Kitty Hawk Cora (yellow in NZ)

Kitty Hawk Corp.
Mountain View, California, USA

Kitty Hawk unveiled on March 12, 2018, that it had been flying a two-seat derivative of the Zee Aero Z-P2 in California and in New Zealand. The company also announced:

  • Zephyr Airworks is the operator of Kitty Hawk in New Zealand. New Zealand is recognized for its safety-focused regulatory environment and a strong history of excellence in airspace management.
  • Kitty Hawk established Zephyr Airworks in December 2016 “to be able to test and work with the New Zealand Government, New Zealand Maori/iwi, business partners and the community. We shipped our first air taxi to New Zealand in October 2017 and began testing shortly after that.”
  • Zee.Aero was the name of our Cora team while we were in the development stage. Now that the Cora prototype is in the market, we wanted a name that reflected the spirit of Kitty Hawk’s mission of bringing everyday flight to everyone.

Kitty Hawk also described the safety features of Cora: “Cora is a vehicle just like a car or an airplane. Anything that moves has some inherent risk. Cora has a number of safety features such as:

  • Independent Rotors: Because our fans & propellers are electric, they can operate independently. An issue with one has no effect on the others.
  • Triple Redundant Flight-Computer: Cora is equipped with three independent flight-computers that each calculate its location. If there’s an issue with one of them, Cora can still reliably navigate.
  • A parachute that launches if Cora needs to land without its fans.”

In 2017, the Kitty Hawk Cora program received $1 million from the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), a Pentagon organization that focuses on implementing cutting-edge technology into the U.S. Military.

For its initial flight testing, Cora was only permitted to test three times per week, and was limited to the airspace over Hollister Airport. Now, Cora is allowed to fly up to 5,000 ft, either flying itself or with non-paying passengers aboard.

Eric Allison with Cora N301XZ (California)
Eric Allison with Cora N301XZ (California)
Kitty Hawk Cora (yellow in NZ)
Kitty Hawk Cora (yellow in NZ)
Kitty Hawk Cora Pusher Prop
Kitty Hawk Cora Pusher Prop
Kitty Hawk Cora (yellow in NZ)
Kitty Hawk Cora (yellow in NZ)
Kitty Hawk Cora (yellow in NZ)
Chief Engineer Jim Tighe and family
Kitty Hawk Cora FAA Application
Kitty Hawk Cora diagram from FAA application
Information provided with the Cora announcement:

  • Company Name: Kitty Hawk Corporation is a California-based company. Zephyr Airworks is the operator of Kitty Hawk in New Zealand.
  • Headquarters: Mountain View, California
  • Kitty Hawk CEO: Sebastian Thrun
  • Zephyr Airworks CEO: Fred Reid
  • Product NameCora (prototype)
  • Type of Machine: Air taxi
  • Power: All-electric
  • Capacity: Designed for two passengers.
  • Altitude: Operates between 500 ft to 3000 ft above the ground (150 m to 900 m).
  • Max Altitude: 10,000 ft (3.04 km)
  • Wingspan: 36 feet (11 m)
  • Vertical take-off and landing: Cora is powered by 12 independent lift fans, which enable her to take off and land vertically like a helicopter. Therefore, Cora has no need for a runway.
  • Fixed-wing flight: On a single propeller
  • Range: Initially about 62 miles (100 km)
  • Flight Time (with 10-minute reserve): 19 minutes
  • Speed: About 110 mph (180 kph)
  • Passenger Cargo Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kg)
  • Regulation: Cora has an experimental airworthiness certificate from both the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). We are working with the CAA on further certification goals to bring an air taxi service to the commercial market.

Flight Testing Location:




Kitty HawkLift + CruiseFlight Testing2 Passengers, Electric/BatteriesAutonomousVFS Member