In a first, Japan grants safety certificate to flying car. Will others follow?

Conceptualizing and developing a flying car in itself can be an extremely arduous task but getting a safety certificate for it may be tougher still. But for SkyDrive, a Tokyo-based startup, the wings may have opened wide for takeoff. The company's eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft) flying car concept recently received a safety certificate that signals a possible go ahead for further development.

SD-03 flying car from SkyDrive in test action.
SD-03 flying car from SkyDrive in test action.

SkyDrive is learnt to have received the safety certificate from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) and this comes as a major shot in the arm for the company which had showcased its flying car prototype for the first time back in 2018. The first successful piloted flight test had been carried out in 2020.

Named SD-03, the flying car from team SkyDrive has eight propellers and is capable of hitting a top speed of around 48 kmph. At present, it has a flight time of 10 minutes but this may increase with further development. It also has a payload capacity of 30 kilos at present.

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The SD-03 has an open cabin and currently features space only for one person who would be controlling the vehicle.

What is perhaps most significant is that SkyDrive has its eyes now set on having a flying taxi service in Osaka Bay area of Japan by 2025. The company says that the product could be vital at work sites, especially in mountainous areas, to carry out logistical tasks.

First Published Date: 04 Nov 2021, 09:21 AM IST
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