Mountain View, California, USA
The Kitty Hawk Flyer is an electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicle sponsored by Google founder Larry Page.
The Flyer was colorfully described by The Verge as a “bobsled mounted on a couple of pontoons surrounded by a bunch of drone rotors” It uses ten electric motors for vertical propellers (three on each pontoon and four on struts). It weighs 113 kg and will only have an elevation of 3 m and a top speed of 32 km/h. Flight time is 12-20 minutes.
Kitty Hawk unveiled an earlier 8-propeller prototype Flyer eVTOL in April 2017.
The production Flyer, which looks quite different with 10 propellers, was unveiled on June 6, 2018. The aircraft qualifies under the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 103 Ultralight Aircraft category, since it weighs less than 254 lb (115 kg). The company said upon its unveiling, “We’ve designed our first version specifically to fly over water. You don’t need a pilot’s license and you’ll learn to fly it in minutes.” The vehicle has flown pilots with just a few hours training.
The vehicle won the AHS International Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition (“AHS Sikorsky Prize”) in June 2013.
Kitty Hawk also unveiled the Kitty Hawk Cora product line in 2018, which is a much larger 2-seat eVTOL aircraft.
The following information was provided as a “fact sheet” on the Kitty Hawk Flyer website:
Company Name: Kitty Hawk Corporation
Headquarters: Mountain View, California
Kitty Hawk CEO: Sebastian Thrun
Product Name: Flyer
Type of Machine: Personal aircraft
Capacity: Designed for one participant
Height Limit: Operates between 3-10 ft off the surface of water
Wingspan: 8’ x 13’
Vertical take-off and landing: Powered by 10 independent lift fans
Battery Life: Battery life will depend on participant weight, environmental factors, and forward speed.
Flight time: 12-20 minutes (at 20 mph)
Regulation: Part 103 Ultralight
- Search eVTOL news posts
- Kitty Hawk’s Flyer.aero website
- Article: We took to the sky in Kitty Hawk’s flying car, June 6, 2018
- Article: Back to Kitty Hawk: Exploring the Secrets of the Kitty Hawk Flyer, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2017
Article: The Kitty Hawk Flyer is your own personal electric aircraft, The Verge, June 9, 2018.
Article: From Aerovelo to Kitty Hawk (sidebar), Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2017
- Article: Air Mobility Bonanza Beckons Electric VTOL Developers, Vertiflite, March/April 2017
- Article: The Demand for On-Demand Mobility, Vertiflite, Jan/Feb 2017
- Video: I flew the first flying car!!!!, YouTube, June 10, 2018
- Video: Visiting the flying car secret facility!, YouTube, June 8, 2018
- Video: eVTOL News video, Episode 1: Kitty Hawk Flyer Demo, Vertical Flight Society, Oct 15, 2017