With plans to introduce an air taxi service at the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Japan, SkyDrive has announced that lessons learned from the development of its SD-03 sports single-seat prototype have informed the design of a new SD- 05 two-seater. eVTOL.
Announced as the successor to the SD-03 prototype which made its public demonstration in piloted flight in August 2020, the SD-05 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is under development as a two-seat air taxi where the one of the occupants is expected to be a pilot – as opposed to, say, China’s self-driving eHang 216.
This pilot will benefit from the assistance of a computer-controlled flight system to provide stability in the air, rising and flying away thanks to a dozen motor / propeller combinations branching out in threes from the wing. angular “pearl-white swallow” above the cabin.
Indeed, the aerodynamic airframe would have been inspired by “studies of the streamlined forms of birds and animals” and would sport horizontal and vertical tailplanes for additional flight stability.
SkyDrive is aiming for a cruise speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) and a range per charge of up to 10 km (6.2 miles), so it’s likely to be limited to quick city hops or brief sightseeing flights – for example, cycle between tourist attractions in the Osaka Bay Area or ferry vacationers to and from resorts.
The main structure will be in aluminum alloy and composites. It will measure 9.4 x 9.4 x 2.7 m (30.8 x 30.8 x 8.5 ft) and have a maximum takeoff weight of 1,100 kg (2,400 lb).
SD-05 renders paint a very different beast than those released after a partnership with Suzuki was announced earlier this year, and design specs could still change as development progresses, but the company is already looking for the first one. of the kind. Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism type certification. And SkyDrive is also planning to provide last-mile transportation options in the United States at some point in the future, having set up an office there this month.
“This is another big step towards realizing flying cars and air routes,” said design director Takumi Yamamoto. “Two years have passed since the announcement of the SD-03, which successfully passed its public manned flight test in August 2020, and we are very pleased to be able to announce its successor, the SD-05. We look forward to see everyone at the Osaka Expo in 2025”