California based Kitty Hawk Corporation has developed a personal electric aircraft called ‘Flyer’, which is now available for pre-ordering.
The single-seater aircraft has 10 lift fans powered by lithium polymer batteries. The operational height is capped at 10 feet and so is the top speed at 20 mph (32 km/h). The company says that the flight time can be 12-20 minutes and the battery life depends on the participant’s weight, environmental factors, and forward speed.
As for the regulations, in the US, the Flyer doesn’t require any registration or a pilot’s licence as it operates under FAA Part 103 – Ultralight. However, these category aircrafts are not allowed to fly over congested areas, airspace designated for an airport and areas under air force control.
Kitty Hawk was founded by Sebastian Thrun – one of the founders of X (formerly Google X). Google’s Larry Page is said to be one of the backers of the company.
The company also has an air taxi named ‘Cora’ designed for two passengers. The taxi is powered by 12 lift fans and can operate up to 3,000 ft above the ground. It has a range of about 100 km and a top speed of 180 km/h.
The Cora is capable to take off and land vertically like a helicopter.
The company said that the Cora has an experimental airworthiness certificate from both the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and are working with CAA on further certification goals in order to commercialize the air taxi service.
Watch below the popular YouTuber Casey Neistat try out the Flyer –