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California-based Kitty Hawk, the flying-car venture backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, says it’s winding down its Flyer project, which created an ultralight aircraft designed to fly over water.

  • Kitty Hawk’s Flyer prototype made its public debut in 2017. It was an eVTOL ⁠— that is, an all-electric craft capable of vertical takeoffs and landings. The takeoffs and landings were meant to be executed in bodies of water rather than on solid ground.
  • In today’s blog posting, Kitty Hawk President Alex Roetter and CEO Sebastian Thrun said 111 Flyer aircraft of various designs were built, and more than 25,000 crewed and uncrewed test flights were flown successfully. They said the program is being wound down because “we have learned what we needed from it” — and because of the realities of the eVTOL marke.
  • Roetter and Thrun said “we are doubling down on Heaviside,” a larger, winged eVTOL that has a range of 100 miles, a maximum speed of 180 mph and the ability to fly over cities. TechCrunch reported that most of Flyer’s 70-person team will be laid off and that hiring will ramp up for Heaviside. A separate eVTOL project, known as Cora, was spun off last year to create a Boeing-Kitty Hawk joint venture called Wisk.
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