SkyDrive Inc., an eVTOL aircraft manufacturer based in Japan, has selected Thales to provide flight control system for its production eVTOL aircraft, the SKYDRIVE.
By 2050, urban populations are set to more than double, with 7 out 10 of the world’s inhabitants living in cities. New forms of mobility will emerge and electrical vertical takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft will be part of the solution, with around 40,000 such aircraft flying by 2035.
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.
The 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.
“Thales's flight controls have long been trusted in the aviation industry,” said Arnaud Coville, SkyDrive Inc. Chief Development Officer. “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.”