Larry Page’s air taxi tests

Written by Mark Evans

Kitty Hawk, the company founded by Google co-founder Larry Page, has unveiled its ‘flying car’ taxi prototype. Called Cora, the aircraft can take off vertically and transition to horizontal flight, and is the result of eight years of research.

Since October the aircraft has been testing in New Zealand, with its good flying weather, sparse population, sustainable energy ecosystems (80 per cent of the country powered by renewable energy) and supportive Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Until now the aircraft have been flying there under cover of a company called Zephyr Airworks, but Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern is announcing an agreement to test the autonomous aircraft as part of an official certification process.

The hope is that certification can lead to a commercial network of flying taxis in New Zealand – possibly with three years – and help leapfrog competitors such as Boeing and Airbus, and operators such as Uber for worldwide services in the future.

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