SkyDrive granted $82m contract by Japan government


SkyDrive has been awarded a contract worth over $82m by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to develop its eVTOL.

The contract comes under the ‘Next-generation Air Mobility Field’ of the small and medium enterprise innovation promotion project – aka SBIR Phase3. Similar to contracts seen in the US, SBIR programme is a Japanese government initiative to grant startup companies working on advanced technologies that address societal challenges.

 SkyDrive has been granted  approximately(approximately, USD 82,666,666) (*2) which will support the development of innovative technologies aimed at enhancing future social implementation, including reducing traffic congestion and lower emissions.

SkyDrive’s 12.4b yen funding will go towards developing its multicopter eVTOL. The aircraft will carry two passengers and a pilot with a maximum takeoff weight of less than 1.5 tons. Developers say the design features a unique patent pending rotor frame technology that allows it to land on rooftops. SkyDrive wants to get the aircraft certified within the next five years.

Earlier this month, SkyDrive revealed it has established a production centre capable of delivering 100 per year in a Suzuki plant as part of the two firms’ ongoing strategic partnership. 

SkyDrive has provisional sales agreements with operators globally, including Japan, South Korea and the US, as well as some initial private-use orders.