In 2017, Toyota warned they wanted to prepare their flying car for 2020. They delivered. Under the SkyDrive brand, they developed an eVTOL capable of carrying a pilot inside and taking off. One step closer to your goal of "Flying taxi of the future" scheduled for 2023.
The official announcement came last Friday, when SkyDrive posted a video where shows your eVTOL in operation and taking off / landing vertically. The SD-03 (the name of the current vehicle they are developing) was tested at the Toyota Test Field in Toyota City, near Nagoya, Japan. For about five minutes, SkyDrive's “flying car” hovered through the air with no apparent problems.
In the tests we see how the pilot takes off with the eVTOL on the test track and lifts several meters into the air. After performing a series of roll and turn maneuvers, it finally landed with no apparent problems. However, that doesn't tell us much about how fast it can reach, how much weight it can support, or how long it can stay in the air.
Eight motors, four pairs of propellers, four meters and a pilot
SkyDrive / Toyota's eVTOL isn't the first, and likely won't be the last we'll see. Airbus, Boeing, Uber, Dufor Aerospace or UPS are also among the companies that are also working on this concept. So how is SkyDrive different? One of the things they mention is have the smallest eVTOL in the world.
The SD-03 has a total of four pairs of propellers (a double helix in each corner) and they say it is only two meters in height and four in width and length. By analogy, they indicate that it only takes the space of two parked cars to take off and land. Inside it houses a pilot and from the outside they say they've designed it to clearly indicate the direction the vehicle is heading and look as natural as possible.
As for its mechanics, it has a total of eight electric motors, one for each propeller. With this, they indicate that they achieve greater stability and above all safety in an emergency and part of the vehicle breaks down. Each corner has two propellers which rotate in the opposite direction driven by these motors. All thanks to electric power stored in eVTOL battery. Of course, they did not give details of the range, battery capacity or total power of these electric motors.
The brand has indicated that it will continue to perform tests over the coming months with the aim of improving eVTOL and meeting the requirements of the authorities to be able to operate (it is understood that in Japan). They hope that by the end of 2020, they will also be able to leave Toyota Test Field. In short, one more that adds to the idea of flying taxis, with 2023 as the year on the calendar. In the meantime, we dream:
More information | SkyDrive
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