What is Kitty Hawk

aviation: Kitty Hawk stops working on Aircraft Flyer

The idea was too good: an aircraft for everyone that could be flown without a pilot's license and after some training. But nothing comes of it. The US company Kitty Hawk is discontinuing work on the Flyer and is instead developing its Heaviside aircraft.

  1. Dr. August Oetker Nahrungsmittel KG, Bielefeld
  2. L-Bank, Karlsruhe

The aim of the founders Sebastian Thrun and Larry Page had been "to free the world from traffic", wrote Alex Roetter, director of the Flyer program, and Thrun, director of Kitty Hawk, in a blog post. The company is continuing to pursue this goal, but no longer with the flyer. Kitty Hawk will focus on Heaviside as a platform. "But we would never have come this far without the Flyer and the great team that built and operated it."

The thanks benefit "great team" However, little: Most of the 70 employees who worked on the flyer would be laid off, reports the US online magazine Techcrunch. They received severance pay and help in finding a new job. A few would join the Heaviside team.

Flyer has ten rotors

The Flyer, presented in 2018, is a small, single-seat aircraft that is powered by eight electrically operated rotors. The flyer, which weighs around 110 kilograms, is controlled with two joysticks. A software ensures that the flyer flies stable. All ten rotors can be controlled individually so that the aircraft can maneuver.

Heaviside is more like a conventional airplane. Six of the eight engines are located on the rear of the wing, three on each side of the fuselage. Two more are attached to the bow. All eight propellers are pusher propellers. To take off and land vertically, they are tilted. They are set up for level flight.

In addition to the Flyer and Heaviside, Kitty Hawk developed another aircraft. This is the two-seat Cora air taxi, the development of which was partly funded by the US military. In September last year, the US aviation group Boeing joined the project. In December, Kitty Hawk and Boeing founded the Wisk joint venture to be built by Cora. A test in New Zealand is planned.