Business

Kittyhawk flying car company, backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, is shutting down

Kittyhawk, the billionaire-backed air taxi company Google Co-founder Larry Page, will close, solving obstacles to the long-standing dream of developing a flying car.

“We have made the decision to cut down on Kittyhawk,” the company said on its website Twitter. “We’re still working on the details of what’s next.”

The company’s technology is expected to exist in the form of a Wisk Aero joint venture with Boeing Boeing said Co Wisk’s operations would not be affected by the Kittyhawk shutdown on Wednesday.

Kittyhawk was founded in 2010 to pioneer the market for the so-called eVTOL – electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft – with the noble goal of democratize the sky. This secretive company is run by Sebastian Thrun, a Google veteran who has worked on self-driving cars, augmented reality glasses and other projects.

The business is one of a number of startups working on the concept, which has proven to be a bigger challenge than some expected. Air taxis are available Accident during testing in recent months, raising concerns about their safety.

Insiders previous report about Kittyhawk’s closure plan.

Kittyhawk forms Wisk joint venture with Boeing Co. in 2019, and the aircraft manufacturer continues to invest $450 million in this partnership. Earlier this week, Boeing and Wisk presented their vision for a world where eVTOL can coexist with larger commercial aircraft.

“The decision to decommission Kittyhawk does not change Boeing’s commitment to Wisk,” a spokesman for the plane maker said in an email. “We are proud to be a founding member of Wisk Aero and are delighted to see the work they are doing to drive innovation and sustainability through the future of electric air travel.”

The aviation giant helped showcase Wisk’s propeller-powered Cora aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow in July. As well as funding the business, Boeing has been providing engineering resources for a larger electric 4-seater aircraft that Wisk plans to eventually certify with U.S. regulators. Ky.

The air taxi market still has many competitors, including Joby Aviation Inc., Archer Aviation Inc., Germany’s Lilium NV and Brazil’s Eve, but they face an uncertain outlook for the vehicles. this future. Aviation regulators have yet to certify the new generation of aircraft for the transport of people.

Kittyhawk’s goal is to create a remote-controlled flying taxi that’s smaller and lighter than other eVTOLs and can take off from almost anywhere. The company is targeting costs under $1 a mile, which will make taxis cheaper than carpooling services.

Now, Kittyhawk’s closing closes a chapter for one of the most famous eVTOL pioneers – and shows how hard the market is to break. As of Wednesday, the company still had this announcement on its homepage: “If someone can do this, we can.”

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