Aero company Kitty Hawk unveils pilot-less air taxi 'Cora'

Brandon Parsons
March 14, 2018

In April a year ago, Google co-founder Larry Page publicly announced he was building an electric, flying vehicle through a company called Kitty Hawk.

"With New Zealand's internationally respected aviation certification processes, and the country's first on-road testing of a fully autonomous electric vehicle, the South Island is the obvious place to test Cora", he says.

In an email exchange with New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the New York Times reported that the air taxi is looking to operate commercial flights in three years - serendipitously coinciding with the timing of the launch of UberAir in Dubai.

Known as Cora, the electric aircraft has a dozen small lift rotors on its wings, making it capable of vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter.

Kitty Hawk was rumoured to be pitching a "flying car" prototype as far back as 2016 - when it began pitching the concept to various governments to secure backing.

As for how Kitty Hawk's self-flying tech works, we haven't seen anything revealed yet.

The company, Kitty Hawk, released a video and statement debuting the vehicle, called Cora, today (March 13).

The flying machine is entirely electric, emission-free, and can fly at speeds in excess of 150 kph (more than 93 mph) and up to 100 kilometers (62 miles), according to the company.

Included in the company's fact sheet about Cora: what the air taxi will do if its propellers fail in midair.

On its website, Kitty Hawk said Cora will not be available for consumer sale, but is meant to be a part of a service similar to an airline or a rideshare.

The US Federal Aviation Administration now lacks a certification basis to accept the airworthiness of such vehicles to transport fare-paying passengers.

New Zealand is truly the nexus point for fantasy lovers and futurists' dearest dreams. Boeing bought Aurora Flight Sciences, Airbus made an investment in Blade, and Uber is already working on the same idea with Uber Elevate.

The vehicle, has been under development for eight years, and it can take off and land vertically, much like a helicopter.

In other words, unless you live in New Zealand, don't necessarily count on climbing into an autonomous air taxi anytime soon.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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