Japanese-based eVTOL maker, SkyDrive, this week announced it has received its first order from a private party of its SD-05 two-seat eVTOL. The SD-05 has already received numerous orders from commercial operators since its unveiling last year, but the first order comes from long-time SkyDrive investor, Kotaro Chiba.
Chiba has invested in SkyDrive since 2018 and is the co-founder and managing director of DRONE FUND. DRONE FUND is a venture capital firm that focuses on drone technology and advanced air mobility (AAM) industry which aims to develop these technologies globally. Chiba is an angel investor with over 60 start-ups as well as 50 venture capital funds experience.
Chiba said “In 2018, I was captivated by SkyDrive’s vision of the future and its innovative aircraft, fueling my dream of flying cars. Upon seeing the company’s first prototype, I was convinced that my dream was finally within reach, and I enthusiastically made the decision to invest in SkyDrive. Driven by my passion for the first flying car of the future, I obtained my private pilot license. Since then, SkyDrive has conducted successful crewed test flights and applied for type certification, further solidifying my confidence in the team’s ability to make the dream a reality. I eagerly anticipate the exciting adventures that lie ahead in the skies with SD-05.”
Tomohiro Fukuzawa, Founder & CEO of SkyDrive Inc., said “Since we unveiled the design of our SD-05 in September 2022, we have received numerous inquiries, not only from companies but also from private individuals. As we aim to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOLs as their daily transportation, we understand that it is important that we have an option for individuals to own their aircraft. We received inquiries from Mr. Chiba more than once and we are truly grateful that he confirmed the pre-order as the first individual owner right after we decided to receive pre-orders from individuals. We will develop fully automated aircraft in the future and further promote the realization of a society where everyone utilizes the sky for daily transportation.”
SkyDrive did not disclose the terms of the new personal-use preorder agreements, including whether or not they are backed by a down payment. The company has also not revealed the purchase price for the SD-05 vehicle, which it aims to start delivering in 2025.
Why it matters: Owner-operator arrangements for eVTOL aircraft offer private owners access to aerial mobility and true freedom to travel with fewer limitations than those placed on commercial operators. With deliveries starting in 2025, SkyDrive continues to be one of the leading eVTOL makers to market and has built a strong order book and recently secured an additional round of Series C funding.
Source: SkyDrive Press Release