Well, you guys, it’s finally here. After close to two decades of stale “It’s the year 20**, where’s the flying car I was promised?” jokes, a company in California has finally devised an actual, working, soon-to-be-publicly-available version of the archetypal futuristic invention. And it’s… um… it’s kinda disappointing.
As reported yesterday by the New York Times, Kitty Hawk is a Silicon Valley startup backed by Google founder Larry Page and led by Sebastian Thrun, the founding director Google’s X Lab. The company’s answer to the flying car is the Kitty Hawk Flyer, a 220-pound single-passenger vehicle that uses eight battery-powered propellors to take flight.
“We’ve all had dreams of flying effortlessly,” Page told the Times in a statement. “I’m excited that one day very soon I’ll be able to climb onto my Kitty Hawk Flyer for a quick and easy personal flight.”
The problem is that that day isn’t today.
In the test flight the NYT journalist witnessed, the Flyer stayed airborne for just five minutes, and flew at a height of fifteen feet — not exactly the stuff sci-fi dreams are made of. Also, remember at the end of Back to the Future when Doc tells Marty, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”? Apparently, that’s because what a flying car does need is a lake: for now, the FAA has restricted the Flyer to flying only over open water.
Hmm. We’ll keep on holding our breath for something more akin to this, I guess.
I’d even settle for something like this, at this point, tbh.
In the meantime, the Kitty Hawk Flyer seems like it’ll make for a real fun addition to your cottage. No word on price yet, but the company plans to start selling the vehicles by the end of the year.