Korean aircraft leasing group Solyu Company plans to acquire up to 50 of SkyDrive’s eVTOL vehicles to its portfolio. In a memorandum of understanding signed on September 15, Solyu agreed to provisional pre-orders for the three-seat SD-05 aircraft.
Seoul-based Solyu is preparing to provide equipment to support the anticipated demand for advanced air mobility services in South Korea, where the government has expressed support for the new mode of transportation as part of plans to reduce urban road congestion. The company also intends to include other electric airplanes, including new eSTOL models that only need short runways to operate, in its leasing portfolio. Earlier this month, Solyu signed a provisional agreement to buy 25 of Eviation’s Alice electric regional aircraft.
In June, Japan-based SkyDrive announced a redesign of its eVTOL design, to add an extra seat to accommodate a pilot plus two passengers. The company has begun a type certification process with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau and aims to have the SD-05 certified and ready to enter commercial service in 2026. The aircraft is intended purely for short journeys, with an anticipated range of just 15 km (9 miles).
Recently, SkyDrive signed provisional sales agreements with Vietnamese technology group CT covering the purchase of 100 of the SD-05 model and with South Carolina-based operator Austin Aviation for 5 units. It also holds “pre-orders” for 10 more of the eVTOL vehicles from Vietnamese renewable energy company Pacific Group. The company has also secured some orders from clients in Japan.
“This is the first pre-order from a leasing company and we are very grateful to be able to proceed with the Solyu team with extensive experience in the aircraft leasing industry,” commented SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa. “We look forward to working with Solyu to open up the Korean market and to contribute to the goal. Of reducing CO2 emissions in the Korean aviation sector.”