●By 2050, urban populations are set to more than double, with 7 out 10 of the world’s inhabitants living in cities. New forms of mobility will emerge and electrical Vertical and Landing (eVTOL) will be part of the solution, with around 40,000 such aircraft flying by 2035.
●SkyDrive, a pioneer of eVTOL in Japan, has selected Thales’s FlytRise flight control system to equip its future three-seat zero emission eVTOL aircraft, the “SKYDRIVE”
●Thales’s proven and certifiable solutions will support SkyDrive’s ambitions, securing the wings of tomorrow’s urban mobility
With ground traffic congestion and associated pollution becoming a major concern in cities around the world, eVTOL aircraft represent a disruptive solution to mobility challenges.
With the mission of “taking the lead in the once-in-a-century mobility revolution,” SkyDrive is developing eVTOL aircraft to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOL as their daily transportation. SkyDrive has been selected to participate in Advanced Air Mobility “Smart Mobility Expo” Project at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan and the company aims to fly its “SKYDRIVE” eVTOL aircraft at the Expo. Designed to be flown with one pilot and two passengers on board for intra-city flights, the “SKYDRIVE” requires flight control solutions securing safe flights above populated areas.
Flight control system is one of the key elements of eVTOL aircraft. Calculating and adjusting the position of the aircraft’s control surfaces and managing engine thrust, the fly-by-wire system is a critical element of flight safety.
Thales pioneered Fly-by-wire solutions in the 1980s with the first installation on Airbus A310. Since then, more than 12,000 aircraft have been equipped with Thales solutions. Today, Thales FlytRise materializes a new generation of flight controls, offering the “SKYDRIVE” the combined benefits of proven experience and adaptation to eVTOL requirements, in particular lightness, compactness, and autonomy-readiness.
Comment by Arnaud Coville, SkyDrive Inc. Chief Development Officer
“We are very pleased to have Thales as our partner in the field of flight control for our eVTOL aircraft the ‘SKYDRIVE’. Thales’s flight controls have long been trusted in the aviation industry. As an eVTOL manufacturer, SkyDrive values safety above all, and we believe that partnering with Thales in flight control, which is a key safety-related technology, will enable us to achieve the safety objectives of our aircraft.”
Comment by Jean-Paul Ebanga, Thales VP Flight Avionics
“While mobility is seeking new sustainable solutions, we are proud to support SkyDrive in opening the skies to urban transportation, thanks to our new generation flight controls solution enabling ‘SKYDRIVE’ to fly safely.”
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 “SKYDRIVE” 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/
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies within three domains: Defence & Security, Aeronautics & Space, and Digital Identity & Security. It develops products and solutions that help make the world safer, greener and more inclusive.
The Group invests close to €4 billion a year in Research & Development, particularly in key areas such as quantum technologies, Edge computing, 6G and cybersecurity.
Thales has 77,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2022, the Group generated sales of €17.6 billion.
(*1) eVTOL is short for electric vertical takeoff and landing. eVTOL aircraft are characterized by electrification, a fully autonomous autopilot, and vertical takeoff and landing. It is also called Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) or Urban Air Mobility (UAM).
(*2) Related press release: https://en.skydrive2020.com/archives/9455
SkyDrive, Media Contact
Thales, Media Relations
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