Kitty Hawk – a startup company from Silicon Valley, backed by Co-founder of Google and the CEO of Alphabet – Larry Page debuted its product on YouTube, with a video showing the aerospace engineer – Cameron Robertson piloting a flying car: ‘the Flyer’ on Monday. The vehicle was seen rocketing its way above a lake, located almost 100 miles North to San Francisco.
Larry Page is reported to have been working on this flying machine for quite some time. He said that his focus is not just this product; rather, he has been working on various prototypes, one of which is known as ‘Zee.Aero’, which is also a part of Kitty Hawk.
While talking to the New York Times, Page said:
“We’ve all had dreams of flying effortlessly. I’m excited that one day very soon I’ll be able to climb onto my Kitty Hawk Flyer for a quick and easy personal flight. Someday soon we hope you will be able to do just that, thanks to this team’s hard work.”
Brad Templeton-an entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, recruited for the company, while further explaining the convenience of Flyer, said:
“I love the idea of being able to go out into my backyard and hop into my flying car. I hate the idea of my next-door neighbor having one.”
Mr. Robertson, the other recruit said:
“We hope that this is more of an exciting concept than what most people have had in their minds about flying cars. This is not yet that product in terms of what we will say and what it can do, but I think it demonstrates a vision of the future.”
What is The ‘Flyer’?
The Flyer is an ultra-light aircraft weighing the only __. It is a 1-seat vehicle that is driven electrically by the thrust from a propeller. You would not even require a pilot’s license to fly it since it is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). According to the company, “you’ll learn to fly it in minutes.”
The idea behind making it is to minimize the time and get to places where you can reach, with a short flight, but it is specifically intended to be flown over water. The focus, for now, is the ‘over-water’ flights since the Federal Aviation Administration officials are to be assured that none of the unlicensed flyers will be seen flying over populated areas.
Also, for you to be able to park this aircraft, you’d require a dock which will also be available by the end of this year.
How does the Flyer Work?
The Flyer has
- 2 pontoons at its bottom that assists in taking off from the water and landing.
- In order to power up the machine, eight rotors are put to use.
- The ‘octa’ copter can be flown at a speed of up to 25 mph.
- You can fly it to an altitude of up to 15 feet
- It has been specified by the company that this aircraft is made solely for recreational purpose.
- The controls of the Flyer look much like video game controllers consisting of joystick and buttons that can be used to swing the machine back and forth.
- About the safety, the company assures that Flyer has is safe and has been tested, after which it has been legalized for operation in the USA, under FAA Principles.
- It took the pilot about 5 minutes to circle the Flyer over the lake of 20-30 yards from the shore and park it onto the dock
Kitty Hawk explains their product in the following words:
“The Kitty Hawk Flyer is a new, all-electric aircraft. It is safe, tested and legal to operate in the United States in uncongested areas under the Ultralight category of FAA regulations. 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.”
When to expect it in the market and at what price?
The company is expected to start the selling of the Flyer hopefully by the end of this year- 2017. At this time, however, you can pay $100 on sign-up for a 3-years membership, in order to get a $2,000 discount on the final product, receive early updates access to product updates, and get placed as priority on the waiting list when the Flyer is out in the market for sale, i.e. according to the company to “gain exclusive access to Kitty Hawk experiences and demonstrations where a select few will get the chance to ride the Flyer”
The expected price of the final product has not yet been disclosed but considering the discount the company is offering to the registered members, the price is expected to be higher than $2,001 for sure!
With the tech industry flourishing every day with new inventions and showing more inclination towards the making of machines that have Artificial Intelligence incorporated in them, a variety of modern tech products will be seen under testing or launching phase this year;
- Airbus’s vehicle: ‘Pop.Up’, proposed last month at an International Motor Show at Geneva is said to be under testing, which will be fly on ground, as well as in the air
- Ehang will be flying its passenger taxi drones this July.
- Uber, on Tuesday, is expected to be detailing its “vision for the future of Urban Air Mobility”.
Other companies trying out their luck with personal jets, Flyer seems to be emerging as a remarkable invention, in very less time. But, for Kitty Hawk to stay ahead in the market, it is necessary that it moves its plan faster.
With so much work being done in the field, there would soon be a need for an air traffic control system to control the operation of personal air drones in the United States of America. To serve the need, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration started working on such like control system, being developed “for a sky dark with drones.” The researchers are hoping to initiate the testing phase by the year 2019.