As its name suggests, the SkyFly Axe personal eVTOL flies through the air.

Pre-orders for the Axe, a two-seat personal eVTOL aircraft, have begun through the London-based company SkyFly. The Axe claims 160 km/h (100 mph) top speeds, up to 320 km (200 miles) of range, and a winged airframe. Customer deliveries are expected to start in 2024.

Nice dudes avoid seeing explosions. This person never so much as gives his eVTOL plane a sidelong glance. Today must be a busy day on Instagram. SkyFly

Let me start by saying that I am fully aware of what a brutal task naming a corporation is. You can never please everyone, therefore you have to settle with whatever you can acquire the domain name for at some time. But, SkyFly? SkyFly. Thanks for being specific, people; I was planning to fly it in the shower.

The intricacy of what we’ve got here is one step up from a basic manned multicopter like the Jetson One or Ryse Recon, but it’s a significant step down from tilting propulsion designs like the majority of the larger air taxis. The Axe has wings, similar to the Air One, with rather sizable canards and primary wings rising from the tail.

Two-seat aircraft looks pretty clean without the extra redundant props you typically see SkyFly

If you’re used to seeing conventional aircraft, the Axe’s unusually pitched upward 5-m (16.4-ft) wings give it a really peculiar appearance while it’s parked on the ground. Yet, it is not a typical aircraft; rather, in terms of dynamics, it resembles a large multicopter. It is supported by four substantial 1.5 m (4.9 ft) diameter props that rise vertically, and like a consumer drone, it tilts forward to gain horizontal speed. Hence, the entire airplane is pitched forward and the wings are level as you fly once it is traveling at a speed appropriate for producing wing lift. up there.

It’s interesting that the Axe only needs four props. Often, six is the absolute minimum for these machines. If you don’t want to have to locate place for more prop mounts around your chassis, the Air One features eight that are attached coaxially. Redundancy is provided by the additional props, which take over the weight in the event of a failure to prevent the aircraft from crashing out of the sky. For all key systems, the majority of eVTOLs have redundant backups.

Does this imply that SkyFly no longer believes in redundancy? No. In this instance, each of those four propellers is being driven by two 35-kW motors, so up to two motor failures are covered. According to SkyFly, the flight control system has quadruple redundancy as well as two independent battery packs in case one dies. Not to add, if you have the necessary airspeed, you can use the control surfaces on the wings to bring yourself down for a standard landing. Since other eVTOLs have a handle on it, the only thing that is truly not addressed here is prop destruction in a hover, such as what may happen if a bird ignores the whooshing sounds and is vitamized.

The SkyFly Axe flies in the skySkyFly

We should probably finish up a couple specs. The Axe’s 48-kWh battery pack makes it weigh 428 kg (944 lb). It can carry two persons weighing up to 172 kg (379 lb) in the air and go up to 160 km (100 miles) on battery power. There is also a hybrid option if you need to travel farther, which makes use of a smaller battery pack in addition to a range-extending generator. You may achieve a range of up to 320 km (200 miles) with this version. Maximum thrust is listed as 700 kg, and the maximum takeoff weight is 600 kg (1,323 lb) (1,543 lb).

It has three wheels for landing, and interestingly, SkyFly claims that if you don’t want to go VTOL, you can make a short conventional takeoff with 50 meters (164 feet) of runway in front of you. For STOL operations, it is conceivable that the rear props provide a little more gumboot to tilt the entire aircraft forward and scoot along the ground on the front wheels. Watching will be intriguing! On the other hand, the cabin tilts back quite a bit during VTOL operations, suggesting that cameras and other aids may be there to assist pilots in landing in the circle.

Although it can fly like a fixed wing, you can pilot the Axe until eVTOL-specific licenses become available by using a conventional fixed-wing pilot’s license. In fact, SkyFly is marketing this as a teaching tool for pilots looking to transition into the air taxi industry. In the UK, you can register it as a kit-built, very light aircraft, experimental aircraft, or both.

The Axe tilts a fair way backward for VTOLSkyFly

Price? Well, cost is a little bit of a problem. Pre-orders for SkyFly are being accepted at a starting price of £150,000 (US$175,000). Some of the alternatives seem a bit excessive; for instance, the range-extended version will cost you an additional £50,000 (US$58,300), and adding a ballistic parachute as a last resort will cost you an additional £20,000 (US$23,300).

It’s obviously expensive, which I suppose explains why SkyFly’s renderings show this thing circling around superyachts, golf courses, private jets, vineyards, and expensive-looking homes with just enough tastefully placed leaf matter to suggest that the owner is a pretty chill dude who isn’t going to let some downwash-driven de-manicuring of his lawn ruin his day. Well done, sir; you may check that phone without feeling guilty.

In a video that SkyFly has made available, a prototype can be seen flying in the sky, as the name would imply. It illustrates (almost) vertical takeoff, hover, forward flight, and vertical landing at a size of maybe 50%. The video is below.

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