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TEAM STORIES

A.O.

Group Manager/ AM Vehicle Development Dep./Vehicle Group

He graduated from Nagoya University with a master degree of aerospace engineering in 1996. After joining Kawasaki Heavy Industries, he has engaged in aerodynamic analysis (CFD: Computational Fluid Dynamics), aerodynamic design, wind tunnel testing, etc. for various aircrafts including fixed wing, rotary wing and rockets, for 26 years. He has led multiple joint research projects with JAXA, universities, and Boeing company.

Joined SkyDrive in 2022.

A.O. Interview

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Introduction 
A.O. plays a pivotal role in coordinating the aerodynamics, flight characteristics, flight performance, aeroelasticity, and loads for the SkyDrive SKYDRIVE eVTOL. His responsibilities extend across rotor aerodynamics and structure design. Working in close collaboration with the electric motor and teams, His group ensures a comprehensive simulation of the entire project and takes charge of calculating flight performance.

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Background 
Hailing from the picturesque Yamaguchi prefecture in Japan, renowned for its traditional bridges immortalized in movies, his childhood home provided a unique vantage point near a US base. The sight of formation touch and go by military aircraft from his elementary school roof ignited his passion for aerospace. In his younger days, He also had learned the joy of crafting with radio-controlled cars and gliders.

His journey into the aerospace industry culminated in a master’s degree, followed by a remarkable 26-year tenure at Kawasaki Heavy Industries. During this time, he contributed to diverse projects spanning aerodynamics, rotary-wing aircraft,fixed-wing aircraft, launch vehicles, missile design, motorcycles, and the Shinkansen. He enjoyed confronting various aerodynamic phenomena, from conceptual design to defect countermeasures.

Subsequently, he led projects in aerodynamics, encompassing subsonic, transonic,supersonic, and hypersonic designs. In the last several years, he has been involved in development programs from a project perspective and gained extensive insights into dynamics, structure, and avionics across the spectrum of aircraft design. Contemplating the future, he recognized certification as a significant challenge, especially in uncharted territories within the aerospace industry.

Role at SkyDrive 
Motivated by SkyDrive being the sole advanced air mobility (AAM) company in Japan applying for certification, he joined the team. His diverse international team, with members from around the globe, embraces an inclusive working style. Daily, weekly, and monthly meetings bridge the physical and temporal gaps, necessitating meticulous tracking of tasks across different time zones—a challenge that he finds invigorating. His preference lies in overseeing the aircraft’s overall design and layout.

Challenges and Success Stories 
Confronting the challenge of technical conversations in English as a native Japanese speaker, he highlights the nuanced differences in terminology between everyday conversations and technical discourse. While most team members share an aerospace background, interactions with those from the automotive industry underscore the need for precise communication to avoid misunderstandings.