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SkyDrive unveils compact eVTOL aircraft in Las Vegas

Those who are attending the CES 2022 event in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week will be able to catch a glimpse of a full-scale compact SD-03 eVTOL aircraft developed by SkyDrive — it’s the first time the aircraft has been showcased outside Japan.

SkyDrive CES
SkyDrive is unveiling its SD-03 eVTOL aircraft in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week, marking the first time the aircraft has been showcased outside Japan. SkyDrive Image

The SD-03 is a single-seat eVTOL aircraft with eight propellers. It has a maximum cruising speed of up to 50 kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour), take-off weight of 400 kilograms (882 pounds), and flight time of up to 10 minutes.

In October, the company became the first in Japan whose type certification application for the SD-05 model was accepted by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT), marking the beginning of a process that could take years before the company receives type certification. Japan — just like other countries around the world — is still nailing down the exact regulatory framework, and developing certification criteria for this new sector.

SkyDrive’s SD-05 model is currently in development. When the company last spoke to, it was not ready to disclose the performance specifications, design, and appearance of the SD-05 aircraft yet, but said it is working to ensure the specifications are sufficient to allow passengers to travel around the city. This will be the aircraft that the company hopes to fly at the World Expo 2025 in Osaka, Japan.

“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,” said Takehiro Sato, chief operating officer of SkyDrive, in a press release.

CES 2022 is a technology trade show that is taking place from Jan. 5 to 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Along with the SD-03 developed by SkyDrive, the event is also showcasing a four-seater eVTOL developed by California-based Aska, a “flying race car” developed by French company Maca, and various drone technologies, among others.  

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