Suzuki’s first Japanese flying car is getting closer to certification

(ORDO NEWS) — Several developers of eVTOLs (electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft) are preparing to start operating air taxis, and the Japanese company SkyDrive is one of them.

Its first eVTOL prototype has been followed by a two-seat flying car that claims to be the first of its kind in the country to receive official approval.

Not so long ago, the world’s smallest eVTOL was introduced – a single-seat aircraft measuring only 4 x 4 x 2 meters (13 x 13 x 6.5 feet).

It could only sustain a ten-minute flight, but was quite fast, reaching speeds of 30 miles per hour (50 km/h). SkyDrive has used the knowledge gained from the development of the SD-03 to create a flying car that will be fully certified to operate as an air taxi.

The SD-05 boasts not only a futuristic look, but eight propellers capable of propelling it to over 60 miles per hour (100 km/h). With a takeoff weight of over 1,000 pounds (500 kg) and a flight time of over 30 minutes, this two-seat aircraft has the potential to be used as an air taxi.

It looks like the Japanese manufacturer is on the right track. Earlier this year, the company announced that Suzuki would help it develop future flying car technology.

Another recent milestone is reaching an agreement with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) for basic type certification.

As we know, the certification path for eVTOLs is long and difficult. SkyDrive applied for it last year. The JCAB Airworthiness Inspection Manual (AIM) Part II (Rev. 61) proposes a new version of the Manual that “allows for flexibility in aircraft frame and system form”.

This is good news for any flying car. The goal is to make sure that the SD-05 is safe to operate because it is “without precedent”.

The next step is to start producing a flying demonstration car. It will take a few years to get certified, but SkyDrive believes it will start providing air taxi services as early as 2025.


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