Larry Page's air taxis are already flying above New Zealand

14 March, 2018, 06:17 | Author: Hope Soto
  • Cora can carry two passengers

In fact a company called Kitty Hawk has unveiled their next step in making that a reality by taking the wraps off Cora, a flying taxi which is basically a vehicle that can fly.

Whilst other air-taxi projects are planning on flying in congested cities such as Dallas and Dubai, in the case of UberAir, Kitty Hawk will be flying first in the relatively New Zealand.

Under the name Zephyr Airworks, California startup Kitty Hawk has been testing an air taxi prototype in New Zealand since October, SBS News reported Tuesday.

The aircraft, called Cora, has a 10-metre wingspan, is propelled by 12 electric rotors and can carry two passengers for a distance of 100km. Now it turns out Google founder Larry Page has been working on his own flying taxi, largely in secret and away from any press coverage.

Pilot-less flying taxis are being tested in New Zealand as part of a project backed by Google co-founder Larry Page that supporters say will revolutionise personal transport.

The aircraft is totally electric and takes off from the ground like a helicopter before flying through the air like a plane.

"A path to certifying an air taxi for everyday use just didn't exist".

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According to Kitty Hawk, the Cora has a range of about 60 miles (100 kilometers) on one charge, can travel up to 110 mph (180 km/h), and has an operational altitude between 500 and 3,000 feet (150 to 910 meters).

The US Federal Aviation Administration now lacks a certification basis to accept the airworthiness of such vehicles to transport fare-paying passengers.

Kitty Hawk was founded by Sebastian Thrun, Google's former director of Google X, its advanced research division which also oversaw Google's autonomous auto developments.

Multiple propellers make a vehicle safer and more stable, and it also makes it easier to design vehicles with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities.

Countries in the Middle East and Africa have been more willing to allow unmanned flights. But those countries have never been seen as models for aviation regulators in the rest of the developed world.

Cora is expected to be tested in New Zealand where according to the company, "We quickly realized that there was only one place in the world that had everything we needed - Richard Pearse's New Zealand".

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