Kitty Hawk, the Silicon Valley startup backed by Page, said it is building and testing "all-electric vertical take-off and landing products" in New Zealand. Kitty Hawk has the agreement of the government to test Cora there and everyone involved hopes it will lead to the first commercial network of flying taxis.
Reports surfaced in 2016 that Google co-founder (and now Alphabet CEO) Larry Page had two "flying car" projects in the works, and while we saw the Flyer recreational vehicle unveiled previous year, today it's time to meet Cora.
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Dr Peter Crabtree of New Zealand's MBIE saw the opportunity immediately: "In New Zealand, we know we can't keep using the same old approaches to meet our future challenges". Small and effective, the Cora features a range of around 62 miles on a single charge. With a 36-foot wingspan, the aircraft flies between 500 and 3,000 feet above the ground at around 110 miles per hour. Bonus points: The Kitty Hawk taxis will be autonomous. It's been testing the vehicles through a local operator called Zephyr Airworks, and Cora has an "experimental airworthiness certificate" from both New Zealand and U.S. aviation authorities.
"Cora is the beginning of a journey towards everyday flight, where air travel will be woven into our daily lives", the creators said in a statement.
Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern confirmed the news to the Times, saying the project is "about sending the message to the world that our doors are open for people with great ideas who want to turn them into reality". "Cora has the potential to transform spaces like rooftops and parking lots into places to take off right from your neighborhood".