Japan Produces a Flying Car… Maybe

Japanese company SkyDrive has turned out a flying car… or have they? Not everyone agrees that the SkyDrive flying car is really a flying car.

The problem is in the definition.

The SkyDrive SD-03 can definitely fly. In the recent public test, the vehicle flew around for four minutes, a shorter flight than the Wright Brothers managed in 1904. The SD-03 hovered at about 10 feet above the ground. Observers weren’t sure the SD-03 counts as a plane, but they were fairly confident that it’s not a car.

For one thing, unlike earlier attempts at flying cars, this one doesn’t have any wheels.

The makers, who are sponsored by Toyota, plan to add wheels by the end of the year. They just wanted to make sure the SD-03 could fly first.

The eight-engine vehicle will require two parking spaces. It’s currently the smallest electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle in the world. The SD-03 is a one-seater, and requires a pilot.

Commuter options

SkyDrive is planning to roll out the two-seater SD-XX prototype by the end of the year. They expect it to have wheels, to fly at up to 37 miles an hour, and to have a range of 12 to 18 miles. That’s not a big step forward compared to a car, if you have the typical 20 minute commute to work.


But SkyDrive is expecting to see practical flying cars for individual and commercial use within the next decade or two. The SkyDrive flying car is closer to a practical flying car than any of the others that have tried and failed in the last century.

In fact, they’ve already brought out a practical cargo drone.

Design Director Takumi Yamamoto says of SkyDrive, “The charismatic vehicle was designed with the keywords of Progressive and Cool. I think that it will play an active part as your partner, a compact coupe flying in the sky.”

While we wait for our flying cars, contact us for any service or support you need for your Rexroth drive and control systems.

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