The flying car company, Kitty Hawk, has shown off its latest iteration of the Flyer, a single seater “flying car” that’s controlled with a single joystick. While we did get to see an earlier iteration of Flyer last year the new model is much sleeker, futuristic looking, and generally looks more like a finished product.
According to CNN, Kitty Hawk tried out various methods for controlling the craft, including a steering wheel, video game controllers, and boat throttles but found that a joystick was the most comfortable to use. Training for using the vehicle takes about 90 minutes at the moment but the firm wants to bring this down to just five minutes.
The 250-pound vehicle scrapes under the requirement for a pilot’s license which is required for vehicles above 254 pounds. It can also reach speeds of 20mph but is capped at 6mph for learners. Despite now looking like a consumer product, CNN’s Rachel Crane complained that “it’s not the most comfortable thing” she has ever sat in.
The Flyer’s chief engineer wants to equip the vehicle with a parachute so that people can safely fly it higher. He also said it could reach speeds of around 100mph in the future. Implementing either of these features, though, will require more testing.
These so-called ultralights are restricted to flying during day time and away from people at the moment so there’s a good chance we will be waiting a while to see them flying around our towns and cities.
Kitty Hawk wants to get Flyer out to customers soon and it is apparently taking pre-orders, without announcing the prices publicly. The firm also plans to invite business partners and social influencers to fly the machine which should help the public, and lawmakers, become aware that these vehicles exist and what their capabilities are.