Silicon Valley’s flying car startup, Kitty Hawk, has taken to the sky, and their product may be available for purchase very soon. Business Insider reports that Kitty Hawk President Sebastian Thrun recently tweeted a video showing a prototype flying over a body of water.
According to The New York Times, the project is backed by Alphabet CEO Larry Page (Alphabet is the parent company of Google), adding to the list of companies attempting to make vehicular flight a reality. Kitty Hawk has not yet revealed the final price of the vehicle, but they are offering a $2,000 discount for anyone who puts down a $100 early deposit. This may also include test flights.
“Our mission is to make the dream of personal flight a reality,” Kitty Hawk says on their website. “We believe when everyone has access to personal flight, a new, limitless world of opportunity will open up to them. At Kitty Hawk, we engineer, design and build safe, fun, easy-to-fly aircraft.”
While most mechanics recommend rotating your tires about every 7,500 miles, flying cars could let you remove that step from your maintenance list, seamlessly soaring on your morning commute. The first Kitty Hawk model is designed to fly over water, as it does not require the licensure of traditional aircraft operation, according to the company’s website. The New York Times reports that the company qualifies under a Federal Aviation Administration category for ultralight aircrafts.
“The Kitty Hawk Flyer is a new, all-electric aircraft,” the website reads. “It is safe, tested and legal to operate in the United States in uncongested areas under the Ultralight category of FAA regulations. We’ve designed our first version specifically to fly over water. You don’t need a pilot’s license and you’ll learn to fly it in minutes. We publicly revealed the working prototype in April 2017. The official Flyer will be available by the end of the year.”
Thrun said in a statement that while they are only flying over water at the moment, they are working to determine how flying cars will be able to safely function in everyday life.
“We have been in contact with the F.A.A. and we see the regulators as friends,” he said. “I believe that all of us have to work together to understand how new technologies will shape the future of society.”
Page said in an email statement to The New York Times that he is part of the pool of aviation nerds waiting for an opportunity to take to the sky.
“We’ve all had dreams of flying effortlessly,” he said. “I’m excited that one day very soon I’ll be able to climb onto my Kitty Hawk Flyer for a quick and easy personal flight.”