In an email exchange with New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the New York Times reported that the air taxi is looking to operate commercial flights in three years - serendipitously coinciding with the timing of the launch of UberAir in Dubai.
The flying machine is entirely electric, emission-free, and can fly at speeds in excess of 150 kph (more than 93 mph) and up to 100 kilometers (62 miles), according to the company.
The company is testing a new kind of fully electric, self-piloting flying taxi, which is a completely different project from the one seen past year in a viral video of a single-pilot recreational aircraft, which was being tested over water. It uses 12 fans for vertical take-off and landing, and flies between 500 and 300 feet of altitude. Kitty Hawk has been conducting a series of stealth test flights in New Zealand sincaDe October, the Times reports. The Cora finds Kitty Hawk's vision coming to life. Cora has a wingspan of 36 feet and is powered by a dozen battery-powered rotors.
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Of course, Kitty Hawk isn't the only company doing such work. That's why Cora can take off and land like a helicopter, eliminating the need for runways,"the company said on its website".
A number of rival companies have been laying the groundwork for air taxis. Airbus made an investment two weeks ago in Blade, an aviation startup in NY. This means that the rules it develops may become an example for other nations, including the US. Uber has a division by itself called Uber Elevate. Ehang is developing a self-flying helicopter. In a statement, Kitty Hawk said it chose New Zealand because the country has a "dynamic economy", making comparisons to the United States in the era of the Wright Brothers.
It has managed to go under the radar in New Zealand because until now it has been operating under the different name of Zephyr Airworks, but some intrigued investigators began to connect the dots after it was found its chief executive was named Fred Reid, president of another company associated with Page called Zee Aero that also shared the Kitty Hawk craft's codename, Zee.Aero.