SkyDrive recently signed a memorandum of understanding with MASC General Incorporated Association and the Setouchi Islands in Japan. The strategic alliance includes a pre-order of the SKYDRIVE SD-05 eVTOL aircraft.

The SkyDrive SD-05 is one of Japan’s leading eVTOL designs, and follows the trends of similar Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) projects with its eco-friendly, efficient, and innovative approach to transportation. The SD-05’s expected integration into the Setouchi Islands’ transport infrastructure is a testament to the potential for eVTOL aircraft to revolutionize how communities engage with their geography, particularly in areas where traditional transportation has been limited by natural landscapes.

MASC’s commitment to aerial tourism using eVTOL technology also aligns mobility technology deployment with regional revitalization efforts, turning the Setouchi Islands into a hub for AAM technology. The new eVTOL Exhibition Hall in Kurashiki-city will serve as an indicator of the importance of industry education and will also underscore the region’s ambition to become a leader in AAM by creating an industrial cluster dedicated to advanced aerial mobility.

The collaboration between SkyDrive and MASC is a joint effort to chart new courses for suburban air travel and to stimulate local economies through sustainable development. With the SkyDrive eVTOL aircraft, the Setouchi Islands could see an enhanced quality of life, increased tourism, and economic diversification.

SkyDrive’s trajectory, from conceptualization to imminent production—slated to begin in Spring 2024 with Suzuki Motor Company—underlines the company’s rapid progress and commitment to AAM. The SD-05 is pending Japan Civil Aviation Bureau certification, a crucial step towards more mobility options in Japan and toward increased global certification bases for aerial mobility.

Why it’s important: This partnership is another example of commitment toward different use cases for aerial mobility aircraft and for a widening of geographical deployment and civil aviation agency certification approaches, which showcase the transformative impact of eVTOL technology within regional transportation networks. SkyDrive’s new partnership with MASC will help tourists see islands more sustainably, but also open the potential for more sustainable flight projects with widening scopes in the future.

Posted by Naish Gaubatz