One of the Most Promising U.S. eVTOL Developers Bites the Dust Unexpectedly

It's time to say goodbye to Heaviside, despite its success so far 7 photos
Photo: Kittyhawk
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It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the emerging new world of UAM (urban air mobility). While it seems like eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) manufacturers are closer than ever to launching regular operations, difficulties and challenges are also starting to rear their ugly heads. One of the most important players in the industry is now officially out of the game, but there’s a catch.
In 2018, the news that Google co-founder Larry Page was launching an eVTOL startup made headlines. What would later be known as Kittyhawk introduced two air vehicle projects, the Flyer and Cora, before concentrating its efforts on the third and final aircraft, Project Heaviside. Heaviside was the most promising of them all, confirmed by the fact that Kittyhawk was one of the few selected for the U.S. Air Force’s Agility Prime program.

From the outside, things were looking good, and the startup was even in the process of expanding its team, according to Aviation Week. Then, a discrete company announcement in a LinkedIn post earlier this week broke the news about Kittyhawk shutting down. At the moment, no further details about it have been officially revealed.

The decision is even more surprising for the industry, considering that this year the manufacturer held a solid position on the Aviation Week/SMG Consulting Advanced Air Mobility Reality Index. It was ranked 10th, with experts stating that Heaviside was one of the best eVTOLs in the game.

However, it’s not the end entirely for Larry Page’s original project. Wisk Aero, the joint venture between Kittyhawk and Boeing, seems to still be going strong. At the beginning of the year, Boeing announced a $450 million funding for Wisk, and the two unveiled “a concept of operations” for UAM just a couple of days ago. Kittyhawk may be part of the past from now on, but the dream lives on with Wisk.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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