Skyfly’s two-seat Axe EVTOL aircraft can take off and land conventionally in just 50 metres, but it can also take off and land vertically without a runway, like the top deck of a yacht.
Axe has a speed of 100mph and a range of 100 miles, which increases to 200 miles with an optional lightweight rotary engine providing electrical charge to the batteries designed from the ground up to be certified as a home-built light personal aircraft.
It has a simple, lightweight design with fixed-angle wings and rotors to allow for better range and safety with reduced complexity, and is currently undergoing a UK certification process with the Light Aircraft Association expected to be completed in 2024.
With a base price of just £150,000 ($180,000), low running costs and compact size, Axe will allow private pilots to fly from home without having to rent hangar space and travel to a designated airport.
Founder Michael Thompson said: “Axe has two sets of short wings, with engines which do not rotate mounted at a 45 degree angle allowing for conventional fixed wing take-off and the ability to glide at a 10:1 ratio, as well as a mechanical linkage in the event of engine failure if the redundancy of the eight engines were to be compromised.”
Co-developed with aeronautical engineer and designer William Brooks, there is also additional security from a ballistic parachute.
Axe CCO Jaap Rademaker claimed: “Where the whole market for EVTOL focuses on four- to six-seat air taxis, which cost millions and have a very complex and long certification process, Axe sells for £150,000 plus VAT – the price of a sports car.
“Axe is easy to fly and hover, allowing you to get to your weekend home in a quarter of the time a Tesla would take, and because commercial air taxis will not be autonomous for a decade or so, they will require pilots to be trained to fly EVTOLs.
“Axe is aimed at existing pilots and aircraft owners, who will no longer need to rent large hangars next to established aircraft runways and can fly from their front door directly to their destination.
“We also have interest from superyacht manufacturers and owners: the Axe is so quiet and compact that, combined with its option to autoland on the top deck of a yacht, it will allow passengers to fly themselves to and from the shore.
“Another group is private jet operators who want to get clients from their home to an airport as quickly as possible, without the need for noisy and expensive helicopters.”
Axe components such as the control systems, batteries and electric engines come from
market leaders such as Geiger and Embention. Optional extras include a LIDAR system and a homing patch aboard a moving yacht.