You Only Need a Private Pilot License to Fly This $180K Personal Electric Aircraft

Axe by Skyfly is a truly unique personal electric aircraft coming from the UK 8 photos
Photo: Skyfly
Edwin BrenninkmeyerAxe eVTOLAxe eVTOLAxe eVTOLAxe eVTOLAxe eVTOLAxe eVTOL
By the end of next year, you could already be flying your very own aircraft that’s neither a private jet nor a helicopter. That is, if you’re a private pilot, because an existing fixed-wing airplane pilot’s license is also suitable for the Axe eVTOLs. Unlike other eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing) it claims to be the only one that can also fly like a conventional airplane, which is why it can be operated by anyone with a conventional private pilot license.
The UK-based Skyfly isn’t joining the ranks of air taxi manufacturers but focuses on the niche segment of private electric aviation. This implies important financial differences. Getting an eVTOL to be certified for commercial air taxi operations is a very expensive, time-consuming process. Plus, only certified eVTOL pilots are legally allowed to operate these types of aircraft.

Skyfly’s product can instead be certified as a “private aircraft kit build,” which makes things much easier and faster, while also drastically cutting costs. Anyone with a private pilot license can buy their own Axe eVTOL (as long as they’ve got $180,000 to spare), keep it in the garage, and operate it like any other private jet or helicopter.

The British manufacturer also boasts about its aircraft being prototype-tested and ready for series production, unlike other eVTOLs that are still just concepts. Plus, it has the huge benefit of being compatible with existing infrastructure, and being similar to very light rotary and fixed-wing aircraft in terms of regulations. This means that it doesn’t need to struggle as hard to get official approval, or to wait for dedicated infrastructure to be built.

All of these benefits are owed to the four-wing design that was developed by Skyfly’s founder, the aeronautical engineer William Brooks. This makes Axe more efficient and even safer than rotor-only eVTOLs, while enjoying similar perks as fixed-wing airplanes. And, at $180,000, it’s considered to be affordable for the private aviation market.

These qualities were impressive enough to determine Edwin Brenninkmeyer, founder and CEO of Oriens Aviation, to become a Skyfly strategic investor. Also based in the UK, Oriens Aviation is an aircraft dealership and service center, while Brenninkmeyer is an experienced investor and pilot.

He plans to use his expertise in the field, including key U.S. investments, to get the Axe eVTOL to a top position on the market. A two-seater with a fully-electric range of 100 miles (161 km) the Axe by Skyfly could also become popular as an affordable fixed-wing/eVTOL trainer aircraft, due to its unique design.

Apparently, the manufacturer has already secured hundreds of orders for this personal aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to begin at the end of 2024. In the meantime, the series production aircraft will kick off flight tests this summer.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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