If you looked over Clear Lake in Silicon Valley recently, a strange sight was there to greet you. A man riding a flying vehicle was making his way across the lake which is located only 100 miles from San Francisco.
Developed by a company known as, Kitty Hawk, this flying car looks like something right out of a science-fiction movie. Featuring a single seat and weighing in at 220 pounds, the vehicle is powered by 8 battery operated propellers. According to reports, the car is as loud as it is ambitious but may be available by the end of this year.
The automotive industry has been shaken up quite a bit in recent years, thanks large in part to autonomous driving and electric vehicles. Many companies are currently working to perfect the self driving car, but now the latest trend in the technology industry is building the flying car of the future. Many start ups have formed to take on the challenge, funded by some big names such as Airbus, Larry Page (a google founder) and even the government of Dubai.
The designs may differ but the core idea remains the same across all the companies, the average consumer should be able to take to the skies. The challenges are numerous, whether it be government restrictions or current technology not being capable of the task. Although the biggest challenge flying car companies face is convincing the public that the technology is worth the investment and safe to operate. Kitty Hawk is trying to be the first company to introduce their vehicle on the market.
Already attracting plenty of attention thanks to Larry Page, the companies ambitions are close to becoming a reality. A statement from Mr.Page seemingly confirms this saying “We’ve all had dreams of flying effortlessly. I’m excited that one day very soon I’ll be able to climb onto my Kitty Hawk Flyer for a quick and easy personal flight.” (http://nyti.ms/2pVSick)
Cameron Robertson is the engineer seen in the above test flight. He used twin joystick controls to maneuver the car above the water. The vehicle managed to hover 15 feet above the lake and traveled about 20 to 30 yards off shore. After five minutes of flying Robertson piloted the vehicle back to a landing pad set at the end of a dock.
Currently no price point has been set for the Kitty Hawk Flyer, but interested parties can sign up for a unique offer. The company is currently letting people put down a $100 deposit that will offer the future buyers a $2000 discount when the vehicle is released. Signing up also secures a spot at Kitty Hawk’s demonstrations with a chance they will fly the car themselves.
The Kitty Hawk Flyer is still in development and more details are sure to be released before the official launch. Make sure to keep checking back with Manufacturing Talk Radio for more information as it becomes available.