Kitty Hawk company is the developer of a new autonomous flying machine called “Cora”. It will begin testing the service in rural Canterbury, a region in the South Island. Cora is an electric air taxi that can carry two passengers. It is designed to take off like a helicopter, and it uses proprietary software to fly like a regular fixed-wing aircraft, with the help of some human supervision. Zephyr Airworks, Kitty Hawk’s New Zealand affiliate, has been working with government officials on plans to test the new service as part of a program meant to encourage science and innovation in the country. The electric-powered Cora aircraft is designed using 11 independent lift fans, which allow the plan to take off vertically like a helicopter. It has a wingspan of 36 feet. The aircraft can fly at altitudes ranging from 500-3,000 feet at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour. It has a range of 62 miles.
The development of Cora aircraft was started in the year 2010. The company has obtained the experimental airworthiness certificates both from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States. Development of a viable air taxi service has been a hotly pursued goal for several major companies in the U.S. and elsewhere in recent years, due to a combination of factors. Airways used for key commercial aviation purposes have become congested. Infrastructure problems have worsened. The lack of high-speed rail transportation in the U.S., accidents and delays plaguing traditional rail systems, and snarled traffic on many highways have fueled efforts to come up with practical alternatives.
Air taxi services have been developed to take off and land at designated pickup and dropoff points. Also the artificial intelligence technology would have to be tested to make sure it could safely navigate urban corridors.