Japan officially certified its very first flying taxi

Japan officially certified its very first flying taxi

For the first time in its history, Japan officially issued a safety certificate to a flying “car”.

A few days after the announcement of the Nice airports, which wants to create the future European champion of eVTOL, this still nascent industrial niche has just passed another major step. SkyDrive became the very first company of its kind to receive a official safety certification in Japan. This is the first time that the country has issued such a certification, two years after the United States.

According to a press release spotted by Interesting Engineering, this certification attests to the fact that “the design, structure, resistance and performance meet the criteria of safety and respect for the environment”. These certificates are only granted to apparatus which can show a white paw. This notably involves a battery of structural and flight behavior tests. This does not mean that the device, dubbed SD-03, can fly today; on the other hand, it clearly approaches the commercial stage.

Within a few years, SD-03 could therefore become the national leader in this new trend. But there is still a lot of work to do before he can slalom between the buildings of Tokyo. For now, this nice looking octocopter still displays relatively modest capacities. Under ideal conditions, it can reach a speed of 48km / h. But above all, it can only stay in flight for about ten minutes.

The world is preparing for a paradigm shift

Not yet enough to talk about a technological revolution; on a strictly technical level, other proposals such as those of Joby, Airspeeder or Volocopter seem more mature today. But SkyDrive is confident; he plans to market his machine in 2025, a few months after the pioneers of the sector. Volocopter, for example, wants to launch its machine in 2023. At the same time, Nice and Paris also have projects in this area, which should materialize around 2024.

But what should be remembered is above all that the Japanese government has just set a major precedent. This could speed up the process, and give ideas to other companies. Indeed, Japanese society has been dreaming of this technology for years. In 2018, the Japanese government launched a vast public-private partnership to promote this new means of transport.

This authorization opens the door wide to a real generational turning point, and Japan in turn arrives in this final stretch. Until then, SkyDrive will continue to improve the general performance of the machine. The firm also wants to develop a two-seat version from 2023, and equip the machine with automatic piloting for 2028. But they will work above all on safety, reliability and energy efficiency – three points that still largely fuel the debate. If they manage to meet their ambitious schedule, they will be right on time to ride this wave that promises to sweep the whole world.

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