New eVTOL ‘Axe’ Aircraft Flies 100 MPH and Parks at Home for $173K
In 1962, “The Jetsons” promised a future with flying cars that still hasn’t materialized. But the vehicles that zipped George and Judy off to work would be put to shame by what could soon be coming to a driveway near you.
A London-based startup called Skyfly recently debuted the eVTOL Axe, a two-seat, fixed-wing aircraft that you can park in a standard driveway.
If you think that sounds like some half-cocked futuristic fantasy, consider this: The company is reserving pre-orders now and the first eVTOL Axe is scheduled for delivery in the summer of 2024.
The eVTOL Axe: Not Your Average EV
The eVTOL Axe is a fully electric aircraft with a 48 kWh dual battery that powers the 70kw electric motors located in each of its four propellers.
The propellers, which measure five feet in diameter, are located at each end of its two fixed wings, which measure 16.4 feet across. The cabin, which is described as minimalist compared to most aircraft, features two side-by-side seats and little else.
Although it can take off and land vertically — eVTOL stands for “electric vertical take-off and landing” — the Robb Report suggests that a short 164-foot runway “might come in handy.”
The asking price is about $173,000 — that’s less than the MSRP for a 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL63.
A New Kind of Commute
Thanks to the eVTOL Axe, you’ll soon be able to cruise to work in style while looking down on the congested highways below. The aircraft’s propellers can push it to 100 mph, and it can cruise for about 100 miles for an hour or two between charges.
You can double its range to as much as 200 miles with the addition of an optional hybrid generator. That will run you roughly another $56,000.
Other optional add-ons include:
- Factory-assisted build: $22,500
- Additional battery pack: $28,000
- Ballistic parachute: $22,500
The eVTOL Axe can carry a payload of 379 pounds and it weighs a dainty 1,323 pounds. For context as to just how light that is, the tiny three-cylinder, 78-horsepower Mitsubishi Mirage — the lightest car on the road — weighs in at 2,095 pounds.
Small Package, Big Aviation Technology
The eVTOL Axe is small and light, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a plaything. Its flight-control system is powered by the Veronte 4x from Embention, which Skyfly says “is certified to the highest aviation standards (DO178C / ED-12 and DO254 compliant).”
Veronte 4x is backed by quadruple redundancy and was designed to eliminate any single point of failure.
Its high-power lithium batteries have both a solid-state system and a removable battery pack, a combination that lets the aircraft continue flying without waiting to be charged. Like the flight-control system, the battery system features multiple redundancies that let the aircraft continue flying even in the event of a battery failure.
Sounds Great, But I’m Not a Pilot
OK, so you have a driveway and $173,000, but you’ve never flown and aren’t certified or licensed to do so.
Thanks to Axe’s canard wing design, you don’t need a helicopter pilot’s license. You can fly one with a standard airplane pilot’s license, as no eVTOL-specific license yet exists.
Skyfly provides instruction for its customers at its own training facilities, which results in a full pilot’s license. Thanks to recently updated regulations, you can train on your specific aircraft — not a similar model — so you’ll be intimately familiar with your Axe when you lift off for your first flight.
On top of that, you’ll receive full maintenance training so you can care for your aircraft, which was built with simplicity in mind for the average user.
Eat your heart out, George Jetson.
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