5 May 2017



Larry Page's 'Kitty Hawk Flyer' essentially resembles a mix between a jetski and a hoverboard.


The Back to the Future franchise has pinned this decade all too well. In the next development of unbelievably futuristic sounding technology, Google-backed company Kitty Hawk released the first video footage of its flying car prototype yesterday, April 24. Yeah, Doc Brown's Delorean just got real.


The company is financially backed by Google co-founder Larry Page and its chief executive Sebastian Thrun, is the founder of Google's 'semi-secret' X lab and a pioneer of the self-driving car. The 'Kitty Hawk Flyer' is described as an "all-electric aircraft" designed to operate over water. The open-seated, 220-pound single seater is powered by eight battery-powered propellers — it essentially resembles a mix between a jetski and a hoverboard, seemingly powered by what looks like a bunch of mini-drones. It will not require a pilot's license to fly, as it is considered an "ultralight aircraft" by FAA regulations, and Kitty Hawk claims drivers will be able to learn how to operate the vehicle "in minutes".


Here's the just-dropped intro video, with requisite cheesy inspirational music and somewhat shitty acting:



The company is trying to attract enthusiasts to test-drive the vehicle by offering a $100 three-year membership that includes waiting list priority, company-branded gear, flight simulator access and invites to company events and demonstrations. Members will also get a $2000 discount once the car does go to retail.


Kitty Hawk is not the first company to attempt the flying car feat, with the Slovakian company AeroMobil making their flying vehicle available for pre-order by the end of 2017 and the aerospace firm Airbus releasing plans for its ground-air hybrid car at the Geneva International Motor Show last month. The government of Dubai, in partnership with a Chinese firm, EHang has also released plans to begin operating flying taxis by July 2017 and Uber is holding a conference in Texas on Tuesday to discuss details of their own "urban-air transportation" vehicle.


Though the car is said to be in consumer production by the end of the year, no retail price has been given yet. As of now, the vehicle will only be shipped within the US, so Australians will have to wait a bit longer for a ride.


Via The New York Times.