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Flying-Car Startup Kittyhawk to Shut Down

The company, backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, recently formed a partnership with Boeing.

Kittyhawk's Cora air taxi
Kittyhawk's Cora is an electric, two-person air taxi.

Kittyhawk, the flying-car startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, announced Wednesday that it will be closing down.

"We have made the decision to wind down Kittyhawk," the company said on Twitter. "We're still working on the details of what's next."

The company, named for the North Carolina town in which the Wright brothers' history-making airplane first took flight, was founded in 2010 to manufacture eVTOLs -- electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The startup was run and co-founded by Sebastian Thrun, a former Google VP and fellow who led the development of Google's self-driving car and Google Glasses.

In 2018, the company unveiled the Kittyhawk Flyer, an all-electric ultralight plane that could fly a single occupant up to 10 feet off the ground at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. Kittyhawk was also developing an electric, two-person air taxi called Cora.

Cora is central to Wisk Aero, a joint venture Kittyhawk formed with Boeing in 2019. The strategic partnership was intended to give both companies a considerable head start over other flying car/air taxi projects, such as UberAir and Bell Nexus

Boeing said Kittyhawk's decision won't affect Wisk Aero.

"Kitty Hawk's decision to cease operations does not change Boeing's commitment to Wisk. We are proud to be a founding member of Wisk Aero and are excited to see the work they are doing to drive innovation and sustainability through the future of electric air travel," a Boeing spokesperson said in a statement. "We do not expect Kitty Hawk's announcement to affect Wisk's operations or other activities in any way."