Planes, Trains, and Flying Cars

Google-backed startup unveils prototype of its “ultralight” aircraft.

 

Any one in the market for more grown-up toys? If so, Kitty Hawk, a startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, might have just the right addition to your growing stable.

In what’s billed as a “flying car,” but looks more like a fancy jet ski with wings, is the Kitty Hawk Flyer, an ultralight aircraft that can take off vertically as long as the pilot is flying over open water, according to an article posted on CNN.com. The prototype craft, which lifts off vertically thanks to a set of small propellers under its base, is slated to be commercially available at the end of this year for what is now, an unspecified price, CNN said.

Already, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the craft for flight in “uncongested areas,” whatever that means, and customers will not have to have a pilot’s license in order to fly it.

Kitty Hawk is soaring into ever more crowded territory with its dream of a next-generation flying machine. More than a dozen startups backed by industry titans like Google’s Page are tackling the long sought-after invention with very different approaches, including Uber, Airbus, Aeromobil, and Terrafugia. Many of these part planes/part cars rely on vertical take off and landing (VTOL), which would eliminate the need for runways.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, here we come!

More in Home