The dream of flying from one place to another just like driving a car is not an illusion but going to be a reality in the future. A mobility solution in Japan has claimed to have conducted a test drive of the first flying car.
Developed by SkyDrive Inc., the SD-03 flying car model made a public demonstration flight on August 25, 2020. It was the first public demonstration of a flying car in Japan and the flight was done at the Toyota Test Field, a company release said.
SD-03 flying car made public demonstration flight on August 25, 2020. It was the first public demonstration of a flying car in Japan
The company said that the single-seat SD-03 was in the air for about four minutes. A pilot was at the controls but a computer-assisted control system helped ensure flight stability and safety while technical staff at the field monitored flight conditions and aircraft performance at all times as backup, they said.
Company CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said that they were extremely excited to have achieved Japan’s first-ever manned flight of a flying car in the two years since the Skydrive was founded in 2018. “We aim to take our social experiment to the next level in 2023 and to that end we will be accelerating our technological development and our business development. We want to realize a society where flying cars are an accessible and convenient means of transportation in the skies and people are able to experience a safe, secure, and comfortable new way of life,” Tomohiro Fukuzawa said.
The aircraft is designed to be the world’s smallest electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) model. It measures two meters high by four meters wide and four meters long and requires only as much space on the ground as two parked cars. The power train consists of electric motors that drive rotors deployed in four locations, with each location housing two rotors that individually rotates in opposite directions, each driven by its own motor, the official release said. The use of eight motors is a means of ensuring safety in emergency situations during flight and as such aims to address compliance standards and allay potential regulatory concerns, it said.
SD-03 flying car to play active role as travel companion, a compact coupe flying in the sky
Viewed from the side, the fuselage has a lean, sleek look with the rotor housings extending out in swooping curves that maintain the visual unity of the aircraft’s design and emphasize its aerodynamic qualities. With the striking SkyDrive emblem fitted on the front, the SD-03’s visual design expresses the dynamism of a pair of propellers rising up into the sky of the future, working in tandem. The aircraft has two white lights in front and a red light running around the bottom of the body and these are a characteristic unique to flying cars, designed to make it easy for observers to tell which way the vehicle is headed when it is floating in the sky. The colour of the SD-03 is pearl white, which was chosen to represent white birds and the floating clouds in the sky of users’ future. The company hopes that its aircraft will become people’s partner in the sky rather than merely a commodity and it will continue working to design a safe sky for the future as a partner in the sky.
Design Director Takumi Yamamot said that they wanted the vehicle to be futuristic, charismatic and desirable for all future customers. “We believe that this vehicle will play an active role as your travel companion, a compact coupe flying in the sky,” Yamamot said.
Company CTO Nobuo Kishi said that they have been working on the design of electric propulsion systems, flight control systems, aircraft structures, testing, manufacturing, and introducing monitoring equipment for aircraft conditions during flight testing step by step, and with a considerable sense of speed. “We will continue to develop technologies and acquire type certification so that safe and secure flying car operation services can be launched in fiscal 2023,” Kishi said.