First in Japan, but potentially also headed to the US.
Remember Skydrive? Don’t worry, this is RideApart, not a FlyApart. The company has announced that in 2022 it will work with Suzuki to develop a flying car, more specifically an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle for the Japanese market. At the time, SkyDrive also announced its intention to have its first vehicles operational by 2025.
It’s nice to have goals, but what’s been going on behind the scenes this past year? SkyDrive officially announced at the 2023 Paris Air Show in late June that it had signed a “basic agreement” with Suzuki Motor Corporation to cooperate in the manufacture of these vehicles. According to the couple, production is expected to begin around spring 2024.
This vehicle, also called SkyDrive, was also redesigned last year. The new version of his SkyDrive is his 3 seater and can accommodate 1 pilot and 2 passengers. Older versions could only carry one pilot and one passenger. As a result, the dimensions of the SkyDrive have also increased slightly, making it 43 feet long, 43 feet wide and 10 feet high, including the rotor..
The maximum takeoff weight has also been increased from the previously allowed weight of 2,400 pounds to the current 3,100 pounds. The maximum cruising speed indicated by SkyDrive is approximately 100 kilometers per hour (approximately 62 miles per hour), or 54 knots (kias) expressed in airspeed. The operational flight range has increased from 5 to 10 kilometers (about 3 to 6.2 miles) of the previous version to about 15 kilometers (about 9.3 miles).
The SkyDrive’s powertrain is a battery-powered device, and so far it’s been meticulously detailed. Various composite materials and aluminum alloys are used in the manufacture of vehicles. Production of the new SkyDrive unit will take place at the Suzuki plant in Shizuoka, Japan..
To enter the aviation industry with your own vehicle, you must first obtain an airworthiness certificate. SkyDrive plans to bring this to life with its first eVTOL in 2025. After that, his next goal is to get his SkyDrive ready to fly and demonstrate its capabilities at the 2025 World Expo in Osaka. Once this hurdle is cleared, the next goal is to obtain type approval and start mass production for the Japanese market in 2026.
What about your plans outside of Japan? SkyDrive has announced its intention to enter the U.S. market in early 2023 and is also seeking certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. In January 2023, the company announced plans to establish a headquarters in South Carolina.
“Given that South Carolina is a key player in both civil and military aviation and is home to more than 400 companies, including the aerospace industry, we believe that South Carolina is a key player in our home market and into the U.S. market. The decision to be the point of contact was an easy one for us.” Boeing and Lockheed Martin. We truly believe that the vast resources available in South Carolina will provide SkyDrive with a rich platform to achieve our goals,” said Tomohiro Fukuzawa, founder and CEO of SkyDrive, in a statement.
Having goals is great, but the path from setting a goal to deleting a goal isn’t always a straight line. We will be sure to keep you up to date with new developments and eVTOL as they become available..