Google founder Larry Page has announced the first product under his ambitious Kitty Hawk project. Cora is touted as a plane-drone hybrid. The two-seater aircraft is capable of autonomous flight, with fixed wings and propellers that can push the craft ahead at almost 180 km/h with a 100 kilometre range. The drone aspect is the twelve independently swivelling rotors that allow the craft to land like a helicopter.
Cora has a wingspan of 11 metres and can fly at 3,000 feet and can use flat surfaces like rooftops to land close to the pick-up points. Importantly, it will be all electric and the company is also working on control by app. In terms of safety, Kitty Hawk believe they have built in adequate fail safes – however the plane-drone is also equipped with a parachute.
The company is developing the air taxi in New Zealand, which should help with type certification and approvals.