Google Co-Founder Larry Page's Air Taxi Takes Flight

It's called Cora, and it takes off like a helicopter before flying like a plane using electric propulsion.
Google Co-Founder Larry Page's Air Taxi Takes Flight
Image credit: Cora

Free Book Preview: Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Get a glimpse of how Google’s marketing resources and strategies can help you grow your business’s digital reach.
Senior Editor
2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

On the ground, there is an ongoing scramble to replace the gas-guzzling cars we drive with electric alternatives, remove the need to drive them ourselves, and even to own them once self-driving ridesharing becomes a reality. Meanwhile, Google's Larry Page has been funding a company that will bypass all of that.

The company is called Kitty Hawk, and it just revealed Cora, a prototype air taxi that takes off like a helicopter, flies like a plane and uses electric propulsion. You'd think such a flying vehicle would require a pilot's license to operate, but that's not the case. Cora is self-piloting, meaning anyone can jump in and use it. Just as importantly, it's quiet during flight.

As The New York Times reports, Kitty Hawk has been flying Cora over the South Island of New Zealand since October last year. The air taxi looks like a small single-seater plane, but then you notice the wings are covered in a dozen small propellers and there's a surprising lack of noise on take-off.

Cora is capable of traveling at up to 110mph (180km/s) with a range of 62 miles (100km) carrying two passengers. That may seem low, but Cora can fly in a straight line directly to a destination unlike vehicles limited to using busy road networks.

New Zealand is focused on becoming "net carbon zero" by the year 2050, which is why prime minister Jacinda Ardern embraced the emissions-free transportation project. Kitty Hawk has the agreement of the government to test Cora there and everyone involved hopes it will lead to the first commercial network of flying taxis.

Kitty Hawk's success is a wake-up call to other companies. In the air, Boeing and Airbus are expected to compete, while on the ground Uber is already thinking about taking to the skies with Uber Elevate. For now though, Kitty Hawk looks to be in the best position. The company has a working air taxi, an agreement to test it openly and the goal of a commercial service in the near future. After that, the focus will surely turn to brining Cora to the U.S.

More from Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur Select: A Fund For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs require more than just money, which is why we aim to empower you, as well as act as a catalyst for value creation.

Entrepreneur Insider members enjoy exclusive access to business resources for just $5/mo:
  • Premium articles, videos, and webinars
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • Bonus: A FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Make sure you’re covered for physical injuries or property damage that occur at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business

Latest on Entrepreneur