22 January 2024
The UK’s first flight of an electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft from airfield to airfield could take place later this year.
British company Skyfly, which is developing a two-seat eVTOL called Axe, will work with electric aircraft charging company Aerovolt to make the flight using AeroVolt’s operational public charging network.
Skyfly says the Axe eVTOL has a range of 100 miles in fully electric configuration or 300 miles in a hybrid configuration.
Aerovolt’s charging network further increases the flexibility of the Axe with charging points at several General Aviation airfields such as Brighton City (Shoreham), Lydd, Dunkeswell, Bournemouth, Solent Airport and Sandown.
“We cannot wait to demonstrate this capability on a real flight route which will hopefully prove to the non-believers that electric aviation is the future of mobility. Skyfly wants to make the United Kingdom a leader in aviation again,” said Michael Thompson, CEO, Skyfly.
Aerovolt currently offers access to its charging stations via a subscription service called Squadron. Members of Squadron are also entitled to hire Aerovolt’s Pipistrel Velis Electro fixed-wing electric aircraft.
Additionally, the Aerovolt charging network will soon be accessible through Octopus Electroverse, a charging app from leading energy supplier Octopus Energy which is already well-established for electric cars.
Aerovolt’s first batch of chargers are rated to 22kW, and installation of larger 44kW chargers will begin in 2024. 120kW are also planned for the near future. Multiple aircraft – and, in some cases, electric cars – can use any one charging station simultaneously. Using Aerovolt’s chargers, the Axe eVTOL can charge in approximately 3.5 hours.
Alan Kingsley-Dobson, COO, Aerovolt, added, “Aerovolt is really excited to be working with Skyfly. The Axe is a really forward-thinking design in the emerging eVTOL market. The availability and usability of a charging infrastructure is key for their customers and future development and AeroVolt is ready to offer support however we can. We can’t wait to see the Axe flying later this year.”
The Skyfly Axe is a two-seat eVTOL aircraft that will be available to buy for USD 180,000. It is designed for personal use and is claimed to be as easy to fly as a consumer camera drone.
Its four-winged design, developed by well-known aeronautical engineer Dr William Brooks, enables the Axe not just to take off and land vertically like a helicopter, but also to fly, take off and land like a conventional aeroplane. This means the Axe can be flown with an existing aeroplane pilot’s licence.