A flying car has gained the first safety certificate issued by Japan, allowing them to commercialize their eVTOL vehicles as soon as 2025. This marks the first flying car to reach this stage in Japan, and could pave the way for this decade to be the decade of flying cars.
SkyDrive’s eVTOL electric flying car concept is currently represented by the SD-03, which made a successful manned flight demonstration in August 2020. Carrying just a single seat, the SD-03 is powered by eight propellers in a quadcopter formation and has a range of around 10 minutes flight time, reaching top speeds of 30 miles per hour (48 kilometers per hour). During the world debut, a pilot took off vertically before flying around a test area and smoothly landing back down.
Since then, SkyDrive applied for a type certificate, issued by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT), that certifies the safety of the vehicle. Rigorous tests are applied that test the strength and flight capabilities of the aircraft, while the company also has to submit extensive data and manufacturing plans related to the concept. MLIT has never accepted a flying car for this certificate, making SkyDrive’s approval a huge milestone for flying vehicles. The company now aims to continue working with the government to develop a safe eVTOL vehicle.
Currently, the SD-03 is utilized as a drone cargo service in Japan, but with safety certification, SkyDrive now hope to push their vehicles into a flying taxi service as soon as 2025.