I am sure many of us have been excited to see the flying cars that were often featured in the sci-fi movies. Well, it seems that it is no longer is a fictional thing. In fact, the dream of riding a flying car is not far away with the first flying car named SkyDrive SD-03 made its debut flight near the Toyota Test Field in Japan.
Sky Drive SD-03 has been built by SkyDrive, a Japanese start-up that is supported by Toyota. The company intends to make flying cars a reality by 2023. The SD-03 is a flying vehicle with a single seat, more like a prototype. When the company decides to make it available commercially, the vehicle will be having two seats. The interesting fact about this innovation is that the SD-03 will be the smallest electric vehicle the world would have seen. It has been designed as the Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing Vehicle known as eVTOL in short. The vehicle is four meters wide and two meters high and demands the same amount of space as is required by two cars parked next to each other.
The SkyDrive SD-03 resembles a sleek motorbike in many ways. This prototype has four pairs of propellers and runs with the help of an electric battery. It is said to be the new mode of transportation in future. The building of a vehicle of this sort is an indication of the company’s desire to have a society where flying cars will not only become an easily affordable mode of transportation, but also a convenient one.
This particular eVTOL took its maiden flight on August 25th. The public demonstration took place the 2.5 acres test field (10,000 square meters) owned by Toyota in Aichi. The flight lasted for approximately four minutes. Operated manually by a pilot, it also has a computerized system that monitored and controlled the vehicle’s safety as well as the stability of the flight. The smart looking vehicle is pearl white in color and exhibits a sporty look. In the front of the vehicle are H-shaped white lights while the rear end has T-shaped red lights. The SkyDrive SD-03 comes with dual sets of counter-rotating rotors in the front, while the back has two of those. The rotors at the back are covered by curved guards to protect them. There are electric motors provided to run the rotors. These are more a safety mechanism to deal with emergency situation, like unit failure.
SkyDrive SD-03 has the capacity to fly for a maximum duration of 10 minutes and at a low speed. As per the company, the next version of the vehicle will be able to fly at 40 mph for 30 minutes at one charge. The start-up has further commented that going forward it will conduct flights by complying with the provisions laid down by the Civil Aeronautics Act.
SkyDrive SD-03 forms part of the several other similar projects that have been going around, like the Uber’s flying cab or even the Flyer by Kitty Hawk Corp. While the others have sort of died down, SkyDrive SD-03 has managed to keep going, despite the prevailing pandemic that has shook the world. Though the flames of hope keep burning, it remains how feasible or viable will a flying car will actually be in the long run, and whether SkyDrive will be able to keep up with the competition that might come up in future.
Whatever said and done, the mobility company is all geared to help the world realise its vision of having flying cars in reality and not just in sci-fi films.