PRESS RELEASE – 01/02/2023


Contact information:

Adam Landau – Head of Communications

[email protected]


Oriens Aviation founder invests in Skyfly eVTOL

  • Edwin Brenninkmeyer, founder and CEO of UK based Oriens Aviation and investor in complimentary US aviation businesses, has joined Skyfly as a strategic investor, offering his experience and expertise
  • Oriens Aviation is a UK-based aircraft dealership, service centre and operator, working with exclusive rights in the British Isles to represent major business and general aviation Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)
  • Edwin’s U.S. investments are in disruptive and innovative aerospace markets, uniquely positioned to generate demand for future Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operators
  • Edwin will use his marketing infrastructure and networks to advance the unique proposition of the Axe, with a specific focus on the Axe as a cost-effective fixed-wing/eVTOL trainer aircraft

“I know Edwin well, and aside from being a professional, high level commercial pilot, he is extremely knowledgeable in the business aviation space, thanks to his venture capital background, his investments in complementary businesses in the USA and his experience from building his firm from a start-up to a well-diversified business aviation service provider in just a few years. His strict analysis, client and supplier networks, experience, knowledge and skills are invaluable for Skyfly, while the sales and marketing network he has built will get the Axe in front of all the right customers.” 

– Jaap Rademaker, CCO Skyfly

Edwin holds an MBA from Oxford University in business aviation and airport operating models. As well as running Oriens Aviation, he is also a commercial and private pilot, and has a passion for flying to the very highest standards of professionalism and safety, whether flying corporate jets for his charter business or performing aerobatics in high-performance ex-military jets. With his long-standing family business background, including institutional venture capital experience, Edwin thinks long-term and he has a real passion for doing business ethically and with the highest levels of integrity.

“I am delighted that Edwin, like us, identifies the gap in the market for the affordable 180,000 USD Axe eVTOL, recognises the quality of our engineers and appreciates the unique aspects of the Axe design, which make it the only two-seat eVTOL that can be flown both like an airplane and a helicopter, and the only one which can be flown on an existing private pilot license.” 

– Jaap Rademaker, CCO Skyfly

“Aside from the excellent team, the genius of the Axe lies in its sheer simplicity. This translates directly into safety and low operating costs, while still offering the remarkable versatility of far more complex machines that speculatively rely on infrastructure that does not yet exist to make them viable. The Axe targets a different market, being aimed at private pilots, and using infrastructure that already exists. Additionally, the Axe can operate within a largely pre-existing regulatory framework already enjoyed by very light rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.” 

– Edwin Brenninkmeyer, CEO Oriens Aviation


What is the Axe eVTOL?

With a fully-electric range of 100 miles, or 300 miles with an optional hybrid generator, and a cruise speed of 100mph, the Axe by Skyfly is a truly revolutionary two-seat eVTOL aircraft available for USD 180,000. It is designed for personal use and is as easy to fly as a consumer camera drone. Thanks to its small footprint and low noise, the Axe can be kept at home and flown directly to a destination, in complete comfort and with aerial views to enjoy, without traffic jams or bumpy roads.

Its unique four-winged design (patent pending), developed by renowned 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 airplane. This globally unique ability to also take off and land on a runway means Skyfly’s Axe is the only personal two-seat eVTOL aircraft that you can fly with any existing airplane pilot’s license. By providing lift, the wings also enable a much larger range compared to “rotors only” eVTOLs, an extra layer of safety due to its good glide performance, and a class-leading 30-50kw energy use in cruise, comparable to a Tesla but not requiring an eco-unfriendly road..

The Axe also offers greatly increased safety compared to a helicopter, thanks to its eight-motor distributed propulsion, each with its own power supply and its glide ability arising from its four wings, which enables power-off landing. Additionally, the Axe is fitted with a ballistic parachute – which a helicopter can never have due to the positioning of its rotors.

Skyfly does not aim to develop an air taxi that shuttles commercial passengers into city centres, nor is it venturing down the onerous commercial certification route, which leads to high development costs. Instead, Skyfly follows existing certification routes for private kit-built aircraft, which greatly reduces costs for the owner and enables the Axe to be sold at a base price of 180,000 USD. 

Unlike commercial air taxis, which require as-yet-unbuilt “vertiport” infrastructure, the Axe eVTOL can take off and land in a garden or any agricultural land where the landowner has given permission, without needing modifications or expensive infrastructure. This use is legal and well established, with many light aircraft owners operating in this way worldwide from private “farm strips”.

The Axe is not just an idea or concept, but a fully designed aircraft. Extensive analysis and prototype testing has been carried out and manufacturing is being readied for series production. Our two teams of aircraft engineers have developed the Axe as a versatile personal aircraft with strict focus on low weight and aerodynamic efficiency and performance. Aside from generating lift from its wings, the Axe also differs from other eVTOL designs in that it uses existing technology from proven and certified suppliers to provide key components, including the propulsion system, battery system and flight control system. Furthermore, unlike other winged eVTOLs, it has no rotating motor or wing elements, but instead has fixed angle rotors, saving on weight, cost, complexity and maintenance. For more information about how the Axe stands out from other eVTOLs, watch our full explainer video.

Skyfly’s Chief engineer, Dr 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 two-seat eVTOL aircraft. Compared to many other eVTOL designs, which have no or inadequate wings, the Axe’s wings generate useful lift in forward flight, improving efficiency, range and safety, while also giving it the ability to make conventional wing-borne take-offs and landings if required, saving yet more energy.

Skyfly sees the Axe as a direct competitor to currently-available two seat airplanes or helicopters – one that is much easier to fly, safer, quieter and more affordable to buy, operate and maintain. In addition, whichever bigger airtaxi eVTOL wins the race – these will require pilots, and the two seat, side by side Axe eVTOL is the ideal training vehicle – as the only eVTOL worldwide able to train pilots in fixed wing takeoffs and landings, and emergency glide landings, as well as vertical takeoffs and landings.

Following two years of development, CFD and CAD designing, followed by prototype flight testing, the Axe was officially launched in the summer of 2022. In the months since then, the Axe eVTOL by Skyfly has secured dozens of orders and has attracted the attention of air mobility specialist investors. Their backing allows Skyfly to push forward with its development schedule. The strong and lightweight composite fuselage tooling for series production has meanwhile been manufactured and delivered, and with that, Skyfly is now building its first aircraft, with manned test flights due to begin in Q1 2024. Customer deliveries will follow at the end of 2024, when UK certification is expected.

To find out more about the Axe visit 

To watch a video of our prototype flying, visit our YouTube channel.

The Axe EVTOL by Skyfly

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