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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 cars1 and cargo drones in Japan.
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 certificate2 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 now being considered include:
- A transit option where a short-cut is needed due to geographical conditions or existing public transportation is detoured:In the Osaka Bay area, where numerous tourist attractions are located, bodies of water sometimes prevent or hinder direct access by public transportation. Getting from one tourist venue to another can be difficult and time-consuming, in some cases taking as long as 40 minutes to travel just one kilometer as the swallow flies. However, the SD-05 makes the trip in just in five minutes and is expected to provide a more efficient and enjoyable choice for transportation.
- Unique access to resort facilities: Rising quietly into the sky, the flying car offers an unprecedented mode of travel that offers a great view from high above. Traveling to and from a resort destination — especially one in a remote or unusual location — can be an extraordinary experience.
- Emergency medical services: The SD-05 is more compact, lighter, and quieter than helicopters. Being able to take off and land in a small space, including on a rooftop, the SD-05 is expected to assist medical workers who must travel quickly to provide needed assistance.
“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 has 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