Aviation startup Kitty Hawk, which is backed by Google co-founder Larry page, builds electric flight transportation solutions to free people from traffic.
Headquartered in Mountain View, California, it recently unveiled its third electric aircraft the Heaviside (shortened to HVSD). The aircraft is named after renowned engineer and physicist Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925).
Heaviside is a small and quiet electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft which has eight tilting propellers for VTOL purposes.
The 8-rotor, 20-foot wingspan Heaviside has a cruise speed of over 200 mph with a range of about 100 miles. Flying requires a ton of energy; most of the aircrafts use 90%+ of their energy at take-off. So a 100-mile range is an incredible breakthrough for an electric flight.
Faster and quieter than a helicopter
Unlike a helicopter, the HVSD starts and lifts off in just seconds and it’s 100 times quieter than a helicopter. It can be flown autonomously or manually.
It has only one-third the weight of a Cessna and fits only one person
The Heaviside can only fit the pilot which raises questions about its viability as a passenger aircraft.
There is still work left to be done to bring HVSD to the public. Kitty Hawk hopes to soon use the HVSD for personal air travel and air taxi service.