Country for PR: Japan
Contributor: Kyodo News JBN
Friday, September 30 2022 - 17:00
SkyDrive Unveils SD-05 Flying Car Design, Aiming to Begin Air Taxi Service in 2025
TOYOTA, Japan, Sept. 30, 2022 /Kyodo JBN-Asianet/ --

SkyDrive Inc. has unveiled the design of its commercial model flying car -- the 
SkyDrive SD-05. SkyDrive is planning to use the SD-05, currently in 
development, to launch air taxi service in the Osaka Bay area during the world 
exposition scheduled for 2025 in Osaka, Japan.

"This is another big step towards the realization of flying cars and sky 
roads," said Takumi Yamamoto, SkyDrive design director. "Two years have passed 
since the announcement of the SD-03, which successfully completed its public 
manned flight test in August 2020, and we are very happy to be able to announce 
its successor, the SD-05."

Headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, SkyDrive is a leading developer 
and manufacturer of flying cars (*1) and cargo drones in Japan. 

Image1: Exterior of the SD-05, currently in development

Video of the SD-05 Commercial Model
Title: SkyDrive SD-05: Zero Emission Flying Vehicle 

SD-05 Overview
The SD-05 is a two-seat, electric-powered compact aircraft with vertical 
takeoff and landing capabilities. Operated by a driver-pilot, its flight 
stability is secured with the assistance of a computer-controlled flight 
system. SkyDrive is developing flying cars with an eye toward realizing a world 
where they are used in daily life for air mobility much as automobiles are used 
for daily ground transportation.

"This vehicle is not just a simple means of traveling from point A to B," 
Yamamoto said. "Based on the design concept of 'giving wings to daily travel,' 
it's also a safer and more enjoyable travel partner."

SkyDrive is in the process of acquiring a type certificate (*2) for the SD-05 
from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), as the 
first of its kind in Japan. The company continues to work toward initiating 
practical use of flying cars during the World Exposition Osaka, Kansai, 
scheduled for 2025 in Japan. The SD-05 is designed to travel up to approx. 10 
km and the maximum cruise speed is 100 km/h. However, design and specifications 
are subject to change and the progress of design development.

Potential applications for SD-05 are currently under consideration, including 
short-cut transportation through the sky, a unique access to resort facilities, 
and emergency medical services.

"SkyDrive will continue to design the dreams of the future with the aim of 
realizing sky roads," said Yamamoto. SkyDrive is also moving to promote its 
business operations not only in Japan but also outside the country. In the 
U.S., for example, the company set up an office in September 2022, for the 
purpose of providing a means of "last mile" air transportation. The company has 
been developing the market jointly with local authorities and partner companies.

Exterior Design of SD-05
As with SkyDrive's single-seat SD-03 manned prototype aircraft, "progressive" 
(pioneering and advanced) is the term used to describe the design of the SD-05, 
which SkyDrive believes is an appropriate descriptor for a new genre of 
transportation. Viewing the fuselage, or body, of the aircraft from the side, 
an S-shaped contour suggests a pair of propellers lifting off into the sky. 
Looking down on the craft from above, viewers see the shape of a pearl-white 
swallow, a small but agile bird able to soar to great heights.


The aerodynamically advanced airframe design is informed by studies of the 
streamlined shapes of birds and animals and features both horizontal and 
vertical tails for added stability in flight. At the top corners of the 
airframe, 12 motor-propeller units are positioned for flight stability. These 
reflect flight control technology acquired through more than 1,000 flight tests 
conducted during development of the airframe.

For the SD-05, specialists from SkyDrive and its partners have worked together 
in collaboration with JAMCO Corporation (*3), an aircraft interior maker; Toray 
Carbon Magic Co., Ltd. (*4), a provider of advanced Carbon Fiber Reinforcement 
Plastics (CFRP); and Electric Power Systems, Inc. (*5), a leading developer of 
battery systems that include high-power powertrains for electrified aircraft 
that are eligible for type certification.

With its mission to lead a once-in-a-century mobility revolution, SkyDrive is 
developing safer, more secure flying cars through development and repeated 
demonstration tests of the SD-05 commercial model, leading to a future where 
air transportation is part of daily life. 

"We look forward to seeing everyone at the Osaka Expo in 2025," design director 
Yamamoto said.



(*1) Flying cars, called generally eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and 
landing) aircraft outside Japan, are characterized by electrification, a fully 
autonomous autopilot, and vertical takeoff and landing. A new advancement in 
the field of mobility, the development of flying cars is being promoted 
globally. In Japan, the Public-Private Council for Air Mobility Revolution was 
established in 2018 for that purpose. The project is expected to lead to taxi 
services in urban areas, new means of transportation for remote islands and 
mountainous areas, and emergency transport in times of disaster. A roadmap 
formulated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the MLIT 
anticipates the start of business in the mid-2020s. 

(*2) SkyDrive Press Release on agreement on basis for flying car type 
certification with MLIT

(*3) SkyDrive Press Release on collaboration with JAMCO Corporation (Only 
available in Japanese)

(*4) SkyDrive Press Release on collaboration with Toray Carbon Magic Co., Ltd.

(*5) SkyDrive Press Release on collaboration with Electric Power Systems, Inc.

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Source: SkyDrive Inc.