Want to go soaring through the air but lack things like, you know, a pilot's license and an airplane? Startup Kitty Hawk is ready to make that dream a reality with the Flyer, a new all-electric ultralight plane.
You may remember Kitty Hawk as a company financed by Google founder Larry Page. The group, named for the North Carolina town in which the Wright Brothers first took flight, previously showed off an all-electric .
The tiny Kitty Hawk Flyer seats just one person in a central pod, flanked by 10 propellers. Powered by batteries, it can fly up to 10 feet off the ground at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. Battery life is said to be 12 to 20 minutes, depending on speed and pilot weight. In the US, the Flyer falls under the FAA's rules for ultralight aircraft, meaning no pilot's license is needed so long as it's flown over water or "uncongested areas." Kitty Hawk says the Flyer is "easy to fly" but recommends professional training.
Because it's powered by motors rather than internal combustion engines, Kitty Hawk says the Flyer will be significantly quieter than other ultralight aircraft, promising that it's only as loud as a lawnmower from 50 feet away.
The Flyer is a real product that interested parties can preorder through the company's website now. No price is listed publicly so far. Instead, Kitty Hawk says it wants to partner with companies to establish fleets of Flyers around the world for recreational users to enjoy. That probably points to some sort of rental scheme, such as at amusement parks or similar venues.