Flying car startup backed by Google founder offers test flights
Flying car startup backed by Google founder offers test flights
Larry Page-funded Kitty Hawk shows off single-seat flying machine
09 June, 2018, 11:00
Kitty Hawk, the Mountain View, California-based flying auto company founded and backed by Google'sLarry Page is offering a new glimpse of one its upcoming aircraft: a single-person recreational vehicle. It is now being tested in New Zealand and has been designed as a transportation alternative for cities with heavy traffic.
A company in Las Vegas is hoping to make the flying auto a product of the future.
An early model of the electric aircraft had 10 small lift rotors on its wings, making it capable of vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter.
Kitty Hawk chief executive Sebastian Thrun, who founded the Google X lab devoted to "moonshots", such as self-driving cars and internet-synched eyewear, was quoted by CNN as saying piloting Flyer is as easy as playing the video game Minecraft.
Kitty Hawk says the Flyer is "easy to fly" but recommends professional training.
The Flyer is now open for test flights for prospective customers, and the CNN reporter Rachel Crane was the first journalist allowed to pilot the vehicle.
Pricing for the Flyer has yet to be revealed, and Kitty Hawk didn't disclose when it will begin deliveries.
The start-up teased the Flyer in a demo video previous year, and is now nearing public roll out.
At a distance of 50ft the Flyer will sound like a lawnmower and a loud conversation at 250ft.
The uncovered cockpit appeared big enough for one person, with their head poking out as it might from a go-kart.
This latest model by Kitty Hawk has been designed, built, and tested by a team led by 2013 Sikorsky prize victor and Guinness world record holder Todd Reichert. The personal vehicles are available for pre-order. The Flyer, which was designed as a recreational vehicle, has a flight time of 12 to 20 minutes on a full charge.
The new flying machine is one of several concept vehicles being testing, with Uber and others in the mix.
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