Google co-founder Larry Page’s foray into autonomous flight is gearing up. The program, through Page’s presumably well funded start-up Kitty Hawk, is focused now on the tilt-thrust, multi-rotor craft known as Cora, which Kitty Hawk’s New Zealand arm, called Zephyr, is developing. Cora is all electric and makes use of a dozen tiltable wing-mounted props (three on both the leading and trailing edges of each side). Much of the forward thrust is via a single, rear-mounted electric motor driving a pusher prop. The other twelve motors transition from vertical to forward flight. Cora can fly as fast as 93 mph with a range of around 55 nm. The craft is intended to carry two non-pilots aloft and to their destination. The ;project will offer an air ride hailing app, so customers can summon Cora, or one of her offspring, right from their phones.
Company video of Cora taking off, flying and landing is impressive, though the craft appears to be marginally stable in the pitch axis. The liftoff is quick and the transition to forward flight is impressively efficient, as well. Watch the video from Kitty Hawk here, and for our take on the future of urban aerial taxis, check this out.
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