In August 2020, SkyDrive Inc. conducted the first manned flight of a flying car in Japan with official success. SkyDrive is developing the system to make it practical by the end of 2023.
Flying cars, which are under development and competition around the world, can be divided into two main types: large and small aircraft. The former is 10 meters square in size, and the latter is about 3 meters square. Large aircraft have a range of about 300 km, while small aircraft have a range of about 30 km. So, a large one is good for long-distance travel, while a small one is good for short-distance travel.
Large aircraft are likely to be made in Europe and the U.S., where the land is big and travel distances are long. In Asia, including Japan, small aircraft will become more common. In Japan, people work on making compact aircraft that can be used easily in everyday life and can take off and land in small places like building rooftops.
SkyDrive Inc. aims to create a world in which the sky can be utilized in an overwhelmingly accessible manner by summarizing the features of the small flying car in the following three points:
(1) Low cost and low noise due to electric power
(2) Easy to operate and can be operated automatically.
(3) Vertical takeoff and landing enable point-to-point movement and compact infrastructure.
As a national project, Japan wants to show off a “flying car” to the rest of the world at the Osaka-Kansai Expo in 2025.