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Sun, Jul 23, 2023

SkyDrive to Introduce Eponymous eVTOL

South Carolina eVTOL Network Planned

SkyDrive Inc., a Tokyo-based Japanese eVTOL maker, and Austin Aviation Inc. a Part 135 charter operator and subsidiary of Waterloo, South Carolina’s Lowcountry Aviation Company (LCA) have announced a pre-order Letter of Intent (LOI) by which Austin Aviation will take delivery of up to five of the Japanese concern’s eponymous SKYDRIVE eVTOL aircraft.

SkyDrive’s intentions to enter the U.S. eVTOL market and establish a home base in South Carolina were announced in January 2023 during the Vertical Flight Society’s (VFS) annual eVTOL Symposium.

Introduced at 2023’s Paris Air-Show, SkyDrive’s three-person, manned SKYDRIVE eVTOL incorporates the company’s patented rotor dome design.

SkyDrive, in cooperation with a network of South Carolina airports, customers, stakeholders, and vendors, seeks to establish eVTOL networks linking the Palmetto State’s rural areas to its major airports. Subject networks will be serviced by the company’s SKYDRIVE eVTOL exclusively.

As part of a previously announced strategic alliance, SkyDrive and Volatus Infrastructure, LLC have agreed to contribute to the creation of operational Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) infrastructure.

SkyDrive aims to commence commercial eVTOL operations upon the completion of essential development milestones defined and facilitated, in part, by Volatus.

As SkyDrive develops its eVTOL network and continues to broaden its North American presence from its U.S. base in Beaufort, South Carolina, the company will utilize, initially, Lowcountry Aviation’s extant facilities on an as-needed basis.

SkyDrive founder and CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa stated: “We have received an overwhelming amount of support from local, regional, and state organizations here in South Carolina to develop our technology and operations within the state. We are thrilled to be taking this next step of working more closely with all South Carolina stakeholders, with the ultimate aim of placing South Carolina at the forefront of the AAM infrastructure development in the U.S. and making our aircraft more widely accessible in the future.”

Austin Aviation President Alex Cavazzoni set forth: “Sustainable electric propulsion vertical take-off and landing vehicles are the next new exciting challenge in General Aviation, following the early lead of the automotive industry with electric propulsion. With the SKYDRIVE vehicle and all South Carolina stakeholders, we look forward to being a part of this next exciting chapter in general aviation, as this new pioneering electric technology matures into reality.”

Volatus Infrastructure, LLC co-founder Grant Fisk remarked: “We are honored to be included in the AAM vision for South Carolina and are excited to be working alongside SkyDrive to develop a statewide AAM infrastructure plan. We hope this sets the tone for the AAM industry in the U.S. and allows for greater advancement and accessibility.”

South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III declared: “Congratulations to SkyDrive on its alliances with Austin Aviation and Volatus. In choosing to base its U.S. operations in South Carolina, SkyDrive is capitalizing on the state’s advanced and capable aerospace industry—as well as our supportive, dynamic business community—to further integrate this innovation into the market. We look forward to seeing the SKYDRIVE eVTOL aircraft take flight.”

Beaufort, South Carolina Mayor Stephen Murray asserted: “The City of Beaufort is proud to be the U.S. homebase for SkyDrive and we are excited to see their business take-off through continued partnerships with global and regional suppliers. The Lowcountry and South Carolina are poised to be a dominant player in the eVTOL and EV industry because of the hard work and resources made available by Team Beaufort and Team South Carolina.”

FMI: https://en.skydrive2020.com

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