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October 15, 2015 10:50 AM, EDT

Workhorse Group to Begin Testing Delivery Drone

Workhorse Group Inc.

Workhorse Group Inc. said it won Federal Aviation Administration approval to test its unmanned aircraft system called HorseFly, which is designed to fly to and from the company’s electric delivery vehicle.

Workhorse CEO Steve Burns called the FAA authorization “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.”

The company said it is collaborating with the Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center and Test Complex.

Workhorse Group said HorseFly, an eight-rotor “octocopter,” is intended to work in tandem with its electric work trucks. Weighing 15 pounds empty, HorseFly has a payload capacity of 10 pounds; it can achieve a maximum speed of 50 mph and a flight time of 30 minutes. It can be recharged by the vehicle.

Loveland, Ohio-based Workhorse Group is the parent company of AMP Trucks Inc. and AMP Electric Vehicles Inc., which manufactures electric drive systems for medium-duty, Classes 3-6 commercial truck platforms. AMP Trucks Inc., which purchased the assets of Workhorse Custom Chassis from Navistar in March 2013, can equip its Workhorse chassis with gasoline, propane, or CNG engines in addition to all-electric.