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Larry Page aims for air taxis in New Zealand

14 March, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Kristi Dunn
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Certifying the vehicle with a regulatory body will be a major undertaking, but if Kitty Hawk and Page succeed, New Zealand could lay out the blueprint for aviation regulators worldwide.

Eight years in the making, Cora sports a series of rotors on each wing that grants it the ability to take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. It can carry two passengers, has a range of about 62 miles, and a top speed of about 110 mph, according to Kitty Hawk. But there was no place in the world where Cora could take the next step.

Kitty Hawk previously revealed its Flyer aircraft, which was more like a hovercraft crossed with a jet ski, and which it intends to sell to individuals in the recreational vehicle market.

The aim now is to gain aviation certification for the flying taxis.

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Kitty Hawk was rumoured to be pitching a "flying car" prototype as far back as 2016 - when it began pitching the concept to various governments to secure backing.

For those who follow the progress in this field - technologists, flight enthusiasts and billionaires seeking to transform the skies - it was thought that Page had been testing flights of a new self-piloting planes only in Northern California; several reports and images revealed the existence of newfangled aircraft a year ago from a company based there, called Zee Aero, that was associated with Page.

Whilst other air-taxi projects are planning on flying in congested cities such as Dallas and Dubai, in the case of UberAir, Kitty Hawk will be flying first in the relatively New Zealand. As we recently saw in California, US state governments have shown some willingness for companies to test autonomous driving technology, so long as cars are following the rules of the road. The company also noted that all of the propellers are powered independently - so a failure of one wouldn't knock out all of them - and that the flight control system has multiple, redundant computers.

Hell, even Porsche is down with the idea of a flying auto. "We had no Kitty Hawk of our own", the statement read (Kitty Hawk was the North Carolina town near which the Wright Brothers made their historic experimental flight). Velocopter is working on flying taxis in Dubai, Airbus recently had a flight test for its self-piloted flying auto, and Uber is working with NASA on its flying taxis initiatives.



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