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SkyDrive selects Thales to provide flight control system for eVTOL

SkyDrive Press Release | June 21, 2023

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 33 seconds.

SkyDrive Inc. (“SkyDrive”), an eVTOL aircraft manufacturer based in Japan, today announced at the Paris Air Show 2023 that the company has selected Thales to provide flight control system for its production eVTOL, the “SKYDRIVE”

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Japan-based SkyDrive completed its first crewed flight test in Japan in 2019 and has plans to launch air taxi services during the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Japan. SkyDrive Image

With ground traffic congestion and associated pollution becoming a major concern in cities around the world, eVTOL aircraft represent a disruptive solution to mobility challenges.

With the mission of “taking the lead in the once-in-a-century mobility revolution,” SkyDrive is developing eVTOL aircraft to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOL as their daily transportation. SkyDrive has been selected to participate in Advanced Air Mobility “Smart Mobility Expo” Project at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan and the company aims to fly its “SKYDRIVE” eVTOL aircraft at the Expo. Designed to be flown with one pilot and two passengers on board for intra-city flights, the “SKYDRIVE” requires flight control solutions securing safe flights above populated areas.

Flight control system is one of the key elements of eVTOL aircraft. Calculating and adjusting the position of the aircraft’s control surfaces and managing engine thrust, the fly-by-wire system is a critical element of flight safety.

Thales pioneered Fly-by-wire solutions in the 1980s with the first installation on Airbus A310. Since then, more than 12,000 aircraft have been equipped with Thales solutions. Today, Thales FlytRise materializes a new generation of flight controls, offering the “SKYDRIVE” the combined benefits of proven experience and adaptation to eVTOL requirements, in particular lightness, compactness, and autonomy-readiness.

Comment by Arnaud Coville, SkyDrive Inc. Chief Development Officer: “We are very pleased to have Thales as our partner in the field of flight control for our eVTOL aircraft the ‘SKYDRIVE’. Thales’s flight controls have long been trusted in the aviation industry. As an eVTOL manufacturer, SkyDrive values safety above all, and we believe that partnering with Thales in flight control, which is a key safety-related technology, will enable us to achieve the safety objectives of our aircraft.”

Comment by Jean-Paul Ebanga, Thales VP Flight Avionics: “While mobility is seeking new sustainable solutions, we are proud to support SkyDrive in opening the skies to urban transportation, thanks to our new generation flight controls solution enabling ‘SKYDRIVE’ to fly safely.”

This press release was prepared and distributed by SkyDrive.

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