Thales and SkyDrive are working together on the advanced eVTOL programme to ensure it is launched in a safe and efficient manner, said Jean-Paul Ebanga, Thales’ vice president of flight avionics.

Speaking to FINN, he said: “Many things are going on right now, it’s a very exciting period. Thales will provide the most advanced flight control systems to SkyDrive to make sure that this platform will be able to operate very safely in a city environment.”

With ground traffic congestion and associated pollution becoming a major concern in cities around the world, eVTOL aircraft represent a disruptive solution to mobility challenges.

SkyDrive eVTOL aircraft

SkyDrive is developing eVTOL aircraft to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOL as their daily transportation.

SkyDrive has been selected to participate in the Advanced Air Mobility “Smart Mobility Expo” Project at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan.

The company aims to fly its 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.

A 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 Fly-by-wire solutions

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 provides 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.

Ebanga added: “We are bringing the best of the two worlds. SkyDrive is a startup which has been very successful so far, but being able to operate over cities, you need to make sure that your flying platform will do it in a very safe way.

“This is where decades of experience of Thales, not only in flight control system but in avionics in general, will bridge this startup and high innovation capability initiatives with all the experience we’re bringing, and of course, all the additional innovation we can bring to the party.”
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