The mysterious flying-car startup funded by Google cofounder Larry Page, Kitty Hawk, finally took the wraps off its first vehicle on Monday.
The Kitty Hawk Flyer looks a mix between a flying jet-ski and, as John Markoff of The New York Times put it, “something Luke Skywalker would have built out of spare parts.” It’s designed to be flown over water and will be available for sale by the end of this year.
Kitty Hawk says that its flyer can be operated without a pilot’s licence as long as you fly it in “uncongested areas.” The startup hasn’t said how much the flyer will cost, but it’s offering an early $US2,000 discount for people who are willing to pay $US100 now to get on the waitlist.
Here’s everything we know so far about the Kitty Hawk flyer and the other flying cars that are being funded by Larry Page:
The Kitty Hawk Flyer is a fully-electric aircraft with eight rotors that weights about 220 pounds and seats one person.
The vehicle is designed to fly above fresh water with two pontoons at its bottom. The prototype Kitty Hawk is showing off “looks and feels a lot like a flying motorcycle,” according to Cimeron Morrissey, who tested it.
The flyer is controlled by two handlebars and what looks like a giant touchscreen. It travels at up to 25 miles per hour at a max of 15 feet above water.
The Kitty Hawk Flyer doesn’t need a runway for take-off or landing. Here’s it making a vertical landing in action:
Kitty Hawk is calling its current flyer a “functional prototype” and notes that “the shipping version will have a different look and feel.”
Kitty Hawk says that you don’t need a pilot’s licence to operate its flyer and that it’s meant to be flown in “uncongested areas.”
Kitty Hawk / YouTube