Google Co-Founder's Flying Car Takes Off

Kitty Hawk Flyer will be available later this year
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2017 7:21 AM CDT

Airbus' flying car might have competition. Kitty Hawk, a Silicon Valley startup named for the location of the Wright brothers' first controlled flight and backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, has revealed its flying car prototype and says buyers will be able to get their hands on a similar design by the end of the year, per ABC News. For now, the Kitty Hawk Flyer looks less like a car and more like "a flying motorcycle," but riding it is a blast, Cimeron Morrissey writes at Medium. The rider mounts the 220-pound device and controls its eight, battery-powered propellers from a set of handlebars. Getting the hang of the controls takes only "minutes" and there's no need for a license, Kitty Hawk says.

But riders won't be cruising over land anytime soon. The Flyer, which has two pontoons attached, is only legal to operate over fresh water "in uncongested areas of the US," according to Kitty Hawk's website. While such a "flying car" might not be what consumers envisioned, "I think it demonstrates a vision of the future," an engineer tells the New York Times. Interested? Kitty Hawk—run by the founding director of Google's X lab, Sebastian Thrun—says anyone who pays a $100 membership fee now will receive a $2,000 discount off a Flyer at a later date. The catch: Kitty Hawk has yet to reveal the retail price of the Flyer, which can now travel up to 25mph. (More flying car stories.)

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