Kitty Hawk testing Cora eVTOL air taxi in New Zealand

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The Cora air taxi

Kitty Hawk, a company backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, has revealed further details about an air taxi it is testing in New Zealand.

The project, which was launched eight years ago, was under development in the USA until its first aircraft was moved to New Zealand in October last year. Kitty Hawk’s aircraft are being tested and operated by Zephyr Airworks, a company set up in New Zealand in December 2016.

The autonomous, electrically-powered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft has been named Cora.

Cora is a two-seater aircraft with a top speed of 110mph (180km/h) and a range of 62 miles (100km). It operates at altitudes between 500ft and 3000ft above ground level and uses 12 lift fans to take off and land. It uses a single propeller for fixed wing, forward flight.

Kitty Hawk has not put timeframes for when Cora will be commercially operating and how much it will cost, although it has said it plan to run Cora as “a service similar to an airline or rideshare”.

March 15, 2018

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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