Self-Flying Air Taxi Tested in New Zealand

Self-Flying Air Taxi Tested in New Zealand

Self-Flying Air Taxi Tested in New Zealand

"We saw Cora's potential as a sustainable, efficient and transformative technology that can enrich people's lives, not only in New Zealand, but ultimately the whole world", enthused Dr Peter Crabtree of New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Nicknamed Cora, Kitty Hawk's self-driving, fully electric aircraft is a plane/drone hybrid: it's capable of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) without a runway (like any drone), but once airborne, it uses its 36-foot wingspan and a dozen battery-powered rotors to fly. To those on the ground, it has always been unclear whether there was a pilot aboard.

It seems Kitty Hawk, a California startup, had no luck getting the permissions it wanted back home, so it decamped to New Zealand instead. The fuselage of the prototype tested in August was too narrow to accommodate more than one person on board.

'A path to certifying an air taxi for everyday use just didn't exist. That's what Page is trying to do.

Kitty Hawk, which was founded by former Google X head Sebastian Thrun, has goals to be the next commercial network of taxis in New Zealand within the next three years.

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Kitty Hawk Corporation has credited Innovative Partnerships as part of the reason it is testing its revolutionary air taxi technology in New Zealand.

Zee.Aero was set up in 2010, working on a small, all-electric plane that could take off and land vertically - essentially a flying vehicle. Officials said the country aims to have zero net emissions by 2050. That vehicle was registered with the FAA as serial number 2.

"A place that could be more than just a willing airfield".

New Zealand, on the other hand, has always been viewed as having a thoughtful and safety-conscious regulatory regime.

In November 2017, Boeing bought Aurora Flight Sciences. Airbus made an investment two weeks ago in Blade, an aviation startup in NY.

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On the other hand, Dubai has formed a joint venture with a Chinese company, EHang.

Kitty Hawk's Cora is completely autonomous, fully electric, and can travel at speeds of 93 miles per hour.

The mystery of what has been going on in New Zealand has quietly created a stir among those in the know.

After 18 months of discussions with the authorities it will now begin the process...

Speaking about approaching the New Zealand government Zephyr CEO, Fred Reid, said: 'We had no idea what to expect. Electric motors are much lighter than conventional internal combustion engines, which means that it's possible for an aircraft to have several small motors instead of one or two big ones. Kitty Hawk is already working on an app that would allow customers to hail one of its air taxis.

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Included in the company's fact sheet about Cora: what the air taxi will do if its propellers fail in midair.

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