Japanese aviation startup SkyDrive to bring air taxis to US

27 January 2023
One of the metropolitan airports where SkyDrive will have its base of operations in the U.S. Source: SkyDrive

Aviation startup SkyDrive Inc., a developer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, announced it will enter the U.S. air taxi market and build a home base in South Carolina.

The company made the announcement at the VFS eVTOL Symposium in Mesa, Arizona, where SkyDrive outlined its plan to develop an air mobility ecosystem in South Carolina for practical use cases involving air taxis. The company plans to work with local and state government agencies on the ecosystem.

Part of the South Carolina ecosystem involves using several of the state’s major airports for SkyDrive’s eVTOL aircraft called the SD-052. The company plans to begin commercial operations in 2026.

“The decision to make South Carolina our home base and our window into the U.S. market was an easy one considering that it is a significant player in both the commercial and military aviation industries, and it is home to more than 400 aerospace and aviation companies including Boeing and Lockheed Martin,” said Tomohiro Fukuzawa, founder and CEO of SkyDrive. “I sincerely believe that the vast number of resources available in South Carolina will provide SkyDrive with a substantial platform that enables us to achieve our goals.”

Ideal location

SkyDrive said beyond the state being a player in commercial and aviation, South Carolina has a mild climate most of the year, tourism communities and airports that are located near city centers. This makes it a good fit for air taxi proliferation and testing, the company said.

Additionally, with Boeing and Lockheed Martin located in the state, South Carolina has proven aerospace manufacturing prowess and a supply chain for aircraft including Toray Carbon Magic Co, one of SkyDrive’s major suppliers.

To contact the author of this article, email

Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter