Workhorse Group, an American technology firm centered on promoting the shift to zero-emission commercial vehicles, has unveiled significant advancements in Workhorse Aero, its drone segment.
Workhorse has initiated the process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to incorporate the WA4-100 drone, dubbed "Horsefly," into UPS Flight Forward’s (UPSFF) FAA Part 135 “drone airline” certification. Collaboratively with UPSFF and the FAA, Workhorse Aero anticipates obtaining FAA Part 135 operation approval for Horsefly by 2023's end.
This move towards FAA authorization continues Workhorse's collaborative efforts with UPS Flight Forward to introduce proficient drone delivery systems. Workhorse Aero has equipped UPSFF staff with the necessary training to manage and operate the drones, resulting in UPSFF conducting multiple successful missions using Workhorse Aero's drones.
To gain FAA's endorsement for Horsefly's operation under UPSFF’s Part 135 certificate, Workhorse is mandated to execute an exhaustive flight test regimen. This program requires multiple flight tests accumulating hundreds of hours using various aircraft.
John Graber expressed appreciation for UPS Flight Forward's recognition of Horsefly's safety and reliability. He reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate efficiently with both UPSFF and FAA teams to ensure the successful and timely completion of the mandatory flight tests.
Workhorse Aero has recently obtained two additional grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for farmland scanning. These grants amount to roughly $1.1 million in extra USDA financing to assist agriculturally-oriented endeavors. Cumulatively, the grants Workhorse Aero has received this year for sensor scanning projects from the USDA now exceed $2 million.
John Graber emphasized the vast growth potential in agricultural sectors, highlighting the increasing dependency of government agencies and partners on their drone technology to gather essential data.
The WA4-100, or Horsefly, is a part of Workhorse's collection of all-electric multipurpose uncrewed aerial systems (UAS). Designed for diverse commercial and industrial tasks, this system operates automatically from take-off to package delivery and return to base. When adequately equipped, these systems can transport payloads of up to 10 pounds over distances reaching 10 miles.