SkyDrive’s Full-Scale Flying Car Leaves Japan for the First Time, Is on Display at the CES

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Japanese air mobility startup SkyDrive introduced its one-seat SD-03 flying car in 2020 and it’s been making significant progress with it since then. Now the company showcased a full-scale version of the vehicle for the first time outside Japan, taking advantage of the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. Visitors from all around the world had the chance to get in the pilot’s seat to get a taste of what the SD-03 is all about and the eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft will remain on display at the J-Startup Pavilion (Eureka Park) until January 7, when the event ends. The SD-03 is described by the Japanese manufacturer as the culmination of its expertise in drone technologies and aerodynamic engineering. It is an ultra-compact, zero-emission flying vehicle designed to take off and land vertically, enabling fast and safe door-to-door urban transportation. Described by SkyDrive as the world’s smallest eVTOL, the aircraft measures 4 x 4 x 2 m (13 x 13 x 6.5 ft) and when grounded, it only takes up the space of two parked cars. It is equipped with electric motors that drive the rotors, with the SD-03 having four locations with two rotors each. SkyDrive says its compact flying vehicle completed testing for piloted flight. The SD-03 has a maximum takeoff weight of 400 kg (881 lb.) and a maximum cruise speed of 50 kph (approx. 30 mph). As for its flight time, it is only up to 10 minutes. SkyDrive managed to reach an important milestone back in October when its application for a type certificate for its flying car was accepted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT). The company also initiated another type of certification project allowing it to commercialize the aircraft starting 2025. SkyDrive boasts of being the first flying car developer to reach this stage in Japan.