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SkyDrive SD-05 (production model)

SkyDrive SD-05 eVTOL passenger aircraft

 

SD-05 (production model)
SkyDrive Inc.
Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
www.skydrive2020.com

Founded in July 2018, SkyDrive Inc. is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) manufacturer based in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Tomohiro Fukuzawa is the chief executive officer and Nobuo Kishi is the chief technology officer. The mission of the company is to take the lead in the once-in-a-century mobility revolution to design and produce eVTOL passenger and air cargo aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). According to a SkyDrive article on April 6, 2023, its cumulative funding has now exceeded ¥15 billion yen. (All images: SkyDrive)

The company's goals is to make eVTOL aircraft safer than conventional aircraft, less costly, less noisy, autonomous and that require less infrastructure. The plan is to start using the aircraft in the mid-2020s for air transportation of goods and people in areas where conventional public transportation is slow or almost nonexistent in rural and urban areas. The company's vision is to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOL aircraft as their daily transportation in Japan and across the world.

Brief history
A brief history of the company starts in September 2012 when 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's 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 is why in July 2018, about 30 people from Cartivator founded SkyDrive Inc. The 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, the company is only making eVTOL passenger aircraft at this time.

SD-05 two passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft specifications
The SD-05 is a two passenger eVTOL passenger production model aircraft and is operated by a pilot. The aircraft's flight stability is secured with the assistance of a computer-controlled flight system. The aircraft has an estimated maximum cruise speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). The aircraft has 12 propellers and 12 electric motors on an overhead boom assembly. The aircraft has a back-to-back modified V boom configuration with the rear V boom having a slight wing type structure. At each end of the booms is a cross boom and each propeller is at the ends of each cross boom. The booms are located at the top of the fuselage.

SD-05 eVTOL passenger aircraft landed on a vertiport

SD-05 eVTOL passenger aircraft landed on a vertiport

Extending from the rear of the fuselage are two rear vertical booms that connect to a downward sloping horizontal stabilizer with vertical fins on each end of the horizontal stabilizer, a modified boom tail. The aircraft has fixed skid landing gear with the rear of each skid having an angled-inward vertical fin or ventral fins.

Applications and expected launch date
The company expects the SD-05 to be used where geographical conditions don't allow for efficient public transportation or where there is very little to no public transportation. For example, a good example of where their aircraft would be extremely useful and efficient would be tourist islands where they only have slow boat transportation available. The company also foresees their aircraft to be extremely useful for emergency medical services.

The company has announced in April 2023, it has received orders for the SD-05 aircraft from private individuals. SkyDrive is planning to use the SD-05 to launch air taxi service in the Osaka Bay area during Expo 2025 (a World Expo) in Osaka, Kansai, Japan.

SD-05 eVTOL passenger aircraft, top view

SD-05 eVTOL passenger aircraft, top view

SD-05 eVTOL passenger aircraft on vertiport

SD-05 eVTOL passenger aircraft on vertiport

SD-05 eVTOL passenger aircraft side view

SD-05 eVTOL passenger aircraft side view

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger production model aircraft
  • Piloting: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 1 passenger
  • Maximum cruise speed: 100 km/h (62 mph)
  • Range: 5-10 km (3-6 miles)
  • Flight time: 5-10 minutes
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 1,100 kg (2,425 lbs)
  • Propellers: 12 propellers
  • Electric motors: 12 electric motors
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite, aluminum alloy and other materials
  • Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right visibility for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
  • Tail: A modified boom mounted tail. Extending from the rear of the fuselage are two rear vertical booms that connect to a downward sloping horizontal stabilizer with vertical fins on each end of the horizontal stabilizer.
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear, the rear of each skid is an angled-inward ventral fins
  • 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 in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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