SkyDrive intends to establish an air taxi network connecting Augusta Regional Airport to destinations across the region

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

March 15, 2024

4 Min Read
SkyDrive

Japanese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker SkyDrive has agreed to sell five of its flying vehicles to a private charter service operator in Augusta, Georgia.

SkyDrive and Bravo Air also formed a partnership to develop use cases from Augusta Regional Airport to scale advanced air mobility (AAM) in the region.

Earlier this year, SkyDrive set up plans to establish its home base in South Carolina and the Bravo Air deal now expands SkyDrive beyond South Carolina and into Georgia.

SkyDrive intends to establish an electric aerial vehicle (EAV) air taxi network connecting Augusta Regional Airport to destinations across the region.

“As we embark on this new partnership with Bravo Air, we are thrilled to witness not only the growth of SkyDrive but also the broader eVTOL industry in the U.S. market,” said 

Tomohiro Fukuzawa, founder and CEO of SkyDrive. “This collaboration with Bravo Air marks a significant step forward in our shared objective of advancing AAM development, particularly in the Southeast region in the U.S. We are excited about the transformative potential of this partnership and the opportunities it presents for innovation, sustainability and continued progress in our industry.”

SkyDrive recently started production of its flying vehicle at a Suzuki manufacturing plant in Shizuoka, Japan.

Related:Flying Car Production Starts at Suzuki Plant; 100 Vehicles a Year

The SkyDrive SD-05 vehicle, which SkyDrive refers to as a flying car, is being built by Sky Works, the SkyDrive manufacturing division, in partnership with Suzuki.

1.-SD-05_©SkyDrive-2048x1152_(1).jpg

SkyDrive plans to operate its EAV at Expo 2025 in Osaka, Japan.

The Suzuki manufacturing plant has the capability to produce 100 of the three-seater EAVs per year.

SkyDrive recently agreed to sell its EAVs to an aerial tourism association in Japan and received a preorder for vehicles from the MASC General Incorporated Association, a group dedicated to promoting aerial tourism in Setouchi Islands in western Japan.

SkyDrive and MASC agreed to work together to develop commercial operations and explore potential suburban routes for the SkyDrive SD-05 flying vehicle. 

Other showrooms for EAVs have opened, such as by Florida-based Aeroauto Mobile. which has two in Florida and one being developed in Austin, Texas. A showroom also has been opened in Germany by EAV developer Pal-V.

SkyDrive recently partnered with the Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) to develop high-speed charging facilities for EAVs with the first station planned for 2024.

Tokyo-based SkyDrive and KEPCO started working together in 2022 leading to the new joint development project.

Related:Flying Car Company Partners for Aerial Tourism in Japan

KEPCO now plans to enter the AAM charging infrastructure business and has started accepting pre-orders from domestic and international customers for its charging structures.

SkyDrive last year received $82 million in a grant from the Japanese government, when the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry selected SkyDrive for the Next Generation Air Mobility Field, part of an innovation promotion project.

The grant is a Japanese government initiative to support startup companies working on advanced technologies that address challenges in society.

SkyDrive’s stated vision is “to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOLs as their daily transportation in Japan and across the world.”

SkyDrive has a deal to sell up to 50 EAVs to Solyu in Korea, which is in the business of aircraft leasing and financing and aims to use EAVs to aid the severe traffic congestion there.

SkyDrive was established in 2018 and conducted its first crewed flight test in Japan in 2019.

The company has applied for certification from Japan’s Civil Aeronautics Law, which must approve the design, structure, strength and performance of any newly developed aircraft.

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Related:Flying Car Company Teams with Charging System Developer

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, author of "Flying Vehicles," New York Times Business Bestselling author and futurist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book title "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis) followed "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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