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Kitty Hawk Flyer

Kitty Hawk
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.

Several members of the founding team were part of the University of Toronto-based AeroVelo Atlas team that won the Vertical Flight Society's 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. On October 3, 2019, Kitty Hawk officially unveiled the Heaviside, a single seat 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

Power: All-electric

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