Kitty Hawk Flyer (defunct)
Kitty Hawk Corporation
Palo Alto, California, USA
Founded in 2010, Kitty Hawk Corporation is funded by Larry Page, one of Google's co-founders. The Kitty Hawk Flyer is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designed for Urban Air Mobility (UAM).
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 250 lb (113 kg), has a maximum altitude of 10 ft (3 m), a cruise speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) and a flight time in the range of 12-20 minutes.
Kitty Hawk unveiled an earlier eight 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 two seat eVTOL aircraft. On Oct. 3, 2019, Kitty Hawk officially unveiled the Heaviside, a single seat eVTOL aircraft. It was reported on June 3, 2020 that the Flyer program had been cancelled.
On June 3, 2021, the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center (located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA) reported it had two Kitty Hawk Flyers donated to the museum's collection. "The Museum has two Flyers, one for display at our entrance and one for visitors to sit in. The experience in an eVTOL is very different from our other helicopters that visitors can access," explained Tony Freeman, Chair of the Exhibits Committee.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL aircraft capable of water landings
- Piloting/Capacity: 1 pilot
- Pilot controls: 2 joy sticks
- Cruise speed: 20 mph (32 km/h)
- Maximum speed: 30 mph (48 km/h)
- Flight time: 15-20 minutes
- Maximum altitude: 10 ft (3 m)
- Empty weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
- Propellers: 10 propellers
- Electric Motors: 10 electric motors
- Power source: 10 lithium polymer batteries
- Cockpit: Open cockpit
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber
- Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear, which are pontoons and are part of the fuselage. The aircraft can land in the water.
- Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft. The aircraft can also land in water.
- Kitty Hawk website
- Kitty Hawk Facebook
- Kitty Hawk Twitter
- Kitty Hawk YouTube Channel
- Article: Google co-founder Page backing two start-ups making flying cars: Bloomberg, Yahoo News, June 6, 2016
- Article: The Demand for On-Demand Mobility, Vertiflite, January/February 2017
- Article: Air Mobility Bonanza Beckons Electric VTOL Developers, Vertiflite, March/April 2017
- Video: eVTOL News video, Episode 1: Kitty Hawk Flyer Demo, Vertical Flight Society, Oct. 15, 2017
- Article: Back to Kitty Hawk: Exploring the Secrets of the Kitty Hawk Flyer, Vertiflite, November/December 2017
- Article: From Aerovelo to Kitty Hawk (sidebar), Vertiflite, November/December 2017
- Article: Take a First Look at Larry Page’s Latest Flying Car, Bloomberg, June 6, 2018
- Article: We took to the sky in Kitty Hawk's flying car, CNN Business, June 6, 2018
- Video: Visiting the flying car secret facility!, YouTube, June 8, 2018
- Article: The Kitty Hawk Flyer is your own personal electric aircraft, The Verge, June 9, 2018.
- Video: I flew the first flying car!!!!, YouTube, June 10, 2018
- Article: Kitty Hawk Announcements, eVTOL News, Aug. 4, 2019
- Article: Kitty Hawk Reveals Heaviside, eVTOL News, Nov. 4, 2019
- Article: Teaming for Transformative Vertical Flight, Vertiflite, November/December 2019
- Article: Inside Larry Page’s Turbulent Kitty Hawk: Returned Deposits, Battery Fires And A Boeing Shakeup, Forbes, Dec. 1, 2019
- Article: Cora + Boeing = Wisk, eVTOL News, Jan. 1, 2020
- Article: Cora Down Under and Autonomous, eVTOL News, Mar. 3, 2020
- Article: Our Next Chapter, Kitty Hawk, May 3, 2020
- Article: Kitty Hawk ends Flyer program, shifts focus to once-secret autonomous aircraft, TechCrunch, June 3, 2020
- Article: Financing the Electric VTOL Revolution, eVTOL News, Jun. 17, 2020
- Article: Kitty Hawk Flyers Come To West Chester's Helicopter Museum, Patch, June 3, 2021
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