U.K. eVTOL startup Skyfly has unveiled a new personal eVTOL aircraft, which it expects to begin production in 2024 and make available to the public at a base price of £150,000 (US$180,000).
The two-seat Axe eVTOL aircraft is capable of taking off and landing vertically like a helicopter, or conventionally like a fixed-wing aircraft when runway is available.
Skyfly claims its aircraft has a cruising speed of 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour) and a range of 100 miles (160 kilometers), which increases to 200 mi (322 km) with an optional range extender — a lightweight rotary engine providing electrical charge to the batteries.
“The design features are unique in that it has two sets of short wings and the engines are mounted in a 45-degree angle and do not rotate,” said Michael Thompson, founder of Skyfly. “The wings allow for lift, giving it range and enabling conventional fixed-wing take-offs and the ability to glide at a 10 to one ratio with mechanical linkage if there were to be an engine failure and the redundancy of the eight engines were to be compromised. There is also a third layer of security with a ballistic parachute.”
The company is aiming to certify the Axe in the U.K. as a home-built light personal aircraft, and plans to develop a larger aircraft with four or more seats.