SkyDrive Reveals SD-05, Series C Funding
On Sept. 26, SkyDrive, a Japan-based eVTOL developer, revealed the design of its SD-05, its two-seat multicopter eVTOL aircraft. The SD-05 features 12 lifting propellers and a maximum take-off weight of 2,400 lb (1,100 kg). It is expected to have an operational range of up to 6.2 miles (10 km) and a flight time of up to 10 minutes.
SkyDrive reached agreement with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), a division of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), for the basis of certification for the SD-05 in October 2021.
The company plans on launching commercial flights of the SD-05 at the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Japan, where it intends to use the aircraft as the basis for an air taxi service. The SD-05 is SkyDrive’s largest eVTOL aircraft to date. Founded in 2018, the Toyota City-based eVTOL developer is best known for the SD-02, a one-seat personal eVTOL that made the first crewed eVTOL flight in Japan in December 2019.
Also on Sept. 26, SkyDrive announced that it has raised 9.6B yen ($66M) in a Series C funding round. The round was financed by the allotment of new shares and loans from 13 companies; the backers include Suzuki Motor Corporation. SkyDrive raised around twice as much as it had in its Series B round in 2020, which yielded 3.9B yen. In all, SkyDrive has raised approximately 14.7B yen ($101M). In September, SkyDrive opened a temporary office in South Carolina to facilitate potential investment opportunities via the United States.