When Google cofounder Larry Page puts his weight (and a rumored $100 million of his own cash) behind a flying taxi concept, it’s worth taking notice. And when the recently unveiled Cora comes from a company named Kitty Hawk, the site of the Wright brothers’ first flight, you know the project is going to be ambitious.
The all-electric, emissions-free flying vehicle has been in the works for eight years, but was only unveiled recently. Cora is equipped with twelve vertically oriented rotors—three on each side of both wings—that allow it to takeoff and land vertically, giving it a level of versatility more like that of a helicopter than a plane. Once in the air, a large propeller located behind the cockpit provides forward thrust.
The air taxi will be fully autonomous—making it available to those without pilot’s licenses—and some outlets are reporting that work is already underway on a Cora ridesharing app. It all sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but testing of the Cora is already underway in New Zealand.