Flying car startup begins public test flights

 | 

Nicola Byrne

In the race to take to skies, competitor to Uber’s Elevate, aeronautics startup Kitty Hawk has opened test flights with the public for it’s new, sleek flying vehicle the ‘Flyer’.

Often referred to as a ‘flying car’ project, even though it looks more like an overgrown drone, the electric-powered vehicle makes the vision of our future transport systems all too real.

It would appear that Kitty Hawk is in full-on marketing mode as the company invited popular YouTuber, Casey Neistat, for one of the Flyer’s first civilian flights.

During the flight Neistat says: “This is incredible. It’s like driving a Mavic Pro [DJI drone] but I’m sitting in it!”

There’s references throughout the video to the animated sitcom, The Jetsons, and their amazing flying car. However, unlike the Jetson’s car, the Flyer has limitations with a top speed of 20mph and maximum elevation of 10ft.

“In conclusion, my final thoughts, my comprehensive review of the flyer is that it’s amazing. If this thing didn’t have all these limiters on it, I would have taken it up to 500 feet and just flown it back to the [airport] strip – I felt that confident.”

The Flyer isn’t the only project Kitty Hawk is working on, they also have Cora. Like the Flyer, Cora is also an electric aircraft, however, it’s a two-seater instead that’s designed for an air taxi service.

Cora Kitty Hawk

In March, the company confirmed it had been testing the autonomous air taxi prototype in New Zealand after striking a deal with the government for official certification in the country.

Meanwhile, Uber Elevate are proposing to start commercial uberAIR flight operations in 2023.

Your comments

Read our comments policy here