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SkyDrive SD-XX


Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

Founded in July 2018, SkyDrive is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company based in Toyota City, Japan. Tomohiro Fukuzawa is the chief executive officer and Nobuo Kishi is the chief technology officer. (All photos and graphics, SkyDrive 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, "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 company's goals for developing eVTOL advanced air mobility (AAM) aircraft is to make safer aircraft, less costly aircraft, less noisy aircraft, autonomous aircraft and aircraft 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 SD-XX prototype is a two passenger eVTOL and ground vehicle which has a flying cruise speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) and flight range of 20 km (12 miles). The driving cruise speed is 60 km/h (37 mph) with a driving range 20-30 km (12-19 miles). As battery technology increases, the range and duration of the vehicle will increase.

SkyDrive started uncrewed test flights in December 2018. In the spring of 2020, the company has confirmed it has been flight testing its full scale eVTOL prototype using pilots since December 2019 through March 2020. Since flight testing began in 2018, the company has clocked a grand total of flying over 1,000 crewed and uncrewed prototype flights. The flight testing has verified the aircraft can be controlled and be stabilized in gusty wind conditions. After the company is satisfied with this round of flight testing, they will build another full scale prototype for more flight tests with crewed and uncrewed flights.

The SkyDrive aircraft has several safety features. One feature is Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), which provides safety through redundancy for its passengers. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft. Another safety feature is shock-absorbing seating developed by Cartivator and SkyDrive.

SkyDrive forsees their flying car to be marketed as a ride-sharing Air Taxi service for Urban Air Mobility and also sold to individuals as a personal air vehicle. In addition, the company see their aircraft extremely useful for emergency transportation and emergency services. The company is also developing a cargo drone for urban air cargo delivery.

The company’s goal is to have their passenger eVTOL certified with multiple government aviation authorities and to begin selling the aircraft in 2023.


  • Aircraft type: eVTOL and ground vehicle
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Piloting: Autonomous
  • Flight cruise speed: 100 km/h (62 mph)
  • Flight range: 20 km (12 miles)
  • Driving cruise speed: 60 km/h (37 mph)
  • Driving range: 20-30 km (12-19 miles)
  • Propellers: 8
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Flight altitude ~500 m (1,640 feet)
  • Maximum take-off weight: 500 kg (1,102 lbs)
  • Windows: Panoramic window spectacular views
  • Vehicle size: Length 4.0 m (13 ft) X Width 3.5 m (11.5 ft) × Height 1.5 m (5 ft), the vehicle is similar in size as a car
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft. Crash resistant seating.

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