SkyDrive Partners to Bring AAM to Osaka
SkyDrive, a Tokyo-based AAM company, announced that it has partnered with the city and prefecture of Osaka, Japan, to examine the potential applications of eVTOL aircraft. In a press release on Sept. 14, SkyDrive said that the partnership aims to advance science and technology solutions through the development and application of UAM aircraft. SkyDrive and Osaka will carry out demonstration flights, conduct community outreach, and engage local startups and businesses. The agreement follows the establishment by the Osaka Prefectural Government of a roundtable in November 2020 to accelerate the introduction of eVTOL aircraft in the Osaka Bay area; Volocopter has now also joined the roundtable. It is part of the local government’s preparations for World Expo 2025, which will be held in Osaka.
SkyDrive is developing small roadable aircraft that it says will be an ideal solution for densely populated cities like those in Japan and Asia at large. “As our product is very small, it can land on almost any building in the Tokyo area, or gasoline stations or convenience store parking lots,” said SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa in a press briefing in Tokyo on Sept. 24. According to the VFS World eVTOL Aircraft Directory, the current demonstrator aircraft is the SD-03 eVTOL, which has a one-seat capacity and conducted its flight in public in August 2020. SkyDrive is aiming to develop a two-seat eVTOL by 2025.