Japanese eVTOL manufacturer SkyDrive Inc has today announced that the company is now accepting pre-orders for its eVTOL aircraft SD-05 for personal use. Kotaro Chiba, a licensed pilot and the first owner of a HondaJet in Japan, becomes the first private customer of SkyDrive SD-05.
“SkyDrive has focused on developing its business-to-business pre-order sales since it unveiled design of the SD-05 in September 2022. As of today, SkyDrive is also happy to report that the Vietnamese developer Pacific Group agreed to pre-order up to 100 SD-05 aircraft, with ten confirmed pre-orders and 90 conditional pre-order options, “ said the company. “After careful consideration, having received numerous inquiries from individuals expressing interest in acquiring the SD-05, SkyDrive has agreed to open pre-order sales to the general public.
“Mr. Chiba, co-founder and managing partner of DRONE FUND, became the first shareholder of SkyDrive through this fund in November 2018. DRONE FUND is a venture capital firm that focuses on drone technology and advanced air mobility (AAM) industry which aims to develop these technologies globally. Mr. Chiba is an angel investor with over 60 start-ups as well as 50 venture capital funds experience.”
Kotaro Chiba said: “In 2018, I was captivated by SkyDrive’s vision of the future and its innovative aircraft, fueling my dream of flying cars. Upon seeing the company’s first prototype, I was convinced that my dream was finally within reach, and I enthusiastically made the decision to invest in SkyDrive. Driven by my passion for the first flying car of the future, I obtained my private pilot license. Since then, SkyDrive has conducted successful crewed test flights and applied for type certification, further solidifying my confidence in the team’s ability to make the dream a reality. I eagerly anticipate the exciting adventures that lie ahead in the skies with SD-05.”
Tomohiro Fukuzawa, Founder & CEO of SkyDrive Inc., said “Since we unveiled the design of our SD-05 in September 2022, we have received numerous inquiries, not only from companies but also from private individuals. As we aim to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOLs as their daily transportation, we understand that it is important that we have an option for individuals to own their aircraft. We received inquiries from Mr. Chiba more than once and we are truly grateful that he confirmed the pre-order as the first individual owner right after we decided to receive pre-orders from individuals. We will develop fully automated aircraft in the future and further promote the realization of a society where everyone utilizes the sky for daily transportation.”
SD-05 is a two-seat, electric-powered compact aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. Operated by a driver-pilot, its flight stability is secured with the assistance of a computer-controlled flight system. SkyDrive is in the process of acquiring a type certificate for SD-05 from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), as the first of its kind in Japan. SD-05 is designed to travel up to approx. 10 km and the maximum cruise speed is 100 km/h.
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(Image: From the left, Mr. Kotaro Chiba and Tomohiro Fukuzawa (CEO of SkyDrive))