Founded in 2019, Skfly Technologies Ltd designs, builds and sells electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) passenger and hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft and is based in London, England, United Kingdom. Skyfly Technologies CEO is Michael Thompson. The company is foresees selling its initial aircraft for personal air transportation (the general aviation market) and then in the future, expect their aircraft to be used for on-demand air taxi service. The company has made and flown a subscale prototypes, validating the technical aspects of their aircraft design.
The Axe is a two passenger eVTOL personal aircraft which has the option of people ordering a hybrid-electric power source for longer ranges. The company expects people to use the aircraft for daily commuting, shopping and leisure air travel. The all-electric version of the aircraft has a cruise speed of 161 km/h (100 mph) with a range of 161 km (100 miles). With the hybrid-electric power source, the range is expected to be 322 km (200 miles). The empty weight of the aircraft is 182 kg (401 lb), has a maximum payload of 172 kg (379 lb) and has a maximum takeoff weight of 600 kg (1,323 lb).
The aircraft has four propellers and eight electric motors located at the ends of canard wings. Having eight electric motors increase the redundancy and reliability of the aircraft. There is a canopy over the cockpit providing the pilot and passenger excellent all around views. The aircraft superstructure is made of carbon fiber composite providing a low weight and high strength body and wings. The propellers are at a fixed angles and are attached to fixed wings, reducing the complexity of the aircraft which increases the safety of the aircraft. Reducing the complexity of an aircraft also decreases the manufacturing costs and maintenance costs.
The tail on the aircraft has a vertical stabilizer. The aircraft has fixed wheeled landing gear which also decreases the complexity of the aircraft. Wheeled landing gear is an important feature allowing the pilot or ground crew a very easy way to move the aircraft around when on the ground. Simplicity, redundancy, safety and speed are key aspects of the aircraft. Traveling by air greatly increases the speed that passengers can get to their destination. If the aircraft has a loss of power, the aircraft can land by gliding and landing on its fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear.
Having canard wings is a very practical design for the aircraft as this increases the range of the aircraft making the aircraft more useful for many more people. In addition, the entire simplified design of the aircraft will make certification of the aircraft to be more rapid and less costly than novel VTOL aircraft designs. Once the aircraft certified process begins, the company expects its aircraft to be certified in two years.
Some of the safety features of the aircraft include a quadruple redundant control system which stabilizes the aircraft in hover and transition zones and has an emergency ballistic parachute. The aircraft can glide without power to a road or landing strip and land on its wheeled landing gear. The aircraft has an advanced autonomous landing system which enables the aircraft to automatically land in emergency situations. The aircraft has deck roll and pitch movement detection and compensation technology allowing yacht and ship landings extremely easy.
Skyfly has stated if you can fly a drone, you can learn to fly the Axe VTOL aircraft in about an hour because the controls are similar to a drone. The company has estimated the aircraft will sell for £150,000.00 ($180,566.00 USD). The company expects their aircraft to be in production in 2024.
Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger aircraft (and has a hybrid-electric VTOL option)
Piloting: 1 pilot
Capacity: 1 pilot and 1 passenger (or 2 passengers when the aircraft becomes autonomous)
Cruise speed: 161 km/h (100 mph)
Range (batteries): 161 km (100 miles)
Range (with generator, a range extender): 322 km (200 miles)
Flight time: Unknown
Empty Weight: 182 kg (401 lb)
Maximum payload: 172 kg (379 lb)
Maximum takeoff weight: 600 kg (1,323 lb)
Propellers: 4 propellers
Electric motors: 8 electric motors
Power source: Batteries or batteries with a generator to produce electricity
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Window: Canopy over cockpit
Wings: Canard wings (2 wings)
Tail: 1 rudder
Landing gear: Fixed tricycle wheeled landing
Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft. The aircraft has an emergency ballistic parachute. The aircraft has a conventional fixed-wing mechanical control system that will allow glider landings in the event of a power failure. The aircraft has an advanced autonomous landing system which enables the aircraft to automatically land in emergency situations. The aircraft has deck roll and pitch movement detection and compensation technology allowing ship landings extremely easy.
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