Tuesday, April 16, 2024

SkyDrive unveils ultra-compact flying vehicle at CES 2022

A Tokyo-based aero tech startup, SkyDrive introduced its ultra-light and compact flying vehicle, Model SD-03, in 2020, and it’s been making significant progress with it since then. The company has now showcased a full-scale version of the vehicle at CES 2022 in Las Vegas. This makes it the first time the company has showcased its technology in countries other than Japan.

SkyDrive’s flying car is designed to vertically take off and land with superb stability, and this emission-free electric vehicle enables fast, safe door-to-door transportation anywhere, including uses for emergency rescue. Model SD-05 is currently under development and is eyed as an air taxi for World Expo 2025 in Osaka. SkyDrive recently advanced toward commercialization with the Japanese transportation ministry’s acceptance of its type certificate application for SD-05 – a major milestone that no other flying vehicle developers have reached in Japan.

SkyDrive unveils ultra-compact flying vehicle at CES 2022.
SkyDrive unveils ultra-compact flying vehicle at CES 2022. Credit: SkyDrive

The SD-03 flying car is about four meters long, four meters wide, and two meters high, and when grounded, it only takes up the space of two parked cars. It is equipped with electric motors that drive the rotors, with the SD-03 having four locations with two rotors each. The single-seat eVTOL has two pairs of propellers that move upward when the car takes off, similar to the small vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 400 kg, a maximum cruise speed of 50 km/h, and has a flight time of up to 10 minutes. The company says its compact-flying vehicle completed testing for piloted flight.

“The SD-03 model is the culmination of our expertise in drone technologies and aerodynamic engineering. What we want to see in the future is that SkyDrive’s emission-free vehicles take off from and land in your parking lot and helipads atop buildings, making door-to-door air travel a realistic choice of daily urban transportation,” SkyDrive Chief Operating Officer Takehiro Sato said. “We are working harder and faster than ever to make this once-in-a-century mobility revolution a reality.”