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Cartivator SkyDrive (concept design)

Cartivator SkyDrive eVTOL passenger concept design air and ground vehicle

 

SkyDrive (concept design)
Cartivator
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
www.cartivator.com

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. 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. (All photos Cartivator credit.)

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, "How 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 SkyDrive company originally had plans to make a flying car, a vehicle that can fly in the "Sky" and "Drive" on the road, hence the name SkyDrive. However, SkyDrive is only making eVTOL passenger aircraft at this time.

Cartivator SkyDrive two passenger eVTOL concept design aircraft
The Cartivator SkyDrive is a two passenger eVTOL concept design aircraft and ground vehicle that was first revealed by the company in a press release on Oct. 1, 2017. There aircraft is flown by one pilot and has the capacity for one passenger. There is a canopy over the cockpit for spectacular views when flying and when driving on the road. The aircraft has four or eight propellers and has the same number of corresponding electric motors. The vehicle has three electric motors for each wheel. The aircraft is powered entirely by batteries.

The target maximum flight speed for the vehicle is 100 km/h (62 mph) and has an expected cruise altitude of 50 m (164 ft). The maximum driving speed is predicted to be 60 km/h (37 mph). The maximum payload is estimated to be 400 kg (881 lb). The landing gear is fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear and the wheels are also used for ground travel. There are fenders on the four corners of the aircraft that transform when changing from ground mode to flight mode and the reverse. While in driving mode, the sides of the car looks like car fenders. When in the flying mode, the propeller guards move away and reveal the multicopter propellers.

When looking carefully, this Cartivator SkyDrive concept design air and ground vehicle and has its propellers outside of the fuselage while a new version, the SkyDrive SD-XX, has its propellers inside the fuselage.

SkyDrive concept design air mode (left), ground mode (right)

SkyDrive concept design air mode (left), ground mode (right)

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger concept design aircraft
  • Piloting: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 1 passenger
  • Target maximum flight speed: 100 km/h (62 mph)
  • Target maximum driving speed: 60 km/h (37 mph)
  • Target cruise altitude: 50 m (164 ft)
  • Maximum payload: 400 kg (881 lb)
  • Propellers: 4 (or 8) propellers
  • Electric motors: 4 (or 8) electric motors for the propellers and three electric motors for the ground wheels
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Window: Canopy over cockpit for spectacular views for the passengers
  • Landing gear: Fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear and is also used for ground travel
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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