In June 2018, we wrote about Kittyhawk when the unmanned aircraft systems startup backed by billionaire Google co-founder Larry Page raised $5 million from Boeing HorizonX Ventures and other investors to bring fast and compact flying cars to the masses. Four years later, Kittyhawk has shut down its operations after it crashed.
Yesterday, Kittyhawk announced it will be closing down, which will be a major setback to the long-elusive dream of developing compact flying cars. We decided to wind down Kittyhawk. We are still working on the details of what is going to happen next. The company wrote a post on Twitter.
Zee was founded in 2010 in New York. Aero, the company, unveiled a demonstration video of its 2017 flying car. In 2018, the Flyer was unveiled, a single seat prototype that could hold one person and fly up to 20 miles.
Back then, Kittyhawk said that the commercial version of the Flyer would be available to consumers within five years. The company announced yesterday it would shutter operations, but it didn't come until that day. The elusive flying car never got off the ground.
According to multiple reports, Kittyhawk shifted its focus to its electric aircraft, called Heaviside, in 2020 after stepping away from its Flyer program. A year ago, Kittyhawk also formed its Wisk venture with Boeing. The airplane giant invested 450 million dollars in the partnership. This week, Boeing and Wisk presented their vision for a world where eVTOLs can co-exist with larger commercial aircraft.
Kitty Hawk's decision to cease operations does not change Boeing's commitment to Wisk. We are proud to be a founding member of Wisk Aero and we are excited to see the work they are doing to drive innovation and sustainability through the future of electric air travel. We do not expect Kitty Hawk's announcement to affect Wisk's operations or other activities in any way.