Kitty Hawk Takes Their “Personal Flying Machine” Prototype Our For A Spin
It may not be the sci-fi vision you picture when you think of a flying car, but the Flyer could be your first chance to take flight from your own driveway or backyard.
The “personal flying machine”, was recently debuted by Kitty Hawk, a Silicon Valley startup backed by Google cofounder Larry Page. New footage of the Flyer in action is creating a lot of buzz—as is the announcement that it’s set to be available for private sale later this year.
Image Source: CNN Money
Like A Ride-On Drone
Kitty Hawk’s Flyer is a single seat aircraft that resembles a giant ride-on drone. It’s powered by electric, features eight rotors, a webbed platform, and pontoons for a water landing.
The Flyer is able to takeoff and land vertically like a helicopter. Weighing a little over 220 pounds, it’s categorized as an ultralight aircraft and is able to reach speeds of nearly 25mph when hovering at 15 feet.
Image Source: Business Insider
No License Necessary
Kitty Hawk has assured that the Flyer will be legal to fly per FAA ultralight aircraft regulations—as long as it is operated in “uncongested areas”. No pilot’s license will be necessary, but a two hour training course will be needed to learn how to safely operate the Flyer.
With the retail version yet to be revealed, it’s not yet known how much the Flyer will cost to own for private use. For $100, Kitty Hawk will provide prospective buyers with a three-year membership that includes exclusive info and events, access to a flight simulator, branded merchandise, priority placement on their waiting list, and a $2,000 discount once the Flyer is available to buy.
Not Quite A Flying Car?
Certainly the Flyer would be an impressive outdoor tech toy, but not much of a mode of transportation. Critics have also pointed out that the Flyer’s inability to transform from aircraft to automobile—like the Transition vehicle from Terrafugia—disqualifies this craft as any sort of flying car prototype.
However, once the Flyer becomes available, that notion may not deter thrill-seekers with the means. For the flying car purest, there are still possibilities to come as a number of companies in tech, aerospace, and even automotive industries are working on ways to create the perfect flying car prototype.
Would you want to take flight on your very own Flyer? Comment and tell us your thoughts on this piece of tech.