A company backed by Google co-founder Larry Page plans to wind down its operations, according to its announcement Wednesday.
As a result of our decision, Kittyhawk will be winding down. The details of what’s next are still being worked out,” the company wrote on its LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Kittyhawk did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
According to its website, Kittyhawk was committed to building autonomous, affordable, ubiquitous, and eco-conscious air taxis. Sebastian Thrun, a former Google executive who led the company’s self-driving car efforts, founded the company.
Up until 2017, the startup operated in secret, until it unveiled its first aircraft – an ultralight electric plane designed to fly over water dubbed Flyer. Kittyhawk, one of the world’s most successful flying car startups, was said to have received $100 million from Page, one of the world’s richest men.
According to the company, Flyer was ultimately retired in 2020, after more than 25,000 successful test flights, and many of those working on it at the time were laid off. In 2019, the company launched another electric aircraft prototype and announced a partnership with Boeing.
Kittyhawk’s closure will not affect its joint venture with Boeing, which has been dubbed Wisk. According to a tweet from Wisk, Boeing and Kittyhawk are both investors in the company.
A self-flying electric air taxi being developed by Wisk is similar to Kittyhawk’s, as it says it rises like a helicopter and flies like a plane. According to the company, the aircraft will eliminate the need for a runway and allow you to land wherever you want.