The air taxi company called Kittyhawk

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Kittyhawk, the company named after the green hills where the Wright brothers made their first flight with controlled wings, struggled to land on Earth. Now it looks like the folks behind the air taxi company are ready to throw in the towel, saving a bit of fuss while diving Birds in the ground on silent wings.

On Wednesday, the company wrote on LinkedIn A very brief statement page that reads, “We have made the decision to end Kittyhawk. We are still working on the details of the next step.”

The Kittyhawk was known the world over for its lofty idea of ​​creating fast, compact and efficient flying cars that could take off with little or no runway. The project was led by CEO Sebastian Thrun – a pioneer of self-driving cars – with more headlines from Google co-founder Larry Page, who has provided consistent financial support throughout its 12-year run.

The company did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but interested in trade According to anonymous inside sources familiar with the matter, CEO Sebastian Thrun told employees of their decision on the same day his public position was made public. Sources also said the company has already put the brakes on its latest flying car project called Heaviside, with Page apparently putting a little elbow grease on the advisory side.

The company has gone through multiple projects during its life span. Kittyhawk revealed Kura Unmanned Aerial Taxi In 2018, it promised vertical take-off and landing capability with the ability to cruise at 110 mph at around 3,000 feet. He reportedly did well in auditions, but the audience didn’t see anything but video auditions. The following year, air taxi makers announced Partnership with Boeing In a project called Wisk. Otherwise, the last thing the public heard from the air taxi company was the completion of the light electric vehicle project called “flyerIn the year 2020.

We still have yet to hear back from Kittyhawk about where their project alongside Boeing might go now that the company is being shuttered. Boeing told Gizmodo in an email statement that “We do not expect Kitty Hawk’s announcement to affect Wisk’s operations or other activities in any way.”

So who will take Kittyhawk’s place in the search for ultralight flying vehicles? Well, we’ve seen attempts from the likes of Uber, although we weren’t impressed with their spacious and cumbersome initial design. Joby Aviation has acquired Uber Back in 2020The company has been granted the initial green light by the Federal Aviation Administration take off in the sky.

United also recently Put in 15 million dollars into the flying taxi space with startup Eve Air Mobility. Other major airlines are investing big money in space, but so far we haven’t seen a business model do anything but look for great promotional videos. With Air Taxi Pioneer Kittyhawk out of the picture, we’ll just have to see if any of these short-range aerial vehicles actually take off.

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