Japanese Startup Conducts Manned Test of "Flying Car"

Economy Science Technology

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japanese startup SkyDrive Inc. has conducted a manned test flight of a "flying car" prototype.

The company said Friday that it has secured a total of 3.9 billion yen in funding for flying car development from the government-backed Development Bank of Japan and nine other investors. SkyDrive hopes to put its flying cars into practical use by fiscal 2023.

The test flight was conducted Tuesday at a facility in the city of Toyota in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan. The roughly 400-kilogram one-seater prototype rose about 2 meters above ground using eight propellers and slowly flew around the testing site for about four minutes.

"We took a step closer to a society" where flying cars are an accessible and convenient means of transportation, Tomohiro Fukuzawa, head of the company, said.

The prototype is around 2 meters in height, and 4 meters each in length and width. It can fly at a speed of up to 40 to 50 kilometers per hour. Currently, it can fly for only five to 10 minutes, and cannot be driven on the ground. The company hopes to develop a vehicle that can be driven at 60 kph on the ground as well as being able to fly.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press