Thales and SkyDrive give wings to safe and sustainable air mobility
SkyDrive, a pioneer of eVTOL (electrical Vertical Take-Off and Landing) in Japan, has selected Thales’s FlytRise flight control system to equip its future three-seat zero emission eVTOL aircraft, the “SKYDRIVE”. Thales’s proven and certifiable solutions will support SkyDrive’s ambitions, securing the wings of tomorrow’s urban mobility.
With ground traffic congestion and associated pollution becoming a major concern in cities around the world, eVTOL aircraft represent a disruptive solution to mobility challenges.
With the mission of “taking the lead in the once-in-a-century mobility revolution,” SkyDrive is developing eVTOL aircraft to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOL as their daily transportation.
SkyDrive has been selected to participate in Advanced Air Mobility “Smart Mobility Expo” Project at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan and the company aims to fly its "SKYDRIVE" eVTOL aircraft at the Expo. Designed to be flown with one pilot and two passengers on board for intra-city flights, the “SKYDRIVE” requires flight control solutions securing safe flights above populated areas.
Flight control system is one of the key elements of eVTOL aircraft. Calculating and adjusting the position of the aircraft's control surfaces and managing engine thrust, the fly-by-wire system is a critical element of flight safety.
Thales pioneered Fly-by-wire solutions in the 1980s with the first installation on Airbus A310. Since then, more than 12,000 aircraft have been equipped with Thales solutions. Today, Thales FlytRise materializes a new generation of flight controls, offering the “SKYDRIVE” the combined benefits of proven experience and adaptation to eVTOL requirements, in particular lightness, compactness, and autonomy-readiness.
“We are very pleased to have Thales as our partner in the field of flight control for our eVTOL aircraft the ‘SKYDRIVE’. Thales's flight controls have long been trusted in the aviation industry. As an eVTOL manufacturer, SkyDrive values safety above all, and we believe that partnering with Thales in flight control, which is a key safety-related technology, will enable us to achieve the safety objectives of our aircraft.” Arnaud Coville, SkyDrive Inc. Chief Development Officer
“While mobility is seeking new sustainable solutions, we are proud to support SkyDrive in opening the skies to urban transportation, thanks to our new generation flight controls solution enabling ‘SKYDRIVE’ to fly safely.” Jean-Paul Ebanga, Thales VP Flight Avionics
SkyDrive was formally established in July 2018 after testing flying car concepts and prototypes from 2014 with the mission of “taking the lead in the once-in-a-century mobility revolution.” Its vision is to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOLs as their daily transportation in Japan and across the world. The company succeeded in the first crewed flight test in Japan in 2019 and its eVTOL “SKYDRIVE” is in the process of acquiring its Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) certification. SkyDrive has been selected as a company to participate in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan. SkyDrive is headquartered in Toyota, Aichi. Tomohiro Fukuzawa is the CEO of the company.