The Japanese company SkyDrive completed a manned test flight of its electrical vertical takeoff and landing machine on August 28.
The first automobile was developed in 1885, and around two decades later in 1903, the Wright brothers invented the first airplane. In 2020, this company, backed by Japanese automaker Toyota, has brought humans closer to combining bothconcepts with the announcement of its completion of “the world’s first manned testing machine.”
SkyDrive was established in 2018 by members of a volunteer organization called Cartivator, which began developing a “flying car” in 2014, according to its website
The SD-03 model, an electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle flew around Japan’s Toyota Test Field for four minutes, and lifted about three meters into the air, the company said in a news release.
The aircraft, with its sleek aerodynamic body and white exteriors has one seat and is controlled by a pilot with the help of eight motors and four pairs of propellers. The extensive number of motors included ensures safety by acting as a backup during the occasion of a partial electric motor/rotor system malfunction. Sized at 13-feet long and six-feet high, the vehicle’s measurements enable it to fit into two average parking spaces in a congested city.
While SkyDrive’s SD-03 model is only a prototype, the company plans on turning It into a commercial two seater model by 2023, which coincides with the Japanese government’s target to introduce flying taxi services in densely populated cities such as Osaka and Tokyo.
“In developed countries, flying cars are expected to be used as a means of transportation to ease traffic jams and respond in times of disaster, while in developing countries they are likely to be used as a form of transportation that requires far less infrastructure,” the company said in a press release.