March 23, 2018

Christchurch testing ground for world's first self-piloted electric air taxi

13 March 2018, 07:18 | Marlene Myers



Kitty Hawk, the company led by the "godfather of self-driving cars" Sebastian Thrun and backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, has revealed its Cora aircraft, which is a hybrid vertical take-off and landing design that can take off like a helicopter but fly like a plane.

Now, it would seem that Cora and the company behind it are nearly ready for prime time, as Kitty Hawk and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced that an agreement has been reached that will see Kitty Hawk's portfolio officially tested for certification.

Early specifications show that the fully-autonomous aircraft is capable of reaching a top speed of 110mph and have a flight range of approximately 62 miles. The Cora finds Kitty Hawk's vision coming to life. The company, which is operating in New Zealand through a company called Zephyr Airworks, has been in discussions with New Zealand regulators for a year and a half, and it hopes to start a commercial flying taxi service in as soon as three years.

The report says Kitty Hawk is already working on a taxi-hailing app, and plans to run the entire operation itself.

Nokia 9 may sport in-display fingerprint sensor, iPhone-like notch
In terms of specs, Nokia 8 Sirocco runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, coupled with a 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The devices will also come with an expansion option to expand the memory storage of the devices using a microSD card.

Kagiso Rabada given two-match ban after Steve Smith collision
Hazlewood then injected some venom into the Aussies by grabbing Aiden Markram's wicket after Lyon had Elgar caught and bowled. Having dismissed Australia for 239 in their second innings in the morning session‚ South Africa needed only 101 runs to win .

Philip Hammond upbeat on growth and spending in spring statement
Borrowing is now forecast to be £45.2 billion this year, £4.7 billion lower than forecast in November. Hammond said the education secretary will release up to £80m to help small firms take on apprentices.

The good folks over at Kitty Hawk are looking to change the game of flight.

Once it's in the air, a single propeller drives Cora at about 110 miles per hour, between altitudes of 500 and 3,000 feet.

Kitty Hawk was rumoured to be pitching a "flying car" prototype as far back as 2016 - when it began pitching the concept to various governments to secure backing. New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, in an email to The New York Times, explained that her country wants to become "net carbon zero" by 2050, and the Cora can help make that happen. It looked less like a auto than a jet ski with wings. The vehicles more often look like small planes than flying cars.

Several other companies, including Uber and Airbus, are also racing to commercialize flying taxis.

Other News

Trending Now

Hate letters telling people to 'punish a Muslim' investigated by police
The letters also encourage people to "torture" and "butcher" Muslims in a day of Islamophobic violence on 3 April. It did not stop there as it took an aggressive turn right after this one-paragraph introduction.

Bound flight makes emergency landing in Albuquerque after cabin fills with smoke
According to ABC affiliate KOAT , the people onboard the plane described the experience as scary. Fire officials in Albuquerque tweeted that two people were injured and taken to a hospital.

Oil prices fall on relentless rise in USA crude output
Crude oil prices fell Monday ahead of closely watched U.S. inflation data that may set the stage for interest rate hikes. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at US$61.91 a barrel at 0755 GMT, down 13 cents, or 0.2 per cent.

Tatas to raise Rs 8200 cr via TCS share sale
Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley are arranging the offering of Tata Consultancy stock, according to Monday's terms. Last year, it boosted its stake in Tata Motors Ltd., the owner of Jaguar Land Rover.