Kitty Hawk Corporation
Mountain View, California, USA
Founded in 2010, Kitty Hawk Corporation was an American aircraft manufacturer producing electric vertical takeoff and landing passenger aircraft for advanced air mobility. In September 2022, the company announced it was winding down its operations but would still continue with their joint venture with Boeing, called Wisk Aero.
Kitty Hawk created a two-seat conceptual design of its Heaviside demonstrator, but this design design has had very little publicity or attention given to it by the company. The two-passenger eVTOL aircraft, according to a June 2021 Forbes article, "will operate autonomously for the most part while being overseen by a pilot on the ground who will handle multiple aircraft at a time. The remote pilot will communicate with air traffic controllers and deal with situations that Heaviside’s artificial intelligence brains can’t."
The new aircraft was to be significantly larger than the existing Heaviside prototype, according to Forbes: "it will expand in weight from roughly 900 pounds [508 kg] to 2,200 pounds [1,000 kg], with 440 pounds [200 kg] budgeted for two passengers plus luggage – but ... have the same range of roughly 100 miles [160 km] plus safety reserves and a cruising speed of 180 mph [290 km/h]."
The aircraft has many design features which are different from Kitty Hawk's Heaviside and Wisk's Cora aircraft models. Most notably, starting from the front of the aircraft, is the cockpit that holds two people seated next to each other and has a full canopy over the cockpit providing excellent views for the passengers. The aircraft has one high main wing with upwardly curved wingtips, and sports what appear to be eight tilting propellers on the wings. The aircraft appears to have a T-tail, but it's unknown what type of landing gear was planned.
On top of the high wing are four booms which are parallel to the fuselage that the tilt-propellers are located. Each tilt-propeller is at the end of each of the booms. The four front tilt-propellers tilt up when in VTOL or in transition flight and tilt downward for forward flight. The rear tilt-propellers tilt downward when in VTOL flight or in transition flight and tilt upward for forward flight, similar to the 1-seat Heaviside (it's not clear if there are also tilt-propellers on the tail for pitch control).
Apparently the concept was not pursued, to focus on the single-seat design, of which more than a dozen were built and flown. No more information has been provided by the company about this concept design eVTOL passenger aircraft. If Kitty Hawk would like to update the information on this web page, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger aircraft
- Piloting: Autonomous with remote piloting
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Cruise speed: 180 mph (290 km/h)
- Estimated range: 100 m (160 km)
- Empty weight: 2,200 lb (1,000 kg)
- Propellers: 8 propellers
- Electric motors: 8 electric motors
- Power source: Batteries
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Window: Canopy over cockpit
- Wings: 1 main high wing
- Tail: 1 Tail
- Landing gear: Unknown
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft.
- Kitty Hawk website
- Kitty Hawk Facebook
- Kitty Hawk Twitter
- Kitty Hawk YouTube Channel
- Article: Billionaire Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk Is Making An All-In Bet On Robot Air Taxis. Its Program Head Is Out In Disagreement Over It., Forbes, June 11, 2021
- Article: Heaviside Grows, Electric VTOL News, June 29, 2021
- Article: Kitty Hawk, the electric aircraft moonshot backed by Larry Page, is shutting down, Tech Crunch, Sept. 21, 2022