Larry Page’s electric air taxi startup is winding down



CNN

Kittyhawk, the electric air taxi startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, announced on Wednesday that it plans to “wind down” operations.

“We have decided to get rid of Kittyhawk. We are still working out the details of what’s next,” the company wrote in a summary the statement shared on his LinkedIn and Twitter the pages Kittyhawk did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Kittyhawk had a grand mission to “build autonomous, affordable, ubiquitous and eco-conscious air taxis,” according to its website. It was founded by Sebastian Thrun, a former Google executive who led the company’s self-driving efforts.

The startup operated in secret until 2017, when it unveiled its first aircraft to the public: an ultralight electric plane called the Flyer, which was designed to fly over water. Page, one of the world’s richest men, reportedly invested $100 million in flying car startups, including the Kittyhawk.

The Flyer was retired in 2020, according to the company, after more than 25,000 successful test flights, and it announced that it had laid off many of those working on the Flyer at the time. The company launched other prototype electric planes and announced a partnership with Boeing in 2019.

Kittyhawk’s closure will not affect its joint venture with Boeing, which has been called Wisk. in one the tweetWisk said it remains in a “strong financial position” with Boeing and Kittyhawk as investors.

Like the Kittyhawk, Wisk is developing an “all-electric, self-flying air taxi” that it claims “lifts like a helicopter and flies like an airplane,” according to its website. is “This aircraft will eliminate the need for a runway and allow you to land where you need to,” according to the company.