Boeing Partners with Air Taxi Startup

Aerospace giant Boeing Co. has formed a strategic partnership with Silicon Valley-based startup Kitty Hawk Corp. to commercialize air taxi applications.

Boeing says the partnership will focus on Kitty Hawk’s Cora (pictured), a two-seat module designed for vertical takeoff and landing. The all-electric aircraft is capable of fully autonomous operation, according to the developer.

Kitty Hawk, which previously launched the Flyer personal plane, is funded by Google Inc. co-founder Larry Page. CEO Sebastian Thrun previously worked at Google, where he led the tech company’s Project X autonomous car program, since renamed Waymo. Thrun also was a professor at Stanford University, where he led the winning team for the U.S. Defense Dept.’s DARPA Grand Challenge for autonomous vehicles.

In January, Boeing and its Aurora Flight Sciences tested a prototype flying taxi capable of carrying four people. The partners also are working with Uber Technologies Inc.’s UberAir unit, which aims to launch pilot programs for a fleet of flying taxis next year in Dallas and Los Angeles.

More information about Kitty Hawk is available HERE.