Drone Certification TestSkyDrive’s flying car clears certification hurdle in Japan

November 2, 2021by helo-10
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Japanese advanced air mobility (AAM) company SkyDrive has announced it took a major certification step toward the eventual marketing and distribution of its single-person flying car, calling it the first craft of its kind to reach that milestone in the country.

Tokyo-based SkyDrive said it obtained a so-called type certificate in late October from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) for its SD-03 flying car. The type certificate approves the design, structure, strength, and performance of newly developed aircraft, evaluating each on safety and environmental grounds. Successful qualification is requisite for craft to advance toward the next level of development, and beyond that final authorization for full-scale production, distribution, and commercial operation.

The initial type certificate was granted after the SkyDrive’s SD-03 flying car had successfully navigated a number of studies and trials that tested, among other things, the craft’s strength and flight capacities. 

The company says that initial accreditation is the first in Japan to be given for a vehicle of its kind, and considers it a major hurdle cleared toward its planned 2025 launch of the vehicle. Its SkyLift 30 kg payload cargo drone is already on the market and in use in construction, agriculture, industrial, and other heavy-lift oriented sectors.

Founded in 2018 by former Toyota executives, SkyDrive is a member of Japan’s Public-Private Council for Air Mobility Revolution, which is made up of researchers, government ministry officials, and executives of AAM, passenger airline, logistics, tech, and other companies. Their common goal is to establish business models and technical standards to quickly usher in commercial use of next generation aerial vehicles and services. 

SkyDrive says securing its type certificate represented another step forward in that collective effort to reach Japan’s AAM future.

“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 SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa. “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.”

In the wake of that development, SkyDrive said it had struck a partnership with EY Strategy and Consulting Co. that will provide the AAM company with advice and support in further developing its flying car business in Japan, and across international markets.


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