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SkyDrive SD-05

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SkyDrive sets UAM sights on Vietnam's skies
SkyDrive has received a pre-order for up to 100 flying vehicles from Pacific Group. Together they will investigate UAM operations and infrastructure across Vietnam.
SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa and Pacific Group executive president and founder Le Ngoc Anh Minh seal the deal.
Read this story in our December 2022 printed issue.

Japan-based eVTOL manufacturer SkyDrive has signed an MoU with Pacific Group, a Vietnam-based company engaged in renewable energy and investment promotion with international funds, and has agreed on a pre-order of 10 of its SD-05 eVTOL and a conditional pre-order option for up to 90 vehicles. Pacific Group has also agreed to explore sustainable and easily accessible new mobility solutions in the Vietnamese market, focused on the use case of SkyDrive's SD-05s.

Significant traffic congestion occurs on a daily basis and remains a societal problem in Vietnam, and SkyDrive and Pacific Group will explore the requirements for eVTOL operations there. They will also evaluate other commercial considerations such as vertiports, route and network planning, infrastructure requirements and ecosystem with interested players who can help launch mobility solutions across the country.

“The urban streets in Vietnam, crowded with motorcycles, cars and lorries, are vibrant and exciting. However, considering the current social problem of traffic safety and greenhouse gas emissions, I think this is one of the most important social issues that need to be addressed," says SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa. "The amount of road traffic is only increasing, and it takes time to develop roads and parking lots. We would be happy to contribute to solving Vietnam's social issues by providing eVTOLs as one of the country's new transportation infrastructures. Working with such a respected Vietnamese company with a wide variety of business networks will accelerate our ability to enter the Vietnamese market. Together with Pacific Group, we look to offer the Vietnamese community and market a new way to move around and a new way to enjoy air travel within the country.”

“At COP26, the Vietnamese government committed to go net-zero by 2050. Several companies and localities in Vietnam trend to zero-emission energy consumption, and zero-emission transportation is a must in the near future. On the other hand, we can foresee the need for eVTOL aircraft in big cities in Asia such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to provide a new generation of transportation means,” says Pacific Group executive president and founder Le Ngoc Anh Minh. “Of course, we will have to work closely with SkyDrive, and authorities such as the Vietnam Transport Ministry, Civil Aviation Agency of Vietnam and Vietnam Ministry of Defence from time to time, to explain and present the trend and technology of eVTOL to get approval, and to enhance and update regulations. There are many hurdles such as transport facilities, regulation and also the perception of the community to overcome, but we shall work together with SkyDrive to solve each one. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Vietnamese and Japanese diplomatic relations, and we really hope to hold a number of activities with SkyDrive to promote this eVTOL, not only for our business, but also to contribute to a scientific and friendly collaboration between the two nations.”

The SD-05 is a two seat, electric-powered compact aircraft with vertical take off and landing capabilities. Operated by a driver-pilot, its flight stability is secured with the assistance of a computer-controlled flight system. SkyDrive is developing flying vehicles with an eye toward realising a world where they are used in daily life for air mobility, much as automobiles are used for daily ground transportation.

SkyDrive is in the process of acquiring a type certificate for the SD-05 from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). The company continues to work toward initiating practical use of flying cars during the World Exposition Osaka, Kansai scheduled for 2025. The SD-05 is designed to travel up to approximately 10 km and the maximum cruise speed is 100 km/h. However, design and specifications are subject to change and the progress of design development.

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The companies plan to operate demonstration electric air taxi flights at the expo. Joby has already applied for type certification of its five seat eVTOL aircraft in Japan, and ANA is a key pillar to introducing the technology.
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SkyDrive aims to realise an FAA compliant AAM ecosystem within the state, laying out infrastructure requirements for airports so as to begin commercial operations in 2026.