Singapore-based fleet management and air mobility company EVfly has signed a letter of intent and will pay deposits for the Axe eVTOL from UK-headquartered Skyfly Technologies, with delivery expected in 2024.
EVfly intends to purchase three Axe aircraft, with an option for five more, for operations initially in Thailand followed by the rest of Asia. The company aims to demonstrate the potential utility of eVTOL aircraft, lay the groundwork for future commercial operations and begin training the next generation of eVTOL pilots. It intends to provide an affordable, fast and safe means of commercial transportation using a fleet of eVTOL and eCTOL (electric conventional take off and landing) aircraft, that will operate across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Although the Axe is mainly intended for use as a private aircraft and has not been designed as a commercial air taxi, EVfly's order demonstrates that the Axe is well-suited to the flight training market thanks to its two seat, side-by-side cockpit configuration, its double set of wings, low purchase price, low operating costs and easy-to-master flight characteristics.
With non-rotating engines and high-lift canard wings, the Axe is capable of flying either like a helicopter or a conventional fixed wing aircraft, making it instantly familiar to existing pilots transitioning to fly eVTOL aircraft. As commercial eVTOL air taxis are likely to require trained pilots to operate them for at least the next decade, the Axe is best positioned to fill the incoming demand for eVTOL flight training, a market valued at £2.25 billion up to 2028.
Skyfly CEO Michael Thompson says: “We are really excited to expand our footprint to cover the Asian markets and delighted that EVfly has identified the Axe as the go-to training aircraft to satisfy the demand for the incoming demand for eVTOL pilots across Asia.
“With our low purchase price, low running cost, two seat side-by-side design and conventional fixed wing controls in forward flight, we expect to see more orders from other organisations looking for the ideal eVTOL trainer. EVfly has identified that eVTOLs will remain piloted for a number of years and that there is not yet a suitable training aircraft on the market. We look forward to delivering our aircraft to EVfly in 2024.”
EVfly CEO Yannick Erbs adds: “EVfly aims to be the first operator of eVTOLs in Thailand and wants to take this opportunity to also become the first eVTOL pilot training hub in southeast Asia.”
The company previously signed an LoI for the five seat hybrid-electric VTOL Atea from French start up Ascendance Flight Technologies, targeted for production in 2025.