Flying taxis being tested in New Zealand

Cora can carry two passengers

Cora can carry two passengers. Supplied

Looks like flying taxis are closer than previously thought.

The current goal for Kitty Hawk is to create and operate its own taxi service, not sell the aircraft to customers, reports The New York Times.

A machine that takes off like a helicopter and flies like a plane is the design behind Cora, an autonomous vehicle that's taking flight from the Larry Page-backed Kitty Hawk, a flying auto company. "The possibilities were limitless", Kitty Hawk's website revealed. The company has been testing out the autonomous flying taxi in New Zealand.

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Speaking of what the move means for the country, Arden said the decision was "about sending the message to the world that our doors are open for people with great ideas who want to turn them into reality". The air taxi, which can carry two passengers, can fly as fast as 180 kph and has an operating distance of 100 kilometres. Cora is a different beast, looking far more like a small plane that is able to take off and land vertically.

Multiple propellers make a vehicle safer and more stable, and it also makes it easier to design vehicles with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities. Considering it took eight years to reach this stage, and that it's in competition with several other air taxi manufacturers like Uber Elevate, Airbus, Ehang and others, it's not likely that information will be made public anytime soon.

"After nearly eight years of engineering, re-engineering and re-re-engineering, we had done it".

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Cora is expected to be tested in New Zealand where according to the company, "We quickly realized that there was only one place in the world that had everything we needed - Richard Pearse's New Zealand".

Kitty Hawk is only one company in a field where everyone is trying to become the first to get off of the ground.

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For those who follow the progress in this field - technologists, flight enthusiasts and billionaires seeking to transform the skies - it was thought that Page had been testing flights of a new self-piloting planes only in Northern California; several reports and images revealed the existence of newfangled aircraft a year ago from a company based there, called Zee Aero, that was associated with Page. Uber hopes to begin testing its services by 2020 in Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Dubai by 2010.

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