Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Founded in July 2018, SkyDrive is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company based in Tokyo, Japan. Tomohiro Fukuzawa is the chief executive officer and Nobuo Kishi is the chief technology officer. (All photos SkyDrive credit.) The company's goal is to develop eVTOL Urban Air Mobility (UAM) aircraft is to make an aircraft that costs less to manufacturer, increase safety, reduce noise of the aircraft, have autonomous piloting, have the ability to drive on the road and use less infrastructure. The plan is to start using the aircraft in the mid-2020s for air transportation of goods and mobility of people in rural and urban areas.
A brief history of the company reveals that in September 2012, Tomohiro Fukuzawa formed a volunteer group automotive, drone and aviation industry professionals, who would meet outside of business hours and started discussions by first stating "Let's do something interesting". Based on Fukuzawa automotive background, he asked the group a fundamental question, "Why do people move?" Eventually, more than 100 ideas were talked about, such as cars which could also be submarines, to small enough cars that could move from room to room, inside a building.
After a year and a half of discussions, in 2013, the group decided on flying cars. The company they formed was called Cartivator. The company name was created by combining the word car and cultivate with the definition of cultivate being more towards the word pioneer. As the business matured, it became difficult to continue with volunteer workers. This why that in July 2018, about 30 people from Cartivator founded the SkyDrive Corporation.
The Cartivator SkyDrive is sub-scale electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) prototype. The full scale production has been estimated to be 36 m L X 1.1 m H X 3.1 m W (11.8 ft L X 3.6 ft H X 10.17 ft W) in flight. The aircraft will have a cockpit with two forward and two aft VTOL propellers extended beyond and below the fuselage sides. Target maximum speed is 100 km/h (62 mph) and the average travel speed is expected to be 60 km/h (37 mph) with a 50 m (164 ft) altitude. Its maximum take-off weight will be 400 kg (882 lb) and carry two people.
On December 13, 2018 the volunteer group Cartivator succeeded in its first test flight of a scaled prototype eVTOL model.
Specifications (July 2017):
|Flight Altitude (Target)
|Maximum Flight Speed (Target)
|Maximum Driving Speed (Target)
- Cartivator website
- Cartivator Facebook
- Cartivator Twitter
- SkyDrive website
- SkyDrive LinkedIn
- Article: Toyota Backs Japanese Flying Car Startup, Aviation Week, May 16, 2017
- Article: Toyota-supported flying car hopes to light the Tokyo 2020 Olympic flame, Reuters, June 3, 2017
- Article: Will Japan win the flying car race?, CNN, June 20, 2017
- Article: Cargo eVTOL Matures, Vertiflite, March/April 2020