Kitty Hawk Heaviside, the ultra-quiet electric taxi

Kitty Hawk, the Larry Page-funded company that is developing new modes of air transport, unveiled its third aircraft. It is an Advantage with eight electric rotors that is 100 times quieter than a helicopter.

After Cora, the VTOL ( aircraft takeoff and vertical landing) powered by 12 electric motors for future services from flying taxis and flyers, a cross between a drone and a seaplane designed for recreational use, the company Kitty Hawk has just unveiled the third concept of individual air transport. It is the Heaviside, another eight electric rotor aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like an airplane.

With a wingspan of six meters, it can travel up to 160 kilometers with a battery charge by carrying a single passenger. The machine is piloted manually or in autonomous mode. Until then, nothing new compared to Cora. Except that the Heaviside is operating at an extremely low level for this type of device.

In the video that shows him in action, Kitty Hawk says he emits 38 decibels at 1,500 feet (457 m), while a helicopter produces 80 decibels at the same altitude. A powerful argument as the promoters of this model of urban transport imagine fleets of flying taxis crisscrossing the skies of cities at low altitude.

The Kitty Hawk Heaviside can fly at 192 km / h

”  Once in flight, the vehicle blends into the hubbub of a city or suburb, hardly perceptible by the human ear,  ” says the company funded by Larry Page, one of two co-founders of Google. Although no technical details are provided, Kitty Hawk says the Heaviside can connect the cities of San Francisco to San Jose, 48 kilometers apart in 15 minutes, giving an average speed of 192 km / h.

As for its two other projects, the company has not yet indicated whether, and when, it plans to commercialize this device, which is also likely to serve a flying taxi service or, perhaps, individual transport. for a few privileged people who could afford it.