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LAA and SKYFLY TO COLLABORATE ON RADICAL NEW DESIGN



LAA and SKYFLY TO COLLABORATE ON RADICAL NEW DESIGN The LAA and British company Skyfly have agreed to collaborate on a radical new aircraft design. Dubbed the “Axe by Skyfly”, it is a two-seat, side-by-side compact E-VTOL, aimed at private owners rather than the Urban Air Mobility sector. It will be available in kit-built form, supported by a factory build centre and it is hoped that the first customer aircraft will be flying in two years.

The LAA is working with Skyfly in liaising with the CAA on certification and pilot licensing of the aircraft. While initial flights will be made under the e-Conditions experimental programme it is intended that the aircraft will be accepted under BCAR Section S approvals and the LAA and Skyfly are working with the CAA to propose pilot training to NPPL requirements or similar with appropriate differences training.

The aircraft is capable of vertical flight, but has wings, and uniquely its design does not require swivelling engines or rotating wings – instead the motors are at a fixed angle, saving weight and complexity, improving safety and strength. The two pairs of compact wings give the Axe a longer range, allow glide landings for greater safety and enable an energy saving, standard “fixed wing aircraft” take-off and landing where a conventional runway is available.

LAA CEO Steve Slater says “The Axe has been developed by an experienced engineering team led by LAA member Dr William Brooks, with proven capability in designing and certifying sport aircraft. One of the assets in Skyfly’s approach is in not re-inventing the wheel. The aircraft uses established market leaders to supply control systems, batteries and electric motor technology, combining them in a cutting-edge package with the potential to revolutionise affordable sport aviation in a few years’ time. It’s just the sort of innovation that the LAA is proud to be a part of.

Michael Thompson, CEO of Skyfly predicts the Axe will have a range of 100 miles fully electric and 200 miles using a novel, lightweight rotary generator capable of charging the batteries whilst in the air. A remotely piloted scale prototype has already flown and performs well across the different modes of operation, as can be seen from a video on the Skyfly website at www.skyflytech.com.

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Photography (mostly) Neil Wilson

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