TOYOTA CITY, JAPAN, April 13, 2023 – SkyDrive Inc. (“SkyDrive”), a leading electric vertical takeoff & landing (eVTOL)1 aircraft manufacturer based in Japan, today announced that the company is now accepting pre-orders for its eVTOL aircraft SD-05 for personal use. Mr. Kotaro Chiba, a licensed pilot and the first owner of a HondaJet in Japan, becomes the first private customer of SkyDrive SD-05.
SkyDrive has focused on developing its business-to-business pre-order sales since it unveiled design of the SD-05 in September 2022. As of today, SkyDrive is also happy to report that the Vietnamese developer Pacific Group agreed to pre-order up to 100 SD-05 aircraft, with ten confirmed pre-orders and 90 conditional pre-order options2.
After careful consideration, having received numerous inquiries from individuals expressing interest in acquiring the SD-05, SkyDrive has agreed to open pre-order sales to the general public.
Mr. Chiba, co-founder and managing partner of DRONE FUND, became the first shareholder of SkyDrive through this fund in November 2018. 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. Mr. Chiba is an angel investor with over 60 start-ups as well as 50 venture capital funds experience.
Mr. Kotaro 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.”
Video: 【SkyDrive】The First Individual Customer is Mr. Kotaro Chiba
About SkyDrive SD-05
SD-05 is a two-seat, electric-powered compact aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. Operated by a driver-pilot, its flight stability is secured with the assistance of a computer-controlled flight system. SkyDrive is in the process of acquiring a type certificate for SD-05 from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), as the first of its kind in Japan3. SD-05 is designed to travel up to approx. 10 km and the maximum cruise speed is 100 km/h 4.
Inquiries About Pre-order for SD-05:
Air Mobility Business Development Team
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: https://en.skydrive2020.com/archives/8270
3.Related press release: https://en.skydrive2020.com/archives/7336
4.Information as of April 13, 2023
About Mr. Kotaro Chiba
Mr. Kotaro Chiba is an experienced angel investor who has invested in over 60 start-ups and 50 venture capital funds. He is the co-founder and managing partner of DRONE FUND, a venture capital firm that focuses on the drone and air mobility industry and aims to create a society where such technologies are widely used. In 2012, as Executive Vice President, Mr. Chiba contributed to the listing of COLOPL, Inc. (COLOPL) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) Mothers. In 2014, COLOPL was listed on the First Section of the TSE. In November 2018, he became the first shareholder of SkyDrive through DRONE FUND. In April 2019, he was appointed as an invited professor at Keio University, one of Japan’s leading private universities. Mr. Chiba currently serves on the Board of Directors of PONO CAPITAL, a US company listed on the NASDAQ. He is an aviation enthusiast and holds a private pilot license. He is the first HondaJet customer in Japan and enjoys flying his aircraft in domestic and international skies.
About SkyDrive Inc.
SkyDrive was formally established in July 2018 after testing flying car concepts and prototypes from 2014 with the mission of “taking the lead in the once-in-a-century mobility revolution.” Its vision is to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOLs as their daily transportation in Japan and across the world. The company succeeded in the first crewed flight test in Japan in 2019 and its eVTOL “SD-05” is in the process of acquiring its Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) certification. SkyDrive has been selected as a company to participate in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan. SkyDrive is headquartered in Toyota, Aichi. Tomohiro Fukuzawa is the CEO of the company.
For more information, please visit: https://en.skydrive2020.com/