Reports surfaced in 2016 that Google co-founder (and now Alphabet CEO) Larry Page had two "flying car" projects in the works, and while we saw the Flyer recreational vehicle unveiled a year ago, today it's time to meet Cora.
"Zephyr Airworks came here because of the ease of doing business in New Zealand, our safety-focused regulatory environment, our culture of ingenuity and our vision for clean technologies and future transport alternatives". Like Uber, but for "The Jetsons". With a 36-foot wingspan, the aircraft flies between 500 and 3,000 feet above the ground at around 110 miles per hour.
Cora is capable of traveling at up to 110mph (180km/s) with a range of 62 miles (100km) carrying two passengers.
The report says Kitty Hawk is already working on a taxi-hailing app, and plans to run the entire operation itself.
The company has been pitching the air taxi privately since 2016, finally choosing New Zealand as its R&D and certification location as well as its launch market due to the country's large support of renewable energy and electric vehicles as well as its accommodating airspace regulations.
"Cora isn't just about flying", Kitty Hawk said.
"Designing an air taxi for everyday life means bringing the airport to you". A human test pilot took control of the proof of concept flyer last August and, after reaching agreements for the development and testing of the project with the government of New Zealand in October 2017, the first self-flying air taxi was shipped over. That's why Cora can take off and land like a helicopter, eliminating the need for runways.
Flight tests soon followed under an experimental airworthiness certificate from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority and the United States Federal Aviation Administration.