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SkyDrive Welcomes Dr. Arnaud Coville, former CTO of Volocopter, as Chief Development Officer

SkyDrive Welcomes Dr. Arnaud Coville, former CTO of Volocopter, as Chief Development Officer

TOYOTA CITY, JAPAN, January 10, 2023 – SkyDrive Inc. (“SkyDrive”), a leading Japanese eVTOL1 manufacturer, today announced that Arnaud Coville, an aviation industry veteran with 30 years of experience and former Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Volocopter GmbH, became the Chief Development Officer (CDO) of SkyDrive. He joined SkyDrive on January 1st 2023.

From the left, Arnaud Coville (CDO) and Tomohiro Fukuzawa (CEO)

SkyDrive is currently engaged in the development of a compact, electric-powered aircraft named “SkyDrive SD-052.” The company reached a key milestone when the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau accepted its application for type certification of the SD-05 in October, 2021. SkyDrive intends to use the SD-05 as a commercial passenger aircraft in the Osaka Bay area beginning in 2025.

Arnaud Coville holds a Ph.D. in automatic control and robotics, and has three decades of experience in the aircraft industry. At Airbus, he has been in various management positions responsible for the development of vehicles, systems and structures in programs of helicopters and large aircrafts. At Volocopter, he has been responsible for organizing and growing the engineering organization and leading development projects as CTO. He will further accelerate the development of the SD-05 by leveraging his experiences in aircraft development at Airbus and leading eVTOL development at Volocopter.

Arnaud (CDO) will be the new leader of the development team to build SD-05, and Nobuo Kishi (CTO) will focus more on the type certification3 process. They will work closely together and aim for entering into service in 2025.

From the left, Arnaud Coville (CDO) and Nobuo Kishi (CTO)
A Brief Work History of Dr. Arnaud Coville
Jul 2000     System Engineer at Fairchild Dornier GmbH
Nov 2002  Project Manager of Integrated Modular Avionics for the Airbus A380 at Diehl Aerospace GmbH
Jan 2005   Program Manager at Airbus Group
Mar 2015    Helicopter Program Manager for H135 at Airbus Group
Jun 2018      Project Manager of Transformation/Digitalization at Airbus Helicopters
May 2020    Head of Volocity Development at Volocopter GmbH
Jul 2020       Chief Technical Officer at Volocopter GmbH
Arnaud Coville, CDO of SkyDrive Inc.

I am proud to join SkyDrive as the company has big potential to play a leading role in the industry. I believe that my international expertise will contribute to growing its engineering team and accelerating the development of eVTOL aircraft. I look forward to working with all the SkyDrive teams to ensure that our first commercial model flying car, the SD-05, is a market success.

Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO of SkyDrive Inc.

We are thrilled to have Arnaud Coville as our CDO. He has gained remarkable management skills over the course of his career at major enterprises as well as a startup. I firmly believe that his extensive experiences not only in conventional aircraft development but also in a new type of air mobility will be invaluable to us as we seek to take the lead in the once-in-a-century mobility revolution from Japan.

Editor’s Note:

1.eVTOL is short for electric vertical takeoff and landing. eVTOLs are characterized by electrification, autopilot, and vertical take-off and landing. As a new advancement in the field of mobility, the development of eVTOLs is being promoted in many countries around the world. In Japan, the Public-Private Council for Air Mobility Revolution was established in 2018 with meetings held since then.

2.Related press release:

3.In Japan, a type certification is issued by MLIT in accordance with Japan’s Civil Aeronautics Law to certify that the design, structure, strength, and performance of a newly developed aircraft conform with necessary safety and environmental requirements for the given type of aircraft. Certification is granted only after the aircraft completes a battery of studies and tests, including strength and flight tests.

SkyDrive Inc.
Public Relations

SkyDrive Welcomes Dr. Arnaud Coville, former CTO of Volocopter, as Chief Development Officer