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HorseFly Drone Gets Commercial Waiver from FAA

December 10, 2015

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Photo: AMP
Photo: AMP

Workhorse Group says it has received a commercial exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration for further research and development of its HorseFly drone package-delivery system.

Stephen Burns, Workhorse's CEO, says the commercial exemption “represents a key milestone” in the development of the system. Announced earlier this year, HorseFly works with a modified WorkHorse walk-in electric van, which acts as a mobile base for the aircraft. 

The HorseFly octocopter weighs 15 pounds, can carry a 10-pound package and flies as fast as 50 mph for as long as 30 minutes until its batteries need recharging.

Workhorse says that by using a touchscreen interface in its delivery truck, the driver inputs a destination, and the HorseFly can launch itself from the roof of the vehicle, ascend to a safe cruising altitude and navigate autonomously to the desired delivery point, like a house’s front stoop, to drop off a package.

This Section 333 exemption follows receipt of a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization to the Ohio/Indiana UAS Center and Test Complex. That will allow Workhorse and the University of Cincinnati to continue their joint development of the HorseFly at the Wilmington Air Park in Ohio.

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