Technology

Japan’s ‘Flying Car’ completes first manned test flight

The flight took place in a heavily guarded zone at the 10,000-square-meter Toyota Test Field, one of the largest test fields in Japan.   | Photo Credit: SkyDrive

Humans are moving a step closer to flying cars. Japanese company SkyDrive successfully completed its first manned flight of a car at its base near Toyota city.

The single-seater SD-03 car model took off, and flew over the Toyota test field for about four minutes. The flight was operated by a pilot, and assisted by a computer control system to ensure flight stability and safety.

Meanwhile, technical staff at the field monitored flight conditions and aircraft performance at all times as backup.

"We are extremely excited to have achieved Japan's first-ever manned flight of a flying car in the two years since we founded SkyDrive... with the goal of commercializing such aircraft," CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said in a statement.

"We want to realize a society where flying cars are an accessible and convenient means of transportation in the skies and people are able to experience a safe, secure, and comfortable new way of life.”

The slick vehicle with propellers has been designed to be the world's smallest electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) model as a new means of transportation in the near future. It measures two meters high by four meters wide and four meters long and requires the parking space of two vehicles.

The powertrain of the enlarged drone-like vehicle consists of electric motors that drive rotors deployed in four locations, with each location housing two rotors that individually rotate in opposite directions. The use of eight motors is a means of ensuring safety in emergency situations during flight and as such aims to address compliance standards and allay potential regulatory concerns.

“We will continue to develop technologies and acquire type certification so that safe and secure flying car operation services can be launched in fiscal 2023,” Nobuo KISHI, CTO said.

The company did not disclose details on the price of the vehicle.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 8:33:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/japans-flying-car-completes-first-manned-test-flight/article32510469.ece

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