UK-based Skyfly taking orders for Axe eVTOL
Skyfly has opened its order book for its two-seat eVTOL dubbed Axe by Skyfly. With a base price of £150,000 the fixed-wing aircraft is capable of vertical flight, but does not feature rotating engines or wings.
Michael Thompson, CEO, Skyfly said: “The Axe gives customers the ultimate flexibility and opens a whole new market for new and existing pilots that would not have previously been available; With the Axe, you can fly from your garden to your friend’s house, avoiding traffic jams and cutting journey times to a quarter compared to using a car – as well as enjoying stunning views along the way.”
Skyfly has initially chosen to focus on the private market and plans to gauge whether to enter the UAM sector later down the line. This means it will be certifying the Axe under the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) BCAR Section S which provides a less costly and faster certification route. Skyfly said customers should be able to fly in under two years from the opening of the order-book today.
Rather than rotating, the motors are at a fixed angle which saves weight and build complexity. The two pairs of compact wings allow glide landings and even enable an energy saving, standard “fixed wing aircraft” take-off and landing where a runway is available.
Skyfly has a three point plan for safety. Firstly, the Axe has a quadruple redundant control system which stabilises the aircraft in hover and transition zones using the eight motors powering four propellors. Secondly, conventional fixed-wing mechanical controls allow for a glide landing in the event of a power failure. Thirdly, a rocket launched ballistic parachute system allows the entire aircraft with its occupants to be brought down safely if necessary.
Skyfly give the Axe a range of 100miles fully electric and 200miles using a lightweight rotary generator capable of charging the batteries whilst in the air.
Thompson added: “Due to the advanced flight control systems, if you can fly a small consumer drone, like any of the DJI drones, I could teach you within 1 hour to controlled hover the Axe.”
Skyfly will be working alongside the Light Aircraft Association (lAA) in liaising with the CAA on certification and pilot licensing of the aircraft.
Steve Slater, CEO, LAA has written a letter in support of Skyfly “The LAA is in a position to support the Skyfly project, with our engineering team working with you to develop means of engineering verification and compliance with the Civil Aviation Authority regulation, allowing this hugely exciting project to take to the skies.”