Kitty Hawk, the same group of California dreamers who introduced the leisure-focused Flyer last year, has revealed an all-electric, self-piloted air taxi in New Zealand. The company, which is backed by Alphabet's Larry Page, has been working on "an aircraft so personal it could weave the freedom of flight into our daily lives" since 2010. Cora is the result - a two-seater short hop aircraft that can lift off and land like a helicopter and flies forward like an aeroplane.
Kitty Hawk's Cora self-flying air taxi for two has officially launched in New Zealand (Credit: Kitty Hawk)
The first self-piloted hover of Kitty Hawk's flying taxi prototype took place at the end of 2011, but it didn't graduate to vertical take-off and forward flight until February 2014. A human test pilot took control of the proof of concept flyer last August and, after reaching agreements for the development and testing of the project with the government of New Zealand in October 2017, the first self-flying air taxi was shipped over.
A Silicon Valley "flying car" startup, reportedly backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, released a video of its Kitty Hawk prototype... [video]
26 Apr 2017
Flight tests soon followed under an experimental airworthiness certificate from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority and the United States Federal Aviation Administration. And now Kitty Hawk has officially launched the Cora project, and begun the journey to commercialisation.
"Cora isn't just about flying," Kitty Hawk said. "It's about people and mobility. It's about the time you could save soaring over traffic. The friends you could visit. The opportunities you could seize. Cora is about giving everyone a fast and easy way to get around that doesn't come at the expense of the planet."
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About the author
While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before hopping over to France for 10 years. Now back in his native Blighty, he serves as Managing Editor for New Atlas in Europe.
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