Kitty Hawk Heaviside in flight, USA, 2019.

On Oct. 3, Mountain View, California-based Kitty Hawk revealed it has been secretly working for two years on a single-seat, high-performance eVTOL called Heaviside (named for the English self-taught electrical engineer, mathematician and physicist, Oliver Heaviside, 1850-1925).

Kitty Hawk describes the aircraft as 100 times quieter than a helicopter — 38 dB at 1,500 ft (460 m) overhead (on wing borne flight) — faster than a helicopter and weighs about one-third of a Cessna airplane. It has a distinct orange, black and light grey paint scheme aircraft. The Heaviside aircraft has been made with a large plexiglass dome so the view is not restricted, and the passenger can see in all directions.

Heaviside is a taildragger aircraft with a high-forward-swept main wing, canards and a standard rudder and horizontal stabilizer in the back. The eVTOL aircraft has a total of eight propellers: six propellers on the 20-ft (6-m) main wing and two propellers on the canards. All of the propellers are mounted on the rear of the wings and instead of tilting up, the propellers tilt down for vertical flight. The company says the aircraft can travel about 55 miles (88.5 km) — for example, from San Jose to San Francisco — in 15 minutes, indicating a flight speed of about 220 mph (354 km/h). The range is about 100 miles (160 km) on a single charge.

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