The Kitty Hawk Flyer is a personal Hover bike intended for recreational use. It can be operated by anyone, and does not require a pilot's license to be flown. A number of public demonstration flights have already occurred.
Stage of Development
Aircraft Type: VTOL, no fixed wing
Powerplant: electric motors
Range: 12-20 minute
Top Speed: >20 mph
Propeller Configuration: 8 propellers, octocopter
Passenger/Payload Capacity: Designed for one flyer
Autonomy Level: pilot-assisted
Dimensions: 13ft wingspan, 8ft length
Height Limit: Operates between 3-10 ft off the surface of water
Vertical take-off and landing: Powered by 10 independent lift fans
Battery Life: Battery life will depend on participant weight, environmental factors, and forward speed.
Regulation: Part 103 Ultralight
Funding: $6.5M (unconfirmed), Larry Page is backing this project, so most likely more resources are available.
Our Take on the Flyer
While the Kitty Hawk Flyer's price has not yet been disclosed, the Kitty Hawk website is taking deposits for the Founder's Series Flyer - an invite only group that will have first access to the machine. Since the Flyer is so easy to use, and a number of public flights have already occurred, it is likely not long until we'll see this group of individuals purchasing, owning, and flying their new Flyers. Additionally, since the Flyer is certified under FAA CFR Part 103 - Ultralight - it requires no license to operate, although training is absolutely recommended. Expect widespread public adoption of using Flyers in the same realm as going skydiving - possibly something to rent out for an afternoon to have fun with. As for individual purchases open to the general public, that'll have to wait, for now.
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