See Google cofounder's flying taxi take to the skies

Cesar Mills
March 14, 2018

Kitty Hawk said it will continue to work with New Zealand's CAA to gain the certifications necessary for a commercial air taxi service.

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

Flying vehicle company Kitty Hawk has tested one of its electric, autonomous flying taxis under a new deal that will see them approach regulatory certification and a formal testing regime with the New Zealand government.

"Christchurch Airport's growing reputation as a test bed for innovation, and in particular autonomy, is growing, because we combine the right physical environment for safe testing with understanding of technological advances".

"I have had the privilege of seeing the self-piloted air taxi and I am very excited about what it offers for future generations - to live and move in a way that has never been possible before".

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Larry Page has made it clear, though, that his Mountain View-based company would like to bring its taxis to the United States and European Union, once New Zealand has shown these governments how the certification process could work.

Kitty Hawk, an autonomous flying taxi company backed by Alphabet CEO Larry Page, unveiled its Cora commercial plane. Cora looks a bit like a tiny, one-seater airplane, but its wings are studded with small, upward-facing propellers that allow it to take off and land vertically. You'd think such a flying vehicle would require a pilot's license to operate, but that's not the case. The plane's launch and test run were showcased in a YouTube video published by Kitty Hawk. But those countries have never been seen as models for aviation regulators in the rest of the developed world. This means that the rules it develops may become an example for other nations, including the US.

Trialling the flying taxi service will reportedly take six years, with operations based around the city of Christchurch.

The self-flying taxi called Cora has a dozen lift fans - all powered by batteries - for vertical take-off and landing, and can fly about 62 miles and carry two passengers.

Despite the apparent rivalry between the companies, Bloomberg reported that Page has in fact been putting money into both Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk.

Other reports by GizPress

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