The Horsefly UAS has eight rotors, giving it the name “octocopter”. It has a payload capacity of 10 pounds, and can achieve a maximum speed of 50 mph and a flight time of 30 minutes.
After taking off from the roof of the delivery vehicle, the Horsefly is designed to navigate to the desired delivery point autonomously, using GPS navigation.
In a statement issued yesterday (14 October), Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse, commented: “Obtaining this authorization from the FAA is a vital step forward in making our HorseFly drone a practical component of our package delivery system by testing the drone’s unmanned flying capabilities. We believe the pairing of the HorseFly drone and the Workhorse electric vehicle may usher in a significant improvement in reducing emissions and improving the efficiency of the delivery process.”
Workhorse has teamed with UC via the University of Cincinnati’s Research Institute (UCRI) to develop all of the systems necessary to execute precision take-offs and landings on the top of a standard delivery truck in a variety of weather conditions and package weights.