eVTOL manufacturer Skyfly and superyacht builder Archipelago Expedition Yachts have revealed that together with order of the 80 foot aluminum explorer yacht, the customer ordered an Axe eVTOL for the yacht’s helicopter landing pad on the top deck of the three decked vessel.
Compared to the RIBs and tenders traditionally used for ship-to-shore transfers, the Axe eVTOL is said to be considerably more comfortable, more private and faster, with its cruise speed of 100 miles per hour. It is also more versatile, being able to fly directly to inland destinations such as hotels, restaurants and airports.
Crucially, It is also quieter, safer, cheaper to operate, easier to fly and much more environmentally-friendly than a helicopter.
Jaap Rademaker, Skyfly CCO, said; “The Axe electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, with its 8 electric motors, makes very little noise and is easy to fly by both owners and superyacht crews, such that no pilot needs to be accommodated aboard. Guests can get to shore without getting wet or being shaken about and can enjoy beautiful views from above. At only 650kg, the Axe can easily operate from a yacht like the A80, and with its £150,000 base price it is much more cost effective than a helicopter. Our customers also tell us that they want to get from the yacht to a plane transfer quickly and comfortably, without losing time in traffic around the coast in the busiest summer months. The Axe is a natural and useful companion for any superyacht, saving lots of time and adding a special experience for guests – it’s the latest must have in the space.”
The Axe, with its highly efficient four-wing design and eight electric motors with fixed-angle rotors, uses just 30kW in the cruise – half that of a typical electric car.
Similarly, the hybrid-electric Archipelago A80 is also designed with efficiency at its core; its dual hulls mean that it has lower water displacement than a traditional monohull yacht, requiring an estimated 40-50% less power and fuel to cruise at the same speed as a similarly-sized monohull. It is also more stable while at anchor, reducing the need for power-hungry stabilizers such as Seakeepers.
The A80 will also be equipped with a 24kW roof-mounted solar panel array and large battery banks which power all needs on board, including air conditioning. This means that the Axe can be charged on board – often using solar energy with zero carbon emissions.
Dr Stephen Weatherley, Archipelago Expedition Yachts CEO, added; “The A80 is an incredibly versatile boat, sub-24 meters, so anyone can operate it – it doesn’t need a crew – and it can take a large payload, it can do a top speed of 28-29 knots, and it’s going to have 24kW of solar power on the roof, meaning you can use it in hybrid diesel-electric mode, or full electric, or diesel. It’s a really versatile platform and I think it’s going to be great with the Axe on the roof. I just can’t wait to see the two of them together.”
The first manned flights of the Axe eVTOL are scheduled for March 2024. Construction of the A80 destined for Skyfly and Archipelago’s common customer will begin in May 2024. The yacht and its eVTOL are expected to feature at the Cannes Boat Show in September 2025.