SkyDrive unveils SD-05 flying car design and plans to launch air taxi service in 2025

TOYOTA, Japan, April 1 /PRNewswire/ —

SkyDrive Inc. has revealed the design of its commercial flying car model, the SkyDrive SD-05. SkyDrive plans to use the SD-05, which is currently in development, as an air taxi in Osaka Bay during the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Japan.

“This is another big step towards making flying cars and skyways a reality,” said Takumi Yamamoto, SkyDrive Design Director. “Two years have passed since the announcement of the SD-03, which successfully completed its public manned test flight in August 2020, and we are very pleased 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.

Image 1: Exterior of SD-05 under development

SD-05 commercial model video

Title: SkyDrive SD-05: Zero Emission Aircraft


SD-05 overview

The SD-05 is a two-seat, electrically powered compact aircraft with the option of vertical take-off and landing. It is controlled by a pilot and its flight stability is ensured by a computerized flight system. SkyDrive develops flying cars with the goal of creating a world where they are used in everyday life for air mobility, just as cars are used for daily ground transportation.

“This vehicle is not just a simple means of getting from A to B,” Yamamoto said. “Based on the design concept of ‘giving wings to everyday travel’, it is also a safe and comfortable travel partner.”

SkyDrive is in the process of receiving a Type Certificate (*2) from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) for the SD-05, which is the first of its kind in Japan. The company continues to work to initiate the practical use of flying cars during the World Expo in Osaka, Kansai, scheduled for 2025 in Japan. The SD-05 is designed for a range of approximately 10 km, and the maximum cruising speed is 100 km/h. However, the design and specifications are subject to change and the development of design.

Potential uses for the SD-05 are currently being explored, including a shortcut through the skies, unique access to resorts and emergency medical services.

“SkyDrive will continue to design the dreams of the future with the goal of making skyways a reality,” Yamamoto said. SkyDrive is also striving to promote its business not only in Japan but also outside the country. In the US, for example, in September 2022 the company founded a branch to ensure the “last mile” of air traffic. The company has developed the market together with local authorities and partner companies.

External design of SD-05

As with SkyDrive’s single-seat manned SD-03 prototype, the SD-05’s design is described as “progressive” (cutting-edge and advanced), which SkyDrive believes is an apt description of a new type of transportation. Viewing the fuselage from the side, an S-shaped outline suggests two propellers rising into the sky. Looking down on the vehicle from above, the viewer sees the shape of a pearly white swallow, a small but nimble bird capable of soaring to great heights.

Picture 2:

The aerodynamically advanced fuselage design is based on studies of the streamlined shapes of birds and animals, and features horizontal and vertical tail planes for increased stability in flight. 12 motor-propeller units are attached to the upper corners of the fuselage for flight stability. These reflect the flight control technology acquired in more than 1,000 flight tests during the development of the airframe.

For the SD-05, specialists from SkyDrive and its partners worked with JAMCO Corporation (*3), a manufacturer of aircraft interiors, Toray Carbon Magic Co, Ltd. (*4), a provider of advanced carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), and Electric Power Systems, Inc. (*5), a leading developer of battery systems with high efficiency propulsion systems for electrified aircraft eligible for type certification.

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

“We look forward to seeing everyone at Osaka Expo 2025,” said design director Yamamoto.

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(*1) Flying cars, commonly referred to as eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft outside of Japan, feature electrification, a fully autonomous autopilot, and vertical takeoff and landing. A new advancement in mobility, the development of flying cars, is being promoted worldwide. In Japan, the Public-Private Council for Air Mobility Revolution was founded in 2018 for this purpose. The project is expected to result in taxi services in urban areas, new modes of transport to remote islands and mountainous regions, and emergency transport in times of disaster. A roadmap drawn up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and MLIT foresees the start of operations in the mid-2020s.

(*2) SkyDrive press release on agreement with MLIT on basis for type certification of flying cars

(*3) SkyDrive press release on cooperation 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.

About SkyDrive Inc.:

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Press contact:

SkyDrive Inc.,
Telephone: +81-70-2246-8375,

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