Drone Certification TestJapan grants safety certificate to SkyDrive’s eVTOL flying car

November 6, 2021by helo-10

In August 2020, Tokyo-based flying car startup SkyDrive successfully conducted the first public demonstration flight of its SD-03 flying car model with a pilot on board in Japan. Now, the company has reached another milestone this week. SkyDrive revealed that it has been granted a safety certificate by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT).

The safety certificate from Japan’s MLIT confirms that the design, structure, strength, and performance of a newly developed aircraft meet the necessary safety and environmental requirements for each type of aircraft. Certification is only granted after the aircraft has gone through a battery of studies and tests, including strength tests and flight tests. This is the first time that MLIT has accepted an application for a type certificate for a flying car.

“SkyDrive and MLIT have been discussing how to safely develop and test this type of aircraft since the Public-Private Council to promote urban air mobility was launched in Japan in 2018 and SkyDrive received permission for the first outdoor test flight of its flying car,” said Tomohiro FUKUZAWA, Chief Executive Officer, SkyDrive. “We are very pleased that our application for type certification has been accepted, and we will continue to work in close partnership with the government and MLIT to complete our development of a wholly safe and reliable flying car.”

After successfully having a flying car concept, SkyDrive now aims to launch a flying taxi service with SD-03 in Japan’s Osaka Bay area as early as 2025. The latest iteration of SkyDrive’s drone-like flying car is powered by a battery and four pairs of propellers and reaches a top speed of 30 mph (48 km/h) for trips of up to 10 minutes. The single-seat flying car has a payload capacity of 30 kg. The SD-03 has an open cockpit, unlike its competitor, the unmanned aerotaxi Volocopter, but it compares favorably with a smaller number of propellers.

The company promises to continue to improve with further development. Its near-term goal is to raise the vehicle’s speed to 40 mph and extend flight duration to 30 minutes, and also plans to roll out a two-seater commercial model sometime in 2023.

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