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Japan’s SkyDrive “agrees flying car certification roadmap with the JCAB”

SkyDrive Inc., a manufacturer of flying cars and cargo drones in Japan, has announced that an agreement was reached in March with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to base the type certification for the company’s flying car on the JCAB Airworthiness Inspection Manual (AIM) Part II (Revision 61).

According to a SkyDrive press release:

“The certification basis applies to the SkyDrive SD-05, a two-seat flying car for which MLIT had accepted an application for type certification in October 2021. SkyDrive plans to launch air taxi service with this model in 2025.

“In accordance with Japan’s Civil Aeronautics Law, MLIT issues a type certificate to certify that the design, structure, strength, and performance of a newly developed aircraft conform with necessary safety and environmental requirements for the given type of aircraft. Certification is granted only after the aircraft completes a battery of studies and tests, including strength and flight tests.

“The SkyDrive flying car (eVTOL) differs from conventional aircraft and has no precedent. Therefore, SkyDrive intends to engage in every step in the inspection and certification process in consultation with JCAB, including defining inspection standards, developing a certification plan and establishing a means of demonstration, all in keeping with the process as practiced internationally.

“Airworthiness Inspection Manual (AIM) Part II defines airworthiness conditions for fixed-wing aircraft that carry up to 19 passengers and have a take-off weight of 8,618 kg (19,000 lb.) or less. Revision 61 is the newest version of the AIM Part II. It allows flexibility in the shape of the air frame and aircraft system. It also establishes standards for testing strength, structure, and performance to validate the safety of the aircraft and its components.

Based on discussions with the Public-Private Council for Air Mobility Revolution regarding safety standards for flying cars, SkyDrive and MLIT agreed to conduct the SD-05’s type certification based on AIM Part II. International air transport authorities, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), have adopted standards for eVTOL type certifications equivalent to the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau’s AIM Part II.”

According to Nobuo KISHI, Chief Technology Officer, SkyDrive Inc.: “The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau accepted our application for type certification in October 2021. Since then, we have held a series of discussions with the authority regarding ways to develop and design safe aircraft and the means for testing them. We’ve now come to an agreement with the JCAB to adopt AIM Part II as the basis for type certification. We are very pleased that we have moved a step closer to obtaining a type certificate. From here, we will continue to deepen our partnership with JCAB and discuss plans toward obtaining a type certificate.“

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