Named the SD-03, it made its first public flight debut at Japan’s Toyota test field.
Tokyo-based SkyDrive’s first drone took to the air in April 2020 on what was billed Japan’s first manned multi-rotor test flight.
SkyDrive has now revealed that its new slicker SD-03 model made its first public demonstration flight end of Aug 2020.
The single-seat SD-03 electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle measures two meters high, four meters in length and four meters wide (6.56 x 13.1 x 13.1 ft.), or about the footprint of two parked cars.
The exterior is a sporty pearl white, with funky H-shaped white lights to the front and a red T-shaped light to the rear.
There are two sets of counter-rotating rotors to the front and two more sets at the rear, which can be shielded behind curved protectors for safety. Eight rotors in total arranged in four sets.
Each rotor is driven by its own electric motor as a failsafe against unit failure.
For the public demonstration, the aircraft flew over Toyota’s 2.5-acre (1-hectare) test field in the Aichi prefecture for about four minutes on August 25. A human pilot was at the controls but a computer system took care of flight stability and safety.
The company now intends to widen the scope of testing to prove the technology in various conditions, with a view to seeking approval for flights beyond the test field by the end of this year.