8-Nov-2022 Source: Skyfly
“When I met up with Richard for the first time and showed him the design and introduced him to the team, it was obvious that this collaboration was going to work. Richard had an instant understanding and appreciation of our aircrafts approach and design. His attitude fits in perfectly to form the ultimate team to build and deliver this aircraft. The Axe shares an affinity with high performance cars, from the composite structures through to the engineering practices. Our partnership with Richard Tuthill and the Tuthill Porsche brand strengthens this affiliation.” – Michael Thompson, CEO Skyfly
With over 40 years’ experience building and restoring bespoke Porsche for customers around the world, Tuthill Porsche is synonymous with the world’s most successful Porsche rally and race cars. They are perhaps best-known for their Safari 911s and, more recently, their Porsche 911K, a spin off of the iconic 911 which Tuthill Porsche re-engineered to achieve a wet weight of just 850kg. Tuthill Porsche are well known for their limited-edition off-road Porsche developed in collaboration with Singer.
“Richard is the perfect addition to complement Skyfly’s aeronautical engineering team. He enjoys challenges and is an outstanding engineer who sees solutions rather than problems. He has perfected delivering a complex product over decades and brings a world of experience and networks to Skyfly. Above all, he has the same drive we have to make things happen and deliver the unique, must-have luxury item of this decade. Richard shares our vision for an affordable, quiet and usable private E-VTOL which will transform people’s lives, drastically reducing journey times and create more time to live.” – Jaap Rademaker, CCO Skyfly
Richard’s production facility in Oxfordshire is one to be admired, transforming cars from bare shells to fully spec’d race or rally 911s in as little as seven days. Richard will bring his engineering knowledge and passion for attention to detail which has enabled him to consistently deliver customers with a high quality product and high quality experience.
“My background in motorsport is all about reliability and consistency. I have an amazing network of clients, suppliers and friends on all continents and hope to enable the Skyfly team to reach all of them. My passion for low cost personal air transport has been a constant passion and something I have been waiting to find an opportunity to be involved in. My manufacturing and engineering background will add real value to an already extraordinary team.” – Richard Tuthill
Richard has been on the look out for an aircraft that can offer the flexibility and versatility of a helicopter, with the safety and redundancy of a plane. When he first saw the Axe by Skyfly, he was instantly hooked on the design, approach to certification and the market which enables private owners to operate their aircraft from their private property in a much more cost effective manner than a helicopter.
“Simplicity is the key to most things in life and the Axe was born from this philosophy. I’m not aware of anything like it currently in development. The engineers have seen a number of things which others have not. It gives Skyfly the unique opportunity to bring it to market cost effectively and in a short time frame that I don’t believe others can offer. I can’t wait to own one.” – Richard Tuthill
With a range of up to 200 miles thanks to a hybrid generator and a cruise speed of 100mph, the Axe by Skyfly is a truly revolutionary two-seat E-VTOL aircraft. Due to its small footprint and low noise, the Axe can be kept at home and flown directly to its destination, all without having to encounter traffic jams, road works, railway stations or airports.
Its unique four-winged design (patent pending), developed by renowned aeronautical engineer William Brooks, enables the Axe not just to take off and land vertically like a helicopter, but also to fly like a conventional airplane. The ability to take off and land on a runway offers greater efficiency and safety than other E-VTOL aircraft, and means we are the only personal 2-seat E-VTOL you can fly with an existing airplane (fixed wing) pilot’s license.
Skyfly are not venturing down the onerous commercial certification route which leads to a much more expensive end product with owners having to cover costly and lengthy maintenance schedules that are not suitable for a private pilot. Skyfly is taking advantage of existing light aircraft kit built ‘permit to fly’ or ‘experimental’ aircraft certification which greatly reduces the costs for the owner. Whilst taking advantage of these benefits, the aircraft will still be built to commercial standards to ensure the aircraft is not compromising safety or build quality.
The Axe is not just an “idea or concept” – but a fully designed, tested and ready for production aircraft. Our team of aircraft engineers have developed the Axe, not as a financial proposition for air taxis, but as a versatile personal aircraft. It differs from other E-VTOL manufacturers in that it uses proven and tested suppliers to provide various key components including the propulsion system, battery system and flight control system.
Skyfly’s Chief engineer, William Brooks, has designed the Axe with efficiency at its core, with the four wings giving it the highest energy efficiency in comparison to other 2-seat E-VTOL’s. Compared to wingless aircraft, the Axe can count on lift from the wings – giving it range, safety, and the ability to be a fixed wing airplane if desired.
Skyfly sees the Axe as a direct competitor of any traditional fixed wing two seat airplane or helicopter – one that is much easier to fly, quieter and more affordable to fly and maintain.
In the first months since its official launch, the Axe has secured dozens of orders and has attracted the attention of financial investors. This backing will allow Skyfly to push forward with its development schedule. It is now building its first series production aircraft with test flights due to begin mid-2023 with customer deliveries expected to begin at the end of 2024.