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By March 2022, teTra Aviation, a University of Tokyo spinoff, expects to begin testing its single-person electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in Japan with an operator on board. The Federal Aviation Administration in the United States has certified the Tokyo company for testing, and it is currently performing tests without an operator on board.

The Mk-5, which was debuted at an American aviation exhibition earlier this summer, is one of many global rivals in the realm of flying automobiles, which has attracted companies such as Uber Technologies, Hyundai Motor, Japan Airlines, and Toyota Motor. The plane will have a range of 160 kilometres and will cost 40 million yen ($360,000).

According to the company, preorders have begun and over 100 queries from potential consumers have already been received.

After a paperwork review and on-site inspection, the FAA cleared the plane for test flights. With the clearance of Japan’s transport minister, it will be eligible for test flights.

Improvements to the Mk-5 will begin in October in Japan, based on findings from uncrewed testing in the United States. By March, it will be tested in Fukushima Prefecture, north of Tokyo, at an altitude of 5 to 7 metres for around three minutes with an operator.

SkyDrive, a company located in Japan that develops flying automobiles, did a public crewed test flight in Aichi Prefecture last year. SkyDrive was created by a former Toyota employee, and the company tested their vehicle near Toyota’s hometown. By 2025, when Osaka hosts the World Expo, both businesses hope to be flying.

Team Eastern Interest
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