The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

SkyDrive was launched in 2018 as part of Japan's Cartivator consortium to advance plans for both a flying car and a cargo-carrying unmanned aircraft.  It was ready to start taking orders for the 30-kg payload cargo drone as of May 2020. The company is aiming to have the initial SD-03 model of flying car type certified by Japanese authorities before the end of 2023. On August 24, 2020, the SkyDrive team achieved a first public, manned flight with the SD-03 and indicated it intended to step up flight testing of the single-seat vehicle.

On September 30, 2019, the company announced that it had raised $14 million in a Series A funding round, taking its total to $18.5 million. Its backers include Drone Fund, Z Corporation, Strive III Limited Liability Partnership, ITOCHU Technology Ventures Inc., and Energy & Environment Investment Inc. On August 28, 2020, SkyDrive announced it had raised just over $31 million in a Series B funding round. It was supported by several of the Series A backers along with new investors such as the Development Bank of Japan, Itochu Corporation, Eneos Innovation Partners, Obayashi Corporation, NEC Corporation, ViviServe Corporation, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company. The company is also backed by an extensive network of "corporate sponsors," many of which are leading Japanese corporations. As of the end of August 2020, the company had raised a total of around $60 million since its inception.

Timeline

Projected

first delivery

SkyDrive says its SD-03 flying car will be certified and in service before the end of 2023.

Missed Projection

test flight

First public, manned flight of the SD-03 flying car

Outlook

Our objective assessment of this program’s probable success.

FutureFlight assesses the probability of success for a new aircraft program by considering the following criteria:

  • Total investment funds available in proportion to the anticipated cost of getting an aircraft certified and in service
  • A company’s in-house capability (in terms of numbers of engineers, technical staff, and customer support teams)
  • The past experience of the company and its senior leadership in developing aircraft
  • The caliber and past experience of key program partners
  • Whether key aircraft systems have been selected and are available for use
  • Whether the preliminary design review has been completed
  • Whether the design for the full-scale prototype has been completed
  • Whether the type certification process has been formally initiated with an appropriate regulator
  • Whether the company has achieved a first flight with a full-scale prototype
  • The number of hours logged in a flight test program
  • Whether type certification has been achieved
  • The number of orders and commitment received for the aircraft
  • Whether the company has adequate facilities to begin series production of the aircraft
Our Methodology

SkyDrive seems to enjoy a high degree of "sponsorship" support from a long list of leading Japanese companies, laying a foundation for partnerships that may help it get its flying cars and other urban air mobility products to market. As of August 2020, it had completed both Series A and B funding rounds to raise around $50 million. The first public manned flight of its SD-03 vehicle also represented a significant landmark in its ambitious timeline to bring the product into service before the end of 2023.

SkyDrive Models

SkyDrive Cargo Drone Specifications

autonomous vtol Lift + Cruise

Performance

  • Passenger Capacity
  • Range
    25 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    n/a
  • Powerplant Type
    propeller
  • Power Source
    electric
  • Endurance
    15 min
  • Max Altitude
    n/a
  • Takeoff Distance
    n/a
  • Landing Distance
    n/a
  • Empty Weight
    55 lb
  • MGTOW
    n/a
  • Payload Weight
    66 lb

Dimensions

  • Length
    n/a
  • Width
    n/a
  • Height
    n/a
  • Wingspan
    n/a

SkyDrive is working on plans for a cargo drone that could be mounted on a light truck and with an initial payload of around 66 pounds. Longer-term plans envisage increasing payload to 220 pounds. The design features four sets of twin propellers on beams protruding from either side of a slender fuselage. The cargo load would be attached beneath the fuselage.

Investors

Total Amount Invested: $45m

Key Personnel

Tomohiro Fukuzawa
Tomohiro Fukuzawa

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)