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- Skyfly has chosen Norco to build and manufacture the fuselage, wings and composite components of the Axe aircraft;
- With the order now placed, Skyfly expects to have the first aircraft built by June 2023, which falls in line with their timelines;
- Norco boasts 35 years of experience as a leading developer of lightweight composite structures and innovative GRP mouldings;
- Norco’s operation covers six sites in the U.K. with an overall capacity of 130,000 sq. ft. and over 170 skilled workers;
- Norco has experience providing lightweight composite structures for some of the world’s leading OEMs in the aerospace, defense and marine markets.
“We have been extremely impressed with Norco from our first initial contact to now running the project alongside them. It is refreshing to work with such a slick operation and knowing that we are in capable hands. The Norco team have years of experience to draw on which they have driven into the design for manufacture stages, examining every detail prior to the aircraft being signed off,” said Michael Thompson, CEO at Skyfly.
Skyfly aims to achieve a complete airframe weight of just 220 kilograms. This low weight structure is only achievable through the use of lightweight composite structures, which can retain the required crash proofing and structural strength needed. The aircraft fuselage consists of a main shell built in one piece with a nose and tail cone.
“The Skyfly Axe eVTOL fuselage main shell is built in one piece using resin infusion, which provides low void content lightweight mouldings at low cost. A sandwich structure and unidirectional carbon is used to reinforce the skin. The skin in the cockpit area uses hybrid carbon/aramid which improves impact resistance. The internal structure includes a tunnel which provides torsional stiffness and frames which distribute point loads (e.g., from the undercarriage and flying surfaces) into the structure. I have had a personally positive experience with Norco some years ago. Since then, their expertise and experience in lightweight composite aerostructures has developed greatly. We find them responsive, especially in DFM (design for manufacture), resulting in a better product at less cost,” said William Brooks, CTO at Skyfly.